This interview is part of the Entrepreneurial Women Series, a column published by Leila Lewis, to shine the light on the inspiring women making waves in the business world.
When Jessie Mobley moved from Los Angeles, California to Columbia, Tennessee, she noticed the area was lacking in the kind of beauty salon services and aesthetics she was used to back in California. With her knowledge of the industry and what consumers wanted, she created a four-station salon that quickly grew into 931 Beauty Co (as well as GoGorgeous by 931, their on-location bridal and special occasion company). Now, her passion includes not just providing luxury services to her clientele, but serving her team well by fostering an environment that prioritizes growth and community to create a safe space inside and outside of her place of business. We were honored to hear more of her story!
Interview with Jessie Mobley, Founder, 931 Beauty Co.
What inspired you to start 931 Beauty Co. and how has it grown since then?
When I moved from Los Angeles to Columbia, Tennessee, I, as a consumer, had a hard time finding the type of services I was used to receiving in California. I missed simple luxuries like being offered a glass of wine in a beautiful environment, full of feminine aesthetics and touches. I wanted local access to luxury products and services without having to drive to Franklin or Nashville, so I went to work! What started as a four-station salon quickly grew over the years and morphed into not one but two companies, 931 Beauty Co and GoGorgeous by 931, which is our on-location bridal and special occasion company. Our tiny shop morphed into a beautiful environment where we have been able to create jobs and foster talent. We made a decision pretty early on to become an education-based salon so we would be able to train recent grads straight out of school and create career paths for them that included growth and promotions down the line. We have been blessed to create educators and allow our staff to capitalize on their passions. We now have 10 stations and 20 people. We are so excited to announce that we will be expanding and building a 6000 square-foot space, in the hopes of further growth within the community while offering superior service and a luxury unforgettable experience, full of professionalism, artistic insight, and an emotionally safe environment. It is my mission to help people and make them feel beautiful inside and outside of my place of business.
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?
The biggest lesson I feel like I have learned in business is humility, and I’ve had a lot of humble moments of growth throughout the years. In giving myself the grace to make mistakes, I am able to continue to learn from them instead of letting them discourage me from my dreams.
What excites you most about what you do?
It goes beyond the person in my chair regaining confidence and feeling beautiful. What excites me most about what I do is watching my team achieve their financial goals in a way that lets them have the freedom to spend time with their families. As stylists, we have collectively created an interesting change in this industry. It used to be we were viewed as “just hairstylists,” but we’ve transitioned into a new era of respect as artists that have every ability and right to have balance in their work-life structure and make a beautiful income. This is the structure we worked hard to provide with our Levels system and we allow them to work smarter, not harder.
How do you push yourself to stand out among your market competitors?
That’s a tough one but definitely authenticity comes to mind. As much as image plays a big part in being successful, we strive to remain raw, real, and honest with ourselves and our clients. The truth is there are so many talented people out there making it work and our clients can go anywhere. What I think they value about us is that we work together as a team. It is community over competition and we’ve really worked hard to cultivate trust within our place of business. I think the clients can feel that in the way we work together from the moment they walk in the door. I think that it’s important to keep in mind why you are in this industry and who it is all about, and it is all about the consumer and making them feel beautiful. Sometimes that starts from the outside in, and if you keep the heart first before the financial gain, it will all flow and naturally come together.
How have you adapted to change in your industry?
I truly believe that this industry has completely changed in the last 12 to 24 months. I try to meet my younger stylists on their level, constantly doing research on what this generation finds important in a workplace. The industry itself is always evolving and always changing, and first and foremost your employees are the core of the business. Happy employees create beautiful work. Overworked and overextended employees do not give great work. So, focusing on the industry itself and how it has changed, commission versus booth rent, and the constant battle between what is the right decision for you and the environment to work in as a hairstylist has been quite the challenge.
How do you seek new ways for growth in your brand?
I feel like there is inspiration all around us. When you look at the world as a whole, you see all these amazing innovations and problems every day. I think listening is the most important thing we can do. If you are paying attention, you will notice opportunities to solve problems. One of the biggest educators for me has been the hair loss community. As a member of the American Hair Loss Association, we attend conferences every year and have been able to get ahead of the market in that area, but in addition to that, have real women and men speaking to us every day and that drives me to find solutions for their unique experiences.
What’s one beauty product you couldn’t live without?
Jane Iredale Power of 3.
How do you recharge when you’re not feeling inspired or creative?
What is your best beauty tip?
Wash your face!
What is your best business tip?
Take the chance.
What’s your go-to inspiration source (podcast, book, Instagram account, etc.)?
Natalie Workwoman Instagram and podcast.
Favorite AM and PM drink.
Anything with bubbles, usually seltzer water!
WRITTEN BYLeila Lewis