BY LOGAN MCCOURTNEY –
It’s not too often that parents get to work alongside their kids later in life, much less run a business with them. This is exactly what is happening at Lottie-Da’s salon. Laurie Craig and her daughter, Alexa Graves, own the business and style hair together. Lottie-Da’s is located next to Southwest EMS on highway 71.
Both Alexa and Laurie attended Rich Mountain School of Cosmetology at the same time, and actually graduated together. During this time they both built good relationships that would later become clients and even friends. “Our time there was helpful because we got to work on our craft and develop some great clients through the process,” stated Laurie. Many people in the community may know Laurie from years past as a teacher. Laurie taught for 10 years at Mena Middle School before she moved on to teach GED-Adult Ed for a couple of years at RMCC. Laurie laughs as she talks about the change, “I went home and told Stan I think I want to do something different, I want a change. I asked if he thought I was crazy and he said ‘I could do anything I set my mind to.’ I should have just bought a sports car, but instead I chose to go to cosmetology school.” Laurie knows what it takes to develop and maintain a good business because her husband, Stan Craig, has been building homes for years. “Even when I was teaching, I was still helping him run the business. It was like a part time job,” recalls Laurie.
Often hair stylists don’t receive enough credit for the job that they do, or it is thought that their job is simple; just cut and style hair. Alexa says, “Cutting hair is a science. I know most people wouldn’t think about it that way, but it really is because you have to understand the color wheel when you color somebody’s hair. If you want to style hair well, you need to understand the latest styles and the steps needed to get there.”
Throughout the years of helping Stan pick out colors for a house or design elements of the home, Laurie has developed an eye for things. “A home is about art and developing a product. Styling hair, if done right is an art. I need to be able to look at a picture somebody brings in and make that a reality. In order to do that, I need to understand angles and color so that we can produce what our clients desire,” says Laurie.
Alexa and Laurie are able to help transform a client’s look and help them leave confident because they take the process so seriously and are always looking for ways to do it better. Laurie explains, “When I have somebody coming in for a haircut, and especially if they want something different, I run it pass Alexa and the other girls because we each bring a skill to styling hair that is needed.” Clients who visit Lottie-Da’s can expect personal care and attention to detail. Laurie and Alexa, along with the other stylists, Ashley and Marissa, take pride in the work they do. “Often times hair dressers are thought to just “cut hair”, but we take pride in understanding the process behind things so that we can produce the right product,” explains Laurie. “There are times that I wake up in the middle of the night when I know I have a new client coming in and I will think about what we can do to make their haircut the best. We are always thinking, working out the details so that our clients love their new look.” That kind of attention to detail makes people feel cared about when they know that somebody is taking the time to think of how to do their best.
Clients who step into Lottie-Da’s, will quickly know the stylists love people and love having fun. “The best part of what we do, by and far, is that we get to hang out with people while we do something we love,” says Laurie. She and Alexa both have contagious bubbly and fun personalities. The four girls love working together and share a lot of laughs. “I like the part when I get to be creative and not just do an artistic look with their hair, but transform their look completely. This is so worth it and what makes it fun,” explains Alexa.
If you need your hair styled and cut and you want somebody to care about your hair as much as you, Lottie-Da’s is the place for you. The stylist’s attention to your desires and the details to make it the best experience possible will make you want to come back over and over again. “When people leave here, not only will they leave feeling better about themselves, but they will leave knowing that they can always come back and we are their salon family,” states Alexa. She and Laurie both want to make people aware that they have big plans for their salon in 2017 and are excited to share it with their friends and clients. To keep up to date with Lottie-Da’s or to schedule an appointment, you can contact them at 394-6287 or check out their social media accounts @lottiedassalon