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Solo Artist Sabrina Davis - Queen of Roots

Lauren Salapatek | April 15, 2016 | 12:03 AM
Sabrina Davis (center) with two of her models. She’ll be going on a teaching tour soon.
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Sabrina Davis changes her own style often and loves the color purple as her signature shade.
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A trendy natural cut from Sabrina Davis.
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Day two of a Sisterlocks installation. Almost done!
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Sabrina Davis loves her Queen of Roots iStudio Salons suite for its cleanliness, 24/7 accessibility and superb location. She gets extra notice with her ad on the marquee board in the building’s lobby and window decals.
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Imagine specializing in hairstyles that take two days to create. No wonder registered Sisterlocks Consultant Sabrina Davis is Orlando’s Queen of Roots.

Clients fly in from as far as London for appointments with natural hair specialist and Sisterlocks’ only “Double Master Stylist Award Winner" in history, Sabrina Davis. Her 10-second elevator pitch? “I’m here to allow you to have healthy, natural hair.” Then, she goes on to prove it with a masterful knowledge of how to go from point A to point B, while keeping hair soft, healthy, supple and free of dryness. For women who have coily textures that they want to wear natural, that’s all it takes. Davis’s know-how makes her that compelling and convincing.

While she began in 2003 as a natural nail technician and moved onto become a licensed braider, a Sisterlocks Consultant, then a Sisterlocks Certified Training Associate, she also got a cosmetology license in 2009, which allowed her to add incredible color to her braided designs and trendy cuts. How did she end up in a suite? When salon drama got to be too much, she came across iStudio Salons, which had the “vibrant location and upscale feel I knew would attract the type of clients I wanted.”

Anticipating a small drop-off due to a planned price increase, she had three of month’s savings as a safety net, to see if she would be able to make it going solo. She also paid $300 and filed her own paperwork for her salon to become Queen of Roots, LLC: “It’s important to protect yourself by separating your personal property from your business."

She needn’t have worried on either account: super-loyal clients, rare expertise, word-of-mouth, and her social media postings about her natural hair classes, Sisterlocks’ education and awards filled-up her books in no time. “I’m a needle in a haystack,” she says simply. “I am technically detailed, and I take less time to create my looks than competitors.” (Not that there are many around.)

Roots of Success

For those unfamiliar with Sisterlocks, they are tiny, uniform locks created using a trademarked locking technique, a precision parting grid and a special tool that places curly hair into its locking formation. “They are flexible and incredibly versatile, and use no extensions, waxes, gels or creams,” explains Davis. “An initial installation takes about two 9-hour days, then the locks are tightened every 4-5 weeks, which takes 2 to 3½ hours.”

With the natural hair movement is full swing, she also sees about two clients a week who want to transition from relaxed hair to natural curl. The transition is in the mind as well as in the hair, she says, and she explains each step, including options for those who are not ready for “The Big Chop”—cutting it all off. She also explains the process required for the funky colors in demand now, and relies on CHI ammonia-free color, often used off the scalp.

“It took me three months to go purple,” she laughs. “I tell clients all the time that you can’t go red in a day and expect healthy hair. They hate it, but they listen.”

Naturally, her expertise and specialization took years of training and practice. But when it comes to rental success, says Davis, it’s really all in the planning.

“I wrote down and checked off precise goals when I was building business; I knew to the penny what I had to make in a day,” she notes. “When I set prices, I factored in time, product costs and expertise. I gauged other Sisterlocks’ Consultants and knew I could beat their time by 1 to 1½ hours. I want to help women be beautiful, but I let them know it requires maintenance.”

And when women see her award-winning designs and competition work, they flock to her door, locked-in for life.

 

More about Sabrina Davis:

Retail: Paul Mitchell and Design Essentials. I have a 1:3 retail to service ratio.

Rent: $650 a week. One two-day Sisterlocks installation pays for it. Or, three clients a week who get other services, like cuts, color, blow-outs and treatments.

Business Builder: Clients have a 1 in 4 chance to win a prize on their 6th service. They also get $10 off a service for every referral.

Money Saver: As an owner, you can’t be wasteful. I use an accountant who can go over my QuickBooks and advise me. I shop CosmoProf stores for the sales.

Fav Education: Milady online. I watch videos, and buy DVDs and books. I also go to many classes and shows.

Add-on Service: Front hairline color. Just the first inch or so.

Creative Inspiration: I just feel it. I can see a design, and the client lets me do it.

Most Popular Social Media Post: When I share how I travel to teach, it gives clients a good vibe. They like to hear information, like when I taught in Barbados, the minerals in the water affected my product choices.

Fall Trend Prediction: More color. Women will want red-brown and red-violet.

Tagline: If your hair isn’t becoming to you, you should be coming to me.

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