1. A little background about Charmetria- Craig Johnson...
Charmetria is the business owner of I C You Beauty, LLC and has over 18 years of extensive experience in the beauty industry. Originally from Southern California, Charmetria moved to Atlanta, GA in 1991 to pursue her college education. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and has a Bachelor’s of Art in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Wanting to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a cosmetologist, Charmetria received her Master Cosmetology License in 2000 at the Hair School in Decatur, Ga and later received her Cosmetology Instructors License in 2010 at EmpireBeautySchool.
After completing her Cosmetology Instructors License, Charmetria worked for McBride Research Laboratory. At McBride she was the Research and Development Salon Manager and worked closely with McBride’s chemist and marketing department to design and perform specific procedures and tests that allowed McBride to make an educated decision on hair care products and tools that would potentially be launched to market. In 2012, Charmetria started Robinson & Craig Research Labs, Inc. (R&C). R&C Labs provided services to the hair care products industry. R&C primarily engaged in providing structural process for the development and performance of new and existing hair care products to product developers (which included product manufacturers, entrepreneurs seeking to create their own brand, salon owners and hair tool manufacturers. Through expert testing, Robinson & Craig Research Labs ensured that all solutions identified optimum performance levels.
In 2015 Charmetria opened I C You Beauty Salon within the My Salon Suites specializing in healthy hair care and customized eyelash extensions. Her goal is to give clients one on one professional beautification services and provide premium products that will transform, revive and enhance each customer’s distinctive natural beauty. Charmetria / I C You Beauty continues to evolve and adapt to the ever so changing beauty industry and trends by attending professional beauty classes and adding service to meet the needs of clients. Additionally, Charmetria continues to provide performance product testing for industry professionals and manufactures.
2. Why the beauty industry? I have always desired to do hair as a child; however, my parents were adamant that I attend college. I am grateful to my parents and glad that I chose that route because doing hair in the dormitory gave me the confidence and increased my passion to become a cosmetologist. Additionally, I studied business administration and can remember in my entrepreneurship class writing my first business plan which happened to be a hair salon with an attached daycare. Early on I knew that I didn’t want to be stuck in a corporate job, and I wanted to have the freedom to call the shots for my success and future. Until 2015 I always had one foot in a corporate job while the other was in the beauty industry. In Feb 2015 I stepped out on faith got rid of my job and opened I C You Beauty. I never looked back and so glad that My Salon Suites made an easy transition for me.
3. What does owning your own business mean to you? Owning my own business for me means “Entrepreneurship” and having the capability to be creative in a space of my own with no barriers. I love the fact that I control the trajectory of my business and life. I am an encourager by nature and having a salon business allows me to provide an environment and services desirable to the needs of my clients.
4. How has it impacted your life? Being a business owner has enhanced my life in many ways: I literally have the ability to renew my life daily. I can take off or vacation without the hassle of asking a boss for the time off. Additionally, my clients are repetitive because they love the aesthetics of My Salon Suites and the engaging atmosphere I have created within my personal suites. Of course financial freedom is the ultimate goal. I feel empowered and can set aside the time to try new business ventures within and outside of the salon. I currently provide Cosmetology service, Eye Lash Extension and I sell jewelry and beauty products which add to my financial wellbeing . Opening a salon within My Salons Suites has saved me on overhead/operating expenses. It has allowed me to have salon ownership without the large upfront cost and risk of building and running a traditional salon and I am able to set my own prices and sell products that will assist me achieve my financial goals.
5. What piece of advice would you have for a new members just start outing? Be sure to have a business plan, write down personal, business and financial goals yearly. Save yourself the headache of booking clients by subscribing to an online booking app, it will save you lots of time. Stay up to date on the trends of the industry, take classes and get to know your suite neighbors. I have been referred clients by some of my suite mates and I also have learned some new skills from my neighbors to assist me with my clients and business. Additionally, I believe it’s imperative to create an environment that clients feel comfortable and respected. Last but not least subscribe to the Suite Elite Connect for business support.