Entries by Maddie

Esthetician Spotlight – Sara O’Neill

Meet Sara O’Neill, an esthetician at our Midtown Crossing location and our new Bridal Concierge! Her passion and drive make her such an incredible part of our team! Continue reading to hear her story. 

How long have you been at Garbo's Salons and what made you want to work here?

I’ve been a full-time esthetician at Garbo’s Midtown Crossing since March of 2019. I was always drawn to the company as I had friends who worked there that loved the environment and culture. I regularly had my hair done at Garbo’s Midtown well before working there, so I already knew that I loved the vibe. I was lucky enough to interview and be hired at Garbo’s before I even finished esthetics school! 

Why did you choose to be an esthetician and why do you love it?

I chose to enter the esthetics field after working several jobs throughout my early 20s and never feeling fulfilled professionally. I had taken off with makeup as a theatre major in college and done freelance makeup work for several years.

I finally decided to take the leap at 27 and go to esthetics school to learn everything I needed to make my passion my career, and it was definitely the right choice!  I pride myself on my ability to build relationships with my clients. I’m genuinely interested in their lives and love to chat and learn about whatever they want to share. Making those connections also helps with building comfort in the treatment room. I have several clients who I have met working at Garbo’s that will be lifelong friends. 

What would you consider to be your specialties when it comes to your job?

All of the services I provide have a special place in my repertoire, but I especially love waxing and makeup. Both have such a noticeable, satisfying result! Makeup in particular can be so rewarding; I love helping someone feel like their absolute best self for important occasions in their life. 

What is the biggest challenge you encounter as an esthetician and how do you overcome it?

The biggest challenge I have found that I face working in this industry is definitely “imposter syndrome”. The looming fear of not being good enough or knowledgeable enough, or deserving of accomplishment is hard to ignore. But remember that I wouldn’t have the support, position, or clientele that I do if I hadn’t worked hard for it always helps remind me of my worth.

In your opinion, what does it take to become a successful esthetician?

In my short time working in the beauty industry as an esthetician, I have found that the easiest way to fuel your own success is to always be open to ask for and accept help.

Remembering that you may not know everything can be hard to admit sometimes. Peers in the salon and industry, in general, have a wealth of information from their own professional experiences, their own trial, and error, and are almost always willing to share!

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?

In addition to providing services in the spa at Midtown Crossing, I have also taken over the newly created position of Bridal Concierge for the entire Garbo’s company!

Our president Darcy saw the potential for providing brides and their parties with a more personalized and attentive experience with booking their weddings and created an entirely new program around that idea. I work with all potential Garbo’s brides to help schedule any and all beauty services they need for their big day, at any of our 5 locations, or on-site. It’s been incredibly rewarding getting work with so many brides, especially since Covid caused so many couples to postpone or cancel their weddings. Since our Bridal Concierge initiative is brand new, it grows and changes every day, and has been nothing but successful thus far!

Sara is so passionate about her work! If you’re interested in booking an appointment with her at our Midtown Crossing location, you can schedule any service by calling  (402)933-9737 or booking online.

How to Make Your Skin Glow This Summer

It’s finally summer! We all know that keeping our skin feeling light and fresh can be quite a challenge during the summer season. From the intense heat to excessive humidity, our skin can have a hard time keeping its natural oils and moisture that give off that dewy look. 

The heat also enlarges our pores which leads to a higher chance of dirt and bacteria getting trapped in our skin. The constant change between humid and dry weather increases the chance of blemishes and dullness, which can leave you feeling less confident. We are experts at helping our clients find the perfect products for their skincare needs. Now, let’s dive into a list of tips and products to help you achieve the summer skin you’ve always wanted!

1. Exfoliation is Key!

Our bodies continuously shed dead skin cells so it’s important that we exfoliate these skin cells or our pores will become clogged, giving off a dullness that we want to avoid! Exfoliating your skin 2-3x a week can help ensure that you are removing unwanted dead skin which will help you achieve brighter and smoother skin! We recommend our Image Skincare Body Spa Exfoliating Body Scrub. This scrub is a dual-action body polish that delivers high-performance exfoliation to revive dull, dry and flaky skin.

