We had the good fortune of connecting with Jael Pettigrew and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jael, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking risks have played a huge role in my career, as I wholeheartedly believe that risk taking leads to opportunities and growth. Few things are worse than a missed opportunity, so why not go for it.
Transitioning into my own salon has proven to be a risk worth taking and has afforded me opportunities I may not have come across otherwise. Stepping into the unknown of managing my own space has been full of lessons learned, just because I decided to take the risk. I believe there are no failures in transitional seasons, only lessons, so why not at least try. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t suggest jumping into anything blindly. I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying “stay ready so you never have to get ready”. I make sure to always have a plan a, b, and c, so that when an opportunity presents itself I’m prepared to take that risk.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
To put it simply, I am a hairstylist and salon owner, but there is much more to building a career than just holding a title. Embracing my journey and working steadfast to reach my goals have been the keys to creating my place in the cosmetology industry.
While my specialty is coloring natural hair, my goal is to be a one-stop shop for all hair types. Aside from color, you can also get extensions, precision cutting, clipper cuts, and styling done at my salon Cut, Colored, & Crowned. I, along with my co-stylist Taryn, are ready to give clients of all hair types the look they desire. Ammie, our newcomer and resident lash technician, rounds out our menu with lash and brow services. To top it all off, I teach color classes to licensed stylists who are looking to expand their coloring skills.
One of the biggest things that sets me apart and that I am eager to share with your readers (hopefully turned clients) is my versatility. Thankfully, I went to a very diverse cosmetology school and have worked in many different types of shops since I was a teenager. This allowed me to become comfortable with a broad spectrum of hair types and textures. I am proud to be a 27 year old African American woman owning my craft as a colorist and making a name for myself in the cosmetology industry.
Determination has gotten me where I am today. Trust me when I say it has been far from easy. Just recently, the salon that I worked at for the past two years, and managed for the last year could no longer sustain business due to Covid-19. This left me at a crossroads and faced with the decision of what direction to take my career. Do I try to find another salon and continue working for someone else (and having to conform to their vision), or do I branch out on my own? Becoming a salon owner has been a dream of mine for years now, and with lots of hard work and encouragement from those around me I’ve been able to make that dream a reality! I must say I am very proud of those accomplishments and I hope to continue to grow and expand my business.
There have been many challenges in my journey, and I expect to meet many new mountains to climb in the future. I don’t say that in a negative way though. Climbing mountains can be uncomfortable, but they are just growing pains. If you aren’t uncomfortable you’re not growing, and no growth is unacceptable for me. I’ve always kept in mind that anything worth having is going to take hard work to get. Having this mindset has helped me to view challenges as speed bumps or forks in the road instead of roadblocks. It is this mentality that pushed me to open Cut, Colored & Crowned.
One of the most resounding lessons I’ve learned is to not give up but to be willing to adjust and learn along the way. I want people to know that nothing happened over night; I’ve worked very hard and will continue to do so. I want my clients to be confident that when they are sitting in my chair they are getting the very best service. I want my students to know that I will always educate myself so that I am bringing them the best and most up to date information. I only want the best for myself and those I’ve surrounded myself with.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, I’m still somewhat new to Houston, but I have most definitely found some hot spots that I would take to my best friend too. I would start each day off with one of my favorite breakfast/brunch spots like Lucille’s, The Breakfast Klub, or Snooze. After we were nice and full, I would take her around the Midtown and Downtown areas to explore. We would walk through Hermann Park, one of my favorites in Houston. We’d go down to the Museum District to check out spots like the Museum of Natural Science and the Buffalo Soldiers Museum. After all of that walking we’d need a snack, so I’d take her over to The French Fry House to get some Bayou Fries and Boudin Egg Rolls! It would be a must for me to take her down Almeda Road to see all of the black owned businesses, bars, and restaurants. While we were there we would have to stop at one of my favorite bars, Bar 5015. I’m sure she would want to try the infamous Turkey Leg Hut while we were there too. The best way to work off all that eating and drinking would be some retail therapy. The Galleria Mall would satisfy all of her shopping needs so we would head there and shop till we drop! I would have to show her Houston nightlife. I love to dance so it would be a must that we go to Barbarella for their 80’s/90’s night so we could dance all night long. If she was in the mood to just drink and mingle in a fun, outside environment we would head to Kamp and Present Company to enjoy their outside ambiance. Last but not least, I would close the trip out with some classy dinner spots. We would get all dressed up and indulge at restaurants like Steak 48, La Lucha, Eddie V’s and Squabble. Houston has so much to offer but I think this itinerary would make for a great vacation and have my best friend ready for her next visit to H-town!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutouts would have to go to a couple people. First and foremost is my mother, this woman is my rock! She has shown me how to be strong, resilient, hardworking and forgiving. I appreciate that in my teenage and early 20’s she encouraged me to go on the journey of figuring out what I wanted to do career wise, allowing me to find my passion! Secondly, I must thank my instructors at Paul Mitchell The School Atlanta, and my mentors Stephen Webster and Dallas Christopher. They believed in me. I thank them for refining my talents and always supporting my goals, and in some cases seeing possibilities I didn’t even know were an option. Lastly, but most definitely not least, I must say a huge thank you to my clients for their loyalty. Majority of my clients have been with me from the beginning of my journey in the hair industry. As I learned and grew they stuck with me and I greatly appreciate that.