We are spotlighting the winners of Beauty Launchpad’s 25 Under 50K competition, sponsored by Truss Professional.
Today, you will get to know Denise Welsh (@denisesuzanne_). She is a salon owner, stylist and educator at Studio H Salon in Covington, WA.
Beauty Launchpad (BLP): What is a fun fact about you?
Denise Welsh (DW): I am ambidextrous.
BLP: How did you get your start in the industry?
DW: I never really had an interest in hair. I was needing some extra credits in high school, and my counselor suggested I attend cosmetology school, so I did. After I graduated, I was offered an associate position in a very high end salon in Los Angeles, and I decided I could not pass up the opportunity, so I accepted the position. Turns out, I really enjoyed doing hair, and it quickly turned into a passion of mine.
BLP: What is your proudest accomplishment?
DW: Opening up a 10-chair salon, building it from scratch and growing the majority of the stylists in my salon straight out of cosmetology school. We survived being shut down for over 13 weeks during the pandemic, then another few months only being allowed to operate with two stylists at a time. It was the hardest time of my life, but we came out stronger than ever, and the bond and team that was created from it was a huge blessing.
BLP: What is your current favorite hairstyle trend?
DW: Natural, lived in color. I understand how busy some people are, and being able to create a look that will look amazing for months at a time, allowing the guests to spend more time out of the salon enjoying life while still looking amazing, is my favorite.
BLP: What is a tip you have for your fellow stylists who are looking to grow their following on socials?
DW: Find your niche and your audience. Educate them and share what has helped you. Whether it be your client of fellow stylists, be authentic. The followers will come to you. Follower count should never matter. It's who’s following you that should matter.
BLP: What is a piece of advice about styling/working with hair that you have for your fellow stylists?
DW: It's okay to not understand hair right away. Find a mentorship program after school to get more experience before venturing out on your own – It will fast track you tremendously. Continue your education. Be okay with having to fix something you’ve done. Change your mindset, and instead of thinking of it as a redo, think of it as a tweak to make it even better. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Celebrate yourself when you’ve done good, and learn and grow when you make mistakes. We are all human and we all make mistakes. It’s how we handle the mistakes that matters.
BLP: What do you love about your work?
DW: I love being versatile with color. I work with all different types of color and textures. It allows me to be more creative and challenged. I never get bored recreating the same look when I get to create all sorts of different looks.
BLP: What inspires your work?
DW: What inspires my work is my clients. Finding styles and colors to bring out and highlight their best features. Making people feel gorgeous and confident inspires me.
BLP: What motivates you about the industry?
DW: What motivates me about the industry is the endless ways you can help people. Not only are we helping people feel good about themselves but we are also helping them be heard and feel safe. Also helping other stylists, supporting them and teaching them things that we once struggled to learn that has helped us grow and be more successful. The industry is full of uplifting love and support. We are a community.
BLP: What is a career goal you have for yourself?
DW: A career goal I have for myself is to continue to run a salon that provides stylists with support, education and a successful income. I want to show other stylists that it is possible to have a successful career with a good income in this industry. Show them that the possibilities in this industry are endless.
You can learn more about each of our winners in our September/October 2023 digital magazine.