2. Save Your Skin!

The most important step in your summer routine should be wearing sunscreen. Incorporating sunscreen into your routine is an absolute must. Applying sunscreen to your entire body and adding it into your makeup routine can help fight against premature age lines and wrinkles. It can also help protect you from developing skin cancer. Even if you have a darker complexion and don’t burn easily, your skin is still prone to damage that can come from the sun. The Image Skincare line has a fabulous tinted moisturizer with SPF and a flawless foundation that has SPF mixed into it as well. This foundation comes in multiple shades.

3. More Water, More Glow!

Hydration is super important in getting a dewy complexion this summer. Health experts recommend drinking half a gallon of water a day. Drinking the proper amount of water can help reduce puffiness, prevent acne, improve skin tone and much more. Grab your Garbo’s water bottle and get to hydrating!  You’ve got this!

4. Wash Your Face

Washing your face with a proper cleanser will ensure that your skin gets the cleansing it needs without stripping your skin of its natural oils which can cause dry and irritated skin. We recommend the Image Skincare Total Facial Cleanser. This cleanser is a three-in-one formula that removes makeup, balances skin’s pH and gently exfoliates surface cells to reveal smooth skin!

5. Treat Yourself to a Face Mask

A good face mask can instantly make your skin appear brighter. Face masks and sheet masks are a great way to make your skin feel more moisturized and hydrated. They can also help improve the appearance of pores which will help your skin give off that glowy look. Image Skincare has both purifying masks and hydrating sheet masks! Choose your pick and let yourself receive a spa-like experience right at home with these products.

Here at Garbo’s we also offer signature facials, microdermabrasion and peels! These spa services can be the perfect way to kick off your summer skincare routine. Schedule an appointment with us by clicking here

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Spotlight Stylist – Malloree Staley

This month, we’re highlighting Malloree Staley! Malloree works at our Oak View Mall location, and is a passionate and dedicated member of our team.  

How long have you been a stylist at Garbo's Salons and what made you want to work here?

I have been with Garbo’s for nearly six years now. I knew the minute I toured Garbo’s that I wanted to make it my hair home. The atmosphere and people I have the pleasure of working with make it the very best. 

Why did you choose to be a stylist and why do you love it?

Becoming a stylist was so much more than just a career choice for me. I wanted to be able to have an opportunity to make a first hand difference in people’s lives. I want every person who sits in my chair to know they are worthy and beautiful. 

What would you consider to be your specialties when it comes to your job?

I would consider hair color and cutting my specialties. I find it very gratifying to know that we got your color just right. 

What is your favorite service to provide to your clients?

Haircutting is hands down my favorite service to preform! A good haircut is the foundation of all hair goals and I enjoy the challenge of making every cut perfect. 
 

What is the biggest challenge you encounter as a stylist and how do you overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges I face as a stylist is making sure I can translate the clients desired look into reality. I overcome this obstacle with a thorough consultation and many questions to be sure I can achieve their hair dreams.

In your opinion, what does it take to become a successful stylist?

In my opinion becoming a successful stylist takes determination and a drive to learn and grow everyday. 

I feel truly blessed to be in a career that allows me the opportunity to meet and care for so many amazing people. Stop by anytime for a “hairapy” appointment! 

Malloree is the sweetest! We love having her on our team. If you’re interested in booking an appointment with Malloree at our Oak View Mall location, you can schedule any service by calling 402-333-5600 or booking online.

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Spotlight Stylist -Denise Hilson

This month, we’re highlighting Denise Hilson! Denise has been with us at our Village Pointe location for quite some time now, and brings such a great skillset to the table. She is dedicated, and her love for her job is unmatched! 

How long have you been a stylist at Garbo's Salons and what made you want to work here?

I have been a stylist at Garbo’s for 20 years. I’ve been in the cosmetology field for 37 years. I had heard many great things about Garbo’s throughout the years. I felt I was ready to make that change 20 years ago, and have been very happy with my decision.   

Why did you choose to be a stylist and why do you love it?

As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a stylist. I love the beauty and fashion industry. The endless possibilities of colors and finding the perfect cut for guests. Making changes is always fun, whether it’s with color or a haircut. I love making people feel good about themselves. 

What would you consider to be your specialties when it comes to your job?

My specialty would have to be haircuts and color. I enjoy short, fun cuts and long layered cuts and everything in between!  It’s fun to put a fun color with the cut. 

