Doria MeChelle is a teacher by day, salon owner by night, and once a month she flies across the country to do the hair of faithful clients. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
MeChelle, who just opened Doria MeChelle Salon, 4902 E. Warner Road in Ahwatukee Foothills, said she always knew she wanted to do hair. Growing up she told everyone she wanted to be an attorney and own a chain of hair salons, but her passion for the beauty industry took over and she never did pursue a law degree.
Her career started in Detroit. After graduation she started working with a family-owned business. She worked her way through the ranks and served for more than 15 years as lead educational style director for Dorsette Salon and Spa in Farmington Hills, Mich. Eventually, she was responsible for the daily operation of five Dorsette Salon locations throughout the metro-Detroit area.
In 2009, MeChelle went out on her own and began Doria MeChelle Salon and Spa in Southfield, Mich.
She came to visit her parents in Arizona and during that visit she was invited to teach at one of the largest beauty colleges in the East Coast. She decided to make the move and has had a successful career as an educator in Arizona.
All this time she knew she wanted to open her own salon for two reasons: to be able to give her students real life advice on how to run a salon and to be able to hire students who have graduated and who are ready to transition into the industry.
“I wanted to provide a safe haven and a place for my future professionals that have graduated now to have a working environment where they can continue to grow and get educational classes as they transition into the beauty industry,” she said. “At this location the walls are bursting out.”
MeChelle hires students who have graduated and are licensed. She offers advanced training for her stylists once a month to learn the latest techniques and products.
“I’m only as successful as my staff,” she said. “I have goals for myself as a stylist, but my ultimate goal is to duplicate myself in them. The graduates that are able to be here full time, they want to be here full time and are excited to be here full time. They’re working and building clientele and then I’m able to be here in the evening and do my personal clients. Ultimately as we continue to grow, I’ll only be behind the chair certain days so I can focus on managing and continue to grow the brand.”
MeChelle said she has plans to open more locations in the future so she can continue to hire more graduates.
On top of teaching during the day and working on clients at night, MeChelle flies back to Michigan once a month to work on clients back home for a few days. She said even after years in the industry she’s not burnt out.
“I really love transforming people,” she said. “I can’t even begin to put into words the gratification I get when I finish my clients and their walk changes, their face lights up, they have so much more confidence. I’m imparting into them a whole experience by transforming their look and convincing them to try new styles, hair colors, facials or even changing their lip gloss. It’s very fulfilling for me.”
Doria MeChelle Salon and Spa is open Monday through Saturday. For more information, visit www.doriamechelle.com or call (480) 753-4377.
• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or firstname.lastname@example.org.