We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Capps and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In all honesty, starting my own business didn’t have much to do with choice.
A string of circumstances combined with an enormous amount of support from previous co-workers, family, friends, and loyal clients led to the beginnings of Luminary Hair Artistry. A salon I was working at as a commission based stylist abruptly closed one day without warning, leaving all the stylists with no place to work and all of our belongings locked inside. I was fairly new to the industry and still building a clientele, but was taken under the wing of a fellow stylist and and my former mentor. Without the encouragement they provided there’s no way I would be standing on my own two feet today.
I realized that I wanted to be in control of the space my clients entered. I want them to feel safe without fear of criticism or shame, for them to be able to ask questions one may not feel comfortable doing so in a big or crowded salon. I wanted to be able to create an environment where someone can feel listened to and express their desires without ridicule. I wanted a gossip free space. I realized creating this meant a small salon space and a slowed down version of what most of us understand “salon culture” to be. I truly care about how someone feels both entering and leaving the salon, and I think that is ultimately what fueled me to continue upon this entrepreneurship journey.
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?
There are so many categories for artists, and so many canvases. Mine happens to be one that moves and grows. I’ve been drawn to it ever since I can remember. I’ve been staring at the back of people’s heads since childhood, haha.
I found my niche in low maintenance color because I myself prefer low maintenance. I’m not one to hang out in a salon chair every 6-8 weeks and felt like there are people out there like me that want beautiful color but don’t want to feel committed to a salon appointment every month or so. I committed myself to learning techniques and placements that optimize different individual needs while creating a blended grow out.
I’m also a sucker for a red head. I’m a sucker for creating a red head, for enhancing red tones, all of it.
Give me a blank “canvas” with no rules and you’ll probably catch me mixing up a formula for shades of reds, golds, and coppers.
Apart from the paint, my cutting style encompasses wearable and livable hair. I like to create styles that are easy to recreate at home and can work with each person’s realistic lifestyle.
Having a canvas that is constantly changing, exposed to the elements and chemicals is challenging, but is also really fun. There are always things to learn and every head of hair is different. Every human with that head of hair comes with their own desires, meaning each “painting” has its own parameters as well.
Ultimately, I want Luminary to be a place one can come and feel listened to. A place where the health and integrity of your hair matters. Where you can feel taken care of without the guilt of taking care of yourself. I want you to feel important and empowered. That’s my ultimate vision.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Agora will always have my heart! I’d drive out from the suburbs as a teenager just to have some coffee and a study day there. We’d definitely visit Poison Girl around the corner, and do a loop at Memorial Park at some point. West Alabama Ice House has a charm I can’t ever escape, along with Grand Prize bar. Maybe we’d do a museum day at the Natural Museum of Science and catch some theater later at Match Houston. A nice dinner at Hearsay, or at Chapultepec if we’re wanting more low key. At some point we’d have to see a show at White Oak Music Hall or Warehouse Live. Hopefully we’d have time to visit Buffalo Bayou. It’d be cool to catch any art fairs or markets at Discovery Green, and on the south side we’d definitely need to visit Maa’s Nursery. I think we’d need more than a week to experience all that I love in Houston!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many many people that have given me more than I probably deserved on this journey.
Let’s start with Monique Letourneau! She was the first salon owner to give me the true sense of salon family. Arms wide open, Monique took me in as a baby stylist and showed me nothing but love and encouragement. She supported me in the switch from commission stylist to sole proprietorship, she selflessly guided me through all the fear and I will forever be grateful.
Leslie De La Feunte also took me in as a partner and new stylist. Without her I’m certain my business would have taken a different road and I can’t thank her enough for having the faith to jump into that first salon suite together.
Taylor Wolfe. She found me at what can only be described as the perfect time, and she had (and has) the perfect place. The perfect people and perfect space for me to build Luminary. Most importantly, she provided and continues to provide unyielding support. She allows space for ideas and creativity, room to grow, and backbone for the tough times. I appreciate her more every single day.
Not to go all “awards ceremony” here but my parents definitely deserve a shoutout. From day one they’ve had my back. With every step I’ve taken (sometimes a step backwards first haha) they have always been there to cheer me on. I know I’ll never be able to give them all they’ve given me, but I want them to know how grateful I am to have their support.
My husband, Seth. He continues to be my steady ground no matter what, no matter where, or when. Thank you for being my best friend and my honest adviser.
Clients. Literally the reason for any of this. Without you I wouldn’t get to live out this dream. I know that seems cheesy, but it’s honest. You all allow me to go to work every day at a job that I honestly LOVE and you let me create art on your heads. That’s so freaking cool. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.