“I think that the most important thing a woman (or man) can have—next to talent, of course—is her (or his) hairdresser.” —Joan Crawford
When it comes to hair, there’s nothing so essential as that one hairdresser who can make a person feel special, not only with the perfect hairstyle, but also by giving a listening ear that will never go beyond the walls of the hair salon. Tamra Hollowell, hairdresser and owner of Tamra Hollowell Salon & Spa, puts it this way: “The greatest joy in what I do is turning someone’s day around, making people feel good about themselves and being an ear to listen. People want to be heard.”
Tamra Hollowell Salon & Spa, located in the heart of Port Warwick, offers a variety of personalized salon services, such as hair color and cut, hair extensions, hair treatments, face and body waxing and facials.
Hollowell says she’s always known she wanted to be a cosmetologist. “I never thought about doing anything else; I even have a photo of me blow-drying my hair at age three,” says Hollowell. “I’m not the type to do well sitting at a desk. This profession works for me because the atmosphere changes every 30 minutes or so.”
Having worked as a licensed hair stylist since she was 18 years old, Hollowell knew she was in this business for the long haul. So, approximately five years ago, she decided to open her own salon. Realizing the challenge ahead, Hollowell went to various events in the area and distributed business cards to build her clientele.
After seeking counsel from many business owners, she was prepared to face the struggle of finding quality help. “Within two to three years, I got a great team together. I have the most amazing people here. My four stylists are loyal, honest, dependable, have morals and are great people. I consider them family,” Hollowell says.
What makes Tamra Hollowell Salon & Spa unique, says Hollowell, is outstanding customer service. “Everyone receives a warm greeting, a consultation, two shampoos and a nice scalp massage, head wrapped in a hot towel, a cut, color and finish, followed by another consultation. My saying is that ‘we’re not robots,’” Hollowell says. “We are humans and we make mistakes. We aren’t going to be perfect every time, but we will give perfect customer service every time.” As a male client on Yelp says it, “The service is second to none!”
As part of its customer service orientation, all employees at Tamra Hollowell Salon & Spa engage in continuing education classes every six to eight weeks. “We are always on top of current trends,” Hollowell says. “We use good products with no carcinogens, and we have no cleaning person; as a group, we do that ourselves and believe that’s very important.”
The salon also goes beyond its four walls and dedicates a good amount of energy to community service. “We have a lot of clients involved in a lot of different charities,” says Hollowell, “and we donate to all of them. We donate to the American Cancer Society, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Natasha house, local fundraisers, whatever the clients bring to us.” The salon also does a huge fundraiser every Christmas, collecting toys from clients who, in turn, receive a 10 percent discount at every appointment for each toy donated. All toys collected are donated to Carver Elementary, the lowest income school in Newport News.
Hollowell thoroughly enjoys the work she does, the clients she helps and the people with whom she works, making her work life a very social endeavor. When she is not in the salon, she enjoys being a homebody, spending time with her husband and two-year-old toddler. As to what lies ahead, Hollowell says, “I don’t know for certain. We may see a second location, a bigger location. We will continue to grow and we will be around for a very long time.”
TO THE POINT:
Tamra Hollowell Salon & Spa
Address: 165 Herman Melville Ave., Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Tamra Hollowell, hair stylist and owner