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July 5, 2017

Faces of Fauquier: Young entrepreneur moves quickly

Photo/Cassandra Brown
Stylist and owner Samantha Brown has four employees at Salon on Main.
I was very content being an employee. When this came along, I just felt pulled to do it. It was God’s calling.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Determination and hard work drive her.

At the age of 26, Samantha Brown already owns a hair salon and has a 10-month-old daughter.

Ms. Brown opened Salon on Main LLC in Remington four months ago.

Another salon, What’s On Top, previously occupied the space at 217 E. Main St.

In February, Ms. Brown found the business for sale on Craigslist while looking for building materials for a house addition.

“It kind of happened on a fluke. It was a pure act of God that I stumbled upon it,” she said. “For days I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Within less than 10 days of inquiring, I owned it.”

A full-time hair stylist and nail technician at Salon Emage in Warrenton at the time, Ms. Brown decided to open her own small business.

“I wasn’t looking to leave. I had a 6-month-old, so I wasn’t in the best position, and it wasn’t the perfect time to do anything,” she said. “I was very content being an employee. When this came along, I just felt pulled to do it. It was God’s calling.”

She invested about $20,000 from family members and her own savings to purchase the business along with new supplies and equipment.

“I inherited everything” from the former salon. “That made the transition easy, because if I had to start from scratch, I wouldn’t have done it,” Ms. Brown said.

Today, she has a total of four employees — two other stylists and two receptionists. Salon on Main offers hair styling, nail, wax and spa services five days a week.

Ms. Brown has worked with hair and makeup from a young age.

“Everyone always said I was really good at it,” she said. “My mom never told us we couldn’t wear makeup, so I remember in the second grade I wore makeup to school.

“I was coloring my mom’s hair at a really young age — less than 10 years old —applying the box color to her hair and pulling her hair through a cap to highlight it,” she added. “I always loved sitting and painting my nails. It always kind of came natural to me. It was one of those gifts.”

She earned her cosmetology license while attending Liberty High School.

“It was supposed to be the way I paid for college — to make really good money while going to school,” she said.

“Never in a million years did I want it to be my full-time, permanent career,” she added. “I was supposed to go to college for architecture. In high school, I had taken all the tech and design courses to go, but I didn’t get into any architecture programs at the universities I applied to.”

Instead, her natural skill for cosmetology landed her a job at Salon Emage.

“I started building a clientele and made really good money compared to friends and people who were in college,” Ms. Brown said. “When I transferred to George Mason University and started learning about corporate America, I learned that world is not for me.”

But, her degree in business marketing helped her open Salon on Main in March.

“It’s a lot of work, which I knew it would be going into it,” she said. “I do enjoy the freedom and the luxury of having your own business. You can make your own schedule, but you’re still limited because you have people to serve. You have people relying on you. It’s your life 24/7.”

• Age

• Home
Near Sumerduck.

• Work
Owner of Salon on Main in Remington since March 2017; Mary Kay cosmetic consultant since 2013 to present; full-time hair stylist and nail technician at Salon Emage, 2009-17.

• Why do you do the job?
I enjoy interacting with people and love doing something that makes them feel better about themselves, boosts their confidence.

• Family
Husband, Mitchell, and 10-month-old daughter, Lila.

• Education
Bachelor’s degree, business marketing, George Mason University, 2013; Northern Virginia Community College, 2009-10; Liberty High School, 2009.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Bealeton Baptist Church member.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
I was born and raised here, so 26 years and counting.

• Why do you live here?
Because my husband wouldn’t live anywhere else. All our family and friends are here. There was really no need to leave. His family business is here, Brown’s Glass Shop in Opal.

• How do you describe this county?
It’s very close-knit. It’s a small pond with a lot of people. People know everybody.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
The growth. Less of it. It’s becoming overly populated. Every time you turn around there’s a new subdivision going in, which means more and more people, which makes more traffic. We’re losing the ‘it’s in the middle of nowhere’ feel. A lot of people that originally lived here, that’s what they like about it. I like the middle of nowhere, personally.

• What do you do for fun?
I don’t really have time for those anymore, but I would say selling Mary Kay cosmetics is my hobby, but it’s a job so it falls into both categories. But, I enjoy it. I like to sew, knit and craft when there’s time.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
I wouldn’t say I have any one favorite place. It’s wherever my friends and family are when I’m with them at any time.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
The population probably will have grown by thousands. It will probably look more like Haymarket and Gainesville that seems to be spilling out this way unfortunately.

• Favorite TV show?
I don’t watch much TV, but I’d say the one series I’ve watched the longest is “Chicago Fire.”

• Favorite Movie?
“Sweet Home Alabama.” It never gets old no matter how many times you watch it.

• Favorite vacation spot?
Myrtle Beach, S.C.

• Favorite food?
Anything that has sugar. I’ll eat anything though. I like cheese and cake. I don’t turn down food.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
Don’t ever take advice from anyone you wouldn’t trade places with. My Mary Kay mentor, Crystal, told me that.

• Who’s your hero and why?
One would be Mary Kay Ash herself, the founder of Mary Kay cosmetics. She was an inspirational person in my life, even though I never met her, because she died in 2001. But, from what I’ve read about her and learned about her, she came from basically nothing and after retirement built this global company and it’s still family-operated. She started the company in 1963, when women didn’t start companies. She made anything and everything seem possible.

On the other hand, someone who I have a relationship with, would have to be my grandparents, Lillian and Emmett Perry. They both have come so far and have taken advantage of life. My grandma came from a poor farming family in North Carolina, and my grandfather came from a family of 13. They’ve been together since they were in high school. He also graduated from George Mason. Every dollar they have and the wealth they’ve built within their marriage is them working as a team. I strive to be like them.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery?
I would definitely build my dream home, a very large home. I would keep working because I enjoy it. I would still do Mary Kay. Probably buy the farm I’ve always dreamed of having. Save the rest for our children’s college funds and retirement.

Suggest a profile candidate
Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
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