What is your favorite service to provide to your clients?

My favorite service to provide for my guests is a great cut with a highlight or color to go with it. I do love a challenge! 
 

What is the biggest challenge you encounter as a stylist and how do you overcome it?

My biggest challenge is probably social media. Making guests understand that many photos are photoshopped and it can take more than one visit to achieve the color they are looking for, even though the YouTube video did it in 30 minutes! 

In your opinion, what does it take to become a successful stylist?

To be a successful stylist, you have to be willing to stay at work on those slow days, you never know when you might get that walk-in or call- in that becomes a regular guest.  

Come in early or stay late for a guest. Always keep learning by taking classes or watching co-workers . You can always learn  something new! Keep up with new styles and trends, and look the part! Have fun along the way!

Denise is  wonderful!  We are so grateful for all the hard work she puts in every day. If you’re interested in booking an appointment at the Village Pointe location, you can schedule any service by calling (402) 991-2227 or booking online.

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Spotlight Stylist -Allison Parsons

This month, we’re highlighting an amazing member of our Midtown team, Allison Parsons! 

Allison’s dedication and love for her job stands out to many.  Continue reading to get to know more about Allison and her personal journey as a stylist! 

How long have you been a stylist at Garbo's Salons and what made you want to work here?

I’ve been a stylist with Garbo’s for a little over 4 years now. I started out of school at an all Aveda salon and fell in love with the brand, but I felt like I was doing a disservice to myself by limiting my knowledge of this industry to only one product and color line. I grew up getting my hair done at Garbo’s, and when I found out that Aveda was one of the brands offered, it seemed like the clear choice. 

Why did you choose to be a stylist and why do you love it?

I went to UNO for about 3 years as a theater and broadcasting major. After constantly coloring my roommates hair in our dorm, and styling wigs for the theater performances, I realized I should probably just take the hint and go to cosmetology school. It was absolutely the best decision I could have made!

I love the versatility of the job and the fact that I get to do something different every single day. I also love the flexibility my day to day has. I have a 1 year old son, so any extra chance I can have to be with him I jump at, and Garbo’s has really given me that opportunity!

What would you consider to be your specialties when it comes to your job?

I specialize in fashion colors and unnatural colors. It’s a service that allows me to step completely out of the box and truly be artistic. I’ve done just about every color in the rainbow (and even a couple rainbows) on my guests!

What is your favorite service to provide to your clients?

This is going to sound weird, and I’m sure it’s going to make a lot of my coworkers cringe, but I actually love doing corrective color. When I see a note on my books that someone is coming in with box black on their hair and wants to be blonde, I simultaneously have a panic attack and do a happy dance. It’s such a difficult, but rewarding process and you really have to use all of your color knowledge to make it work. 

What is the biggest challenge you encounter as a stylist and how do you overcome it?

My biggest challenge as a stylist is not taking my work home with me. If you’ve ever sat in my chair, I can almost guarantee I’ve sat at home later that day and thought about what I could have done differently to make that cut or color better. I’m constantly continuing my education and practicing my craft so that the next time I won’t find something to nitpick about my work in hopes of overcoming this challenge, but so far I’m not there yet! 

In your opinion, what does it take to become a successful stylist?

The best part about both this industry, and working for Garbo’s is that success is really whatever you want it to be. If you want to be a six figure, working 60 hours a week stylist, there is a path for you. If you want to go into education, there is a path for you.

For me, success is moving into a leadership position and being able to focus on my team reaching their goals. I’ve spent the last couple of years working up from the business coach to manager at the Midtown location, and when I see someone in my salon rocking out something I know they’re nervous about, or hitting number goals they’ve set, that’s when I really feel successful. 

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you or your work?

My team refers to me as a kindergarten teacher because I love to plan silly games and events for us at the salon. At least once a month they’ll find me at the back table making something ridiculous out of construction paper or planning a team building activity. I think the best one we’ve done was our murder mystery party a couple years ago. Another stylist and I set up clues around the whole salon and had the team try to solve it. We like to do silly things all the time at Midtown and laugh a lot. It’s such a fun environment and especially after how tough the last year was for our industry, I couldn’t be more proud of the people I work with! 

