Salon of the Week: Like The River The Salon
Like The River The Salon
240 Highland Avenue, Suite G
Atlanta, GA 30307
Owner: Najah Aziz
Phone: (404) 941- 7099
How long have you been a salon owner?
In my mind, I have been a salon owner much of my life. I opened Like The River three years ago, a year after I quit my 16-year corporate career. [The corporate world] was not for me but the business practices I learned about planning, timeliness, professionalism and organization have been incorporated into my business.
What attracted you to the beauty business?
Some things just come to you as a child. I have six sisters and I used to do my dolls’ hair and my sisters’ hair when I was just a little girl. It was fun. I could be creative and use my hands. That never left me. I always had my mind pointed toward being a stylist. I went to school, passed the state board, served as an assistant for a short time and then got behind the chair.
Are you a hair stylist as well as an owner?
I serve both roles and enjoy both equally. I enjoy the stylist role a lot because I’m able to be creative and expressive in how I style, cut and color hair and make connections with my great and loyal clients. I enjoy the owner role because I’m committed to changing the model of African American salons. The ugly but too often accurate view of our salons is that we are unprofessional, constantly late and generally uncaring about clients’ time. My primary reason for opening Like The River was to show that we can have salons that have the elements that matter to people: total professionalism, wonderful but efficient services so clients can get on with their lives and a fierce commitment to community service.
Do you have plans to franchise your salon?
There have been notions of franchising. Right now, our focus is on continuing to build our brand and impact the community — particularly women at local homeless shelters. But it would not surprise me to see another Like The River or two in other parts of Atlanta or cities.
What makes the atmosphere in your salon unique and inviting?
We wanted a contemporary, but cozy feel, and we believe we achieved that with the hardwood floors, brick wall and columns and our signature piece, the flowing waterfall tower. Our salon is an escape from the rigors of day-to-day life. From the waterfall, to the soothing music, to the complimentary coffee, tea, juices, water and margaritas on Friday nights … we promote peace and tranquility — just as you would get when you sit alongside a flowing river. All our clients receive the VIP treatment from the time they [arrive] until they depart — looking and feeling fabulous!