Applause HD

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | March 15th, 2018
Katossa Glover and Safiyah Nelson (Photos by Todd Younblood)

Katossa Glover and Safiyah Nelson (Photos by Todd Younblood)

Applause Hair Design is a small but quaint hair salon in the heart of a shopping and residential village in Huntersville, NC, a few miles north of Charlotte. Sisters-in-Christ, Katossa Glover and Safiyah Nelson have recently partnered up and plan to take their business to new levels.

As a child, Katossa spent many days in the hair salon alongside her mother and aunt who are both stylists. She would do her homework, hang out, or shampoo hair when they needed an extra pair of hands. In 2014, Katossa and her husband Malik wanted to invest in some type of business but couldn’t decide between a hair salon or a barbershop. Since Malik’s mother was also a former stylist, they decided to pay tribute to both matriarch’s and explore what they were already familiar with.

Once the decision was made and the location was confirmed, the couple called on General Contractor Donnell Grier to work his magic and turn an office into a welcoming and workable space. Judging from the smile on Katossa’s face, he exceeded expectations.

Why the name ‘Applause’? Katossa came up with it after attending her God daughter’s dance recital and seeing how excited the dancers were when the audience stood up and showered them with praise. “As my God daughter was leaving the stage, I jumped up and yelled APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE! And something hit me. I knew that was the name.”

She wants everyone to feel how those girls felt when they were shining and at their best because everyone deserves an applause. That’s why the salon’s motto is “Creating timeless images in timeless women.” They back up that idea with oversized vintage portraits of Diana Ross, Dorothy Dandridge, and other famous icons hanging on the walls.

Currently, Applause is looking to expand and looking to add a few more stylists to their family. Those specializing in natural hair, short cuts, and a female barber would make the team complete. Their lead stylist is Noshova Guy, a 20-year veteran in the hair industry who loves what she does. “For years I worked other jobs because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit to only doing hair. Whatever I was doing, I found myself wondering about the next style I could create.” says Noshova. After years of flirting with the idea, she jumped in head first and now wishes she would’ve done it sooner.

In August, Safiyah came aboard to lend herself wherever Katossa needed her due to her entrepreneurial spirit. The union seemed to be divine intervention, because the two initially weren’t even supposed to meet. After months of talking and simply getting to know each other, they both felt it was right.

“Katossa already knows how to run this business, so I help with marketing and fill any gaps. We have the same vision for the salon and we really believe that we’ll find the people that want to join a place that makes them feel at home,” says Safiyah.

Safiyah has an MBA and considers business her passion. She’s even passed the spirit onto her daughters. At 15, her oldest daughter has already started two small businesses and her youngest, just 12, has followed with her own money-making idea.

Between the two, Katossa and her husband have raised seven boys that keep them busy with their business ideas. Two of them are consistently expanding their clothing line ‘BYOP’ (Be Your Own Person), and the soon-to-be empty-nester is all too happy.

Recently, Safiyah started offering the aroma touch therapy technique using DoTerra essential oils. Katossa is a Certified Lash Technician and will offer lashes and brow services. They’re eager to implement other spa-like services but will pace themselves over time.

“Taking care of the whole woman is important to us. We don’t want to just do your hair, we want to take care of you,” says Safiyah.

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