Maddie Poteat Headshot

By: Maddie Poteat

Garbo’s “Top Performer” is an award that recognizes those in our company who have dedicated themselves to performing at the highest levels of excellence in our industry.  One night a year we celebrate those who choose to go above and beyond to build their business and hone their craft each and every day.

Earning the title of Top Performer isn’t an easy task.  With over 100 stylists working for Garbo’s Salon and Spa, it takes more than just showing up each day with a smile on your face to win this award.  It can take years for a stylist or esthetician to build their business to the level of “Top Performer”.  

To qualify as a Garbo’s Salon and Spa Top Performer, a stylist or esthetician must hit certain numbers in both services provided and product sales. Those numbers are not easy to hit.  These fantastic men and women work hard all year – taking great care of each new client, recommending only the best products to their clients and constantly working to improve their skills.  If, by the end of the year, their numbers qualify them as a Top Performer they are invited to celebrate with the rest of the members who make up this elite group.

The Top Performer award is the most coveted award that Garbo’s gives. While we truly value and appreciate everyone who calls Garbo’s home, it is important to honor those who go above and beyond. 

The Top Performers event of 2019 was one for the books and we wanted to take the time to recognize each winner individually below.  If you see your stylist listed please tell them congratulations.  They have definitely earned it!

Lindsey Balkovec - Master Stylist/Marketing Dir.

Lindsey Balkovec

Lindsey Balkovec works at our Village Pointe location. In addition to being a master stylist, Lindsey is also a National Aquage Educator. Lindsey is a fierce advocate of Garbo's and is beyond talented. Her work has been featured in national editorials and can be seen on her new Instagram page: @lindsey_balkovec_aquage

Omaha Hairstylist Erica Bang

Erica Hord (Bang)

Erica Hord works at our Village Pointe location. Erica has worked tremendously hard to grow her extension business over the past year. Erica embraces social media to promote her beautiful work (@ebang4 on Instagram). Erica is extremely talented, energetic and an amazing asset to our team!

John Bernal, Omaha Hair Stylist

John Bernal

John Bernal works at our Midtown Crossing location. John is one of our best educators - we refer to him as the cutting specialist! John is extremely detail oriented and his work is meticulous. John is extremely dedicated to his craft and we are lucky to have him on our team!

2019 Garbo's Top Performers

Katherine Bower

Katherine Bower is the lead spa educator and an esthetician at our Village Pointe location. We can always count on Katherine when it comes to the spa side of Garbo's - she makes sure the team has everything they need and is always willing to step in and answer questions / help out when needed. In addition, Katherine is also an extremely talented makeup artist!

Lindsey Carraher

Lindsey Carraher can be found behind the chair at our Village Pointe location in addition to her work behind the camera! Lindsey is also the director of education and shoots all the content you see on our website and social media feeds. Lindsey is beyond creative and can make anything look amazing. Last but not least, she is downright the nicest person you will ever meet!

Shannon Carsey

Shannon Carsey calls our Village Pointe location home. This past year Shannon has dedicated herself to her craft and saw great success! While Shannon excels at all types of haircuts, she is a master at short cuts. This is the first year Shannon has won the Top Performers award and we couldn't be more proud of her!

Ken Chapman, Hair Stylist Omaha NE

Ken Chapman

Ken Chapman works at our Regency location and is a consistent top performer. Ken has won the award year after year and the folks at our Regency location have come to count on him and look up to him as a role model!

Marcia Harper - Omaha Hairstylist at Garbo's Midtown Crossing

Marcia Harper

Marcia can also be found at our Regency location. In addition to her fabulous work behind the chair, Marcia is the head of the Garbo's health and wellness program and works hard to keep our salons fit and healthy. Marcia is a wonderful teammate and is always looking for ways to help her teammates!

Emily Hilker - Stylist

Emily Hilker

Emily Hilker joined the Garbo's family a few years ago and quickly became a top performer. Emily works at the Village Pointe location and specializes in curly hair clients. She is also amazing at men's cuts!

Sherri and Tom at the Top Performers Event
Girls at the Top Performers Event
Denise Hilson - Stylist

Denise Hilson

Denise Hilson works at our Village Pointe location and is the ultimate professional. Denise always brings her "A" game and is extremely talented and super consistent in her work. Denise has been with the Garbo's family for a long time and we love watching her continually grow her business!

Leslie Johnson - Stylist

Leslie Johnson

Leslie Johnson has worked hard this year to build her extension clients. All in all, Leslie is one of the hardest working stylists we have on our team. Her ability to build rapport with her clients is amazing and speaks to her kind personality! Leslie was also highlighted in our Stylist Spotlight blog post not too long ago. You can find Leslie at our Village Pointe location.

Kaitlyn Johnson - Stylist

Kaitlyn Johnson

Kaitlyn Johnson joined Garbo's only a few years ago but was an instant top performer! Kaitlyn is the energizer bunny of the salon - she is such a wonderful teammate and is always helping out around the salon! We couldn't ask for a better person to work with!

Aynsley Kalahar - Hair Stylist and Garbo's Midtown Crossing

Aynsley Kalahar

Aynsley Kalahar can be found behind the chair at our Midtown Crossing location. In addition to being a Top Performer, Aynsley is also one of our coaches. She is always willing to help the team in any way she can. Aynsley specializes in fashion colors and was recently highlighted in last month's Stylist Spotlight blog post!