Allison is just simply the best!  We are so grateful for the heart and soul she puts into her job every day. If you’re interested in booking an appointment at the Midtown location, you can schedule any service by calling 402-933-9737 or booking online.

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Top Performers 2020

No doubt, last year was hard.  But even with that challenge, our stylists and estheticians continued to perform at their highest levels each day. Their dedication, hard work, and excellence shone through every aspect of their work.

Each year we enjoy recognizing and celebrating those who take their commitment to their stylists to the next level.  While we truly value and appreciate everyone who calls Garbo’s home, it is important to honor those who go above and beyond.  While we normally throw a large party and take lots of pictures, this year we had to celebrate differently.

With over 100 service providers working for Garbo’s Salon and Spa, these stylists and estheticians have excelled in their performance. These fantastic men and women worked hard all year – taking great care of each client, and constantly working to improve their skills.  

The Top Performers of 2020 are out and we wanted to take the time to recognize each winner individually below. If you see your stylist/esthetician listed, please tell them congratulations. They have definitely earned it!

Black Diamond/ Diamond Level

Lindsey Balkovec Black Diamond Level

Sherri Mahoney Diamond Level

Amber Meier Diamond Level

Gold Level

Katherine Bower

Thomas Sena - Omaha Hairstylist

Tom Sena

Shannon Carsey

Ken Chapman, Hair Stylist Omaha NE

Ken Chapman

Silver Level

Denise Hilson - Stylist

Denise Hilson

Clair Wight

Eileen Staley - Stylist

Eileen Staley

Rachel Miller

Denise Pittman - Stylist

Denise Pittman

Mikaela Bana

Marcia Harper - Omaha Hairstylist at Garbo's Midtown Crossing

Marcia Harper

Dinet Peña

Emily Reinhardt

Bronze Level

Kara Kowalski - Omaha Hairstylist at Garbo's Midtown Crossing

Kara Kowalski

Erin Lewandowski - Stylist

Erin Lewandowski

Kathleen Traxinger - Stylist/Men's Cutting Specialist

Kathleen Traxinger

Ashley Renee Kotil

Sheryl Balfour

Emily Hilker

Hayli Winans- Stylist

Hayli Winans

Audrey Reinhardt - Omaha Hairstylist at Garbo's Midtown Crossing

Audrey Reinhardt

Torrie Vaught

Marie Mertz

Courtney Shipp - Stylist

Courtney Luetkenhaus

John Bernal

We are so proud of all these amazing individuals who went above and beyond this past year!  While we try to show our appreciation through the Top Performers event, words and actions can’t express how thankful we are to have such an amazing group of people who call Garbo’s home.

Remember, if you see your service provider listed make sure to tell them congratulations!  With over 100 stylists throughout of five locations, earning the award of Top Performer is not easy and they deserve to be recognized for their amazing accomplishment!

 Again, congratulations one more time to all our 2020 Top Performers! 

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Stylist Spotlight – Regency Hairstylist and Manager, Thomas Sena

This month, we’re highlighting not only our stylist but our amazing manager, Thomas Sena! From our Regency location, Thomas has made an invaluable contribution and his dedication and passion never go unnoticed.

We can go on and on about how great Tom is but you truly have to meet him to understand!  Continue reading to get to know this month’s stylist spotlight all the reasons we appreciate him so much.

How long have you been a stylist at Garbo's Salons and what made you want to work here?

 I have a long history with Garbo’s. I worked for Garbo’s in its original location in One Pacific Place almost 30 years ago. From there, I went out and did my own thing for many years and then came back to Garbo’s under the current owner, Darcy Michalek, in 2014.

Why did you choose to be a stylist and why do you love it?

I don’t even know if I could say that I chose to be a hairstylist. I grew up in the business. My dad was a stylist and owns salons as well as my aunt and then my older sister. I always say my first job was emptying ashtrays in my dad‘s salon when I was about 4 years old. So eventually I just kind of stepped into the role.

What would you consider to be your specialties when it comes to your job?

As far as a specialty, I can just tell you a couple of services that I do that are still somewhat unique. I’ve done extensions since way before they became trendy. OK, I should probably stop answering every question making me sound like I’m 100 years old.

