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Community Highlights: Meet Carlie Wright of Wild Roots Hair Studio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carlie Wright.

Hi Carlie, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I began my perfecting my craft as a hairstylist 11 years ago by enrolling at Palomar Institute of Cosmetology in San Marcos and then spent a year working with a wonderful mentor the following year. Assisting for the owner of a funky Leucadia salon was possibly the most fun I’d ever had at any job. While working long days, meeting so many new people, and learning as much as I could to better my skills, I was eager to earn my very own station and build my own clientele. After completing the assistant program, I was awarded a styling chair in the back corner of the salon, but non-the-less, working alongside the other stylists I’d looked up to for months! After seven years behind that chair, I moved to Nashville, TN where I continued to learn and grow as a stylist and young woman. While living in Nashville, I became interested in the business side of the beauty industry which was inspired by the challenge of building a new clientele far from home. I also was able to spend a weekend in Atlanta at Keune Academy 124 and advance my cutting, hair coloring and balayage skills.

After the adventure of a lifetime in Music City, I moved home with even more confidence in my skills and the motivation to practice what I’d learned in how to run a business. This was just a few months prior to 2020. That’s right, I started my new business venture months before a global pandemic. My saving grace was that I was able to do so in a salon with the same group of girls I met ten years prior! As many of us experienced, Covid-19 threw me for a loop and plans changed. I was given the opportunity to open my very own studio with Sola Salons which is where I am today. Wild Roots Hair Studio opened July 1, 2020. This private studio experience allows me to personalize each guest’s experience and create a comfortable environment where I can connect with people and run my own business.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Of course, opening a hair studio in the middle of a pandemic had its challenges, however I am so grateful to have seen our industry as a whole come together and support each other in those challenging times. The beauty industry is a competitive one, which was tough for me in the early years of my career because I am not competitive by nature. As difficult as 2020 was for my community, I found that it really showed us how to build each up and tear down those competitive walls a bit.

Another challenge that ties into the previous one I mentioned was finding my specialties, being patient enough to figure out what I do really GREAT instead of trying to be good at a lot of different things or just what is ‘trendy’ right now. Figuring out how to utilize but also support my fellow stylists who have skills in areas I don’t was a hard pill to swallow. It’s easy to conform to the competitive nature of this industry however in the end, we all benefit in multiple ways, build more connections and community which is one of my favorite parts of the beauty industry as it begins to shift.

As you know, we’re big fans of Wild Roots Hair Studio. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
When you walk into Wild Roots, you can expect a cozy little den smelling of coffee made just the way you like it. My studio is a laid-back, positive space where we can connect or you can just relax. I always have a basket full of snacks available at your fingertips and each guest is welcome to pick the music, movie or tv show to watch on the iPad. Before I begin any hair service, I consult thoroughly with each guest about what I can do to help them reach their hair goals. Transparency is key and there are no dumb questions or wrong answers in this conversation. My guest experience is just as important as the services I specialize in, which are precision haircutting, low-maintenance hair color, blonding and balayage, grey coverage/blending and smoothing treatments.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be because I recently learned to stop comparing myself to other business owners and stylists who are ‘more successful’ than me. Everyone’s journey is different and success looks different to various people. I essentially started over nine years into my career and I am the happiest I’ve ever been and in my eyes, the most successful I’ve ever been.

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Image Credits:

Isabella Gilchrist @road_creative_

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