Kara Kowalski - Omaha Hairstylist at Garbo's Midtown Crossing

Kara Kowalski

Kara Kowalski has only been with Garbo's a few years but was quick to earn the title of Top Performer. Kara also specializes in fashion colors and has excellent hair cutting skills. You can find Kara at our Midtown Crossing Location!

Joilynn Larsen - Stylist

Joilynn Larsen

Joilynn Larsen is both a stylist and esthetician at our Village Pointe location. Joilynn is constantly looking for ways to grow her businesses and expertise. This year she added dermaplaning to her list of services and also specializes in extensions!

2019 Top Performer Celebration
Erin Lewandowski - Stylist

Erin Lewandowski

Erin Lewandowski works at our Regency location and is both a stylist and an educator. She excels at educating her clients on the best way to maintain the styles she's created and that has lead to her becoming a top performer so quickly.!

Sherri Mahoney

Sherri is our manager at the Village Pointe location and is an exemplary leader in every possible way. In addition to her work as a manager, she also maintains a strong book of business. She is an incredible person and boss!

Heather Marchio

Heather Marchio can be found behind the chair at our Midtown Crossing location. In addition, Heather also acts as our Wella color coach. Heather is a fantastic team member and is extremely talented in everything she does. Heather was also highlighted in our Stylist Spotlight a few months back!

Amber Meier - Omaha Nebraska Master Hairstylist

Amber Meier

Amber Meier is the manager at our Oak View Mall location and is a fantastic mentor and leader to her team. This is Amber's first year as a Top Performer! In addition to her duties as manager and stylist, she is also an extension specialist.

Rachel Miller - Stylist/ PK Edu

Rachel Miller

Rachel Miller is a stylist, business coach, and product educator at our Regency location. Rachel is extremely knowledgeable about our industry and stays on top of the latest trends and products. She also runs a great social media account (@rachel_scissor_hands)!

Omaha Hair Stylist Crystal Millerd

Crystal Millerd

Crystal Millerd is the assistant manager at our Village Pointe location and the lead educator there as well. Crystal is Garbo's #1 Top Performer!!! Crystal was highlighted in our Stylist Spotlight a few months back and is one of the sweetest people you will every meet!

Top Performers Event 2019
Erica and Katherine at the Top Performers Event
Molly Ohern - Stylist

Molly Ohern

Molly Ohern works at our Village Pointe location and is known as one of the kindest people you will meet. She is extremely consistent and is always helping out in any way she can - we sometimes even see her behind the front desk when things get busy!

Headshot of Dinet Pena

Dinet Pena

Dinet Pena works at our Oak View Mall location and is both a lash specialist and a stylist. She can make anybody's eyelashes look amazing! Dinet is always looking for ways to grow her business so it is no wonder she is a Top Performer!

Denise Pittman - Stylist

Denise Pittman

Denise Pittman works at our Regency location and is both a Great Lengths extension specialist and an Aveda specialist. Denise is the ultimate professional and is all around incredible at her job!

Julia Elliott - Stylist

Julia Elliott

Julia Elliott can be found behind the chair at our Village Pointe location. This is Julia's first year as a Top Performer! She has worked extremely hard to build her business. She is a long hair specialist and loves giving her clients highlights and balayage.

Audrey Reinhardt - Omaha Hairstylist at Garbo's Midtown Crossing

Audrey Reinhardt

Audrey is our manager at the Midtown Crossing location and is an amazing team leader. She has built a fabulous team at Midtown while maintaining a terrific business behind the chair!

Emily Reinhardt - Stylist

Emily Reinhardt

Emily Reinhardt (not related to Audrey!) works at our Village Pointe location. Emily works very hard and is amazing at mens cutting. In addition, she is always helping out around the salon which is so appreciated!

Antonia Rogers - Stylist at Garbo's Salon and Spa, Village Pointe

Antonia Rogers

Antonia Rogers calls our Village Pointe location home. Antonia is a professional in every regard - she is an excellent educator, meticulous hair cutting specialist and is always consistent and patient with her clients!

Thomas Sena - Omaha Hairstylist

Tom Sena

Tom Sena is our manager at the Regency location and is one of the coolest guys we know. This is Tom's first year as a top performer! Tom is a master stylist and can do just about anything. No challenge is too big for Tom!

Eileen Staley - Stylist

Eileen Staley

Eileen works at our Regency location and is a business coach in addition to her work as a stylist. She is one of the most fun and enthusiastic people we know and is beyond talented! If you have problem hair, you need to see Eileen - she can fix anything!

Gals Enjoying Drinks at the Top Performer Event
Celebrating the Top Performers

Jules Steinwart

Jules Steinwart works at our Village Pointe location and has won the Top Performer award multiple years in a row! Jules is the ultimate professional when it comes to her business and works hard to keep her clients happy!

Kathleen Traxinger - Stylist/Men's Cutting Specialist

Kathleen Traxinger

Kathleen works at our Regency location and is one of our best educators when it comes to sharing her knowledge with her clients and her team members. Kathleen always comes in early and stays late and is the best at helping out around the salon!

Omaha Stylist Clair Wight

Clair Wight

Clair Wight also works at our Regency location and extremely talented. Clair is a wizard at color corrections and one of the kindest and nicest people you will ever meet!

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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.

As we mentioned above, if you see your stylists listed make sure to tell them congratulations the next time you see them.  Earning the award of Top Performer is not easy and they deserve to be recognized for their amazing accomplishment!

🎉 Congratulations one more time to all our 2019 Top Performers! 🎉


Sending Love,


Picture of Darcy Michalek

By: Darcy Michalek

It’s that wonderful time of year again when I love to reflect on the blessings of the year. 

