ZhaZay’s Salon is turning heads
Carla Mayers-Harris just loves to beautify her clients. Be it through make-up, nails or hair, the cosmetologist says she gets her greatest satisfaction when a client is pleased with her work and in turn, gets numerous compliments.
The owner of ZhaZay’s Salon in Farm Road, St Peter, spoke fondly and passionately about her career which she simply enjoys.
“I just love to see the transformation, whether it be hair, makeup or nails. I just love the response I get when people are truly satisfied and love the outcome. From [the time I was] a teenager I did my own, my sister’s, my friends’ – anyone who asked, I just had a knack for it. I got my first relaxer at 11 years old and I was fascinated by then, so this motivated me to pursue the career…”
Her journey started back in 2009 when her then place of employment was restructuring for the second time. Carla said she saw that as a sign for her to pursue her passion.
“I prayed and spoke to my husband about it. He gave me a lot of encouragement. I took my package, signed up for the course and just moved in faith…”
But Carla admits she was her own biggest challenge since she was very doubtful in the beginning.
“I am a person who overthinks and worry a bit too much. So it was a struggle to move in faith. I was wondering – did I make the right decision, as I am getting older now… Do I have what it takes? I was thinking that there are so many cosmetologists out there already, what will make people want to come to me? How will I buy all my stuff for my course then have enough money to get all the products to work with after?”
The 42-year-old successfully completed cosmetology studies at the Semaj International School of Cosmetology. And while she always had a knack for doing hair, in recent years, she has gravitated more towards nails and make-up. She says she found that it was easier on her body than standing for hours doing hair.
“I find I get more satisfaction from doing makeup more so than any other service I provide. The makeup transformation gets me every time. I love to take a blank canvas and paint on it and accentuate all the good areas and hide all the flaws to reveal a better version of yourself. I especially enjoy concealing hyperpigmentation or dark circles, moles, what have you, carve out those cheekbones, sculpt those brows… aaaahhhhh, I just love it!”
The former student of Alleyne School prides herself on delivering quality service at all times.
“I want to continue to be known for quality and excellent service. I want to be courteous, understanding, just all around [display a] good personality. How I interact with my clients is big for me. I want them to leave satisfied. Even when I doubt myself, they have confidence in me to deliver the best design or look they ask for.”
With her track record, along with some help from modern technology, Carla’s business has grown over the years.
“I can now say I have a clientele. Some weeks, I am booked up and still have people inquiring about appointments. Of course, some weeks are better than others. I have some awesome clients so they are quick to tell [others] about the business. Social media is ideal too because you have your work on display for thousands to view along with contact information. So that too has helped tremendously over the years.”
The entrepreneur wants to have a fully running professional salon in the near future where she can rent outstations or have staff members. She would also want that location to have an area for courses since she wants to become a licensed instructor. She also has hopes of completing a management programme to help her better the business. A burning desire is to take her daughter under her wing and even teach her the skills.
This is her advice to budding cosmetologists. “People like to say the market is over-saturated but there are many areas of cosmetology. You could be a lash technician, manicurist, pedicurist, facial specialist, colourist, hairstylist or barber, and the list goes on… Choose the one you are best at. Don’t let anyone dampen your spirit. I have seen persons start in this industry and their work is on par with others who have been doing it for years…”
Her husband Roderick Harris, son Zhari Mayers-Deane, daughter Zaylie Harris, and mom Dorothy Mayers form her strongest support system. The name of her salon is a combination of her children’s names.
The biggest advantage of being her own boss is the ability to spend time with her loved ones. “I get to set my own work hours, days off and vacation time. Just becoming my own boss is a major thing for me. I have more time with my kids and [I don’t have to] worry about who will keep them during vacation as my business is set up at home.”
Carla confesses that her spirituality remains her greatest focus. “Personally, my relationship with Jehovah, my God, and my family’s well-being and happiness matter most. I also want to see my children become the best they can be. I want my business to thrive, to give my best each and every time to everyone that allows me to serve.”
And when Carla isn’t busy transforming her clients, she does some very simple things to relax.
“I love online shopping and browsing for luxury bags is one bad hobby. I have a generous bag collection that I call my babies. I have a love-hate relationship with the beach. It’s so calming and relaxing and I love a good sea bath but it’s also scary. I also enjoy watching documentaries, particularly African based ones – they interest me a lot. I am happy to learn about how some Africans live but it saddens me to see people still suffering although Africa is filled with so many riches…” (IMC)