We had the good fortune of connecting with April Jacobs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi April, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself. Hello, North Texas, Saint Jo, and all of Montague County! My name is April Jacobs, and at the end of May 2021, my two little furbabies, George, Gina, and I, sold our house and moved to Saint Jo, TX, from Manhattan, KS. The most common question I have received is,” Why the heck did you move to Saint Jo?”
The right place, right time, right people, and transition in my life are undoubtedly one of those divine, higher power kinds of things.
The first time I visited here, it quickly felt like home in December 2020. I attended a training at the Advanced Coaching and Leadership Center here in Saint Jo. I love personal development, learning what makes me tick, why I do what I do, and envisioning and working towards my dreams. I, in turn, want to help others. I am pursuing the path to becoming a professional coach and Mentor of life. I can help you achieve your hair dreams, and I can also help you discover how you can achieve those dreams, visions, and goals for your life to transform your current life and live the ultimate life you want to live!
My passion for people, the beauty industry, and training to become a professional coach has created the perfect combination to live my most fulfilling and purposeful life.
I grew up in the tiny town of Jetmore, KS, with a population of about 800ish. It is very similar to Saint Jo, TX. I couldn’t wait to get the heck out of Dodge when I graduated high school!
I moved to Manhattan, Kansas, where I attended Kansas State University. That lasted about one semester before realizing I was wasting time and money.
I knew I was interested in cosmetology, so I enrolled in Crum’s Beauty College in Manhattan. From that moment, I knew I was on the right path. I love all things hair, makeup, and people and have been a stylist since 2004.
For the last 12 years, I was co-owner and founder of Platinum and Company Beauty Bar, a very successful salon company in Manhattan, KS, built from the ground up. It continues to be very successful. I sold my shares, and here I am! I’m beyond grateful for that chapter and where it has led me. Manhattan, KS, would be similar to Denton. It is a college and military town right next to Fort Riley. So, if you are wondering, “why the heck did you move to Saint Jo?” It is because Saint Jo is a unique place. I am enamored with the people, history, small businesses, art, shopping, wineries, peacefulness, gorgeous scenery, the lively happening weekends that fill up with people from all over, live music, and the charm that adorns the square. Something big is happening here, and I’m excited to be a part of it! SalonHAIR is here to provide careers for upcoming stylists and give top-notch, luxury service to this community and surrounding areas.
I opened SalonHair of Saint Jo on July 15th, 2021, and have stayed double-booked since I opened my doors. I have another stylist and plan to recruit and continue building my team! In the future vision, we plan to add more stylist stations, treatment rooms for facials, lashes, skin services, a nail area, more space for retail, a coffee lounge area, and an impressive back courtyard that we share with our neighbors, Panache. They are a big reason we have a clientele that enjoys luxury services. Some of the best people you will ever meet and most enjoyable shopping experiences!
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced? Building a successful salon company in Manhattan, KS, was challenging and rewarding! It took a lot of determination, motivation, and love to keep it moving when it didn’t seem like we were getting anywhere very fast. In 2009, my previous business partner and I purchased an existing salon, and the stylists working there all ended up leaving, so it was just the two of us working 12-hour days behind the chair to pay the rent and bills. We were very thankful for our Mentor and previous salon owner, Cheryl Wilson. She taught us what it takes to own a small business and gave us opportunities.
Over the last 12 years, with the influence of my first boss, along with determination, years of different types of business coaching, mentoring, heart, soul, and a ton of making mistakes, we went from just the two of us in a 6-chair salon barely getting paychecks and working 12 hr days to a 22-chair salon, 20+ employees, doing hair a couple of days a week, and living abundantly. Our salon was in the top 6% of the nation of profitable salons. It was a beautiful journey. Just as they say, nothing lasts forever. My business partner and I had evolved and had different visions for our business and future. The time had come to go in a different direction.
There’s a lot of history there. There are many challenges and many things worth celebrating, but most importantly, I’ve learned that the only way to be truly happy is to stay true to yourself and not live your life for anyone else but you.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others? We are a full-service salon in a quaint little Texas town outside North Dallas. We are in the North Texas Hill Country. It is a weekend destination spot where people come from all over to shop, visit wineries, watch live music, check out art history, and stay at the unique bed and breakfasts or a spot with breathtaking scenery. I got in right at the right time. This place is on the ground level, building up to something pretty spectacular. People are filling up the town square with new businesses, and this place has something special that keeps bringing people back to visit. We offer top-notch luxury services that are unmatched by anything happening outside of Dallas. It’s all about the experience! We love our guests and love to make it all about YOU when you visit us.
We are a commission-based salon vs. a booth rental salon. Each stylist rents their own space with booth rental and essentially runs their own business within a business. There are benefits to both, but with the commission model, your potential is more significant to make a good living, work with a team, and have a fantastic work/ life balance. In a booth rental salon, each stylist can also do well, but it is all up to that stylist to do their marketing, ordering, inventory, taxes, client communications, and all the things that go with running a business. We are commissioned and have a team culture that continues in education and training, so we are ahead of the game on trends, techniques, and service offerings. We all work together to ensure you have the best experience possible, with more than one person helping you through your services.
Salon hair provides career paths for new stylists, estheticians, and nail technicians by starting them in our associate program. It works like a master’s program right out of cosmetology school, taking you from a first-year stylist to a third-year stylist in 4-6months. Our team is more like family, and everyone that comes to visit loves the fun, relaxing atmosphere and all the attention they get. We are known for our toe-curling shampoo, including a head and neck massage and a steamed towel. We sell Kerastase, a high-end luxury product line for the hair. We also have Jane Iredale makeup that is also high-end and a super clean cosmetic line. It heals the skin, and dermatologists prefer it! Our service menu includes extensions, brow services, full body waxing, bridal hair, formal styles, facials, lattes, coffee, tea, champagne, wine, mimosas, and sparkling water. Soon, we will have more retail, nail, massage, and skin services.
We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Relationships and connections are the most important thing we have with one another, and the biggest lesson was not to take for granted the small things and moments together with loved ones no matter what you are doing. You never know how much time you have with the people closest to you and to living a life that makes you happy, so focus on and love the best parts of those people in your life, help as many people you can, and do what makes you happy. All we have is now, the present moment.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would start our morning by shopping in the town square. Definite stops would be Panache and Ranchouse to get a new outfit for the day and some stuff for entertaining later when we get home. Next, stroll through Davis and Blevins Art Gallery to check out some beautiful art and the gift shop. Before we go home to get ready for the afternoon, we will go by Windmill grill for the best burger you will ever have in a nice little spot that gives you that western saloon feel! In the afternoon, we will head out to the town’s wineries. Every single one is visiting worthy depends on the mood that day. We have tickets to see the concert at Red River Station BBQ for some Texas BBQ and Live Music for the night! Then we head to our Bed and Breakfast at High Cotton Cottage or one of the fabulous local Air Bnb’s for sleep.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Panache, Ashlyn, Lynn, and Brian, My neighbors here on the Saint Jo, TX square. They are very inspiring business people and some of the best people you will ever meet My mentors and coaches at the Advanced Coaching Leadership Center right outside of Saint Jo. They are one of the impactful reasons I chose the coaching path and have made such a big move and change in my life
Love and encouragement of my partner in life, Leo Irby and my very supportive family.