Female Disruptors: Angela Goff of Copper and June Parlour On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
“Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually, you find a hairstylist that understands you.” Likewise, many extension guests not only look for a stylist who produces great work, but one they can also connect with on a personal level. My guests entrust me with their hair and their life problems and aspirations alike. Many of them feel like family to me. The hair extension industry is a service-based one by nature, so the relationship cultivated between guest and artist is a key aspect of what keeps guests coming back.
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Angela Goff.
Angela Goff is the co-owner of Copper and June Parlour in Nashville, Tennessee. She has been installing extensions and giving her salon guests the hair of their dreams for over 20 years. Angela is also a fierce advocate of stylist education and launched the Angela Goff Collective, a mentoring program for new stylists looking to elevate their craft.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
I truly love the beauty industry, dark sides, sharp edges, and all. Unfortunately, there are many people who look down on those of us who work in this industry. They don’t believe we will amount to much or that we’re worthy of being paid well. When I told my father I wanted to go to hair school, he said, “Oh, you will never make any money.”
But there’s a shift on the horizon. Many of us are demanding respect. We are learning to run our salons like “real businesses,” hiring accountants, creating amazing websites, and seeking the highest levels of quality education. We are paying our salon assistants and staff well and investing in social media marketing. Hair salons have some of the best social media of any industry, and that’s not an easy thing to accomplish. We are not only stepping up how we work behind the chair, but how we work in front of it too. There’s a change coming, and it’s been needed for a while now.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
While most hair stylists master the art of the color and the cut first, I specialized in hair extensions at the very start of my career. I’ve learned every method of installing extensions — and there are quite a few — so that I can be armed with the best, most up-to-date knowledge to educate my clients and my salon staff with. I choose to level up my career every day and to challenge every business strategy I have.
I have been a huge advocate of higher education since the beginning. I’ve spent countless hours and many, many years becoming the best in my niche and creating the most luxury experience for my guests. I want them to feel as though they are the only thing that matters to me while they’re in my chair. I also want them to know exactly how to care of their new hair when they go home. That’s the most important thing: that my guests can maintain their look on their own day-to-day. After 25 years of delivering an amazing experience and the highest quality work, I know I am like no other in this industry. And I’ve worked extremely hard to get here.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I will never forget the day that I had a new guest walk through my door and her hair looked nothing like the photo she put on her intake form. She had mid-length hair that was straight and blonde in the picture she sent. When she showed up, her hair was short and curly. I about fell on the floor.
It was in that moment I learned to be very intentional with my initial consultations and collect every bit of information from the guest before they arrive for their appointment. I’ve actually had guests submit pictures of their hair from five years ago or longer in their intake forms. You can say it’s been a learning process from day one.
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
Britt Seva has made a huge impact on my business strategy. She is a very smart marketing strategist for stylists and salons. I have learned so much from her — I listen to her podcast every day and have taken several of her classes to advance my business.
But some of my biggest mentors are simply hard-working moms and dads who strive to be better every day. I love seeing my colleagues work extremely hard to become better versions of themselves.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
Being disruptive can be an amazing thing, especially in this industry. In business, most people stick to the status quo. But making waves and bringing a new perspective to things is how we become better at business. It’s okay to to take your own approach. A saying I think speaks well to this question is: “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” Even though the destination might be the same, the path you take to get there doesn’t have to be identical to that of everyone else.
I like to switch things up so my guest can have a different, unique experience in my chair. After all, that’s what life is all about: new experiences. It’s a great thing when a system has withstood the test of time, but shaking things up peaks interest. It gets people’s eyes on you and what you are doing.
The hair and extensions industry is long overdue for a disruption. Forward-thinking stylists and extension artists are educating themselves on better business, elevating their crafts, and asking for the pay that they deserve. This is a change I am really excited about — styling hair is an art. It’s a transformative experience for the guest. And it’s time for everyone to recognize that, not for them to look down on the career.
While disrupting an industry is positive most of the time, disruption can have a dark side if it’s not executed in the right way. Trying to be different just for the sake of being different isn’t the answer. You have to be passionate and intentional about what you’re doing. That’s when people really love you for who you are.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
- My mother always told me: “To whom much is given, much is required.” That rings so true for me today. When people give a lot to you, whether it be their money or time, they expect a lot in return. I always remind stylists in my education and shadowing programs that extension guests pay quite a bit for their appointments, so they expect the highest level of service in return.
- “Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.” This is a lesson I’ve learned over and over again in the salon: it’s not always about the actual hair that my guests walk away with. It’s about the confidence they gain from finally having their dream look and the renewed energy they can attack life with.
- “Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually, you find a hairstylist that understands you.” Likewise, many extension guests not only look for a stylist who produces great work, but one they can also connect with on a personal level. My guests entrust me with their hair and their life problems and aspirations alike. Many of them feel like family to me. The hair extension industry is a service-based one by nature, so the relationship cultivated between guest and artist is a key aspect of what keeps guests coming back.
And one more:
“The best advice I can give to young stylists is to marry bald, so you have one less free haircut to do on your day off.”
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
I just started a membership-based collective of stylists who want to refine and master their craft and level up in their business. The Angela Goff Collective is a tight-knit group of stylists who get to learn all of the top tips, tricks, and best-kept secrets I’ve gained throughout my 20+ years as an extension artist. I’ve been all about education right from the start of my career and I want to serve as the judgement-free source of mentorship and knowledge I wish I had when I was fresh on the scene.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?
I have always heard that women have a hard time working their way to the top in the workforce. But I feel differently. I have always felt empowered as a woman. As if I can do anything that I set my mind to if I work hard enough. I never felt that I won’t make as much money or be as successful because I am a woman. Instead, I know I can do much better than most men. Even though they can be physically stronger at times, women have the ability to be incredibly powerful business leaders.
Don’t ever think for one second that you, as a woman, can’t achieve something. You are powerful and strong. But if you don’t believe that, no one else will. Keep your chin up and keep pushing forward. You will do great things.
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
The book Profit First taught me so many lessons about being a great entrepreneur.
I also love the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It changed my entire mindset on money and saving for the future. We are taught to work hard and save from a young age. But that’s not always the way to get what you want. Sometimes, it’s worth taking a risk and investing money that you worked hard for. It’s scary, but once you accept that sometimes you have to go into things with fear, it changes you. Not every single thing you do will be a success. But if you have one success out of 10 tries, you have done great.
I am also constantly listening to uplifting podcasts, especially by other mentors in my field.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Leading by example is one of the most powerful things you can do.
And I think kindness goes a long way. We are so busy in our daily lives that sometimes, we forget to be kind. Loving people right where they are in life is so important.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
To love is a choice.
I learned that as a child, again during my teen years, and yet again throughout my adult life. Now I’m learning this in my salon every day: to love people where they are and not pass judgment.
This industry taught me that women want to be valued and appreciated more than anything else. A lot of the salon experience isn’t about the actual cut or color. Women want to feel loved and appreciated, and sometimes the salon chair is the place they go to feel those things.
How can our readers follow you online?
Follow me at @angelagoffstyling on social media!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Female Disruptors: Angela Goff of Copper and June Parlour On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.