I also do the Japanese Thermal Straightening. This is the original system (oh man here we go again) that’s tried and true. The products are actually in Japanese. No, I did not learn how to read Japanese but I did learn how to use the products a long time ago from a stylist in LA. It’s the best chemical straightening method, period. 

What is your favorite service to provide to your clients?

It’s hard to nail down a favorite single service or aspect that is my favorite because what I love so much about this business is that it’s allowed me to do so many different things and utilize my talents (if any) in so many areas. Cutting, coloring, styling, extension, photoshoots, art direction, marketing, management, mentoring, product development, and fashion, to name a few. Love it all. 

In your opinion, what does it take to become a successful stylist?

I’ve had the honor of managing, hiring, training, and mentoring Stylist for a long time. Unfortunately, I’ve also had to let some go. I’ve seen stylists succeed for a number of different reasons. Some take longer than others. I can tell you it’s been very rare that I’ve ever let anyone go because I didn’t think they had the capacity to learn how to do the work. Some take to it like fish to water and others develop their craft over a long period of training. But the story I try to tell all of my stylists is that when I got started I thought the craft was everything. I did not pay attention to customer service because I felt if I could just do the work better than most people that I would be busy. I then watched a lot of stylists pass me on the way up, I finally figured out the importance of human connection. Looking good should always go hand-in-hand with feeling good. The fastest building stylists are the ones that are competent at their craft but also provide a fun, safe, and genuine customer experience as well. That is our ultimate goal.

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you or your work?

I love to have a good time. I love a loose and fun atmosphere in the salon and with my crew. If it’s not fun it’s not worth it. When I see my staff really enjoying what they’re doing and having fun with each other there’s just nothing better.

Lastly, I’ll do a little plug for my newest venture. Darcy and I have started a new company called, Baby Dog Mama and we could not be more excited. It’s a specialty hair product company with three core products, to begin with. A baby shampoo, a dog shampoo, and a shampoo for mama. The dog shampoo is already available at Garbo’s salons and online at garbossalons.com. Look for the other two shampoos to come online later this year. We are doing a lot of very special things with this company and these products but the one thing I’ll mention is that for every product you buy we will give away a shampoo to a pet, family or women’s shelter. That’s really at the heart of our mission and we hope we can highlight some of the great work being done at shelters.  

How amazing is Thomas! We cannot thank him enough for all that he does and it is truly talent like Thomas that makes Garbo’s the salon that it is! If you’re interested in booking an appointment with Thomas, you can schedule any service by calling our Regency location at (402) 391-2333 or by booking with him online Finally, make sure you’re following Thomas Sena on Instagram @thomassena to see more of his work! 

Stylist Spotlight – Midtown Crossing Hairstylist, Shalma Ibarra

This month, we are shining the spotlight on one of our amazing stylists, Shalma Ibarra! Shalma currently works for Garbo’s at our Midtown Crossing location and has been with us for over three years.

Shalma is originally from a small town in Iowa and moved to Omaha to attend cosmetology school six years ago! She comes from a big family, is a dog mama to her Pomeranian, Chanel, and is very passionate about what she does! Continue reading to hear more about her story! 

How long have you been a stylist at Garbo's Salon and what made you want to work here?

I have worked at Garbos for 3 1/2 years now. I always knew I wanted to work for one of the best salons in Omaha, and I am so grateful Darcy gave me the opportunity to do so. I get to work with some pretty amazing and talented stylists. Also, working in a team environment, you learn so much from one another. With Garbo’s continuing education, you’re alway learning new hair trends too which is so helpful.

Why did you choose to be a stylist and why do you love it?

I have always liked to do other people’s hair. Before I even knew I want to be a hairstylist I was already coloring and styling my sister’s hair. My senior year, I did an apprenticeship at a salon. The owner showed me all about what working there was like. After that, I knew I was going to cosmetology school!

What would you consider to be your specialties when it comes to your job?

My specialty services are hair color, hand-tied extensions, and airbrush makeup. 

What is your favorite service to provide to your clients?

I recently got certified in hand-tied extensions and I am loving making my clients hair dreams come true! Extensions give you a newfound confidence to be the best version of yourself. 

Due to COVID-19, Garbo's had to close its doors for a while - how did that impact you and what was it like coming back?

