An Inside Look on Nicole’s Journey to Lakota Room Salon

By: lakotaroom - Published on August 17th, 2020

This is My Story

My hair journey didn’t start off like most. I didn’t grow up knowing I wanted to do hair, I didn’t dye my friends hair in high school and I didn’t do crazy things to my own hair. I grew up a bun head!

Dance became my passion

My mom signed me up for my first dance class when I was 4. Dance was my passion! When I was 8 my mom returned from NYC with a Barbie from the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. I had no idea who the Rockettes were so my mom looked them up for me. I watched video after video. Those long leggy, powerful, strong, beautiful women were the most inspiring thing. After that moment I was sold. I knew I wanted to be a part of an inspiring, powerful, strong girl gang. That started my journey of training to become a Rockette!

My Dreams of Becoming a Rockette

Fast forward to 7 years later. My mom did some research and the Rockettes hold a summer intensive each year where you get to experience what it’s like to be a Rockette for a whole week. This was everything I had trained for and another step closer to my dream. My mom signed me up to audition for the intensive! My parents and I packed up the car and headed to Austin!

The amount of excitement and nervousness I felt made my stomach churn. I don’t remember anything about that audition. All I remember is being super hyped to go home and wait to see if I made it. I checked my mom’s email EVERYDAY to see if I got in. The day finally came and the email was in. I didn’t make it. But I refused to let this dream go. I trained harder for whenever the tryouts came back around. A year later I tried out again and I MADE IT! I was on my way to NYC! I trained every summer with the Rockettes for 4 years.

After I graduated high school I enrolled into college and was majoring in dance. I know, no surprise! I went to NYC since I was finally 18 and could audition to be a part of the Rockettes. That was one of the most overwhelming and exciting things I have done. I was 1 out of 300 women there to audition. Sadly, I was cut after the first round. However, by this time in my life I had been dancing for 15 years. I looked around at all the girls around me and I realized something I never thought was possible. I lost my passion.

Time for Change

I still LOVED dance but I didn’t enjoy it. My mental and psychical health were starting to take a toll. My mom feared I was developing an eating disorder because I was so consumed by dance and my homework load I hardly ate between classes. I remember this day vividly and this is when I knew it was time to take my final bow. It was the day I was in ballet class and I realized how I never felt good enough.. My body wasn’t as flexible as this girl, my turnout wasn’t as good as hers. I remember my instructor always told me I had weak ankles. That’s when it hit me! It was time to end the days of being torn down and never feeling like I was enough! I was done with comparisons and the snarky girls!

 My parents have always been my biggest cheerleaders when it comes to my dreams. They supported me when I told them I no longer wanted to go to school or dance anymore. But now came the question every millennial tries to avoid during family gatherings.., “what are you going to do now”? 

A Year to Search

Call me crazy but even with my crazy dance and school schedule, I was also working at Chick-fil-A. After dropping out of school and no longer dancing, I didn’t know what I wanted to do.. So I continued to work. I took about a year off from everything! But for those who know me I like to stay busy. Working at Chick-fil-A was starting to bore me. I knew I was ready to head back to school but I didn’t know what I wanted to study.

Like most people while I was doing research I ended up side tracked. I found myself on Facebook quite a bit. Let me tell you something… Facebook ads work, y’all!

I was scrolling through my feed and an ad for a cosmetology school popped up. Eh, I didn’t have a lot going on so why not do some research on this? This little spark ignited in me. I haven’t felt that since dancing! Was this my new journey?! I signed up to tour at Paul Mitchel and Aveda ASAP! I called my mom and told her what I did. She told me to send her the days and times I was going to tour because my parents wanted to tag along. So here we went again.

My New Journey into the Hair Industry

We loaded up in the car and toured these two schools! I saw both schools and I knew… THIS. WAS. IT. I found my new journey! I signed up with Aveda and my classes started in 4 weeks. 

