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Moms turning styling dreams into reality at new Clearwater salon

Shaina Ouellette WFTS.png
Posted at 7:17 AM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 15:53:11-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. — It can be challenging to run a business and raise a family at the same time. However, this month in Clearwater moms are proving it's possible, especially if you combine them.

“I wanted to be in complete control and she is kind of like my little mascot,” said stylist Shaina Ouellette, as she holds up her 10-month-old daughter.

Every day can be take your daughter to work day for Ouellette.

“You know I can bring her and I don’t have to worry that anyone else is affected by it and everybody loves her,” said Ouellette.

She always knew she could be a successful mom and stylist but working in commercial salons proved to be difficult.

“Being a business owner was really scary, and it was a leap I wasn’t really sure I was ready for, but I knew I needed more flexibility,” said Ouellette.

She found that flexibility through J Lee Salon Suites. More than 30 independent beauty and wellness businesses moved into the new Clearwater location this month. Many of them are run by moms.

“So I am a mom myself,” said CEO and Founder Jacey Lee. “It’s just having the flexibility of being able to be a mom and do what you love and have a business at the same time is just really cool.”

Stylist Sonja DeJessa said she was close to quitting the industry altogether.

“Only making $250 a week wasn’t enough to sustain my family and my daughter,” said DeJessa.

Sonja DeJessa WFTS.png

Now here she is, for the first time, calling her own shots and pursuing her own goals.

“People will come by and peek their head in and they’re like, ‘what’s going on in here,’ so this is the perfect representation of who I am, and I feel at home,” said DeJessa.

These small business owners hope they are an inspiration to others to believe in themselves.

“Creating my own business is something that I’m truly proud of, it was a leap of faith, but you know what, my clients are super supportive and it’s blossomed into this,” said Ouellette.

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