What Does Kelly Clarkson and Fresh Hair Studio Have In Common?

Our Secret Sauce Recipe

What does “J.Lo and Ben Affleck’s engagement” …..”Kelly Clarkson winning the first American Idol”…..”Michael Jackson holding baby Prince Michael II off a Berlin balcony”….and the start of fresh hair studio all have in common?
That’s right, they all happened in 2002! While Eminem had his hit “Lose Yourself”, two long time  friends – Laurie Haney and Deb Gavin were finding themselves.

Even though I could take this opportunity to chat about women entrepreneurs, the studio accolades, or our unique education philosophies… I’d really love to share some insight about the studios “secret sauce”. That special recipe that has brought us 15 years forward.

In one simple word the main component is “friendship”. Laurie and I met during our first job in the industry at The Loft. Both young and filled with passion for our career we shampooed together and became close friends quickly. Laurie grew up the youngest with 5 sisters, a brother, and a wide circle of friends. I had a much smaller circle as the oldest of both a sister and brother, and was much more of a loner. In those early days Lar taught me a lot about friendship. As a person who could tend to simply disconnect when things got difficult, I can remember Lar always made sure we worked things out.

Through the years we have shared a lot of laughter, and some tears. Our journey becoming industry brand artists, marriage, children, even our career paths kept us together when we moved salons. Neither of us ever had a goal to open a salon on our own, but it’s funny how life goes.

Years later we found ourselves at a point where we both were very busy hairdressers however more and more we grew tired of the culture in salons. It was time to move on. After exploring a few other salon atmospheres we realized the only way our priorities in a business would be found is if we created it.

Thus started fresh hair studio. A strong belief that a team should feel protected and looked after. We wanted to be of service to the community. Creating a culture where there is mutual mentoring from all and as we watch the team grow professionally and personally as we get tremendous joy from that. Developing trust that we.always have the best intentions was priority. The work, technical skills and caliber of artist follows when the secret sauce is created.


So why is prioritizing our friendship the main ingredient? It’s important Lar and I put that first, even though in business you may never hear that said. It gives us the ability to allow ourselves to be vulnerable in hard conversations. Only then can you weed through ego, jealously and insecurities to resolve the real challenges. We put family first, and encourage our team to feel secure doing the same. That work / life balance is so important for all of us. Leadership with integrity and creating transparency help build that trust. Say what you mean and seek first to understand – then to be understood.

Our team, as well as ourselves, and the relationships they have built with us and each other can create lifelong friends. I’m a better person because of these women. People who lift you up and support rather then sabotage. Connections with our clients and the amazing gift we get making them feel good is important to all of us. Donating a percentage of sales to give back to the community has always been a priority. Our culture includes all of those same ideals that made us open our doors 15 years ago. We picked our name because we wanted one word to represent our constant strive to evolve and always strive to be better – fresh.

My typical morning greeting to the team is a form of “Welcome to fresh where everyday is a great day”, of course there are hard times and sad things. That’s life, right?  The difference is that it’s worth the hard work and effort. Constantly evolving and staying forward thinking in all aspects. Ultimately the biggest motivation is our dedicated, talented team and our amazing clients. That’s why we say – “Thank you for choosing fresh hair studio”.

We all look forward to many more years of together! Without all of you, we would not be us! – Deb and Laurie

By D.G.


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