We can’t think of anything better than when a Phagans graduate follows their dreams and has a successful career. It was an obvious choice to have Dinah Ritchey as our first choice to be our Phagans All-Star! Dinah is a wonderful example of chasing your dreams and never giving up on yourself. Dinah graduated from Phagans in 2003 with a full cosmetology license, and right after dove into her career that led to her owning her successful salon, Urban Colorz. It was awesome to be able to take some time out of the our day and chat with Dinah about how she turned her passion into a successful career.
Have you always been interested in the world of beauty?
“I was always really into doing hair and makeup and I just decided to try it out. My plan was to go to college while working. I ended up going to Phagans and loving it so much that I stuck with it!”
What did Phagans teach you that you brought over to your business?
“I had Miss Nancy as my color teacher and she is amazing! Color is such a big thing in the industry now, and having the right teacher made the difference. That has been the most helpful thing in my career. It comes from the roots of what you’re learning.”
Tell me about the experience of opening your own salon!
“When I was in school, it was my dream to work at certain a salon that was located in downtown Portland. I went through the process there for interviews and I was hired! However, I had to wait for someone to move up as an apprentice in order to start. I had lots of clientele following me and waiting for me to be at the salon. I was doing “kitchen hair” while I was waiting on the apprenticeship and was anxious to start my career.
My mom, sister, and dad are all small business owners, and my older sister encouraged me to stop waiting and to just work for myself. I was young and kind of fearless, so I just went for it. I narrowed it down to the location we have now, and I signed the lease on the papers. Soon after the apprenticeship was available. It felt like it was meant to be. If I had gotten that job right away, this all wouldn’t have happened. It happened for a reason. It was definitely the right move.”
What is it about your salon that differs from others?
“There are a lot of “mom and pop” salons in the suburbs of portland. The trendy salons are downtown, and I couldn’t do that. I picked a central location and brought the trends and ideas to the suburbs. Originally, that is what made us stand out. Today, at the end of the day, our team atmosphere is what makes us stand out the most.”
What is your favorite part about owning your own salon?
“Everything about it. The culture I get to work in is like no other. I’m so lucky to work with the team that I have. We make our clients feel good about themselves. It’s a very rewarding job!”
What is the best part of the day at the salon?
“That’s so hard! I love every moment of the day. The relationships I form with my clients over the years is very exciting. A person can change from a client to a friend after one appointment. The joy of being able to catch up for a couple of hours while doing my work is so much fun.”
If you could give any advice to those that want to follow in your foot steps, what would it be?
“Education is HUGE! I took a big risk to open my own salon by not taking the apprenticeship. I got very lucky. The best thing that someone can to for their career is to go through an apprenticeship and go through the classes. Take advantage of school and what people can teach you. Never get discouraged. There are so many different options of online classes. Stay motivated and stay up on your education”
Thank You Dinah!
We can all agree that Dinah is a wonderful role model for all of us. She is proof that hard work pays off. It’s never too late to follow your dream and to make something out of it. Like Dinah said, “stay motivated!” Make sure to pay Dinah and her team a visit at Urban Colorz and follow their Instagram to stay up on their amazing work!
Who do you think our next spotlight should be on? Leave a comment on Facebook!