By Katherine Gotthardt | Photos by Amanda Causey Baity
When Cleveland and Judy Anderson, owners of Vincent and Vincent salon and spa, decided it was time to open their business in Prince William County, they had been commuting to Washington, D.C. The couple both had been trained by experts in the beauty industry and wanted to open their own business.
But the traffic was taking some of the joy out of the work. And so, they learned everything they could from their mentors in order to open their own salon.
That one salon became two, and two became four and more. Before long, the Andersons had more salons than they had anticipated owning. They also realized that now it wasn’t the commute that was stealing their joy. It was the number of salons.
“My DNA is happy,” says Cleveland Anderson. “Things got too complicated. And I don’t like being a tenant.”
Allowing something to interfere with his positive nature wasn’t going to work. So, the Andersons discussed alternatives and decided they should return to running one salon. But that one salon wasn’t going to be just anywhere.
The Andersons connected with other professionals they had come to know throughout the years, doctors and experts dedicated to their businesses and clients. While they were in different industries, they had some commonalities, one of them being a dislike of renting. Together, they bought the current Dumfries property and built the center where the salon and spa has remained for 25 years – Liberty Village on Main Street.
A Flexible but Demanding Industry
Currently, there are a total of 28 employees at Vincent and Vincent. Those include thirteen hair stylists, one esthetician and two nail techs.
“We set our own schedules,” says stylist manager Karen Proctor. “Some work three, four or five days a week. Some work evenings to accommodate clients who work during the day. We work Saturdays to accommodate working people and weddings, too.”
Proctor says the majority of the stylists put in 30-40 hours per week. Some work fewer days but longer hours. It’s a demanding job, but “it’s exciting,” Proctor says. “One day is never like another.”
Because of that, the stylists have to keep up-to-date on all the latest trends and technologies. “You never know who will come through the door,” she says. “And it’s fun. It’s artistic. We can express our art on hair and in makeup, manis, pedis, facials and everything else we offer.”
She says aspiring stylists should “be prepared to work hard, have fun and keep learning.”
Strong Bonds Make for a Strong Business
Anderson says not a day goes by when he doesn’t look forward to coming to work. “Vincent and Vincent defines me,” he says. It is a passion he has invested in. However, it is more than years and money he and Judy have put into the business.
Anderson says he learned an important lesson a long time ago: “To take care of my clients, I have to take care of my professionals.” The Andersons have invested in their staff, many of whom have worked for Vincent and Vincent for over a decade.
Proctor has been with Vincent and Vincent for fifteen years progressively as a technician, stylist, manager and mentor. But, she says, “most team members have been there 20 plus years. The shampoo techs have been here between ten and fifteen years. That’s unheard of in this industry.”
The environment is friendly, she says, like a family, “and that speaks to the staff being there so long.”
“Some staff come all the way from the Baltimore area to work at Vincent and Vincent. It is worth it to them because they can set their own hours and be in an environment that nurtures them personally and professionally,” Proctor says.
“I couldn’t do it without the great people I have,” says Anderson. “My managers, they take care of everything. Paula Hasnain, Linda Steele, Karen Proctor…if I have to be out a few days, I can come back, and everything is in order, neat and clean and running well.”
Proctor says, “The ownership is very accommodating. They are wonderful people to work for. We all become a tight knit family. And sharing knowledge and creativity makes it great.”
She encourages everyone to stop by to experience the friendly, professional service the salon offers. “It’s a wonderful environment,” she says. “You can feel it. Clients can feel it.”
For more information, visit VincentHairSpa.com.
Katherine Gotthardt ([email protected]) is an
award-winning poetry and prose writer residing in western Prince
William County where she serves as Editor in Chief for Prince
William Living and President of Write by the Rails, the Prince
William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. Learn more about her