We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sarah, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
As long as I can remember, I’ve always had a “go getter” mentality and a strive to be successful in anything that I do. When I was in both middle and high school, I received a lot of compliments on the different types of ways that I would style my hair daily. Doing hair was always my personal passion but, I never thought to make it into an actual business until people started asking me to do their hair in school. At first, I was just doing it for fun while using a couple of my friends as models but when I was going to college, that’s where the idea of turning it into a business came from. As most people know, the first year of college, especially going to a college in a whole other state that you’re not from is tough both mentally and financially. So, a couple of months before I went off to Atlanta, I decided that even though my parents were well off and had no problem providing for me, I would create my own hair business to provide for myself and to have my own money which is exactly what I did and has been the biggest blessing to me.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My brand’s name is called “The Sarah Lee Xperience”. I’m a 22 year old hairstylist that’s from New York City but I go back and forth from New York City and Atlanta due to school and clients that I’ve gained over the past 4 years. My services consists of different types of styles such as, traditional sew-ins, wig installs, wig creations, and things like that. I believe that what sets me apart from others in this hair industry is that I go at my own pace. There’s so many new trends and different styles that pop up everyday and it’s so easy to follow the path of doing things the same way as everyone else but, I don’t. If I feel like I don’t like a new style or trend that involves hair, I either won’t do it, or I’ll put my own spin on it. I personally do this because I feel like everyone’s work at a point in time start’s to look like each others and I want my work to speak for itself. When people see a picture or a video of a client that they’ve seen me work with, I want them to be able to notice that I was the stylist who did their hair without my client even having to say it. Originality is key to a successful business and I’m learning to master that everyday that I work which is what I’m most proud of.

As a hairstylist, I pride myself in professionalism. Before starting my hair business, I used to work in retail which is what helped me out a lot with customer service and knowing how to effectively go about situations with people whether it’s negative or positive. Along the way, I’ve learned that customer service and professionalism is very important and what truly makes or breaks your business. You can always be good at your craft but, you will gain a loyal client if your energy is always positive, you have a warm and welcoming spirit, and you allow your clients to feel comfortable in the space that they’re in during their service. Having characteristics such as those is what brings a business from an 8/10 to a 10/10 which is more memorable.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting me in Atlanta, I would take her on a tour of my illustrious HBCU which is Clark Atlanta University, as well as the surrounding institutions so that she could get to feel the vibe of how we do it out there. I would then take her to the Atlanta Beltline to visit and try out all of the restaurants, stores and activities that they have to offer. I feel like if anyone is ever visiting the Atlanta area, the Beltline is a great place to have fun and also relax at all day. Some restaurants that I would recommend going to are Pappadeaux’s seafood kitchen, Kell’s kitchen, Atlanta Breakfast Club, La Fonda’s, and Krab Queens. There’s a lot more to list but those are a few of my favorites. Going closer to the Piedmont park area is where the aquarium, Coca Cola factory, CNN building and Atlanta’s famous Ferris wheel is so those are always fun places to visit.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I personally want to give a huge shoutout to both my family and my friends because without them, my business wouldn’t be where it is now. A friend of mine was my very first paying client which still to this day means the world to me. Both my family and friends do all that they can to support and uplift my business in different ways as small as simply liking and sharing my portfolio on their social media platforms. They’re the people that makes me the woman I am today.

Website: https://thesarahleexperience.as.me/schedule.php

Instagram: @TheSarahLeeXperience

Other: TikTok: @TheSarahLeeXperience

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.