Sola Salon Studios provides freedom to explore your passions beyond the salon.

Sure, one of a stylist’s favorite spots is in the salon, but plenty beauty pros have interests beyond the chair. Many stylists and hairdressers pursue additional passions that enrich themselves, and their communities.

Modern Salon had the pleasure to sit down with some salon rock stars who also found the freedom to balance their busy books and extracurricular passions at Sola Salon Studios. By owning their own salons, they create their own schedules and boss their own darned selves around.

What do they do, and how’d they get there? Let’s dive in.


Jonathan Van Ness, Stile Studio LA
Keeping Us Laughing

What can you expect from an appointment with Jonathan? A boho-chic meets glam style with a side of storied satire… of the medieval fantasy sort. That’s what.

As an Aveda Institute-trained stylist, Jonathan has spent ten years behind the chair, three of those in his Sola Salon. And four of those as a host and co-creator of Funny or Die’s Gay of Thrones. He even has an Emmy nod.

“Because a lot of salons are so money-driven, a lot of times they want you there a certain amount of time. And, if you don't want to do all that time, people view you as a less passionate hairdresser and that’s not true.”

With Sola, Jonathan pursues both passions. “Sola gives you the opportunity to do whatever you want –– and be just as creative and driven as you want to be.”


Chelsea Litchfield, Abstract Hair Artistry
Educating Fellow Stylists

As a stylist, salon owner and Paul Mitchell Systems Educator – Chelsea shares her knowledge and talents with fellow cosmetologists and clients. But as a stylist in someone else’s salon – she ran into difficulties.

“I needed to place myself in a salon setting where I could control the environment and ensure that Paul Mitchell was the product line that was used and sold, because that is what I would be teaching. That's when I starting thinking about being my own salon owner.”

After realizing her goal of joining the John Paul Mitchell Systems National Educator Program, Chelsea decided to switch to Sola. In her studio, she can choose the product line and facilitate classes. And because of flexibility in scheduling, she can travel and educate in other salons nearly any day of the week.

“When John Paul Mitchel Systems hosted The Gathering 2016, in Las Vegas, I was able to schedule the five days away from the salon. I didn't have to ask for time off or get it approved. I just blocked off the time and went!”


Karlie Johnson, Hair by Karlie Dare
Giving Back in Costa Rica

Karlie brings beauty to those who need it, and not just in the form of haircuts and color – but in the form of training. She co-founded the non-profit Love and Scissors after doing humanitarian work in Costa Rica.

A three-step program, Love and Scissors provides schooling, help in developing a business and continued education to exploited women, men and children. “There was a Lady working in a neighborhood who told me, "If someone would come here and teach these men and women how to cut hair, they wouldn't go into prostitution.”

After training at Rudy and Kelly Academy, Karlie moved to Costa Rica to build relationships for her non-profit. Now, back in Virginia – her Sola salon will provide her the income and flexibility to make frequent trips to Costa Rica.

“To support the nonprofit I need to have capital. I work two days for my nonprofit and the rest of the week I work as a stylist. Sola is my next step not only as a stylist, but so I can better support my nonprofit.”


Polly Sanders-Peterson, Polly and Company
Supporting Women Around the Globe

At 60 years old, Polly started over with some helpful words from her friends. “They told me 'Polly, if you've done it once, you'll do it again.' And I did do it again, and have never felt more accomplished in my life.”

After 40 years in the industry and owning her own salon, Polly switched to Sola. She credits her success to her support system, “I always had wonderful people come out of the woodwork, and the people at Sola were no exception.”

Polly’s salon funds her deepest passion, a nonprofit ministry that gives emotionally wounded women support to build confidence, so they can reach their full potential. She’s the founder of Covenant House of Love.

“When you're emotionally wounded, you're only thinking about trying to survive and stay afloat. I help these women work through their distress so they can reach their full potential.”


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