12 months later I graduated, passed my state board test and now the time came to find a salon! I interviewed at two salons, a small little salon in the Heights, and an even smaller salon in Montrose. As things would work out I took the job in Montrose and apprenticed under a really amazing guy! He taught me so much about what it means to be a stylist. By the time my apprenticeship was coming to an end there wasn’t an available chair for me. So it was time to find another home.

Throughout my year as an apprentice, the salon in the Heights still kept in touch with me. I reached out and asked if they were hiring and sure enough they were! A year later after my first interview with them I was hired at the little salon in the Heights. Lakota Room Salon! 

In the end, my dream of wanting to join an inspiring, powerful, and strong girl gang still came true!

 

Hey Friends! I’m Sam Bryant, one of the stylists here at Lakota Room Salon.  I just wanted to share my journey into hairdressing with you so we can get to know each other a little better!

Falling in Love with a Dream

I basically knew I’ve wanted to do hair since I was in high school. Something about it drew me in. I loved the types of people that did hair. They were always smiling and seemed to love their jobs. I couldn’t help but want that too!

Lakota Hair Salon Houston Heights Having Fun

Sam doing what she loves!

I played around with my hair a lot and loved to change up my cut! Fast forward to the first semester after high school. I had a new pixie haircut, and I had enrolled in cosmetology school. I was beyond excited to get started! The hardest thing for me though, was I was living on my own. I was paying rent and bills. Now having to pay for my school out of pocket was beginning to weigh heavily on me.

My dreams were drifting further away

I was attending school full time during the day, and working as a server in a bar at night. I can remember how exhausting it all was now. It’s crazy to think about how long I did it. Things were working out great for a while, until finally my two worlds, work and school, starting to collide. I began to party after I would get off at 2 am. NOT SMART AT ALL.  With partying comes drinking ,drugs and never enough sleep. I wasn’t waking up on time for class because I got home late the night before. This lead me to dropping one of my classes and retake it the next semester.  The same thing happened again the next semester. I had to drop the SAME CLASS. I put making money in a bar,partying and bad relationships before my passion and what really mattered most to me.

I ended up dropping out of school for nearly 3 years. I moved out of state and battled with an abusive and drugged filled relationship. This relationship had me in a terrible place in life. I remember constantly thinking about doing hair. My mind wondering how I had gotten so far off the path of that dream. I finally got fed up with that life, packed up and moved back home to Texas. My new thought was to start all over sober and get back to what I really wanted to be doing. But moving back didn’t mean I could just get back to hair right away. I had to work as a server again to pay off previous class debt from school.

A Big Life Changing Surprise!

Well in that time, I ended up pregnant with my son. I always say that he changed it all for me. Since the moment I found out I was pregnant, I busted my ass to make as much money as possible and get back into school! I only had 2 classes to take to get my license. I was able to finish just in time before having my son. 5 weeks before to be exact.

Sam with her son ,Gage.

After having my son, and getting my new cosmetology license I couldn’t wait to get started in my new career! Well, so I thought. Sadly, things did not work out between my sons father and I, and I ended up as a single mom with a home and a son to provide for. So, back to bartending. Geez I couldn’t seem to get away from it. The more I bartended, the further I felt from getting to do hair. After a year, I finally walked away from bartending and moved in with my parents. The first time since I was 17, so that I could try to start working in a salon and support myself doing hair.

I was able to get to work at a few salons, until I finally landed at my salon home now.  I feels so blessed to be here. Having worked in multiple salons, self teaching myself most of the way because I never had a mentor, I saw a lot of the good and ugly of the industry.  So, when I found Lakota Room Salon, it was like a heaven sent. I was finally in a place that aligned with my values and I felt I could truly grow to as a stylist and reach my goals and catch my dreams!

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Sam prepping hair for a photoshoot

In less than a year being here, I was able to get to a place where I could afford to financially support my little family doing what I absolutely love. Life sometimes is constantly throwing you curve balls, but always remembering that this is my dream and I’m going to keep chasing it no matter what, keeps me pushing past all the hardships.

