“Growing up, I was a shop kid,” Kachell Smith said, recalling the many hours she watched her stylist mom in action at the Something Different Salon. Now, at age 26, […]
“Growing up, I was a shop kid,” Kachell Smith said, recalling the many hours she watched her stylist mom in action at the Something Different Salon. Now, at age 26, Smith has her own salon—Liberty Beauty—which had its grand opening on September 13, 2020.
Asked how it feels to be a salon owner, she said, “It feels amazing. I’m excited because this was what I always wanted.” Smith began doing hair when she was in middle school and continued through high school, styling hair out of her bedroom.
Her salon is in an area of Fort Wayne she’s always loved, too, the southwest side. The shop at 4705 Illinois Road near Jefferson Pointe specializes in natural hair. “There isn’t a place in the Southwest that deals with ethnic hair,” Smith points out, “and there’s a lot of mixed children with parents who don’t know how to work with that kind of hair.”
Liberty Beauty currently has three stylists, one braider, and an esthetician/makeup artist, and Smith is hoping to fill her fourth chair soon. In addition to providing hair and makeup services, the salon also offers hair products and accessories.
“My clients used to go running around looking for everything,” she said. “It was great to be able to actually brand something and provide the quality [and convenience for them] that was needed.” Smith said she sells hair extensions, bonnets for children, edge wraps, edge control products, and all of the requisite accessories.
Despite her years of experience working with hair, Smith felt she needed to know more in order to start her business. That led her to the City of Fort Wayne Build Institute, powered by SEED. The Build Institute is a nine-week business education program designed for early-stage entrepreneurs.
“You think you know so much until you do something like that,” Smith said of attending Build Institute. She explained that she was grateful for the way the program “broke down the process and made [her] set goals,” such as setting a date for opening—which prompted her to start looking for a space for her business.
In October 2019, she found the space she was looking for, a former chiropractic office. Renovation of the space began in November 2019 and Liberty Beauty’s opening was in May 2020.
Reflecting on how much she learned from her mother, Smith said, “My mom never groomed me to do hair. She just let me learn on my own.” Now that she’s able to put all that knowledge, plus her business education, to work each day, how does she feel about it? As you might guess, Smith is all smiles.
Visit Liberty Beauty at LibertyBeauty.com or 4705 Illinois Road.