Having recently returned to Columbus after living and working in Dallas, Texas and Jackson, Joshua D. Fountain, 33, has joined his family in making Columbus residents look good.
Fountain, a graduate of Vaughn”s Beauty College in Aberdeen, works as a cosmetologist at Salon 417, with his mother, Kittie Fountain, and his sister, Kit Sanders.
His father, Marty L. Fountain, owned Fantasy II, a predecessor to Salon 417, which was opened by Kittie Fountain in 1997.
Joshua Fountain is engaged to Lauren Sullivan and is the father of a 7-year-old daughter and infant son.
Why did you become a cosmetologist?
I decided to become a cosmetologist because of my father”s successes and from being surrounded by the business all my life. When he passed away, I decided to follow in his footsteps to understand what he did and enjoyed in the business.
I decided to join the family business because I had been working in other cities and, after working outside the family business, I realized how important it would be for us to be a team and learn from each other. I knew that it would be important for the salon”s growth and future for us to all work together. We are a talented team at Salon 417.
What do you find most rewarding about being a cosmetologist?
I find the most rewarding part is being able to turn a client”s day into a great day. It is also rewarding to see clients feel better about their appearance and leave with a newfound confidence.
My favorite type of client is one who knows what they want and listens to what I have to say. Communication is key when doing someone”s hair. My least favorite is someone I can”t communicate with. It is not the character of the person, but the communication style; it makes my job of pleasing them harder, if they are not giving me an idea of what they want in their hair style. Although, sometimes, these clients end up being the best clients of all.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
The challenging part is working with family every day. We have had to learn to separate family from business. Although this is the most challenging part, is also is the most rewarding.
Is yours a growing industry for men, or do you think the industry continues to be dominated by women?
This field has a misconception if a man is a stylist. The misconception is not as prevalent now as it was just a few years ago. I have seen people prefer a male stylist over a female stylist, as with my father. I think that men are becoming more comfortable with being stylists and so the field is growing, with more male influences. If one thinks of great stylists, famous male stylists come to mind. Examples include, John Paul Mitchell and (John) Sahag.
What advice do you have for anyone entering the profession?
My advice to anyone entering the business would be to go to hair shows and read Salon magazine to keep yourself educated and up-to-date. Also, when possible, take color classes and cutting classes for learning new techniques.
People say the most important thing in running a business is location, location, location. While this is true, if you have the best location, but are never consistent, it does not matter. In other words, be there during business hours and stay the extra hour. This is the best advice I have for anyone interested in being a stylist.
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