When the pandemic started, the owner of hair salon VIVID decided she had to do something different. Instead of cutting hair in a storefront, she decided to outsource her hair salon to others, breaking down barriers to hairdressing.
Candace Zachgo runs her own full-service salon where she offers haircuts, coloring, extensions, waxing, lash lifts, eyelash extensions and self-tanners. She mainly works alone but gets help from another stylist and makeup artist for special events.
In addition to cutting hair on his land outside of Culver, Zachgo has the ability to take his salon to other locations.
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Zachgo has worked in the cosmetology industry for over 20 years. After cosmetology school, she went to work with Dixie Jones’ Hair Busy in Salina for almost 10 years. Zachgo said she was extremely lucky to have worked with Jones and learned a lot under his tutelage. She and Jones are still friends, and Zachgo has stated that he will always help Jones on occasion.
While working with Jones, Zachgo decided she wanted more from her career and decided to work at a booth rental salon where she had the opportunity to learn the business side of cosmetology. After that, Zachgo opened his own salon, Stylz Unlimited, in Salina, taking a few years off to raise his children.
When she returned to her business after her brief leave, Zachgo said it was important to keep pace with the growing industry.
“A major factor that I love about this industry is the constant evolution of style and fashion and how that plays into my business,” Zachgo said.
To keep up with industry progress, Zachgo said, she got certified in eyelash extensions and lifts and added spray tans to her services.
“I think to grow in this industry, you need to stay educated and provide your clients with the best services, also choosing the best companies to train with and use their professional products in the salon,” Zachgo said.
On the road with her hair salon, VIVID
Zachgo’s business morphed into what it is today when the COVID pandemic forced her to close her salon. When it came time for her to renew her lease, Zachgo said she had a lot of worries.
“I had to make decisions, will the school be closed again, will our businesses be forced to close again, or will my family or I get really sick with COVID, and if any of these things happened, could I survive paying rent and be stuck in a lease?
Due to these factors, Zachgo decided to open his traveling salon business, VIVID. She remodeled an RV and turned it into a living room. She can now do business on her property outside of Culver while still having the ability to travel to her clients.
Inside, the RV operates like any salon, but being mobile allows Zachgo to service brides at their wedding venues, traveling to lakes, parks, backyards or churches.
“Providing a full salon with a bathroom, running water and electricity would be perfect for the brides and their wedding party,” Zachgo said.
Zachgo said having a salon on his property allowed him to work with his clientele any time of the day, early mornings, late evenings and on weekends. She prefers clients to book appointments in advance as prom and wedding dates fill up quickly, but she tries to attract new clients whenever she can.
VIVID is a fully licensed salon with the Kansas Cosmetology Board. Zachgo’s goal is to create an environment in which her clients feel comfortable and important, she said. She has the flexibility in her schedule to give her clients her full attention.
Zachgo said she enjoys her work now as much as when she first started. She has always enjoyed working behind the chair and adding eyelash extensions to her services has been a good challenge for her because, she says, it forces her to slow her pace. Styling special occasions is her favorite part of the job.
“I love the creative display I can show, customizing a style for a bride or girl heading to prom,” Zachgo said.
Zachgo hopes to have a permanent salon on his property by the fall. For mobile services, she prefers to stay within 150 miles of Salina.
“One of the biggest benefits of my career is making people happy. When we look in the mirror, I want my clients to like what they see, and it makes us feel good inside” , said Zachgo. “I think when we feel like that, we can conquer anything. I want people to like coming to see me at the salon and feeling good when they come out.