Many times I do my supply deliveries early on Sunday mornings when the salons are closed and the malls are quiet.  I was walking through them this past Sunday and as I looked around I could see the care that had been put into preparing for another busy day.  Stations clean, capes ready, foils torn…  It’s so much fun to stand in that quiet and then envision the energy that will fill these spaces.  Our amazing managers and reception staff are there early making coffee, preparing tickets and warming towels.  Our kind and talented stylists and estheticians show up shortly thereafter ready to create the magic that is transformation and relaxation at Garbo’s. 

My goal for our company is to provide a place of welcome respite from a busy hectic day.  A place where any member of the family feels comfortable and is able to enjoy a little luxury.  If I could share all of the wonderful and kind things our staff has done for each other and for their clients and if I could share with you all of the kind and amazing things our clients have done for our staff, I could write a book.  There are so many good people out there! 

Business is never easy, no matter what industry or profession.  We work to make a living but we also work to make a difference.  Over the past year we were blessed to be able to share our success with those throughout our community.  One of the causes most dear to our hearts is the Boys Town National Hotline.  We believe in what they are doing for the community and love giving back to help them do it.  

Every day we work to make each person we touch feel just a little better.  We try to educate and guide and make life a little easier and more fun.  From the outside it might just look like a salon and spa but what I am most thankful for is what’s on the inside.  Good, kind people taking good care of each other and their clients.  Happy Thanksgiving from my grateful heart to all of you. 

Sending love, 
Darcy Michalek

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Maddie Poteat Headshot

By: Maddie Poteat

Like most of us, Aynsley wasn’t sure what she wanted to be when she grew up…  She had a few things on her mind after high school but being a hairstylist wasn’t one of them.  Thankfully, her own hairstylist pushed her to look into hair school and she fell in love.  During this week of thanksgiving we are thankful that Aynsley found her passion and that she chose to practice that passion at Garbo’s!  

I loved learning more about Aynsley’s path to Garbo’s and how she continues to grow as a hairstylist.  Hopefully you’ll love her story as much as I did!

How long have you been a stylist at Garbo’s Salon and Spa, Midtown and what made you want to work there?

I have been at Garbo’s in Midtown for about 5 years. When I was looking for a new home I wasn’t really sure what I wanted in a salon. I was drawn to the fact that Garbo’s had a team with many different personalities and styles. At the time, I had already experienced life at 2 other salons and couldn’t seem to find where I fit in. As I made Garbo’s my home, I continued to grow and change, as did my team. Last year, I made the decision to venture out and try something new, only to find that I was meant to be back with my team in Midtown. I am home and it feels right.

Aynsley Kalahar, Stylist at Garbo's Salon and Spa, Midtown Crossing

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

When I was in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I knew that I loved art and anything that allowed me to be creative. For a while, I was very interested in sewing my own clothes. I would have had to go out of state to a design school and had no interest in doing so. My hairstylist at the time kept commenting on how interested I was in what she was doing with color. She told me I needed to go check out Capitol School of Hairstyling, and when I did, there was no turning back. I am so glad that I listened to her suggestion because I literally don’t know what else I would do with my life! Being a hairstylist is more than just doing hair. I get to create art and make each guest feel great about themselves!

What is your favorite service to provide to your clients?

Honestly, it’s hard to choose a favorite service because I like to have variety. I would say my top 3 would be: Fashion colors, pixie cuts, & upstyles. Fashion colors provide a very fun experience for me where I get to create something from scratch, much like a painting. They are also a great challenge and I love to accomplish something I am proud of. Pixie cuts are the best kind of haircut because it is very similar to sculpting a work of art that is completely customized to the guest. There are no rules and I love that. When I tell someone I enjoy doing upstyles, it always comes as a surprise. I love doing them because you have to start from the ground up and put each piece of the puzzle together as you go. There’s absolutely no limit to styling hair!
Hair by Aynsley Kalahar
Fashion Colors by Aynsley Kalahar
Hairstyle by Aynsley Kalaha

Your social media feed is filled with bright colors - do you foresee fashion colors becoming more popular or is this just the latest trend?

Fashion colors have always been a thing. As it becomes more acceptable to be who you want to be, I think we’ll see a lot more people taking the plunge. The cool thing about fashion colors is, you can wear it any way you want to! You don’t have to go for an all over color! Maybe a few pops of bright color is more your style.

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

One of my biggest challenges is having to tell a guest that the color/cut they found on Pinterest or Instagram is absolutely unrealistic. I personally have no problem keeping it real and sometimes I have to crush some hair hopes and dreams. The key is being honest and practical. I’m more than happy to find an alternative that will ultimately work better for each individual.
Purple Hair Color by Aynsley Kalahar
Cut by Aynsley Kalahar
Updo by Aynsley Kalahar

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

I think a successful hairstylist comes in many different forms, depending where their passion lies. For me, I enjoy making a connection with my guests. It’s important to me to make each guest feel like they’re listened to and cared for. I will always do my best to educate my guests and take care of their needs to the best of my ability. After doing hair for 9 years, I’m finding that I have a passion for mentoring newer stylists as well. I wished that I had someone to look up to when I started doing hair and I want to be there for my team. Sharing my knowledge ultimately leads other stylists to be successful in their own ways.  

