Life is a perpetual cycle presented with a bevy of paths and choices to make, each bearing the potential to change your life in numerous ways. For Paula Chrishon, the option of following the road to a profession in the beauty world was ever-present, as her mother had made her own career doing the same.
“I have really fond memories of my mother owning a beauty supply store when I was much younger,” Paula recalls fondly.
Still, she initially resisted, as most children do, and sought to carve out her own path in the world. She earned her Ph.D. in forensic psychology, and made a career in that field for a number of years.
Eventually, the allure of the hair space beckoned Paula back home — especially when it came time to confront her own hair transition.
“During that period of time when I decided I wanted to open a beauty supply store, I had locs. I’d had them for almost eleven years at that time, and I decided to cut them off,” Paula recalled. “And what I was left with was this beautiful head of loose curls — but I had no idea of how to take care of my hair, or what I should be doing. So that’s how I became interested in opening a beauty supply store that caters to women with naturally-textured hair.”
And so, tendrils & curls was born, with the original retail-based location opening in the River Oaks area of Houston in 2012, and following up with another more salon-centric location in Sugar Land in 2015. But Paula wasn’t interested in running just another typical supply store. She had a vision and idea of a hub that embodied a different feel from the beauty supplies many may be accustomed to.
“I wanted the space to be really inviting. I wanted it to be a place where people could receive education, ask questions and test out products. I think we’ve done a really good job of making sure that we are pretty clear about how products work, about the type of ingredients that are in products and about the type of textures that work well with certain products,” she said. “I wanted people to come in, be able to sit down and chat with one another and compare notes about their challenges and things that worked well for them.”
Paula’s vision paid off. In the five years since tendrils & curls has been open, it’s become widely recognized as one of the premiere natural hair boutiques in the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Doubling down on her value of the educational aspect of natural hair, Paula started the “Houston Natural Series” a couple of years ago. tendrils & curls regularly hosts events catered toward teaching and uplifting naturals around the city. In fact, just last month, the salon hosted a three-hour workshop entitled “The Basics: Natural Hair 101” sponsored by Uncle Funky’s Daughter, which focused helping new naturals with tips, regimens and product recommendations.
Despite having her mother’s help and experience, when Paula decided to launch the salon, she had little knowledge of the intricacy of day-in, day-out operations. She forged relationships with salon owners
“You have to make sure that you are connecting with people that can be mentors to you — people that you can ask questions. To start from the very beginning, considering all of the nuances that go into opening a salon, it’s very difficult. But if you have the right people around you, it’s something that you can do.”
In the end, Paula is excited to continue doing her own learning and growing as a business owner, while helping her clients do the same with their hair. With a new location on the horizon for tendrils & curls (the River Oaks location is relocating due to a sale of the building), the journey for this Beauty Boss, in many ways, is only just beginning.
If you missed our Facebook Live chat with Paula on March 6th, be sure to head to our Facebook page, give us a like and check it out!