Shear Genius Salon owner Kim Welch with customer Joan Benson. (Photo by Kim Hwang)
By KIM HWANG
AAP staff writer
SHOREVIEW, Minn. (Aug. 7, 2012) — Have you ever had a bad hair day? Ms. Kim Welch, sharp businesswoman and entrepreneur, wants everyone to have a, “good hair day.”
As an Asian woman, Kim understood that while some view hair care as vanity run amuck, hair care is a part of our identity, in as much as other physical attributes that we claim with pride or hide with humility. Ever since she can remember, Kim Welch wanted to use her creative business skills as a stylist to help people feel a sense of internal pride.
One way to feel a strong sense of confidence was to provide hair care so that people could feel good about their outward appearance. Kim believes that when given opportunities, people can tackle them with confidence and esteem, if they feel confident both inside and out.
Therefore, she set out to start a business to capitalize on her strengths five years ago, which is called, Shear Genius. Ms. Welch created a hair salon business, which allows independent stylists to set their own hours, claim their passions and balance the demands of home and having a professional life.
As a businesswoman, Kim’s vision is to create a salon, which continues to recognize and understand the ongoing needs of people on the go! It is imperative that both employees and customers feel a sense of joy when both coming to and leaving Shear Genius Salon.
Shear Genius Salon is located in the suburb of Shoreview, Minnesota. It offers stylists optional hours, flexible days on/off and clients who appreciate that the stylists who are hired, are truly dedicated to their schedules and are there because they love being there themselves.
Kim was born in Seoul, Korea and adopted. When asked what her main goal was, she replied, “I want to work with people, I want to create and I want to have fun. I want to help people feel good about themselves- it’s instantly gratifying. This was my dream so that Mom’s can have career and family- people can have versatility.
“When I first opened Shear Genius it was scary, exciting and stressful- I have goals,” she said. “It became a goal of mine when I was about 34 years old. I had successful clients who were doing their own thing, owning their own businesses and I wanted this for myself.”
Kim sees creating Shear Genius as one way that she can make an important contribution. While making a living for her family is a priority, Shear Genius is more than just a place a person can get their hair done. It’s a place where people can get pampered, socialize, develop creativity and meet good people. Kim believes that everyone has talent and hers is to be a role model and show others that anything his possible.
Kim is not alone. Hair care is over a 10 billion dollar industry a year and something that we dedicate a significant amount of time and energy to. While styling hair is important, her main goal is to create an environment where people leave feeling fantastic about themselves. Kim wants employees and customers to feel a sense of congruency from the inside, out. It’s hard to imagine that one attribute, such as hair, draws so much intentional care and time.
I once read quote by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who reported, “If I want to be on the cover of the newspaper or a magazine, all I have to do is change my hairstyle.”
Clinton at the time stated this with exasperation. She was frustrated because directly after the capture of Osama Bin Laden in 2011, the media’s relentless pursuit to focus on Clinton’s outside appearance dismissed the work of the country. Instead of addressing issues related to foreign policy, war, health care, education and poverty, some media venues focused on her hairstyle in the situation room.
Social psychologists may suggest that hair is a socially constructed expectation that breeds industry over humanity. Regardless, physical appearance is one way in which people feel a sense of self-regard. It is a social norm that’s moved from functionality to hair-ality.
Recently, World renowned, Gold Medal Olympian, Ms. Gabby Douglas faced similar and ridiculous questions about her hair. Despite her majestic and unprecedented talent as a gymnast, hours later, she was criticized about her hair.
It’s incomprehensible to imagine that the First African American, 16-year-old girl to lead the US team to gold and also receive a historic prestigious all around gold medal, would be subject to such nonsense. It’s also hard to imagine that one’s appearance would override such incredible talent, education, training, dedication, stamina and true giftedness.
Inappropriate remarks created a nationwide tweeting surge. Gabby finally remarked, “I don’t think people should be worried about that (her hair). We’re all champions and we’re all winners. I just say that it’s kind of, a stupid and crazy thought to think about my hair.”
She later stated that she would continue to focus on her talent, which is what Kim Welch hopes for the people that she serves.
Ridiculous as it may seem, we all have preferred ways in which we care for ourselves and outside appearance. Our appearance contributes to our sense of identity and likely increased performance.
Given this social psychological reality, Ms. Kim Welch wants everyone to receive Gold Medal service at Shear Genius so they are inspired to do what they’re truly here to focus on, which is their contributions to humanity and society. Ms. Welch does this with style and Shear genius.