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

I like to have a good time with my guests. There’s nothing wrong with being yourself and I openly accept everyone for who they are! I want everyone who spends time in my chair to feel comfortable and receive the best hairstyle that suits them. Your hair is a piece of art – it’s just up to you to be the canvas!
Color and Style by Aynsley Kalahar

Aynsley’s Instagram feed is so fun to follow – her work is always amazing and she seems to capture the wonderful personality of each of her clients so well!  I highly recommend giving her a follow!  

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Aynsley you can find her at our Midtown Crossing location.  You can book her online or by calling 402.933.9737.

Thanks as always for reading!

Sending love,


Maddie Poteat Headshot

By: Maddie Poteat

It may not officially be winter yet but the freezing weather and the snow have me feeling like we are right in the middle of it.  Thankfully, No-Shave November is here to warm us all up and get us thinking about a few important things!  While I will not be participating in No-Shave November this year ( I love my razor too much), I will definitely be supporting the cause. 

No-Shave November is a movement that encourages men to grow out their hair to help raise awareness for men battling prostate and testicular cancer as well as suicidal thoughts.  

If you thought Garbo’s was a female only salon, think again (and read this post and this post while you’re at it)!  While you guys are busy growing out your facial hair this month don’t be afraid to stop in to your nearest Garbo’s location for some help.  We can assist in styling your new, longer hair in a way that will have you looking and feeling great while being an ambassador for the No-Shave November movement.

More on the No-Shave November Movement

Of course you’ve heard of No-Shave November but maybe you’re not exactly sure what the movement is all about.  Don’t worry.  The movement began as a way to stimulate conversation centered around men’s health and break the stigma of men being uncomfortable talking about personal health issues. Studies show that men are 33% less likely to visit a doctor, leaving them susceptible to late detection and prone to health risks. By growing out facial hair or head hair, we can all be agents to a great cause!

Styling Your Way Through November

Many of the men I know use No-Shave November as an excuse to not worry about their hair for a month… So what if things look a little scraggly?  No!  The stylists here at Garbo’s beg you not to let yourself turn into a caveman… 

If you start waking up with messy hair try forming it after you get out of the shower with little of bit our Lucky Man Creme Clay.  The best part about this is that a little goes a long way, and if you’re on the go, you can always toss it in your bag and have it when you need it.  

Need a few other ideas for how to get the perfect beard while working with what you’ve got?  Check out this style guide below!

No Shave November Styling Guide

Hair loss shouldn’t be something you worry about during a month advocating growth, so if you’re looking to thicken your hair, consider meeting with a professional.  We’ve recently partnered with DGMD Medical to offer new MedSpa services at our Midtown Crossing location.  In addition to injectables and fillers, DGMD focuses on hair restoration in both men and women.  Dr. Gross and his team can help you find the best way to combat your hair loss – whether that is a prescription, PRP Therapy, a hair transplant or one of their other solutions!  In the meantime, you can check out this style guide for a few ideas on how to style the hair you do have!

If this is your first time adventuring with growing out your beard, congratulations to you!  With a wonderful beard comes the need for an even better hairstyle.  Lean on one of our talented stylists when it comes to this as they can point you toward the best hairstyle to match your beard,  

If all that time checking yourself out in the mirror has lead to you noticing a few more gray hairs than you thought you had, just remember our stylists love coloring our male clients’ hair as well.  There is nothing wrong with a little touch up from time to time!

By the time the month is over, the call is yours. Keep your beard and be proud you were an advocate for a great cause, or book an appointment and our stylists can help you get back to looking like yourself at whichever of our four locations suits you best!

Thanks as always for reading!

Sending love,


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Maddie Poteat Headshot

By: Maddie Poteat

We are headed back to our Village Pointe location for this month’s stylist spotlight!  Crystal Millerd has grown up behind the chair at Garbo’s Salon.  Her constant smile and positive energy can be felt the minute you walk in the door.  If you step back and watch her work you’ll see her providing top-notch service to her clients while simultaneously mentoring her teammates and helping them grow.  It is no wonder her books are always full!  

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Crystal this month and am excited to share a little bit more about our assistant manager with you below!

How long have you been a stylist at Garbo’s Salon and Spa, Regency and what made you want to work there?

When I was ready to start looking for full time positions, Garbo’s was my first choice!  I’ve been a stylist at Garbo’s since February of 1998 – almost 22 years!  When I first went to apply I really wanted to work at the Regency location but unfortunately they were full.  So I then went over to the Eagle Run location and interviewed with the manager there, Sherri Mahoney!  I knew as soon as I walked in the door and met with Sherri that’s where I was suppose to start my career! Thankfully at the end of the interview she offered me the job!!! 

My schedule has changed about five times over the past twenty two years – I had different hours each day and enjoyed Fridays and Mondays off.  Now my schedule is a bit more consistent, 9 am to 7pm Monday through Thursday.  I take Fridays off to take care of my niece and nephew, Charlie and Thor!

Omaha Hair Stylist Crystal Millerd

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

I chose to be a hairstylist because hair styling was something I have had a passion for since I was a child.  Growing up, I would give all my Barbies, Cabbage Patch Kids and dolls haircuts and braids!  I love being a hairstylist because I get the chance to make my clients feel good about themselves!  And I get to be artistic – I love art and being creative! 

What is your favorite service to provide to your clients?

My favorite service I love providing to my clients would be…all of them! I really cannot choose!  I do love picking out lipstick shades for my clients though… Having a new lip color with a new haircut or hair color is just fun! 

In addition to a hair stylist, you are also the assistant manager at Village Pointe. What made you want to take on a leadership role at Garbo's and why do you love it?

