In this weeks edition of Crazy/Beautiful-
Noblesville, Indiana, a suburb north of Indianapolis, is known as the middle of the Corn Belt, which is why walking into this salon for the first time is such a shock. Tucked away among the sprawling farm fields is a luxe and modern oasis for all lovers of hair. Greg Lee hit the genetic jackpot with his latest brainchild, G Michael Salon, which is immediately evident by the first class customer service and impressive fleet of elite stylists seen there.
Greg’s vision hasn’t always included cuts and color. During his years as an undergraduate, Greg had law school on the brain and accepted a job as a bailiff for the Marion County Superior Courts in order to pump up his resume. But after getting a dose of the reality of the legal world, Greg realized it was time to reevaluate what his true passion really was.
It was a nice spring day when Greg, and future co-owner of G Michael Salon, Joe, decided that the Monon, a bicycle and pedestrian trail in Indianapolis, would be the perfect place to hash out ideas for the future. Even though neither had any experience in the beauty industry, they both kept coming back to the idea of opening a salon. It was one of those now or never moments where the answer to every question was “why not?” So they did it. And after only 6.5 years post-cosmetology school, they are both able to reap the benefits of having the courage to follow their dream.
My Best Friend's Hair: Did you always have an idea that this was what you wanted to do?
Greg Lee - G Michael Salon: When I had hair (Greg is currently sporting the clean and low maintenance bald look) I would go to the salon quite often because I kept my hair really, really, blonde. Every time I went in there I always admired how much fun the stylists were having, which is exactly what I wanted.
My Best Friend's Hair: Where did you attend cosmetology school?
Greg Lee - G Michael Salon: I started applying to schools and got accepted to the Aveda Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is where I got my initial training.
My Best Friend's Hair: You have been incredibly successful so far. What is your secret?
Greg Lee - G Michael Salon: The key to our success has really been that we both have a strong tenacity and resolve. When I set my mind to something, and when Joe sets his mind to something, we are going to go at it with full force. You just can’t stop me when I am in that frame of mind. Even when I am not at work I am thinking about work. I am thinking about how we can grow and what our next step should be. I am thinking about where the market is heading and how we can stay one step ahead. I am thinking about what can we do to be better than we were the day before.
My Best Friend's Hair: Tell us about the first salon you owned.
Greg Lee - G Michael Salon: The first salon was tiny and only had one chair. It was so small I didn’t even have room for a receptionist, so I would have every call forwarded to Joe so that he could do the scheduling from home. There were times that he would have to pull off the side of the road just to ensure an appointment was booked. We had to take laundry home every single night and do load after load, but those are the kinds of things you do when you want to become successful. Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people don’t want to do. Even though we were small, we always made sure to maintain a larger than life attitude wherever we went. That definitely helped our reputation.
My Best Friend's Hair: What is one thing that will automatically set a stylist up for failure?
Greg Lee - G Michael Salon: Not being able to think outside of the box. Aveda trains you to think that the Aveda way is the only way, which just isn’t the case. There are other companies, other brands, and other ways. I was criticized a lot, but I still decided to seek further education and training.
My Best Friend's Hair: How did you go about doing that?
Greg Lee - G Michael Salon: I decided to attend the Vidal Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica. We rely heavily on Vidal Sassoon because it is such a great foundation to have. But I also have many other influences that I use on top of that, such as what I learned from my training with Nick Arrojo from What Not to Wear.
My Best Friend's Hair: How cool! How did you get connected with him?
Greg Lee - G Michael Salon: I called. Tenacity and resolve. He teaches classes that anyone can attend, but I chose to do a one-on-one class with him. Educational classes in the hair industry in general aren’t cheap, but it must be seen as an investment in your future and in your career, which makes it worth the price.
My Best Friend's Hair: What trends are you most excited about?
Greg Lee - G Michael Salon: I really think that Ombre is here to stay. And there is this thing called sombre, which is basically Ombre without such a bright contrast. So if you have really dark hair it is only one or two levels lighter. I am also seeing that people absolutely love a straight top that comes down into big loose curls, and also a bit of a messy look is really trending right now. When it comes to cuts there really isn’t one thing that is in, which is what is so great about the styles right now. Long, short, curly, you really see it all.
Just then a local camera crew walked through the door. G Michael Salon was being featured for a segment that was testing out Hot Buns, an As Seen On TV gadget that attempts to create the look of a sock bun, all without the sock. So I thanked Greg for taking time out of his busy schedule and was about to be on my way, when at the last second Joe approached me to ask for a favor. He wanted to know if I would do the Hot Buns demonstration for a model that had just called in sick. During our conversation Greg told me that the reason everyone in his salon is so positive and happy is because he truly believes you receive back what you project out. So as I sat in the chair, completely and unjustifiably terrified, I had to wonder what I had projected out in order to receive my worst nightmare back. I couldn't quite figure it out, but I do know one thing for sure, the next time I end up in front of a camera, Greg is doing my hair first.
For the love of hair,
G Michael Salon
16095 Prosperity Drive
Noblesville, Indiana 46060