Tes Powers has an affinity for the eclectic vibe of a college town. The Athens, Ga. native always appreciated the diversity of her hometown and she has found a similar feel in downtown Milledgeville as the owner of Artistry Salon.
“I love just the energy that is around down here,” said Powers.
After serving as an apprentice in 2003 under her favorite stylist, Powers spent a few years in retail work, but after getting married and having children, she knew she needed a change.
“I wanted to do something where I had a little bit more freedom in my schedule and I could be there for my family, but still do something that I was very passionate about,” said Powers.
Powers finished her cosmetology degree at Central Georgia Technical College in Milledgeville and put her skills to work at A Flair for Hair. In the back of her mind, though, she knew she ultimately wanted to be her own boss.
“It was always a goal of mine to open a salon within five years,” said Powers.
Powers opened the original location of Artistry Salon on South Wayne Street in November 2017. Her business blossomed, and this year, she found the opportunity to grow once more by moving into a new location at 112 W. Hancock St. in the highly coveted heart of downtown Milledgeville.
“When this location where I’m at now on Hancock Street opened up, I just had to have it because it was much more open,” said Powers.
The new location has given the salon extra square footage, with basement space for brow specialist Taylor Doster to work in as well as room for staff meetings. The location has also been beneficial in bringing in new clientele.
“We definitely get a lot of foot traffic,” said Powers. “Everybody knows about Blackbird [Café] and where Blackbird is. We’ve gotten a ton more inquiries just being right next to them.”
Artistry Salon offers standard salon services such as haircuts, colors, highlights and balayage. Powers and Doster are joined by salon manager Kali Rowland. Doster is certified in brow threading, brow lamination and tinting and lash lifting and tinting, and she is currently apprenticing under Powers as a hairstylist.
Powers specializes in balayage and highlighting, and she also works with hair extensions. She has gone through additional training on invisible bead extensions, which completely hide where the extension is sewn into the natural hair.
A big focus of Powers’s recent work has been to make Artistry Salon a local leader in environmentally-friendly salon practices. To this end, Artistry Salon uses and sells products from Kevin Murphy, and Australian-based line of shampoos, conditioners, styling products and more, that places a great emphasis on green practices.
“They focus a lot on natural ingredients. By the end of this year, they want to have all of their packaging made 100% from ocean waste plastic,” said Powers. “That’s the reason why I chose to go with that line to carry in the salon because we are transitioning the salon into a green salon, so we’re trying to cut back on all of the waste that we as a beauty industry contribute.”
Another way in which Powers is trying to make a difference is by partnering with Green Circle Salon Systems. Green Circle provides member salons with containers for them to collect and send in various salon waste that can then be recycled, composted or turned into clean energy.
“We will be recycling hair, we will be recycling the color tubes,” said Powers. “Used color, foils, gloves, you name it, they recycle it.”
While 2020 has been a difficult year for business owners such as Powers, she is glad she took a cautious approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, waiting several weeks after the governor’s green light to reopen the salon in the spring.
“I personally chose to stay closed until the end of May just because I wanted to make sure we weren’t going to have to close again because I knew that would be devastating for our guests who were looking forward to coming back in to see us,” said Powers. “I wanted to wait and feel it out and then just have a better system in place for when we did come back.”
Now with a new location and new green initiatives, Powers has reason to celebrate after the challenges of the spring. With Artistry’s third anniversary approaching in November, Powers is planning to use the occasion to celebrate both the milestone and the new store with some special promotions. Details are still being finalized, but customers are advised to stay tuned to the salon’s social media accounts for future announcements.
When asked her favorite part of her job, Powers said it is all about the customers. She says it is normal for anyone to lose their confidence from time to time, but with a new cut or a few hairstyle tweaks, she can help women find it back.
“Everyone is beautiful and is supposed to be here and is meant for something,” said Powers. “My favorite part is just helping give women back their confidence.”
112 W. Hancock St., Milledgeville
Facebook: Artistry Salon
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.