Well, I’ve always loved helping, coaching, and mentoring my teammates so when I was presented with the opportunity to manage I couldn’t pass up the chance!  Having something new to learn and experience at work is always a goal for me!  I love being an Assistant Manager for my Owner Darcy, Manager Sherri, Asst. Manager Susie and the team at Garbo’s VP!

We understand your sister is also an Assistant Manager! Do you love getting to work with her on a daily basis?

Susie started working with me as part of our cleaning staff at Garbo’s in July of 1998. She was 15 and I was 20 years old!  Working and leading our team with my sister is one of the best opportunities ever!  Susie has always been my rock, both personally and professionally, and my biggest cheerleader (other than my Mom!). She’s smart, strong and focused! We are truly lucky to have her on our team! 
Assistant Manager Crystal Millerd and Assistant Manager Susie Knezovich
Crystal and Susie in 1998

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

My biggest challenge I encounter as a hairstylist would be education. I simply do not take enough classes.  In our industry, education is so important for inspiration!  While Garbo’s provides many continuing education classes, I just need to take the time and sign up for them! 

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

A clean work space, a smile on your face and willingness not to give up! Also, education is a must! 

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

I would like our readers to know that I wouldn’t be who I am today without all the love and support of my Garbo’s teams, Manager Sherri, my friends, fabulous clients and my family! I love you all SO very much!

We all love Crystal so much and we are blessed to have had her with us at Garbo’s for so long!  She inspires all of us to be better people and better stylists and we can’t thank her enough for that!

Interested in booking an appointment with Crystal Millerd?  Click here!

Thanks as always for reading!

Sending love,


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Maddie Poteat Headshot

By: Maddie Poteat

We decided to shake things up this month and do a double feature!  We are shining this month’s stylist spotlight on Adelia Chavez and Torrie Vaught – two talented stylists who work at our Oak View Mall location!  Both Adelia and Torrie love bright and bold fashion colors and enjoy educating their peers on how to achieve and maintain these beautiful colors.  Read more about Adelia and Torrie below!


How long have you been a stylist at Garbo’s Salon and Spa, Regency and what made you want to work there?

I’ve worked at Garbo’s Oakview mall since March of this year. I wanted to work at Garbo’s because it’s a beautiful high end salon and I knew my clients would enjoy coming in.


How long have you been a stylist at Garbo’s Salon and Spa, Regency and what made you want to work there?

It’s been 2 years since I started my career with Garbo’s. I remember coming to Garbo’s when I was younger and always admiring the stylists and their work. It feels like a dream come true working for such a well known salon. I knew this was a place I could express myself and be happy. 

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

I wanted to become a hairstylist because I enjoyed doing my hair and doing others hair when I could. I love being a stylist because i enjoy meeting new people and being able to be creative with hair. Having good hair makes you feel good and I want everyone to feel good about themselves. 

What is your favorite service to provide to your clients?

My favorite service to provide is a bright, bold fashion color followed up by a keratin treatment to seal in the color and to give it more shine.

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

In my younger years I became fascinated with the world of hair and hair color. I experimented on my own hair and started playing with fun colors on extensions and friends. My artistic abilities needed to be shared with others and I wanted people to feel good about themselves. Meeting new people and giving them a new sense of self confidence makes me happy. I come to work and get to really have fun.

What is your favorite service to provide to your clients?

My favorite things to do are fashion colors. Using bright fun colors or pastels and getting to create a new color palette. I lift the hair to be my canvas and the colors are my paint. I also enjoy dramatic color changes!

We hear you are also an educator, what made you want to be an educator and what type of classes do you teach?

I wanted to become an educator because I love sharing my knowledge and love the new things I learn with other people.  Everyone has room to learn and grow. 

I teach fashion color classes because they are just as complex as any other coloring and there’s a lot to learn about doing them.

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

My biggest challenge as a stylist is keeping up with new techniques and trends. There are so many different techniques that are coming out and trending and we all know trends don’t last very long or they are very difficult to do. I often go to classes even if I’ve already been to a similar class because you can still learn something new and a refresher never hurt anyone. 

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

I would love our readers to know that being a hairstylist is a hard job! It’s not just playing with makeup or hair all day. It’s hard on our bodies, we have to know chemistry to work with chemicals all day and how to customize hair colors. It’s a job you take home with you but it’s a very rewarding job as well! 

We hear you are also an educator, what made you want to be an educator and what type of classes do you teach?

Sharing knowledge and personal experiences will help other stylists in the future and new stylists. Helping others learn is rewarding to me because I get to see their clients walk out with something new and fun and talking about the new technique their stylist used. It makes them feel special and unique being able to tailor something to their wants & needs. I enjoy teaching fashion color, blonding, updos and disconnected cuts 

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

Color corrections are always challenging and time consuming, but I take it step by step. Corrections make you use your brain and eventually adds to your experience. When you are a hairdresser you are always learning and that makes it the most fun, it never gets boring. 

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

I will tell you anything and everything you need to know about fashion colors, home maintenance and product usage. If anyone has questions about anything come visit me in the Oak View Mall!  I’m glad I have changed so many lives over my career and want to continue the journey. 

We could look at both these gal’s work all day long!  Their ability to turn normal, everyday hair into a work of art using fashion colors is impressive and inspiring!  Make sure you go follow them on Instagram for more inspiration: @adeliachavez, @torrievhaircraft.

Interested in booking an appointment with either Adelia or Torrie?  Click here!

Thanks as always for reading!

Sending love,


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By: Maddie Poteat

Hair Extensions are SO in.

