We had the good fortune of connecting with Angelique Myrick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Angelique, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
That is such a deep question. One might not necessarily think that a Los Angeles-based home salon owner would have much of an impact on people’s lives. I certainly didn’t think that when I started this work. Originally, I’m from Holland where I owned and operated a successful salon from 1996 through 2003. In the beginning, I got into this line of work because I enjoyed working with people and cutting and coloring hair, and my hope early on was just that I could make them happy with whatever style they were hoping for; a simple, but the primary goal for any stylist. As time went on I realized I was uniquely positioned to listen to people and offer advice. Cutting and coloring hair is very personal, and the closeness and time together gave me such a deeper understanding and appreciation into my client’s lives. When my clients arrive, they are put at ease and my demeanor communicates that they can let their hair down, literally and figuratively! I’m with them through births, the passing of loved ones, on their wedding days, or styling their daughter’s hair for a school dance. We exchange stories and hopefully some wisdom and insight which might make each other’s lives better. I’ve been with them through the special moments, the mundane moments, and the transformative moments. In 2003, I married an American–a Texan to be more precise– in Amsterdam and emigrated to Los Angeles. Eventually, I opened my home-based salon, and Los Angeles being in such a global melting pot of a city, my clients were from everywhere and all walks of life. As an immigrant myself, I strived to create something that felt familiar in a city that can sometimes feel just a bit too vast and overwhelming. My salon is quiet, cozy, and calm. I believe my clients can sense that and it becomes a bit of an oasis, a respite from the busy city. I remember the frenetic energy of larger salons; you wait around, not knowing who was going to wash or dry your hair. It’s a very impersonal affair, to be honest. We get enough of that in our day-to-day life, and I love that I can hit pause on all of that for my clients when they come over. And really, it’s that they are ‘coming over. It’s like stopping by to visit a good neighbor, but then you get to leave with a stylish haircut and coloring too. When they sit in my chair, I start by serving them a cup of tea, we’re listening to calming ambient music and I can sense their stress and tension subside. And given the very stressful times, we’re in right now with the economic uncertainty and school closures, being able to give my clients that space to feel productive, cared-for, and relaxed is one of the more important aspects of my work.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Immigrating to a new country comes with its challenges. I had sold my Dutch hair salon and had left my clientele and friends behind. Now I had to rebuild and I didn’t know a single soul in LA. The experience I had in Holland did not entirely match-up with the culture here. Speaking English was never a problem, but American slang was something else. I think Americans are quite talkative, and act very familiar right away, and California, in particular, has always been very much a trend-setter for the world. Where I grew up, people were more down to earth and have a more no-nonsense approach. It was really something to get used to. In the beginning, I definitely felt a bit misunderstood, and sometimes overwhelmed as I wasn’t that sort of bubbly California girl. However, I’m a good listener and a fast learner, so somehow, it all worked out. Steadily, I started to build my community and my clientele. I’m reliable and value people’s time, and they say I’m grounded, those qualities are appreciated and valued. When I set foot in LA, I thought it would be great to add a Make-up course to the mix and I completed a make-up beauty artistry course for film and TV at M.U.D. in Burbank CA. Along with hairstyling, I started doing make-up applications for the award shows. Additionally, I worked with numerous talented photographers, many of them became my clients and friends as well. I had purchased a professional camera myself too and have built a portfolio to showcase my work, which started making my clients want me to photograph them as well. In 2015, I incorporated an organic and holistic brand–Oway (short for “Organic Way”)– into my salon. It’s important to have the health of people, animals, plants, and our planet in mind. Oway’s organic salon products contain zero chemicals, in accordance with biodynamic farming standards. Also, its ingredients are fair trade, meaning it creates jobs all over the world and that results in happy families. In 2019, I completed my Reiki Mastership at the American Reiki Academy/Vedic Healing Institute