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Beauty reaches Beale Street

 

As a small child, hair infatuated Stephanie Chatman, owner and CEO of Kingdom Kreations Exclusive Day Spa and Salon, also known as KKSpalons. She long has had a passion to make everyone beautiful. 

As a small child, hair infatuated Stephanie Chatman, owner and CEO of Kingdom Kreations Exclusive Day Spa and Salon, also known as KKSpalons. She long has had a passion to make everyone beautiful.

 
 Beverly Barbee is treated to a shampoo at Kingdom Kreations Exclusive Day Spa and Salon. (Photos by Shirley Jackson)

 
 Kingdom Kreations Day Spa owner Stephanie Chatman styles a client’s hair.

 
 Eight-year-old Hannah Chatman and Erin Luster share a book while waiting for hair to dry.

So it was not surprising that when her tenth grade year approached, she enrolled in a Memphis City Schools-sponsored technical program geared toward cosmetology. Licensed in 1992, Chatman began her climb up the entrepreneurial mountain in the beauty arena. After years of preparing herself to achieve her dream, she now is poised to create as many as 13 new jobs downtown.

But as is often the case on the path to success, a curve ball entered the picture. On the eve of completing the paperwork for a loan, Chatman was informed that due to cutbacks in staffing at a governmental agency there was no one who could continue to assist her with the paperwork. Faced with the hurdles that most entrepreneurs experience at least once or twice in their businesses, she is undeterred and absolutely determined to come up with the remaining capital.

All business start-ups need some initial source of financing. Kingdom Kreations Exclusive Day Spa and Salon is no different. Chatman and her staff are reaching out to the Memphis community that they have been a part of since birth, asking others to invest back into local business.

In the quest to fulfill the long-held dream of owning her salon, she forged a relationship with Kelly Penwell of The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the FedEx Institute of Technology, which is a program created by the University of Memphis. The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation offers solid advice, resources and direction for startup businesses. Penwell and the center pointed Chatman in the direction of Patrice Harris of the Renaissance Business Center (555 Beale), which offers loans to small businesses. The direction and advice offered by the two organizations covers marketing and business plan development.  They point those in need in the right direction to accomplish defined goals, which is how Chatman developed a creative approach to raising capital in lieu of loans from traditional funding sources.

With banks slow to lend to start ups, the economy not as strong as it has been in the past, and various government programs being under-funded, Chatman came with a novel approach to infuse capital in her business. Those interested in supporting her dream of an ultra chic styling studio can do so for a 10 percent return within one year on funds provided to her. Additionally those that provide financing exceeding $1,000 will receive free salon services equivalent to their funds in addition to the 10 percent interest.

To further explain her business model and how she intends to use the funds acquired, Chatman and her staff will host a wine and cheese event on March 15 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 pm.

Equipped with a new approach, Chatman not only has a unique business model but also a unique address: 203 Beale Street, Suite 201 (right above Alfred’s). While Beale Street is better known for the “Memphis Sound” and partying energy, she has the desire to “enhance what is already a work of art” by offering a full array of spa and salon services from tranquil massage therapy to hair and natural nail services.

“Relocating to Beale Street is a no brainer,” said Chatman. “You don’t have to market the street because Beale sells itself.”

Chatman was patient and methodical in her desire to be on Beale Street. Monitoring the location for three years finally paid off when a vacancy opened up. During that waiting period she served as a cosmetology instructor in the Shelby County Schools system, Memphis City School and for Paul Mitchell Salons.

“We are the first hair salon to be on Beale Street,” she said.

Her dedication to reducing the carbon footprint of salons is evidenced by offering clients green products supplied exclusively from Aveda. According to Aveda, by applying “the art and science of pure flower and plant essences” to its products, Aveda salons “set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility.”  

The full day salon offers massages, nail and hair services, facials, waxing and threading. In an effort to promote a healthy way of living, which is the Aveda way, they do not do acrylic nails. Instead, they offer Shellac, which is gel polish and has the appearance of acrylic.

Chatman also has the capability to offer VIP service, which includes wine or champagne amongst other offerings. She has sought to create an atmosphere of fashionable décor and ambiance created by Godias Interiors coupled with aromatherapy.

At the end of day, Chatman wants her Kingdom Kreations Salon clients comfortable and relaxed.  

(Appointments can be scheduled by phone at 901-590-2136 or via www.KKspalons.com.)

 

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