Longer, fuller, healthier hair is something we are all after.  Hair only grows so fast but when it just isn’t fast enough we turn to extensions.  While you may know a lot about this fad, there is so much more to learn!  As we prepare to launch our very own brand of extensions, we wanted to share 10 things you need to know about them!

1. There are so many different types of hair extensions! Microbead (I-Tip), Tape-In, Fusion (Glue-In), Flat-Tip, Clip-In, Hand Tied, etc.  Each type is different and offers the wearer a different type of extension experience.  We recommend you talk with your stylist to see what kind fits you best!

2. Unlike the synthetic hair of the past, you can treat today’s extensions just like you would your normal hair.  When investing in extensions, you are purchasing real hair.  This means it can be washed, dried, and styled just like your real hair!

Hand Tied Hair Extensions

3. While the term “extensions” refers to extending the length of your hair, extensions can actually be used to add thickness and fullness as well!  If you’re looking for a little bit more volume or to thicken up your ponytail, extensions can help.

4. Unfortunately, not all hair can support extensions.  Before purchasing anything make sure to consult a stylist about what you are aiming to achieve.  He or she will look at and feel your hair to make sure it can support the extensions you want.

Hand Tied Wefts - Hair Extensions

5. Contrary to popular belief, extensions should not damage your natural hair.  If both the quality of the extensions and the skill of the stylist installing them are top notch, your natural hair shouldn’t be affected by the new hair.

6. Some types of hair extensions take longer to install than others.  Hand-tied extensions take about two hours depending on the stylist installing them.  (That time does not include coloring or styling the hair).

7. The products you use have an impact on your extensions.  Just like your normal hair, you’ll want to be sure you’re using the right products on your extensions as well.  Look for products that will help keep the ends from drying out and will keep your color from fading.  We recommend Garbo’s Brilliance Blow Dry Flat Iron Sealer and Garbo’s Elixir 11!  Both products are color-safe and can be used on both your natural hair and your new extensions.

Installing Hand Tied Extensions

8. They will appear natural!  The only person who will know you have extensions in will be you!  A talented stylist will color match your hair properly and install the extensions so they blend perfectly with your natural hair.

9. Extensions can add dimension.  If you’ve always been hesitant about coloring your hair, extensions may be the perfect option.  You can add color dimension to your hair without coloring your natural hair.

10. Extensions come in all sizes and colors.  Don’t worry, most salons can customize your extensions so they match both your current hair color and the length you want.  

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By: Maddie Poteat

August is National Hair Loss Awareness Month, a national holiday dedicated to raising awareness around this emotionally taxing condition affecting both men and women. Though the causes of hair loss differ from person to person, the toll on one’s confidence and self-image is the same.

Fortunately, there are options available to treat your current hair loss condition and prevent further shedding or thinning, while also learning how to shift your outlook from embarrassment to empowerment. If you want to gain a better understanding of hair loss and the kind of support you may need to surpass it, then refer to the following for more information.

How to Cope With Hair Loss

If you are frustrated at the rate in which your hair is falling out, know that you’re not suffering alone. An astonishing 40 percent of women will experience noticeable hair loss by the age of 40, and approximately 40 percent of men will have noticeably thinning hair by the time they reach 50.

Since society tends to consider the balding process more acceptable for men than for women, there is a lingering misconception that men don’t face the same emotional burdens of the condition. In reality, research proves otherwise. Polling has shown that more than half of all people experiencing hair loss would rather have more hair than money and friends and would spend their life savings to regain a full head of hair – men included. When hair loss robs both men and women of their personal expression, self-esteem, and outward confidence, how does one cope?

First, it’s important to not sweep your concerns (and shedding hair) under the rug. If you aren’t at peace with the state of your hair, then it’s crucial to put the time and effort into looking at all of your options. A solution may be as simple as finding the right cut or color that makes your hair appear thicker and fuller.  One of our talented barbers or stylists can be a great resource for arranging a new cut or hairdo. Not to mention they can lead you in the right direction towards hairpieces like wigs or extensions.

How to Treat Hair Loss

How to Treat Hair Loss

If you’re looking to cure your thinning hair as opposed to covering it up, the best place to start is with your primary care doctor who will be able to look at possible causes related to iron deficiency, thyroid issues, lupus, and more. From that point, they will be able to refer you to a specialist who can look further into the patterns of your hair loss and draw conclusions based on your habits, lifestyle, and family history.  DGMD Medical, located right here in Omaha, NE, is a great resource when it comes to hair loss.  Specializing in hair restoration for both men and women, Dr. Gross and his team can help you understand what is going on and how you can fix it.

While you’re waiting for your appointment with a specialist, be proactive and get a head start on your hair loss treatment regimen by educating yourself on the various components of hair loss, along with common hair loss treatments that don’t require an in-office visit. Find common ground with bloggers and influencers online who are open and honest about their hair loss story, and don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with them. Ask questions about which supplements and techniques seemed to work best for them. Some people might swear by supplements like saw palmetto, while others may have found salvation in stress management techniques (like these from BetterHelp) and increased omega3 fatty acids. Take an interest in learning about hair loss now, so when your appointment does come along, you are fully equipped with adequate background information.

This National Hair Loss Awareness Month, dare to be honest with yourself. Is the current state of your hair stealing your confidence and preventing you from being your true, authentic self? Remember that you are not alone! The perfect solution for you is out there – all you have to do is find it!

