FLORENCE, SC — Rhonda Wingate says she wrote a vision board in high school saying she would own her own hair salon. Twenty years later, the vision board has been filled as she owns the USlay hair salon at 237 N. Dargan St.
The salon has been open since August 1, 2021.
Wingate said her love for hair started as a shampoo in a salon run by her mother’s best friend. She said that’s where her love for hair grew and developed.
“Being a shampoo girl made me understand how a salon works,” she said. “It allowed me to see a variety of different styles and I believe that’s why I’m able to look at any style once and be able to duplicate it.”
“I do hair for all types of people, black, white; I love the hair,” she said.
“I love serving my customers and making them feel good,” she said. “I don’t have any preference on what kind of hair I do. I just like to style my hair.
People also read…
Wingate said it’s all about the smiles on her clients’ faces that make the work she does worthwhile.
She recounted a time when she met a client who changed her perspective on the saying “Never count anyone”.
“I brought in a client and she told me a lot of salons turned her down,” she said. “She looked like she was homeless and smelled a little bad. Other stylists despised her. I told her I was going to do her hair and she sat down in my chair. She told me her story of how she was staying in a hotel with her son and it was a tough thing.
“After I finished doing her hair, she started sobbing and I started asking her if she was okay. I asked her if she wanted to go in the back to pull herself together and she revealed to me that ‘she bought a scratch ticket and won $50,000. I gave her words of encouragement and told her not to tell anyone. I told her to do what she had to do to take care of her.
“At the end of the date, she had some money to give me, but I didn’t take any money from her. After a while she came back to my shop with a letter and told me not to open it until she left. Five thousand were in the thank you card. She made another appointment with me and I gave her the money back because it was her blessing and not mine. She’s been my client for 12 years now.
“The client is doing wonderfully well now and every time I see her and her son, I’m reminded that you can’t judge people because you don’t know what people will be like. You can’t judge people by a season in their life.
Wingate said she often felt like a psychiatrist or therapist to her clients. “I’m happy to be that for them,” she said.
She said she uses her shop to build people’s confidence. She wants people to feel renewed after getting up from her chair.
Wingate said she found her calling and could do her hair for hours and didn’t mind. She said she wants her boutique to be known in the community for being generous, having a friendly atmosphere, being clean and, most importantly, making sure the customer is proud and happy with their hair.