The salon was closed for a month and a half, and it was hard going from seeing six clients a day to zero. Coming back to work, I was super happy to be able to do what I love and get back behind the chair. 

With all the new safety measures in place, has it been more difficult to do your job?

I 100% agree with all the new safety measures. Everyone should wear a mask and sanitation is key with keeping everyone safe and healthy. I want all my clients to feel comfortable coming back into my chair.

Aside from those new safety measures, what is the biggest challenge you encounter as a stylist and how do you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was moving out of state and starting my hair career not knowing a lot of people. However, through my social media { @shalmaibarra } and Garbo’s salon, clients started coming to me. I always promoted myself in the best way possible. With hard work and dedication you can overcome anything! 

In your opinion, what does it take to become a successful stylist?

To be a successful stylist, you need to be all in!  The salon is a big part of your life and so are your clients. You always want to give 110% when doing any service!

We are so happy to spotlight another one of our wonderful stylists this month! Stylists like Shalma are what make Garbo’s the salon that it is! If you’re interested in booking an appointment with her, you can schedule any service by calling (402) 933-9737 or by booking with her online Finally, make sure you’re following Shalma Ibarra on Instagram @shalmaibarra to see more of her work! 

Stylist Spotlight – Village Pointe Hairstylist, Kelsee Graham

This month, we are highlighting one of our amazing stylists, Kelsee Graham, at Garbo’s Village Pointe! She has a strong passion for what she does and we are so lucky to have her on our team. Continue reading to learn more about Kelsee!  

How long have you been a stylist at Garbo's Salon and what made you want to work here?

I have been at Garbo’s Village Pointe for almost 5 years! I had a classmate from hair school that was already working here and loved it. I am not from Omaha so I had no idea what salons to start applying to, so I toured Garbo’s and knew right away it would be a perfect fit. 

Why did you choose to be a stylist and why do you love it?

As long as I can remember I knew I wanted to be a hairstylist. I love the fast pace environment and the personal connections I make on a daily basis.

There is no better feeling than helping men, women, and children feel confident and beautiful, inside and out. Another thing I have come to love is the limitless opportunities and flexibility I get to have.

What would you consider to be your specialties when it comes to your job?

My speciality would have to be color. It allows me to be so creative whether it be with placement, lightener, toners, or even all over colors. I have taken numerous amounts of color courses thanks to all of the education Garbo’s offers! 

What is your favorite service to provide to your clients?

My favorite service would have to be highlights! Give me all the foils! I love the repetition of placing the foils and dramatic changes that can be done even with just a few foils or gloss over pre-lightened hair. 

Due to COVID-19, Garbo's had to close its doors for a while - how did that impact you and what was it like coming back?

It was definitely scary not knowing what was going to happen next. I think in any situation the “unknown” is going to be very nerve wracking, let alone in the middle of a pandemic. Coming back I was still a little nervous but so excited to see my clients and coworkers! 

With all the new safety measures in place, has it been more difficult to do your job?

I wouldn’t say it’s made it more difficult but I have definitely had to adjust my whole routine! Sometimes you run a few minutes late with all the extra cleaning and sanitizing but your clients understand and actually appreciate it! 

Aside from those new safety measures, what is the biggest challenge you encounter as a stylist and how do you overcome it?

In this new world of social media and photo editing some clients don’t understand that the picture they show me for an inspiration picture is either not realistic for their hair type or completely photoshopped. I have learned to have a ton of patience and try to find a picture that is more fitting for their lifestyle/hair type.  

In your opinion, what does it take to become a successful stylist?

The hair industry is ALWAYS evolving. Education and staying up to date with the latest trends are so important! I love watching my favorite celebrity hairstylists on Instagram or Youtube to see what is popular in the current season.

Another thing to always remember is you attract what you project!  I always have a positive attitude once I step onto the salon floor. Being flexible is what a lot of my clients love! Staying late, coming in early, working weekends and nights is what will make you stand out from the rest! 

We are so happy to spotlight another one of our wonderful stylists this month! We are so appreciative of Kelsee and her passion. If you’re interested in booking an appointment with her, you can schedule any service by calling (402) 991-2227 or by booking with her online.  Finally, make sure you’re following Kelsee Graham on Instagram @kelsee.at.garbosvp to see more of her work! 