with Reiki Master and Director Alexandra Juliani. Reiki taught me various relaxation techniques that support various forms of healing for my clients and friends. Reiki is an enrichment of my spiritual practice and the work I do with people. I’m often asked “What is your target audience?” and the answer is that I really don’t have one. If this is your very first haircut or perhaps your last, we’re all on this life journey together. What makes me the happiest is hearing about are your accomplishments and your successes. I like to see people thriving. Being an entrepreneur is hard work and building my own clientele takes constant motivation, but I love every minute of it. I’ve learned, over the years, is to have patience, but keep pushing yourself, and never quit on your dreams.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
OK, so a week is not long enough… When friends and family are visiting from Europe they, without a doubt, want to see anything Hollywood-related especially, when it’s your first time here. Of course, you take the kids to Universal Studios. It’s practically in our backyard. But there is much more to enjoy about Los Angeles. Art, culture, and architecture would be my #1 pick. The Getty museum and villa is a must. The Getty Center in Los Angeles houses European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and photography from its beginnings to the present. At the Villa, my fav is the replica of the Villa Dei Papiri, a luxurious Roman residence in Herculaneum, Italy that had been buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Los Angeles has beautiful Botanical gardens almost everywhere: Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden, Descanso Gardens, The Huntington Library to name a few. Family photos anyone? The setting is gorgeous! Having visitors from abroad usually means you need to also make time to relax, soak up all the beauty and sunshine, and strike out for a cappuccino and a delicious lunch. It’s the most relaxing. The historical places can’t be missed out on either, and LA has many beautiful architectural buildings that are so worth visiting. The Angels Flight Railway is a landmark in Bunker Hill–one of the oldest districts of downtown LA. The Bradbury Building (1893) has one-of-a-kind steampunk like architecture (gotta see it if you’re a Blade Runner fan), the Million Dollar Theater (1917), Ennis House (1924), Stahl House (1960), and the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood (1922)–it’s also great to go see a classic or indie film in an art deco setting.) If you are in town in the Spring or the Fall, The Brewery Artwalk at the former Pabst Blue Ribbon/Brew 102 Brewery in Downtown LA is highly recommended! It’s the world’s largest artist-in-residence community with each artist showcasing and selling their unique artwork. And aside from that, it’s a wonderful place to network and make connections. The beach! Santa Monica, of course, with a walk on the pier. If you have time to venture out a bit more, head north, up the coast, and visit Point Mugu or El Matador state beach. The view is spectacular. And don’t forget to bring a picnic basket including nice California wine goodies from a local Farmers Market. About food and drink…are you guys hungry? I think I’ve mentioned before that LA is so multicultural. You can literally taste nearly every cuisine of the world in our city. My fav areas include Little Thailand on Sherman Way in Van Nuys/North Hollywood. Also, Little Ethiopia along Fairfax…very traditional. I could go on…Koreatown, Historic Filipinotown, I could go on!.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh Wow! I want to give a shout out to so many people! Of course, to all of my clients and many friends among them. A truly lucky gal I am. A very special shout out to my very dear friend, actress, filmmaker, acting coach, Christianna Carmine. She has been and continues to be very supportive and has introduced me to so many wonderful people in Los Angeles. A big shout-out to health & wellness coach/television host, Allison Wells, who has been so inspiring to me. I’m very blessed to have her amongst my friends. Next are my dear friends Jessica Dugandzic, VP of Events, Los Angeles World Affairs Council, and Laura Johnson, Sr. technical recruiter. Both these ladies have been very encouraging and are both serious assets when it comes to marketing matters. My wonderful parents, Huib and Ada Jansen have been my rocks since the day I was born. Through them, I’ve become the person I am today! They taught me about love, integrity, loyalty, and reliability. I come from an entrepreneurial family and they know all the business ins-and-outs and what it takes to create and build. And last, but not least, my two loves, husband Sloan, and our son Vincent, for all their love, and creating the beautiful family, home and adventures that we share together!
Derek Dodge Katy Leigh Vallari Angelique Myrick