Today we’d like to introduce you to Ja-Nelle Gilliland.
Hi Ja-Nelle, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
When I was 33, I had realized my children were all going to be in school full-time soon and I wanted to go back to work but I wanted something that was flexible and creative so I decided to try cosmetology. After attending school, I didn’t pursue my career full-time because my momma was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer so I became her full-time caregiver. She’s the one that made me promise that I would pursue my career full time and start living my life for myself.
I worked at various salons and rather quickly built up a clientele that I adored. But something just didn’t feel right so one day as I was getting a tattoo by an incredible artist by the name of Evan Chandler (my sunflower is now my logo), We talked at length about why didn’t I just open my own salon so it was then that I decided to venture out on my own and build my business the way I had envisioned.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Oh boy were there ever and still are struggles, I had thought I had found a reputable company to go through to rent from, and unfortunately it did not work out but I didn’t let it hinder me. I kept pushing forward and finally landed in an adorable little location and then Covid hit. First, I lost my brother to Covid then my father so after weathering the pandemic I had come to realize that this location was no longer for me so it was time to set out looking for the next spot and that is how I found this little building just off of Main Street Greenville Ohio and it has just been a perfect fit. I have been asked why I keep moving forward despite the setbacks, it’ is simple because I can. I pride myself on the fact I didn’t finance my salon and bought things as I could afford them but I also believe by not giving up maybe someone someday will have the hope to not give up to keep pushing forward.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
So, my salon I chose to name Rogue because I believe there is beauty in everything. I go against traditional beauty standards because everyone should be made to see the beauty they hold within. I absolutely love people and it is an honor to help people feel good about themselves. I don’t care if you are in a wheelchair, I will find a way to make your experience in my salon fabulous. I have sensory clients as well as clients with autism. I have clients for religious reasons need the privacy of what a small salon has to offer. If I need to sit on the floor and take multiple breaks to complete a service that is fine by me because you are what matters when you are in my salon. I do all types of services from basic haircuts to extensions, fashion colors, perms, color services, and roller sets for my sweet silver clients.
As we were bringing mirrors from the old location into my new one my husband and son accidentally chipped one and it really showed me that even a broken mirror still does its job and that we are all perfectly imperfect so with that my affirmation mirror became a feature of my salon. If you are having a bad day, come on in you can tell the mirror all the lies, we tell ourselves and write them all out on the mirror and once you are done, we wipe away all the lies and write all of the wonderful things about you because everyone has value.
Rogues services are gender neutral and we are 100% inclusive. We pride ourselves on being an ally and have had the honor of helping clients with hair choices that put them on the path to their happiness.
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I consider myself one of the luckiest people due to life experiences both good and bad. I believe that everything is a lesion so whether it was bad or good luck learn from it, grow from it and move on from it. I am lucky that I have the husband I have and six amazing children. They and my amazing clients give me inspiration every day to keep going.
- Instagram: @the_rogue_stylist
- Facebook: @roguesalonllc
- Other: @the_rogue_stylist (TikTok)