Stylist Spotlight – Village Pointe Hair Stylist, Sam Dolan

This month, we’re shining the spotlight on Sam Dolan, one of our amazing stylists at Garbo’s Village Pointe! She’s an Omaha native, dog momma of four, and loves her job. Sam has been in the beauty industry for over a decade and has a lot to share…continue reading to hear her story! 

How long have you been a stylist at Garbo's Salon and what made you want to work here?

This is my fifth year working for Garbos, and I have been in the beauty industry for 12 years! I wanted to work for Garbo’s because I knew I needed a supportive work family, and education, which is by far the best I have ever had. Before joining Garbo’s, I worked for a salon that didn’t do color and I knew that it wasn’t my forever home! 

Why did you choose to be a stylist and why do you love it?

I knew I was meant to do hair. I will say, I cut a lot of my doll’s hair and the famous “My Little Ponies”. I went to UNO for Biology and I knew it wasn’t for me!

What would you consider to be your specialties when it comes to your job?

I am certified in Habit hand-tied extensions based out of Gilbert, Arizona as of March 2019. I am currently working on my Aqua hand-tied extension certification as well.  My other specialties include balayage, highlights, color, on-site wedding hair, and special occasion hair

What is your favorite service to provide to your clients?

My all time favorite service would be extensions! I also really like coloring services, even if it’s just a gloss or toner!

Due to COVID-19, Garbo's had to close its doors for a while - how did that impact you and what was it like coming back?

I hate to say it, and jokingly, I was waiting for an adult summer break all my life! I enjoyed my time at home to recalibrate and came back recharged. I spent most of my time educating myself, thinking of DIY projects that I never started or finished before. Coming back, I was so nervous, it was like my first day at Garbo’s all over again. I don’t know why…. it was a complete reboot, almost like meeting my coworkers again for the first time. It took me about 20 min of every day to get used to the mask, but now I drive all the way home with it on as if it’s a part of me. Won’t it be weird the first day we don’t have to wear masks anymore?!

With all the new safety measures in place, has it been more difficult to do your job?

I don’t think my job has been more difficult, I just have a couple more steps to do now! There’s definitely more cleaning and the physical aspect of working with a mask but I think the most difficult thing is the emotions that come with dealing with COVID.  A lot more people are stressed, anxious, and scared so it can be difficult working with all these new emotions.  Therefore, I try to give myself more time for self-care so I can be recharged for my clients! 

Aside from those new safety measures, what is the biggest challenge you encounter as a stylist and how do you overcome it?

Saying no! As a stylist, I want to give my clients exactly what they want, when they want it. It’s hard to tell and explain why the final look can’t happen all in one day.  Such as going from black box color to platinum, in 3 hours.

I have to remind myself that I am the professional with years of experience and need to have confidence to tell a client what we can do today and what we can’t.  Under promise, over deliver. 

In your opinion, what does it take to become a successful stylist?

I’ll say this first, my instructors told me about the 80/20 rule. 80% of our class won’t be doing hair in 5 years and 20% will.  I’d have to say that within my cosmetology class of 26 maybe 3 girls are still in the industry.  It takes being in love with the industry and treating every client as if they were on vacation at the spa.  You have to make a memorable experience for them, go above and beyond. I washed a young girl’s hair for her first time and she never forgot it – she’s become a lifetime client just from that experience!

It’s about being a business person, tracking your service and retail numbers. I can look back at last year’s numbers and compare this year’s. I set goals for each day, week, month, and year. It’s about advertising and promoting your work!  Becoming successful means failing, and I’ve failed a lot, but it’s about turning the failures into learning experiences. Education has a huge impact on your success. This industry is ever-changing and to keep up with new trends you need to immerse yourself in education – wherever you can find it.  I learn a lot on Instagram and social media which is crazy!  Also, it’s always important to ask for help, it doesn’t matter how long you have been doing hair, someone else will have a fresh idea or perspective on how to solve the equation, whether it be a color formula or color correction.

We are so happy to showcase another one of our awesome stylists this month! We love Sam and her love for doing hair. If you’re interested in booking an appointment with Sam, you can schedule an appointment by calling 402-991-2227 or by booking with her online Finally, make sure you’re following her on Instagram @sam.dolan.at.garbos.