A JAM Session
By: Jan Morgan-Swegle
One of my favorite quotes comes from Michelle Obama when she was addressing the audience at the “Let Girls Learn” forum during an International Women’s Day event in 2017. She said, “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
And she is right. Women everywhere should have the opportunity to follow their dreams and make them a reality. Women can fly to the moon, become Justices on the Supreme Court or own their own businesses. The ability for women to be successful should not be measured by their gender, but by their commitment to achieving their goals.
I met one of those goal-oriented women here in Leland a few weeks ago. She is determined to be successful and has a solid plan of action. She works hard and she is an excellent role model for others who want to be a business owner.
Britnee Lee is the owner of the newest hair salon in Leland, JAM Beauty Bar, located at 2789 Compass Pointe South Wynd NE (near the senior living facility.) Britnee opened her doors this past November with a team of five experienced stylists offering the usual hair cutting, coloring and styling services, plus waxing, perms, Brazilian Blowout and a 10 percent discount for Veterans. Her product lines include Amika, Oligo, and Biolage, and the best part for all of us is that her prices are more than reasonable.
Britnee has been in the hair care industry since 2014, and she is building a customer-friendly, team-oriented base of operations. She calls her stylists her “forever group,” having selected them carefully for what they can do to enhance not only the business, but the customer experience.
In her own way, she is also creating a framework for life for her children. Being a mother to three young girls, 1-year old Jessi, 10-year-old Alexis, and 8year-old MaKenzi (her JAM,) it is important for Britnee to show her daughters that they can achieve anything as long as they work hard, are committed to the endeavor, and enjoy what they do. Britnee is a strong, confident, independent person and she wants her girls to know that they are not limited to “social norms” when you are following your dreams.
When the girls get older and spend time at the salon, Britnee wants them to see that. “Mom does the same type of work as her employees do and no one person on the team is more important than the others. I’m not going to be an absentee owner,” she said. “I’m going to be here and I’m going to do everything I can to make this a successful salon. We are here to stay.”
Often when someone starts her own business, it’s either the next step in their career or the culmination of a dream. For Britnee, opening the JAM Beauty Bar was both. “I knew in this life I could do something big—something important to me, I just wasn’t sure what that was; now I know, she said. “Being married and having children has given me that push to test myself and succeed. You have to put family first, have faith, work hard and take things day by day. You have to lead by example to show your children and others that they can attain their dreams, but it will take hard work on their part. It’s not just going to be handed to you.”
She has a strong support network in her husband, Jesse, her parents and her extended family, which she says, “have been important to her success in opening the salon. Jesse understands that I need to do this and he supports me 100 percent. That means he does more with the girls or at the house, but we’re a team—and a good one.”
The salon is welcoming, comfortable, clean, modern and what Britnee calls “trendy but homey.” And, while all of her stylists are independent contractors, they work as a team to ensure a “make their day” kind of experience for their customers. As Britnee said, “If one of us gets behind, the others will lend a helping hand.”
Britnee also believes that a successful business person has to rely on the knowledge and experience of mentors, and she has found several sitting right in her salon station. “There are tons of experienced business people in this area,” she said. “I’ve had people from the CIA and FBI, and CEOs sit in my chair and share a wealth of knowledge with me and it’s helped me improve the way I’m doing things. I am so grateful for their suggestions.”
Britnee opened the JAM Beauty Bar in Leland because the area has been experiencing tremendous growth, and she sees that continuing. “This is a great location, right off of 74/76 and near Compass Pointe (West Gate).”
And, while Leland may be growing quickly, the JAM Beauty Bar is going to evolve slowly. Britnee said, “In the future, I want slow, controlled growth—I want to make sure we are doing our primary functions well before we add nail techs, lashes and other services. It makes good business sense and it will be good for our customers.”
Britnee is doing all of the right things to be successful and she is contributing to the economic growth of Leland. So, the next time you look in the mirror and gasp at your grey hair or outdated hair style, call the JAM Beauty Bar at 910-465-8970 and make an appointment with one of the styling team. And when you go in for your appointment, remember the Obama quote, for there truly is no limit to what Britnee and her team can accomplish now and in the future.