Karma Blog

Meet Danielle Keasling, Owner of Salon Karma Featured on Oribe.com

Salon Karma Admin - Thursday, December 26, 2013







Featured on Oribe.pro 

PRO EXCLUSIVE Conversations | FRI, DEC 20 2013

Meet
Danielle Keasling

Danielle Keasling, stylist and owner of Salon Karma in Bluffton, South Carolina, is always on the move. When she’s not behind the chair or managing her salon team, Danielle is doing editorial and session work, teaching workshops, entering styling competitions, organizing charity events or staying busy with one of her many passions. Danielle and her talented team at Salon Karma were the recent winners of Oribe’s Backstage Inspiration Challenge. Below, Danielle talks to us about their winning submission, how she got into the industry and how she spends her time out of the salon.

How did you get into the profession? When did you discover you wanted to be a stylist?
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a hairstylist. I grew up going to get my hair done by my parents' hairstylist. I was fortunate my mom let me basically do what I wanted to my hair. I started coloring my high school friends’ hair, and then began giving “trims.” Before long, I was cutting their hair and changing their styles. I had parents calling my house wanting me to cut their hair! I was still in high school with no formal training. I figured I was destined to be a hairstylist. 

When did you start your salon? What was your motivation to become a salon owner?
My husband and I opened Salon Karma on January 1, 2012. We live in an affluent area, and there was a need for a high-class, upscale salon. I was no longer growing as a stylist where I was currently working, and my husband saw my frustration. We pride ourselves on bringing the city vibe to the area in which we live. Being an owner has its perks, but every owner knows the amount of work involved. I go nowhere without my laptop anymore. As I am writing this, I'm sitting in a cigar bar watching NFL football with my husband!

What is the concept behind Salon Karma?
Our mission statement at Salon Karma is "a passionate and innovative team inspired by fashion to provide consistent premium service through superior education." We set the standard and are an industry leader for salons in our area. We constantly strive for perfection from our team through education, experiences and community relations. We are heavy into charities and do many events at the salon for organizations such as the Alzheimer's Association, local animal shelters, animal rescue organizations and children's charities.

Do you have a signature style for hair?
I am a hair extension artist, so I'm still into long hair. I love balayage and more rough, organic looks. Bohemian hair is my thing.

What's the craziest thing you've ever done to your own hair?
I wore my hair Gwen Stefani-blonde for a year or so. When I was over it (and when my hair was over it), I volunteered to be a hair model for a class I was taking. Needless to say, I rocked a pixie for the next two years until it grew out.
What is your favorite Oribe product? 
Hands down, without a doubt, Dry Texturizing Spray. My girlfriend from Elysium Salon in Charleston turned me onto it, and that's when I started checking out Oribe. Ironically, a couple months later, I was at the Stylist Choice Awards being honored for my extension work when James Angelo introduced himself to me. When I returned from Chicago, I had a nice little Oribe sample pack sitting at my station thanks to James.

How do you spend your time when you're not in the salon?
I'm huge into traveling. I couldn't live in the small area I live in without a monthly trip somewhere. I do a lot of editorial/session work, so I go to Los Angeles and New York as much as I can fit into my schedule. I also have great relationships with many local publications, so I fill my free time with photo shoots whenever I can. Currently my salon team is working on their salon NAHA submission, as I am my own submission. I don't really know if I ever have any "free" time anymore, but at least I truly love my jobs. I'm also a national color educator for a color company, so when I'm not working behind the chair, managing the salon or doing hair and makeup for a shoot, I'm traveling off to teach my craft. "Sleep when I'm dead" is my own personal motto! Occasionally my husband and I sneak in a scuba diving vacation, or we spend time with our seven rescue animals at home.
Your Oribe.pro profile mentioned you were an avid animal rescuer and scuba diver; please tell us about both.
When I first moved to South Carolina, I was in shock because there are so many strays. I started my own non-for-profit rescue, Animal Tales. I have a huge heart for animals, but when I discovered I wasn't good at letting them go to other homes, I had to give it up. I rescued and kept five dogs and five cats, and I knew I would go broke (or crazy) if I continued. Occasionally we still do rescues, and we actually have been able to do some adoptions through networking at the salon. My whole team is crazy animal lovers, so we raise money for many local charities in our area and have had some adoption days at the salon. In the south there are a lot of pit bulls, and they are so misleading. They make amazing pets, and I would love to educate people about this breed more. We have a service dog at the salon, Harley, who is a pit bull that we rescued from the streets. He doesn't have a mean bone in his little body. He is actually more known in our community than I am! He has regular visitors and people bring him treats and gifts on a daily basis. It cracks me up though when someone asks, "What kind of dog is Harley?" and I hear a client reply, “He’s a boxer mix...he's not a pit bull."

As much as I love the land, I also love the water. My husband and I are certified scuba divers and base our vacations on where we would like to dive next. We have been diving in Los Cabos, Tahiti, Central America and all over the islands of the Caribbean. Our new thing is shark diving. It's such a thrill! I never in a million years thought I would actually enjoy it. We were turned onto this in Bora Bora, and now it's always fun to see where else we can jump in the water with sharks. The next big diving trip I would love to take is Greece or Africa. We want to do the cage diving with the Great Whites in Cape Town by Seal Island. I don't think you could pay me to go free diving with that species. We'll stick to a cage with them! We also love the outdoors and wild animals, so we just went on a kayaking trek with killer whales up in Vancouver, Canada. There we paddled with orca whales, porpoises, humpback whales and northern sea lions. I also camped in a tent for the first time in my life. It was a great experience, but I could have done without the tent.
Who is your hairspiration?
That's a hard one, but I have always loved Jennifer Lopez's mane. She is gorgeous, and her hair is always amazing. 

If a biography were written about your life, what would be the title?
Small but Mighty

Your salon was the winner of the Backstage Inspiration Challenge.
Congratulations! Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration for the shoot?
This is our first year carrying Oribe Hair Care, and it has literally changed our salon. Not only do our clients love it, but it's also changed our culture in the salon. Our stylists actually like to recommend retail for clients to take home now! Oribe has changed the way they think about products. As the salon owner, I attended Backstage Miami and was blown away by the attention to detail and the beautiful show Oribe hosted. The hands-on portion of the weekend was not only a great way to get our hands in Oribe Hair Care, but to meet many other stylists and network. I was really into Oribe's passion for the industry, which was projected throughout all of Backstage Miami. I also really loved to see how Oribe can pull inspiration from almost anything. The fact that he can imagine an editorial or photoshoot that is based on inspiration from a blood-sucking Chupacabra is awesome! For our inspiration challenge, we were inspired by the Chupacabra and spun it into a galactic take on beautiful woman from another world.

What was it like having your salon team collaborate on one shoot?
Amazing! We were new to the Oribe line and, as I said before, it's changed our salon! The entire team was so excited to do a shoot using all Oribe products. We had many meetings to discuss our game plan, and we hired a stylist to do the wardrobe to reflect the sci-fi feel we wanted to portray. The photographer we used is amazing and he was very into the concept. Our entire team bought into the idea and was ready to execute it. Our staff does many shoots locally, and they were eager to enter into the national market with their work. There was so much energy that night in the salon you could just feel it. We were there until 2:00am...

What are your goals or aspirations for styling?
I would like to continue with my session work and expand into consumer magazines like Vogue. I would also love to continue traveling for work and am happy to work for free anywhere for experience. I will never be that stylist that needs to be paid...I just want experiences. I make plenty of money behind the chair. 

Three words to describe yourself:
Non-stop, loyal, practical
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