You can walk down virtually any block in Harlem and find a hair salon, but chances are that it would be difficult to find one as successful as, Salon 804. Since opening her beauty facility in 1997, owner Rochelle Mosley has serviced community locals as well as celebrities such as tennis champion Serena Williams, comedian Sommore, and singer-songwriter, Roberta Flack. Along with managing the salon, Rochelle is empowering women to achieve healthy hair through her new do-it-yourself book entitled, “How To Do Your Hair At Home.” Rolling out sat in the beauty chair as we talked about what black women can learn from white hair magazines, Mosley’s Junior Stylist program and how giving back makes business sense.
What tools or resources do you utilize to stay abreast of the trends within your field?
It is unreal how much women want to look like what they see on TV, so I have to watch that. I attend the International Beauty Show because of the cutting-edge trends and technology in the hair and beauty world. I also purchase both black and white hair magazines. I tell my black clients that they can find some of the best cuts in the white magazines. I’m trying to teach these women to stop seeing color and to look at the hair.
Harlem has no shortage of salons. What is your strategy to differentiate yourself in the marketplace?
I’m on time for my clients, I have a clean salon and I keep up with styling trends. I also have a Junior Stylist program every Monday. In this program, I train stylists straight out of beauty school. I feel that if you get them at the beginning, you can teach them to be better stylists in the years to come. There are no salons in Harlem that have a Junior Stylist program, which definitely puts me above the rest.
Aside from the altruistic value of community involvement, what business value has your civic work had on your salon?
People like to live vicariously through other people, so I try to be that for my community. When people come to see you, they want to see that I know about what is new and I give them that. Always staying on-trend is great for my business — it keeps people excited and coming back to the salon. A satisfied client will refer new clients.