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By: Maddie Poteat

Clair Wight

This month we decided to pop over to our Regency location to shine the spotlight on Omaha stylist Clair Wight.  Clair has been a member of the Regency team for the past eight years and although working in a salon in Omaha wasn’t always her plan she is extremely happy how it all worked out.  Clair’s love for her clients, he hard work ethic and her positive attitude are just a few reasons she earned the spotlight this month.  For all the other reasons, continue reading below!

How long have you been a stylist at Garbo’s Salon and Spa, Regency and what made you want to work there?

Omaha Stylist Clair Wight

“I have been working at Garbo’s in Regency since the beginning of September in 2011. If I am being completely honest, when I got out of hair school I had dreamed of moving back to Des Moines, but when I went out and started to hand out resumes I always got the response that they were looking for someone with experience and clientele.  This, of course, got me down but I knew there were amazing salons in Omaha so I decided this was my sign that I was supposed to stay here.  I had gotten my hair done with friends for school dances before at Garbo’s and it had always stuck out to me as a salon with a fun atmosphere and great people. That was exactly what I was looking for.”

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

“I may have told my mom when I was in preschool I was going to be a hairstylist…  She even has the book to prove it.

I knew that cosmetology would be fun and would always keep me on the go and learning more. There is always something new to learn and your day is never the same as the day before or the day after. I never feel like I’m stuck going to work, I love what I do so it doesn’t ever seem like work to me.

Making other people feel beautiful and good about themselves is also an amazing feeling. You never know what the person in your chair is going through but when they are in your chair you can make a difference and that day you as a stylist might be exactly what they need.”

What is your favorite service to provide to your clients?

“That is definitely a hard one for me to answer as I love so many.  I would say it would be a toss up between highlights, keratin treatments. and updos.  They are all fun for different reasons. I would say they are definitely the services I  want to see on my books.

Highlights are great to give dimension with subtle or drastic change and they are very customizable. 

The keratin treatments in Nebraska during summer are great to reduce frizz with all the humidity we have.

Updos are fun because of the high school girls coming in for dances or the brides you see on their wedding days.  I know it is such a special day for them and to get to be a part of that, to watch them see the look they have dreamed of for themselves on this day come together, there’s no better feeling.”

Omaha Stylist Clair Wight - Wedding

What is something that sets you apart from the other stylists at Regency?

“That’s a hard question… I have had a lot of my clients for years and even those I haven’t I would consider them like another family to me. I have grown close to a lot of my clients and have been with them through marriages, births of children, graduations, moves and so many other life experiences.

Every year I get invited to high school graduations, sometimes gender reveal parties, and bridal showers. My clients have become a different family to me.  There are some that know if they ever need anything at all, hair related or not, to let me know and I will do the best I can to help them.

I can’t imagine being a hairstylist without the amazing clients that I have coming in to see me and I try my best to make sure my clients know how much I appreciate them and how much they all mean to me.”

Omaha Stylist Clair Wight - Curls
Omaha Stylist Clair Wight - Brunette
Omaha Stylist Clair Wight - Blonde

I'm sure all stylists have crazy stories about their clients or a service you once provided - do you have any you would like to share?

“I’m not sure my clients would appreciate me sharing all their secrets :).  Years ago though I had a client come in and I could tell her hair was different from the last time I had seen her.  The texture, the thickness, there was just so much that seemed to be off.  She, of course, had noticed it too so as we were talking she had asked if I had any idea of what could cause the change.  We went through the list: had she changed product, changed medications, started new medications, had she recently had her thyroid checked, anything along those lines…

Next time I saw her she let me know that she was expecting!  She was about 8-12 weeks along when we were trying to figure out what the change was!”

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

“I would just say that I love being a stylist at Garbo’s. Being a hairstylist is such a rewarding career, but I couldn’t do it without my amazing boss, extremely talented coworkers, or my loyal and caring clients. So I would like to say thank you to all of you.”

Omaha Stylist Clair Wight - Pups
Omaha Stylist Clair Wight - Break Room

Clair is one of the sweetest people you’ll meet and we are very lucky to have her as a part of the Garbo’s family!  If you’re looking for a new stylist in the Omaha area we can’t recommend Clair enough – especially for one of those three services she loves to do! 

If you need a little hair-inspo today please check out (and follow!) Clair’s Instagram feed.   Her wedding styles are amazing!!  If you’re ready to book with Clair now you can use this link.

Thanks as always for reading!

Sending love,


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By: Maddie Poteat

Behind the scenes of owning a salon and spa

I would wager a healthy sum that the majority of you reading this blog post know what it’s like to sit in a salon chair.  However, I predict that the majority of you can only imagine what it’s like to actually own a salon and spa.  With more than 10 years in the business of running salons and spas, Darcy Michalek, the owner of Garbo’s Salon and Spa, lets us have a peek at the ins and outs of salon ownership and management.

Take us back...

More than fifteen years ago Darcy and her family found themselves in Omaha, Nebraska after having recently moved from Longmeadow, Massachusetts.  With an impressive resume filled with C-level leadership roles and a handful of different industries, Darcy found herself contemplating an interesting offer – the opportunity to purchase a salon.  Fast forward a few years, Darcy managed to take the purchase of Garbo’s Salon and Spa at the Oak View Mall and turn it into four successful locations that employ more than 140 talented people.

Now with four salons to her name, Darcy and her team of managers are busy making sure they’re providing best-in-class services to their clients and helping their stylists, makeup artists, nail technicians and estheticians learn and grow all while balancing all the other tasks of running a business.  It is in fact those other tasks that we, as the people in the chair and not behind it, tend to overlook or forget when we think of what it takes to own a salon.

