Perfections Refining Image Beauty Lounge

by Tonya Dixon | November 11th, 2011
Perfections Refining Image Beauty Lounge

Clyde Brown (Photo By Howard Gaither)

Perfections Refining Image Beauty Lounge is every woman and every man’s ideal grooming facility. The classy, sleek and modern salon is the epitome of what distinguished gentlemen and sophisticated ladies seek.

Although the doors to Perfections have been open for just over a year now, the average customer would swear the lounge has been around for ages. It’s not due to the wear and tear of the building. It’s not that the stylists are so wise from generations of experience (although they do boast an impressive resume). It’s because of the unparallel service Perfections provides. Service that is more often than not only found in the Crème-de-la-Crème, the best of the best and unfortunately, the most expensive facilities. So expensive in fact, that the average person would never be able to afford any services. Perfections is the Crème de la Crème and the best of the best, but it is most certainly affordable.

Clyde Brown, Perfections owner and founder always believed in the power and influence of the personal grooming industry. Perhaps more importantly he had first-hand knowledge of its importance. Brown’s father was a master barber as well as his brother and his sister was a stylist. Consequently, Brown didn’t have to look very far for ideas and inspiration. He credits his father, Clyde Pinnix, for his commitment to excellence within the industry.

“Growing up my dad owned and operated a barbershop for 40 years or more. What I learned from him is history; the craft of the business,” says Brown. “My dream is to complement my dad’s legacy and infuse a business element. To me, this industry is like no other.” Seemingly, the logical career path would have been for Brown to become a barber. On the contrary, he chose to get his feet wet in corporate America. Brown worked for several years as an IT project manager. Nevertheless, he never abandoned his dream of taking his father’s vision to the next level nor did he ever forsake his strong conviction of the power and influence of the personal grooming industry, especially within the black community.

Brown utilized his structured corporate background and knowledge to develop a prototype for a refined barber and beauty salon; one which offers the care and quality of days gone by as well as the innovation of tomorrow. As any corporate project manager worth his salt would do, Brown began planning, researching, interviewing and sampling. In fact, he spent nearly 12 years studying all the aspects of the industry. One could say Perfections Lounge has been over a decade in the making.

Brown, a native of Liberty, North Carolina, admitted he traveled across the United States. He visited with local hotspots as well as celebrity stylists. “I traveled from New York to Orlando to San Diego and many places in between,” he said. “I talked with the big guys like Curtis Smith, who is the personal barber to the likes of Diddy and Usher. I looked at the different trends within the industry and the future.”

Throughout all of Clyde’s travels, he had conversations with customers and even personally experienced the skills (or lack thereof) of various barbers. Brown came to the conclusion that even in the grooming industry success ultimately begins and ends with customer service; to be exact he says, “quality trumps quantity every time.” He also realized his mission was to not only establish a brand synonymous with excellence, but to change the mindset of today’s barbers and stylists. It is the mindset that places personal agenda before the customer. More importantly, it’s the mindset that has plagued the black community for ages – the belief that black barbers and beauticians are slow, temperamental, and self-absorbed at best and customers should simply deal with it.

Brown recalls tell of an incident in which a celebrity stylist referred a high-end client to a barber. While serving the preferred customer the barber felt it necessary to take a personal phone call. Consequently, the customer left displeased and demanded never to be seen by the barber again. The story simply reiterates Brown’s staunch belief in the importance of customer service. The barber lost a $1000 client because of his inability or refusal to put the customer first.

According to Brown, this sort of mentality is simply unacceptable and is certainly not the wave of the future. If the public questions what the future of the personal grooming industry resembles, a step inside Perfections Barber and Beauty Lounge will certainly provide a glimpse as well as showcase a well-oiled machine. From the time a customer walks into the lounge they will experience stellar service. Customers will be personally greeted by a receptionist, and offered bottled water. They will hear a steady, low-key stream of gospel, R&B and smooth jazz. The facility is outfitted with plush furniture and décor specifically designed to entice both male and female clientele in accordance with the unisex, familial atmosphere, and cubicle-styled booths for individualized care and attention. Quality cosmetology, barber and nail services are offered.

The lounge, which by the way, is the term Brown believes more accurately represents his facility and will eventually replace the faded out, “barber shop and beauty shop,” offers a major, unique service rarely seen within the local area. In keeping with the latest services offered throughout the industry, Perfections also offers massage therapy. Professional and licensed massage therapist Regina Gorrell is available on site ready to serve with a fully-functional, private room. Brown recognized early on that he needed to offer something different.

Message therapy has become more than just a way for customers to relax or indulge themselves. It has increasingly become more of a necessity in the lives of today’s overworked, underpaid and stressed employees. Furthermore, through countless hours of research, Brown realized employers are taking it upon themselves to solicit and suggest massage therapy on behalf of their employees. Mobile massage is even available for business needs.

Echoing Brown’s sentiments, Gorrell says, “Many people need to be educated on the many benefits of massage; the list goes far beyond just relaxation.” Gorrell’s technique is therapeutic in nature with relaxation being an added benefit. Brown says the premise is to foresee the need, meet the need and expand upon the service. “We are simply giving people another option,” says Brown. “It’s all about education, preventative care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

Each stylist at Perfections boasts an impressive resume. Lead stylists Natisha Shaw has been a professional cosmetologist for 14 years and has since added certified makeup artist to her repertoire within the last six years. Her signature scalp massages are a welcome throwback to a lost skill. For 15 years stylist Lisa Patterson has been specializing in color, cut, weaving, and natural hair all the while waving her banner saying, “healthy hair is growing hair.” Over the past six years master stylist Regina Rudolph has worked with various clients in different areas and offers a fresh passion and desire to see clients maintain healthy hair. She also specializes in silk wraps, natural blowouts and color. In the business for over 17 years, barber Arnold Day loves his chosen profession. “The best form of advertisement for a stylist is a happy and satisfied customer,” he states. He also believes God has blessed his hands and he will continue to glorify God through his work. After some time as “backyard barber,” or bootleg barber, Ronald Wilson has been with Perfections for just over a year, but has already adopted the education, customer and community-first ideals that personify the Perfections brand.

It is easy for customers to see the impeccable studio and the excellent service, but it’s what they don’t see that ensures the stellar services they enjoy. Brown is just as committed to teaching his stylists as well as anyone he encounters, the importance of education and honing a craft. He encourages the development of his staff, which includes being able to train others, setting goals, operating through tasks, public speaking and so much more. Additionally, Brown and Perfections stylists’ regularly have meetings and training sessions. “I hold them accountable and I invite them to hold me accountable,” he says. “Setting a standard for people will eventually compel them to rise to the standard. That’s why I am committed to reaching out to likeminded professionals who embrace the idea of restoring value and prestrige to our industry.”

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