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.

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