LaKeisha Martin – The Retreat Hair & Nail Studio

Yasmine Regester | July 17th, 2019
LaKeisha Martin and The Retreat Hair & Nail Studio Team (Photos by JLG Photography)

LaKeisha Martin and The Retreat Hair & Nail Studio Team (Photos by JLG Photography)

Take time to unwind and pamper yourself in a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere at The Retreat Hair & Nail Studio in downtown Winston Salem.
“Our name The Retreat speaks for itself. At The Retreat you will have a VIP experience where you can relax, relate and release,” says LaKeisha Martin, owner and lead stylist.

Located at 235 Town Run Lane, the salon incorporates soft jazz music and gentle lighting to create a unique, professional and relaxing experience while accommodating each guest’s hair and nail care needs. “We are customer service focused which sets the pulse of the salon. It is our intent to provide a unique and relaxing experience for each guest while accommodating their haircare needs,” LaKeisha says.

The Retreat Hair and Nail Studio offers services that cater to all hair and nail types/styles. Where you are relaxed, natural, wearing a designer cut or trendy color, Lakeisha and her team are trained and experienced to provide superior services. Their friendly nail tech(s) provides mesmerizing hand and feet nail care.

As an experienced haircare specialist, LaKeisha notes she knew that it would take a while before she found her dream space. She opened her first salon in a studio location in 2012 and worked out of that space for one year. She then moved from that location into a Sola Salon Suites for five years.

“God’s timing is divine. When it was time for me to expand to a full salon owner, it was an easy transition. As a seasoned stylist, I am thankful for the opportunity to build a professional team to provide leading beauty and grooming care in the Triad,” LaKeisha shares.

In January 2018, she was afforded the opportunity to expand The Retreat Nail and Salon space to the downtown location.

LaKeisha has been in the hair industry for 25 years. While her first job in a salon was at 15 years old, her family and friends might tell you she started a lot earlier than that. Her mother started buying her cosmetology mannequin heads so that she could hone her skills.

“I knew as a young girl that I wanted to pursue a career in this profession,” says LaKeisha. “I would style the mannequins. And that eventually turned into me styling the kids in the neighborhood and then that transitioned me into assisting at the salon.”

LaKeisha notes that while she wasn’t able to service anyone in the salon at age 15, she gained valuable experience and learned techniques from other stylists that she would go home and practice. She credits Carl Watkins and Matilda Gray at CB’s Class Act in Winston for giving her start in the industry. “There have been a lot of people who have influenced me along the way, but I learned so much from them,” she says.

She worked there throughout high school and then returned for five years after completing her cosmetology training at Leon’s Beauty School in Greensboro. She maintains her certification by continuing to educate herself in her craft by attending hands on training, seminars, and webinars.

LaKeisha says a key to maintaining balance to one’s life is self-care. “Whether you have a hobby or activity you like to do to relieve stress, it always feels nice to be able to sit down and have someone pamper you,” she says. The Retreat and Nail Studio experience starts from the moment a client arrives, with a warm and inviting greeting. She offers complimentary beverages and says she also likes to offer a complimentary manicure if a client has a bit of a wait.

LaKeisha is interested in eventually teaching her own cosmetology classes. She also believes in giving back to the community and in the past, the salon has participated in a community day at her church, providing some of her salon services to attendees. She is currently working on setting up community outreach into elementary schools to help get students ready for school in the fall.

To have multiple locations is the future goal. LaKeisha says that when the opportunity comes along for her to expand her business, she is definitely going for it. She is considering a mobile unit as well, specifically for new moms or for people who are sick and can’t get out to a salon.

LaKeisha’s advice to other aspiring artist is always be coachable with a willingness to learn. “I encourage other stylists to learn as much as they can about the business side before stepping out into that level of ownership,” says LaKeisha. One of the mottos she lives by is, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!”

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