Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mallory Huffstetler, Founder of Mallory Huffstetler Chattanooga Hair, located in Chattanooga, TN, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am an independent stylist at Live Label Hair Studio in Chattanooga, Tennessee! I have been in the industry for almost a decade now, and in that time, I’ve narrowed down my specialty to blonding, balayage, and lived-in hair color. All are welcome in my chair, and my service menu is completely gender-free. A service with me begins with a beverage of your choice, whether that be a coffee or a local craft beer from our fully stocked beer bar. Next, we discuss hair goals, budget, maintenance, and more before getting started! Besides the finished product, the scalp massage and hot towel treatments are the details my guest talked about the most. I take pride in setting all of my guests up for success with proper home care and a styling tutorial each and every session. I have the most amazing clients who inspire me and bring a smile to my face each and every day. I am so passionate about my career, but they inspire me to show up. I am truly grateful for everyone who sits in my chair and shares a part of their day with me!

Tell us about yourself

My career originated in Memphis, Tennessee, where I attended Cosmetology school at Gould’s Academy. I always knew I wanted to be a stylist, so my journey began as soon as I graduated high school. I was inspired to take my stylist career independent and build my business from the ground up because I knew I needed more freedom to learn and the space to create the hair that truly inspired me. Now I have the freedom and flexibility to express my creativity fully, and I still have a team of other amazing independent stylists around me to be inspired by and bounce ideas back and forth with! My motivation behind showing up each and every day is the chance to empower each guest while building their confidence and making them look, but most importantly, feel the best they possibly can! My community genuinely inspires me, and my business would be nothing without it.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment in my business is building it from the ground up, not once but seven times now. Yes, seven! Due to being a military spouse before we moved to our new permanent location (Chattanooga), I was constantly being forced to relocate, if not for the military, then other things, such as a category 5 hurricane when we lived in Florida. Each time I had to start over, my branding became more significant, and my marketing skills became like second nature. I am so proud of where my business is, and I feel so accomplished knowing all of the hard work I put into making it what it is today.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things about being a business owner is wearing all the hats! As a stylist, we have all of the usual business responsibilities, such as scheduling and finance, but throw at least five more hats into the mix. I am a social media manager, a receptionist, a photographer/videographer, a therapist, a chemist, etc. It can be overwhelming at times, but at the end of the day, I can say that I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world and am forever grateful.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Just START. Start wherever you can, however you can. Everyone starts somewhere. You are worthy, deserving, and capable.
  2. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s overwhelming at times. However, If this is what you truly feel called to do and you feel passionate about it, then it is meant for you. Just take it one step at a time and one day at a time. Remember to breathe along the way!
  3. Enjoy it!! Don’t forget to enjoy the process along the way. Be sure to nurture and be kind to yourself. Find work-life balance and focus on acts of self-care so that you never experience burnout and you can continue to be passionate and thrive in your business.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Follow your passion! You can truly be successful in any career you choose. Everyone is entitled to a full and rich life filled with whatever your version of happiness and success is. You are worthy. You matter. Thank you for reading!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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