Thanks for reading and listening to my story.  I hope it gives you some insight into me and my life as a mom and stylist!

XOXO,

Sam
Lakota Room Stylist

PS- if you want to book your next hair appointment with Sam, just click below!

Lakota Room Salon is a Transformative Salon Experience

Follow Sam on Instagram below!

https://www.instagram.com/thehoustonhairhippie/

Happy Earth Day lovelies!

Today is a day to bring awareness to the health of our planet and the environmental impact we have on our planet. Good and bad.

2020 Marks the 50th year of Earth Day! Which originally started back in 1970 to stop the industrial companies from polluting the air and causing massive health issues for the people. It’s evolved over time to join the world in helping create a cleaner and safer environment for the Earth and creatures that live on it, including us. During this time in, there have been multiple environments all over the world healing from the lack of human interaction. It’s our job to guide this planet into a clean and environmental-friendly future.  We have seen the difference in the past month!

How can we make a difference? Here are just a few options to help out!

Support brands that are trying to help the planet and eliminate their waste as much as possible. Amika is an awesome hair brand that is partnered with Green Circle Salons to help recycle all of their product packaging. (You can get your Amika products from our online store!)

CLICK HERE! (https://shoplakotaroomsalon.square.site/)

Thrift! Buying pre-owned or vintage clothes! Fast fashion is one of the hardest impacting industries on the planet and repurposing is a great and easy way to help our planet!

Re-useable shopping bags. You can find some awesome ones online that are cute and are a fantastic option to help reduce the use of plastic in stores!

Always be kind and positive about helping and making changes! No judgement on how you or anyone else does their part, just do whatever you can! Every little bit makes a difference.

Sustainably Yours,

 

Samantha Bryant
Lakota Room Stylist

We are all practicing social distancing and staying at home.  That means it’s the perfect time for a scalp cleansing DETOX!

There are a ton of blogs and articles talking about skin care, body care and makeup.  But what about the scalp? It is just as important as the rest of our bodies!  Our scalp is actually prone to buildup, clogged pores and dead skin that can lead to dull hair and slow down hair growth.  WHO WANTS THAT!? Nobody!

Our recommendation is Amika’s Reset Pink Charcoal Scalp Cleansing Oil.  We perform this detox service in-salon.  But we actually sell the product as a take home treatment as well. We will perform the treatment before we start the service on dry scalp and hair.  We will let the cleansing oil sit and penetrate for 5-10 minutes.  Then we will add water, lather the cleansing oil, and finish off with the Amika foaming clarifying shampoo and gel conditioner.

The perfect trio for your scalp detox. Reset cleansing oil, clarifying gel shampoo and cooling gel conditioner

This is a great time to let your scalp detox and train it to stop overproducing oil.  When your scalp keeps getting stripped of it’s natural oils, it will then overproduce oil.  This is the reason for an oily scalp.  Many people think if you shampoo everyday, it will help while it actually makes the problem worse. Boo!

Try using this protocol and then let your scalp rest for 3 days.  If it starts getting super oily, throw it up in a messy top know (those are still appropriate). And if your hair is too short, try a halfie top know.  At our salon our short haired girls always wear a halfie top knot and it is CUTE!  On the last day if you can’t stand it anymore, throw on a hat!

Your scalp will totally thank you for the detox! Just like our skin and bodies do!

You can purchase this detox kit by emailing us at hello@lakotaroom.com

XOXO,

The Lakota Gang

We love to support our small business owner friends.  We believe we rise by lifting each other up, and we love our relationship with these wonderful ladies!

We wanted to take a deeper look into Darby’s journey to becoming a Pure Barre studio owner in the Houston Heights.  It’s an awesome story so READ ON!!

Owner Darby Akers

How did you get started in the fitness business? 

