Valdosta Daily Times

Business

June 15, 2014

Southern Style

Salon has Southern Styles and hospitality

HAHIRA — The story of Southern Styles is the story of three women: Stacie Petty, Lori Taylor and Leilani Futch.

Petty, while working in salons in Valdosta, looked into opening a salon. Some friends encouraged her to open one in Lake Park, but she couldn’t find a good location.

When she heard that Valerie Fiveash wanted to sell her salon in Hahira, she contacted her.

While meeting Fiveash at her South Church Street salon, Petty met Futch, who worked there.

They instantly became fast friends, so much so that Petty talked with Futch about her idea of opening a salon.

“It was a really good opportunity for me,” said Petty. “I talked to Leilani and prayed a lot about it.”

Futch has been in the hair business for years, operating her own salon in Valdosta in the 1980s.

When Petty decided to go through with it, Futch decided to stay.

“There’s a reason I came back,” said Futch. “It wasn’t necessarily to do hair. It wasn’t necessarily to make money. I came back to do what I was called to do: help people.”

They wanted to hire a third, find someone who clicked with them in the same way they clicked.

“Lori walked in the door and we knew,” said Petty. “It was, ‘How quick can you bring your stuff and be here?’”

Taylor’s journey to Southern Styles started in the 1990s, when she began cutting hair in Moultrie, while studying hair-styling. She took a long detour, eventually becoming a chief magistrate for Cook County for six years.

Recently she decided to go back to school and finish her studies.

“Now I’m on the other end of the spectrum, making people happy instead of making people angry everyday,” said Taylor.

The three women set a relaxed, welcoming vibe for Southern Styles, something they credit to their shared Christian faith.

“I think the core that really binds us together is we’re like-minded, spiritually,” said Futch. “It’s a strong cord wrapped around all three of us that keeps us in unity.”

Working for herself means Petty is in charge of her

schedule. If she needs to make time for family — a ball game, a sudden illness — she can.

“I get to be Mom, and that’s what’s important to me with my kids,” said Petty.

Southern Styles offers a wide range of specialty services: highlights, lowlights, perms, waxing and manicures, among others. In the next few months, the salon wants to offer pedicures and acrylic nail services.

Eventually, Stacy wants to add a massage therapist and an esthetician, creating a full-service salon.

“It’s not just business,” said Futch. “The people who come in this salon become part of this family. We’ve embraced them as a friend.”

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