Owning a Salon and Spa - Darcy Michalek

Why did you want to own a salon?

“After having worked for a handful of large companies I started looking for great business opportunities that would allow me to own my own business.  My desire to own my own company and my love for having my hair and nails done made idea of owning a salon and spa very appealing.”

To be clear, you don't do hair?

“Correct!  Most people think it’s strange when I tell them I am not a stylists but I think having the business background that I do benefits me.  To be a business woman first allows me to be more strategic in my day to day.  I can draw upon my past experiences and find new ways to apply what I have learned from them in this market.  However, I can’t stress enough how important it is to me that all of our managers are stylists themselves.  Having that knowledge really helps bridge the gap and pick up where I leave off.”

We can imagine running four salons is a lot of work - what does your day to day look like?

“I can’t say I have a typical day-to-day schedule but I try my best to complete all my administrative tasks and paperwork in the mornings and then schedule my meetings in each of the locations in the afternoons and evenings.  I’m constantly running supplies to each of the locations as well.  Somedays I’ll need to visit all four salons in one afternoon while others days its only two or three… With that being said, I try to take advantage of the time I have in my car when traveling to one salon or the other.  I utilize that time to check in with members of my team who I haven’t heard from in a while or to make other business related phone calls (all hands-free of course!).  

Since I do travel often between the salons, my team always teases me because most days it looks like I’m living out of my car!  I have boxes piled up in the trunk and the back seat, paperwork in the front seat and, if I’ve had time to stop for lunch that day, a takeout bag somewhere near me! 

Since our salons are open seven days a week I am typically also working seven days a week.  I want to be available to my team whenever I’m needed so they know they can call or text me at anytime.

Recently we have been doing more interviewing than normal.  Our guest services team is growing and we are always on the hunt for amazing team members so interviewing has become a day-to-day agenda item as well.  I personally love interviewing and do my best to be the first person from Garbo’s a potential team member meets.  It gives me a chance to really get to know the person before welcoming them into our family.”

Do you manage the salons yourself or do you have help?

“Thankfully, I have help!  Each salon has a Salon Manager who is also a behind the chair stylist.  In addition, each salon has an assistant manager or desk coordinator that manages the front of the house.  I am truly blessed to have such an amazing team and do my best to say thank you to them as much as possible.  Our readers should definitely know who they are: 

Village Pointe: Sherri Mahoney (Manager), Susie Knezovich (Assistant Manager, Head of Guest Relations), Crystal Millerd (Assistant Manager) 

Regency: Tom Sena (Manager), Juliana Montane (Assistant Manager, Head of Guest Relations)

Midtown: Audrey Reinhardt (Manager), Adam Podraza (Head of Guest Relations)

Oak View: Amber Meir (Manager), Melissa Losole (Assistant Manager), Ricki Rockwell (Head of Guest Relations)”

What is the biggest challenge you face as the owner of Garbo's Salon and Spa?

“The biggest challenge I face is staying personally connected to all of our team members.  As we’ve grown and added additional locations, it has become more and more difficult to spend quality time with everyone.  I don’t have time to hang and chat about the more personal things like I used to and I really wish I did.  We are now at 140 employees!  With so many amazing, talented people working for us it makes me cherish the time I have with each new person we add during the interview process.  I enjoy getting to know them on a personal level before they ever set foot in the salon.”

What is something our readers don't know about you?

“Hmmm… Before I became the owner of my first Garbo’s location I used to work for a division of Jones Wear in the fashion jewelry industry.  I worked in Sales, Marketing and Inventory control for more than 15 years – five years in Phoenix, five years in San Antonio and five years in New York City.  Once my kids were a little older we decided to move back to Nebraska so we could be closer to family.”

What about Garbo's Salon and Spa excites you most?

“I am most excited about the growth we have seen with the company and the opportunities that lie ahead.  Because our brand has grown so large I envision us leveraging our size and starting to have more of a national reach in many areas of our business.  Did you know we currently ship our Garbo’s Professional product all over the country?

I’m also excited about the opportunity to develop new products for different markets and creating new partnerships and collaborations with other business owners.  I personally love being a small business and love working with other small businesses as well.

I also love how personal our business is and how transformational it can be.  It always excites me that we have the opportunity to transform people’s lives on a daily basis.”

We hear there are some big and exciting things coming down the line for Garbo's this year - can you give us a little sneek peak?

“We have so many new things coming your way!  Last year around this time we launched our new social media accounts and I personally love what our team has created.  Looking forward to the rest of this year we are setting our sights on developing a few new products for a market we’ve never worked with before.

We are also working to partner with another local business in Omaha to bring new services to the salons.  We should be announcing that partnership soon!

Next month we will be introducing 12 new products to our Garbo’s Professional line and we are working to re-vamp our loyalty program.  We sent out a survey last month asking our clients where we can improve and that was one of the most asked for items.

Other than that we have two BIG announcements coming in 2020 but I am going to keep my lips sealed on those for the time being :)”

Ooo!  So much good stuff coming your way!!  To make sure you stay up to date on everything happening at Garbo’s please follow us on Instagram, Facebook and sign up for our newsletter!

We always love hearing from our owner, Darcy!  I was lucky enough to snag a few minutes while she drove from one salon to the other to get her thoughts on the questions above.  If you have other questions for Darcy regarding salon ownership or being an entrepreneur please let us know in the comments.  

Thanks as always for reading!

Sending love,


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