Name: Alicia Gallagher
Age: 33
Title: Co-owner
Business: Blend Salon and Barber Shop, Richmond
About: A hair salon and barber shop.


What’s your biggest challenge right now?
It’s always balancing the schedule between work life, home life, raising a family, client’s needs. It’s always the biggest challenge. I try to set boundaries, bend for the people who bend for you.

Who was your biggest influence in starting your business?
Probably Katelyn (Lavallee, her business partner). She gave me the push. She’d tell me, “It’s going to be fine!” I just didn’t think I was ready. I get comfortable. Even right down to the space. I said, “It’s too small. It’s too small. It’s not going to work. ” She said, “It’s going to be fine! This can go here, that can go there. It’s going to be fine!” It came out really, really good. It’s been awesome.

What made you think this business would succeed?
I had started here with almost a full clientele; I would say it was pretty close (to full). And it was close enough to where I was working for someone else that I knew that my business would be able to follow me. I was confident that I wouldn’t be struggling, but I think I knew within that first six months. The community was really excited and looking forward to our presence here. That’s when I knew and I started getting way busier than I could have imagined.

What’s the importance of having a supportive business partner?
Katelyn and I, it’s not just about having a supportive partner but also someone who balances. We’re so different.  You hear that all the time. It’s probably a cliche. But she pushes me when I need to be pushed and I push her when she needs to be pushed. But we just balance each other so well. And we love each other so much. We have such a good relationship that it works. We’re both invested equally in this business. I don’t have to worry about what she’s doing, and she doesn’t have to worry about what I’m doing. We can just come in here every day and do the best thing that we can do for ourselves and for our business. It just works and keeps things simple.

I am a communications advocate in all aspects of life. I feel like it’s all I talk about with my kids, with my partner, with Katelyn.We gotta talk. I think communication is the biggest thing. She (Katelyn) thinks I talk too much. I would rather say something that I am feeling or thinking, if something needs to be changed. I would rather say what’s on my mind. If I am true to myself and true to my gut then it works out better.

Where will you be in five years?
I hope I am still right here in this space. I am happy and content. I don’t ever want to get rich. I just want to find that perfect balance of being able to be there for my family, make enough money that I can do OK and live life and not lose myself in all of it. I want to keep doing what I am doing.

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