As the owners of Reflexions Hair Designs looked back on the recent 35th anniversary of their business, they came across some interesting revelations.
“We’ve been doing hair so long. We’ve had customers and then they’ve had children, and we’re doing their children’s hair,” said co-owner Eloise Dixon.
Dixon, along with her sister, Edna “Ruth” Hough, and their friend, Barbara Johnson, began Reflexions back in 1984 in downtown Milledgeville. Ten years later, they moved into their current location at 701 N. Wayne St., and they have been making their customers wishes come true from there ever since.
There is no end in sight for the trio. As Dixon noted, even though she’s been doing hair for more than 40 years, “I don’t really want to retire. I just love it. It’s just a joy for me.”
To celebrate the recent anniversary, Reflexions held a two-week celebration dedicated to their loyal customers that included refreshments, various giveaways and a drawing for which one lucky customer received a basket full of gifts. All three owners acknowledge that they owe their success to their loyal clientele.
Said Hough, “We just want to tell the customers that we really, really appreciate them a lot.”
Dixon reiterated that they were grateful to the customers “for their loyal patronage through the years.”
Johnson added, “… and for putting their trust in us.”
Both Johnson and Dixon knew from a young age that they wanted to do hair for a living, attending cosmetology school after graduation. Hough’s original career plans of going into early childhood development were altered when her sister talked her in to becoming a hairdresser as well. Despite the change in career course, Hough has no regrets.
“I’ve loved it,” said Hough.
Dixon, Hough and Johnson work alongside fellow stylists Cynthia “Renae” Harris (Johnson’s sister), Zenobia Little and Felicia Moss. Five of the stylists have been with Reflexions since day one in 1984, with Moss joining the team 10 years later when the business relocated from downtown.
The combined years of experience of the staff allow them to do quality work in providing total hair care to their customers. Services provided include cuts, color, relaxers and weaves. Reflexions will also work with customers who prefer natural hair to using chemical relaxers. In all services, emphasis is placed on specializing in healthy hair.
Another important element to their success is taking the time to get to know what their customers want and need.
Said Dixon, “We have to analyze when a customer comes in the door. You can’t just sit them in the chair and start doing their hair. You’ve got to know something about them.”
This analysis includes finding out what has been done to their hair in the past. This allows them to draw on the their education in their trade to make decisions with the health of their customer’s hair in mind.
“You can’t just do hair,” said Johnson. “You’ve got to really know hair.”
Hough added, “This is a very important job, dealing with somebody’s hair. You can’t take it for granted.”
And while the co-owners take their work very seriously, they also take great pleasure in the creative aspect of what they do, or what Dixon referred to as “the art of hairstyling.”
Johnson was quick to agree that hairstyling involves a level of design and creativity on the part of the stylist.
“You create on your own as you go,” said Johnson. “There’s nothing drawn out. It’s an art.”
The co-owners know that having 35 successful years in business with almost no staff turnover is a special feat, and they credit the family atmosphere they have developed in the salon. They also offer special thanks to those who have helped them throughout the years, including former stylist Adrina Jackson, former nail technician Diane Adams and their team of shampoo technicians including Vange Butts, Shawn Stephens, Bernadette Lawson, Nikiya Moore and Gloria Heath.
Johnson feels that the staff’s perseverance through the trials and tribulations of small business ownership has been well worth it.
“It has really been amazing. This job has been really good to us through the years,” said Johnson.
Dixon acknowledged that all six stylists take great pride in their work because they know it’s what keeps the customers coming back to Reflexions.
“When they walk out the door, they’re representing us,” said Dixon.
And for the owners of Reflexions, nothing is sweeter than seeing what they love to do have a positive effect on a client.
Said Johnson, “It puts a smile on your face and a smile on your client’s face.”