  • Originally, I emailed the previous owner because I wanted to just work the front desk! I loved the Pure Barre Heights community so much and just wanted some level of involvement. Little did I know, she needed to sell the studio, and asked if I was interested! Totally a whirlwind, but definitely one of God’s biggest blessings for me.

What are you most passionate about in your business?

  • Hands down, without a doubt, this community. I couldn’t be more thankful. The women that makeup this community are the soul of our studio. I have never experienced such support from both employees and clients as I am experiencing now. They drive me to be a stronger woman, a better leader, a more empathetic person, and definitely more adaptable. I am so passionate about these women, and I can’t wait to see them all again so soon!

Have you found your WHY since joining the fitness industry?

  • Totally. I never thought I would own a fitness studio. I graduated with a degree in Animal Sciences from LSU and began my adult career as a science teacher for middle schoolers. I definitely didn’t feel fulfilled and had no idea where my career was going. My why is this studio. My why is how can I serve the Lord daily through the gift of movement and fitness. Women of all types have gained something from Pure Barre the Heights – whether it’s physically, emotionally, or friendships. We truly are a community, not just a fitness space.

How is Pure Barre different from other fitness options?

  • Pure Barre is truly the only effective long term workout that is a low impact, high intensity, full body workout. The classes change consistently, so you never take the same class twice. We offer three different class types – Pure Barre Classic, Pure Empower (cardio-centric barre), and Pure Reform (resistance-based barre). Right now, we are offering 23 livestream classes a week, which our membership base has LOVED!

How do you like to get involved and engage with the community?

  • I truly love just being present in the studio. I love getting to know all of our members, about their families, jobs, or past times. I love spending time with my employees, in and out of the studio. I love teaching class, taking class, and organizing community events. We are all so different, but we all have a common love for Pure Barre. One of my favorite things to do to engage the community is by hosting wine nights or special events in the studios. Those are some of my favorite memories with my clients!

What is your background or what were you doing before you took over pure barre the heights?

  • Kinda answered above – but teaching! Not mentioned above – I had significant health issues and was diagnosed with a rare version of Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease. I have always been active. I ran cross country and played volleyball in high school. I worked out all through college. So when I was diagnosed and not allowed to run anymore, I was devastated. However, I had already been doing Pure Barre throughout all of this and I was loving the results. I was becoming leaner, stronger, and had more endurance with each class.

What does the future look like for pure barre once we are all back up an running after this crisis!?

  • I truly believe that not only us, but other small businesses will come back stronger! This too shall pass, and is only a temporary bump in the road that will make us stronger and smarter business owners!

We arent’ sure about you, but this story is SO INSPIRING. And one of the values we always knew we shared with Pure Barre is community.  You can’t do life or business without it.  We want to be a part of something doing great things.  Thank you SOO much for your transparency and sharing your story with us Darby!!! LOVE OUR PURE BARRE BESTIES!

XOXO

Lakota Gang

Pure Barre Houston Heights is now offering LIVE streaming classes during the Covid-19 crisis.  Click the link to sign up and keep your mind and body healthy!! Move your body, exercise your mind.

https://www.purebarre.com/location/houston-the-heights-tx

The Pure Barre Family celebrating their 5th Birthday!

 

 

When I came into the industry, I didn’t quite know where to land–where I felt most at home. My hope for my new career was to learn and be mentored to do great work in a place that was obsessive about the guest experience as well as their craft as a hairstylist. A small dream to be surrounded by hair, fashion, music and well just good ole fun! My first salon experience was not a bad one necessarily, I just couldn’t seem to find anyone there that was SUPER passionate about hair. There’s nothing wrong with that, I just wanted something special. Me journey there lasted less than a year. I decided to move on and interviewed at other salons in the downtown area (I thought they might be a bit more fashion forward). After searching endlessly, I ultimately decided to do hair at people’s houses. I would go to their house where they invited their friends over and I did their hair. You see they made it their party, and I was there to be the icing on the cake, the cherry on top! I LOVED IT!

