Lalitha Arnold – owner of EnvyMe Hair Studio

Meet Lalitha Arnold. Lalitha is the owner of EnvyMe Hair Studio located at 1525 E. 55th Street, Chicago, IL 60615. A visionary and an entrepreneur at heart, she is also a mother of two adult children. Her daughter Teya is 21-year-old and her son Otis is 18-year-old. Lalitha was born and raised in Englewood and is the oldest of 3 children by her mother. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie and loves reading and traveling.  

“How did I get started in becoming a hairstylist and salon owner? I decided that I wanted to become a hairstylist at an early age.  It started when I realized that I didn’t want to wait on anyone to give or do anything for me. Most importantly, I was tired of people telling me what to do. Growing up around hustlers and watching them make money on a daily basis was kind of a motivation. Of course, I was motivated; but, without selling drugs or getting in trouble with the police. Because I wanted financial independence at a very young age, I started trying to figure out what I was good at the age of 10. I started braiding hair, beating people at pool at our home pool table and selling candy. Obviously, I chose doing hair because it was more lucrative. Becoming a salon owner was more of me manifesting and bringing it into frustration. God was like, you are now ready, and the salon literally fell into my lap. The crazy part is that I wanted this location several years prior to 2018; but the owner’s son refused to sell it to me. Fast forward to 2018, it’s now mine.” 

 “What I like the most about Chicago Hyde Park is its texture. I love how we all look, dress, sound, laugh and smile differently. But at the end of the day we all know each other. We don’t judge one another, not out loud anyway. And when we see each other it’s all about support and love.”  

“Excluding EnvyMe, if I was to recommend another Hyde Park business, it will be the Sip & Savor Coffee Shop. I like the atmosphere at the café.  And as the owner says in his slogan, ‘It’s where coffee and community meet”. I just love when people can come together, and it’s drama free just as at my salon.“

 “Our customers are everyday women. They are very nice and consistent. They trust us with their hair and their spirits. They know that they get what they pay for and don’t have no problem paying for it.”  

“Our customers picked us over our competitor because we have created an environment and built a reputation of not wasting their time. Yes, we offer an amazing experience, beautiful and clean salon but at the end of the day we sell time. My team is trained to love on the clients from the moment they walk in the door. Yes, we laugh, cry and smile but at the end of the day they are in and out and have plenty of time to enjoy the rest of their day or evening. “ 

“What advice would I give an individual who wants to be a salon owner? I would tell them to first do their research and have a solid plan in place. Meaning know what you want and don’t want in your business. But most importantly hire a salon manager. There needs to be someone in place to help them stay true to their vision and goals for their business. If not each individual that they hire will slowly control and change their business and before they know it everyone else is running their salon but them self. Also, you might need three times your projected startup cost to open the salon. “

“What can the community and well-wishers do to help EnvyMe Hair Studio in these challenging times? Just to continue to post and spread the word so that the people won’t  forget about us.”

“How do I market EnvyMe Hair Studio and how are people aware of our business? I have fallen in love with social media when it comes to marketing my business. It also helps that I am a social butterfly. Majority of our customers come through word-of-mouth recommendation and social media. I influence word-of-mouth by training my team to give people something to brag about when they leave the salon.”   

“I am most proud of how resilient I am. As much as I love social media, there’s still a lot about me that I don’t share. So, a lot of people are not privy to my trials, errors and most importantly the pain and loneliness that one experiences to get to what I consider a success.”   



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