Dive a few years into the past, and you’ll notice when social media mainly existed for entertainment purposes and was not as business-driven as it is today. However, the waves of transformative shifts in the business world when building a robust client base required paper ads, passing business cards, and word of mouth began to change and took a more digital route. Surrounding were evolving, and not many people adapted quickly, but when they did, they defeated all the odds to perceive the success they yearned for. Akin to the words above is Meagan Gallman, who realized her potential and finally overcame the naive mindset that held her back for years to find her venture, The Magnolia Parlor.
Meagan decided to booth rent after pursuing her career started as a commission stylist in a salon. She faced several challenges along her journey but struggled with one for years when people didn’t take her seriously as an artist. She had to fight tooth and nail to prove her value and be respected while facing her biggest pet peeve, “So, you’re just a hairstylist.” Overcoming similar comments, Meagan learned from experience, allowing herself to grow and making things happen for her amid the disbelief of others.
Over the years, Meagan has built herself a reputation by working in various aspects of the industry, aspiring every artist to view that success can be achieved even from a small town in the South with dedicated efforts. She impacts the industry as an educator for Joico, Olivia Garden, and is also part of the education team for Beauty Launchpad. With years of experience, Meagan made strides with her words as a guest writer for multiple beauty publications. She asserts. “There is room for everyone with a passion for the beauty industry. That drives me to impact my industry in the most positive way possible.”
The Passionate Culture
Meagan strongly believes in sharing the knowledge that she received with other stylists. After spending half her career as a Master Colorist, she was blessed to work with a few prestigious names in the industry and considers herself lucky to call them friends. Meagan loves mentoring young stylists and is eager to teach them about the know and how of the industry, guiding them to avoid her mistakes to excel from the start.
Meagan mentions that she never knew that she wanted to launch her venture, The Magnolia Parlor. It has become a safe and creative space for stylists to grow their talents and succeed in various ways. She understands the stagnant feeling one might feel due to lack of support system, limited access to education, demographic mindset, and lack of mentorship and encouragement. Meagan gives it her all with the thoughtful approach that allows her to remedy the negative thoughts of the students that can take over and deliberate their confidence.
Meagan invests in her stylist, setting a goal where she wants them to be better than herself. She wants her students and stylists to grow continuously because she understands that getting comfortable in the beauty industry is dangerous. She notes, “You become comfortable, you become lazy. You become lazy; you become irrelevant. You become irrelevant; you become forgotten. You become forgotten; your career is dead. Never become comfortable. Become an unforgettable life force of the beauty industry.”
From training stylists from basics to business, Meagan has cultivated a vibrant culture by entrusting her team with the core of The Magnolia Parlor: tackling and achieving anything. She describes being an entrepreneur as like running a household, and she is the head of her salon household. She ensures that her mindset is on point and that she is ready for anything. She asserts, “If the core is weakened, the household will crumble. No entrepreneur wants their empire to fail, especially because they have lost sight of what is important.”
Adapt, Embrace, Bequeath
When the world was dealing with the chaos of pandemics, Meagan and her team learned to adapt to the situation to ensure the continuation of the success of her Fempire. In her opinion, technology has its definite downfalls but also has been the saving grace. During the pandemic, Meagan taught countless classes digitally while keeping up with the team. The different technology implementations allowed her to pre-record lessons and guide stylists with platforms like zoom, which boosted her as an entrepreneur.
Meagan expresses that she would like to see more states allow an “apprenticeship” program added to Cosmetology Curriculums. She wishes that there should be designated salons that should pass an accreditation application to be involved. So, students could acquire a certain amount of their practical hours within an accredited salon. It will allow future professionals in the beauty industry to adapt to an actual salon environment. In Meagan’s opinion, with the addition of the accreditation salon program, students will be able to shadow and assist while in school and essentially get acquainted with real-life salon situations and how to address them.
Moving ahead, Meagan envisions a beautiful education-based salon blossoming in ways that a younger, naïve, unrealistic “business owner” would have never thought possible. She sees herself working diligently to help change the small mindset of those who have stereo typed the beauty industry as just a play job or a backup plan if Plan A doesn’t work out.
Meagan advises budding women entrepreneurs never to stop learning and studying about every side of the industry. Finding compatible mentors is essential to produce the type of work that intrigues oneself. “Never settle. Perform like a professional, and you will be respected as a professional. Perform like someone that plays with hair as a hobby, and you will not be taken seriously,” concludes Meagan.