After sometime, I got lured back into the fashion industry and went to work for the clothing store Anthropologie. I LOVED that store and it’s sister store Free People even more. Those brands were so fascinating to me. They were different, driven by client experience, and fashion that was somehow just different. I met so many different people from all over the place and we all had our own fashion flair. I ended up taking over the Free People store in the Houston Galleria and I loved it.

Well about 3 months into that, I found out I was pregnant with our first child. It was something we were wanting for quite some time, but since it didn’t happen very fast I just poured myself into working (you see, I tend to do that). I realized that I wouldn’t have the kind of schedule that I thought would be conducive to having a small baby. So, I talked myself into becoming a stay at home mom – something I never saw myself doing. Everyone who knows me knows that.

Me with my first baby, Liam.

 

Me with Liam and our second baby, Ruby Rose in 2017.

Liam was born in May of 2012 and I jumped in head first like every new mom does! I made sure I was going to breastfeed for a year, make all of his food with a baby blender, never eat bad food again, not let him watch TV until he was 2, you know…. all the things that you like to put on yourself when your a mom. Well, about 3 months in, I wasn’t breastfeeding anymore (he was on formula), I put rice cereal in his bottle hoping he would sleep for more than two hours, and he definitely knew who Cat in the Hat was by then. The one thing we would always do is get outside and run. I would put him in that Bob and run and run and run.

After a few months of this, Will and I were wondering if there was something a bit deeper going on. Was it an extended version of the baby blues, life adjustment, or having a fussy baby? Let me tell you, I am NOT making that up about Liam being a fussy baby. Liam was a reincarnation of a grumpy old man. Always mad or sad. I tried so hard to figure it out, until I realized it was just the situation for now. After consulting with my doctor, I was told that I had postpartum anxiety.  It made me feel a little better after that appointment. It was like I finally knew something was wrong, and I wasn’t just different than other new moms on instagram.  I definitely took a social media break after that.

That led to me deciding that having some kind of job and fulfillment outside of our home was a good idea. My thought was to go back to Free People part time. Then Will suggested that I probably shouldn’t work for someone else. He suggested I just throw a salon chair upstairs and see what happens. If anyone knows Will, I wouldn’t say he’s the most spontaneous person. But this idea got me SUPER psyched. So within a week, I had turned our studio above our garage into a full blown salon. Two salon chairs, a shampoo bowl, color line, retail, and a bunch of grey paint on the walls. Oh yeah, and definitely a lot of bohemian decor.

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I loved to keep it light and whimsical!

 

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3 of us working away in 2015.

 

I knew what I wanted for my salon was different. Actually, I wanted it to be different from any other salon I had found so far. I dreamed of a salon that was comfortable, homey, inviting and FUN. I thought people should look forward to coming, and have such a good time, that they stayed even longer. They hung out, drank wine, made friends with other clients and stylists. Each client would leave feeling confident, lighter and like they had been to the best party ever!

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Here is our team right after our 7th Anniversary in September.

 

I already told a lot of my close friends what I was up to lately. So, the first day I went upstairs to start my new career, it was the start of something super special. I had NO idea what was in store for me.  

This was my beginning. And to be honest (and I love people who can be open and honest) I’ve been learning how to be a stylist, business owner, and leader every day since. And I’ve failed a lot. I have relied on an amazing community of people to push me to get better and not sacrifice my vision. That’s why I wanted to create a workplace where stylists felt empowered and confident. Where our clients can feel empowered and confident. A place where we can all keep growing together. Teams of amazing people from all walks of life! Women who can pick each other up as we are learning, push each other in the right direction, tell each other its ok if we are failing, and celebrate as we succeed! I mean really celebrate our wins!

So welcome to this place, to this salon, to this home. It is an amazing place because of the people – the team and our guests – who spend time here. I can’t wait for you to experience the Lakota Room.

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A current photo of our styling stations — we have the perfect spot for you!