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Inspiring Conversations with Kate Leatherwood of Last Satellite Salon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Leatherwood.

Hi Kate, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
When I was a little girl, around five years old, I started playing with my doll’s hair. I had a miss piggy doll with pretty blonde hair, and I started teaching myself how to French braid, create French twists, and finally cutting her hair into a bob. I would copy what I saw in magazines and tv shows/movies. I’m a middle child of three and felt it was my duty every morning to ensure my sisters never went to school with bad hair. Looking back, I think this was great practice. I was also on the dance team and played basketball, so I would sometimes braid my friend’s hair for games or style it for performances. In high school, I was the go-to hair person of my friend group, and some of my friends would even pay me to cut their hair. After high school, I started at community college and then transferred to Paul Mitchell in Dallas, TX. I fell in love with the cutting and styling side of the hair business. We had guest artists and local businesses come every week to talk with us, which I came to work at Osgood O’neil in Dallas, TX. I was there for four years, and I had to complete a year and a half long apprenticeship with them, sometimes working 45-60 hours a week. It was intense, but I am very thankful for the opportunity and the training I received during that time. My mother passed away in 2011 from a long battle with breast cancer. I needed a change of scenery, so I moved to Austin in 2012. I worked for a couple of different salons before starting my shop on South Lamar and have owned my business for six years now. We offer amazing hair products (sulfate, paraben, and cruelty-free) as well as ammonia-free hair color.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No, it hasn’t been an easy road. I wish I could say otherwise. The hair business is extremely competitive. It’s challenging to find clients and keep them as returning clients, especially starting over in a new town. It’s also mentally and physically taxing — standing for long periods of time and having to focus on doing a great job on someone’s hair while also being as attentive as a professional therapist. It requires much more than just hairstyling knowledge. To be successful in running a salon, you also have to master business management, finance, marketing, accounting, tax filing, employee management, etc.. the list goes on. It has gotten worse because of Covid, and I’m not sure our salon will continue after this lease term.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
We have a calm, relaxing space in a convenient location. We offer private appointments right now because of Covid and clients seem to enjoy the one on one experience. We value our client’s time and want to build a relationship with them. We feel we are great listeners and try to understand what they want and provide the best service. Compared to other salons that use harsh and sometimes harmful chemicals for their hair products, color lines, and treatments, we use gentle sulfate, paraben, and cruelty-free brands as well as ammonia-free hair color. Our products are also sustainable, and the product packaging is made from 100% Ocean Waste Plastic.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I feel like people make their own fate in their life and business. It’s not about luck. It takes tons of hard work and passion for continuing operating every day, every week, and every year. I’m incredibly grateful for my life, relationships, salon, and online business.

Pricing:

  • Haircut $100+
  • Highlights $100-$350
  • Updo $100+
  • Blowdry $65+

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Salon & Stylist/Owner Kate Leatherwood Photo by John Allen Wedding Image by Bonnie Burke Hair Photos by Kate

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