We had the good fortune of connecting with Claude Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Claude, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had never really given it much thought until a few of my clients asked if I would ever consider opening my own salon. I had worked for two salons over the last 6 years, and I began to really feel like my skills and creativity were stagnating. So, I decided to take the plunge, open my own business, and it has been one of the best decisions I have made in my career. In addition, I have also been able to expand my skillset, and now not only am I a hair stylist, I am a newly licensed lash tech. Now, I am able to offer a full-service salon to take care of all kinds of clientele and their needs.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Hair is a huge part of people’s personalities and identities, and one thing I’d like to think sets me apart from others is my passion for making all my clients the best versions of themselves. I believe gender identities are very important, and I strive to help affirm all of my clients whether they identify as male, female, or non-binary.
I’ve spent years learning and practicing in order to grow in my craft, and it has been a hard journey. At the beginning, it felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. But over time, with practice, education, and support, I have only gotten better and better.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a huge fan of Chinatown and Katy Asian Town. Some of my favourite spots in Chinatown are Tofu Village, MDK, and Dim Sum King, so we would definitely have to go hit those spots. If we were going to Katy Asian Town, I’d have to suggest Kinokuniya (an awesome Japanese-based bookstore), and Soju 101 (a fun Korean karaoke bar). Of course, we can’t forget the boba. I’m addicted to the stuff. A couple of my favourite places are Fuji Tea and Yumcha!
I really enjoy spending time at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Menil Collection in Montrose. I also enjoy going to Bishop’s Cidercade in EaDo with my friends.
And if we’re feeling fancy, we can go to either Bori in Old K-Town or MF Sushi in the Museum District.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, there’s so many people who have helped me get to where I am now. My mentors from my previous salons, my partner for pushing and encouraging me to take the leap, my sister and brother-in-law who gave me invaluable advice and their support, my friends who provided a ton of moral support, and last but not least, all of my wonderful clients without who this whole thing would not be possible.