From Student to Salon Owner, Meet Tess G!

Jul 19 2019

Close up of redhead woman smiling

From a very young age, Tess knew that one day she wanted to own a salon. Whether she was braiding her friends’ hair at summer camp, styling hair with her sister, or getting hair done, she knew that her future was in a salon. “Doing hair came easy to me when nothing else really did,” she said. “When I went to cosmetology school I became one of those straight-A overachieving students.” Even though Tess graduated from the cosmetology program at our Royal Oak location about ten years ago, she’s still passionate about continuing education.

Woman with long red hair in an all black outfit.

Tess’s Douglas J Aveda Institute Experience

Tess originally chose our school because it was convenient, new and came highly recommended. After graduating and entering the workforce, she realized what our cosmetology program had done to prepare her for the future. “What I really got out of Douglas J was the education in general,” she says. “I’ve noticed that my education is really well-rounded. Aveda gave me a great foundation.” While she was a student, Tess treated every day like she worked in a real salon and focused on gaining as much experience as possible. If someone couldn’t take on a guest, she’d be first in line to help out. “[Douglas J] was happy to fill my book up and prepare me for working in a real salon.”

Becoming a Successful Stylist and Salon Owner

After becoming licensed, Tess worked at Tricho Salon and Spa Novi, a high-end salon/spa in the Detroit area. As much as she loves cutting and coloring hair, her real goal was always to own a salon. In 2017, she became co-owner of Aesthetic Hair Co. with her friends and business partners Alex Pardoe and Annie Starler. “It’s crazy but it’s the best nightmare of all time,” she says. “We started with six stylists and now we have 25 as a part of our team.” Between styling clients’ hair, monitoring the company Instagram account (which has 11.8k followers), managing a salon with two locations and educating the stylists, there’s never a dull moment for Tess during her work week!

“My goal for the salon is for every stylist that works there to live comfortably and make as much money as they need. I want everyone to be successful,” she says. “I don’t need a chain of salons. I don’t want to lose focus on what our goal was with the salon, which is for everyone to be successful and love where they work.”

Close up woman with multi-dimensional brunette highlighted hair.

Tess’s Passion for Education

As she moves forward, Tess is focused on finding more opportunities for growth and education. “The biggest goal I have for myself is to try to get more into education,” she says. “I love being behind the chair. I get a lot out of that. What I get out of educating is a whole other level. I want to become an educating stylist.” For Tess, the dedication to continual learning is important as both a salon owner and a stylist. She refuses to make excuses or become complacent. “I take responsibility for everything (good and bad),” she says. “A lot of stylists try to blame salons and clients. I’m willing to own my mistakes. I’m honest with my clients [and that’s why] I have a loyal clientele. It’s a lot easier to move forward when you own your mistakes.”

Woman with beautiful golden blonde highlights.

Come and Learn With Us!

When it comes to beauty education, Tess says she’ll always suggest Douglas J Aveda Institute.“The education [at other schools] is not the same quality,” she says. “Douglas J people know their stuff!” If you feel inspired by Tess’s story and want to follow in her impressive footsteps, get in touch with us today. We’d love to talk to you about our cosmetology program and help you get started on your future! Maybe you want to become a salon owner like Tess, or perhaps you’re interested in mastering hair color. Whatever your passion is, you can pursue it in the beauty industry!

To see some truly spectacular cutting and coloring work, follow Tess on Instagram @tesseghair!