Dana L. Rector has been a hair stylist for more than 30 years, most of that time in Stamford, Connecticut. Six years ago, she moved to Ponte Vedra where she could be near family. When Covid-19 forced many salons to close, leaving people no way to access their services, Rector launched her business to do hair styling in people’s homes. Even as life has returned to normal, customers have found her service to be a time saver. And mobile hair styling continues to be convenient for those who cannot get out.
Tell me about your business.
My one-woman hair-styling business is called Hair & There. I’ve been taking my “traveling salon” to people’s homes since the pandemic, because most salons were closed. After covid, I have continued with Hair & There.
For women, I do haircuts, color, styles and simple updos. For men, teens and children, I do haircuts and styles. I do clipper cuts, too.
How do customers come to you?
They see me on Instagram or Facebook or NextDoor. NextDoor is my business page. They call me or text me. The service is very flexible. It’s not tied to any specific hours or times. During the pandemic, it was a little more scheduled.
My phone number is 904-874-6697. My email is email@example.com.
Before coming to Florida, you worked at salons in Stamford, Connecticut. Tell me about that.
The first salon that I worked at was in a mall. The name of that one was Sweeney Todd’s. I worked there for 15 years.
The next 10 years, I worked at a family-owned salon. It was mostly older clientele. Some younger people, some kids.
How did you get your business started here after working in Connecticut?
I moved to Florida in 2016. Pretty much right away I was looking around at salons. Most salons asked me, “Do you have clientele?” But I had just moved here!
Then, after about 10 months this salon called me. That was Regis at the Avenues Mall. They said they liked that I had only worked at two salons — 15 years at one and 10 at the other.
So, I worked for them for almost two years. Then, they closed. They said everybody could transfer to the other Regis salon in St. Johns Town Center, so I did. And then, after a year, they closed on New Year’s Eve. That was just before the pandemic started.
What did you do then?
I said, “Wait a minute. I like working for myself. I like being my own boss.” I figured I would try going to people’s homes, even though people were nervous with the pandemic and everything. I worked on their lanai, wearing a mask.
What do you like best about what you do?
I like helping people and making them feel good. It’s nice because I can make my own hours and it’s more personal. When they want to have it done they tell me, and I‘ll be like, OK. Even on Sunday sometimes.
Tell me about your mobile salon.
I said, “What can I do to carry my stuff around?” I went to Home Depot and got a men’s briefcase-type thing. It was mostly supposed to be used for tools. Then, I had a gym bag. But those two things didn’t work.
I just happened to see this unit when I went to the beauty supply store. I’ve used other ones like this. I was like, let me see if everything can fit in here.
What do you like best about living in Northeast Florida?
I like it because I don’t have to worry about driving in the snow. And it’s easy to get around.
How far will you travel to a client’s home?
The farthest I’ve gone is the Kernan and Hodges area and the World Golf Village.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I do a lot of church activities, and we try to go three times a week to the Y. And I like to take walks. If I walk from my house to our pastor’s house and back, that’s a half hour.
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