Terese Hutchison and The Dooby Shop

by Terry Watson | March 13th, 2014
Terese Hutchison (photo by Brad McKenzie)

Terese Hutchison (photo by Brad McKenzie)

Terese Swan Hutchison is a Charlotte native that continues to leave her mark in the Queen City Beauty Industry. At the age of 12 she started styling her own hair and then the hair of her family and friends. At a young age Hutchison found her passion. After graduating from Harding University High School she attended Southeastern Beauty School and became a licensed stylist in 1994. A year later, she purchased her first salon at the age of 21. Her passion became her career and it has always been about making people look good and feel good about themselves as a person and not just a client.

Fast forward about 20 years and you can still find the same level of passion about her career choice. Hutchison is currently the owner and operator of The Dooby Shop Salons and The Dooby Shop School of Cosmetology. There are currently two salon locations; however, at one point she owned and operated up to five locations with approximately 45 stylists.

A master stylist in her own right, Hutchison ensures that she remains current and relevant in this ever-growing industry by continuing to stay on top of the current trends and educating herself. She maintains that the key to success in the beauty industry is educating yourself, training your staff and providing quality customer service. She is always attending Hair and Trade Shows, continuing education seminars and researching top trends. And as a good leader, she takes back what she has gained to her staff so that they can continue to meet the needs and demands of their clients.

A leader in the Charlotte Beauty Industry through the knowledge and experience that she has acquired has positioned her for some top accolades. Some of the awards that she has received include: Best Salon, Best Salon Interior, 1st place Fantasy Design, 1st place Platform Work for a Product line, Top Promoter of a Trade Show for securing over 200 exhibitors and vendors, Charlotte Post Stylist of the Year and 2010 Hoodie Awards nomination for Best Salon. Hutchison was also recognized as the 2012 Innovator of the Year by Your Eccentric Style Beauty & Barber Network (YESBBNET). She has been successful because she practices what she preaches. The advice that she would give to others she gives to herself. Hutchison lives by the old adage that you get back what you put in. She says that you have to be able to devote yourself to your business and you should create your business to work for you. She encourages salon owners to build a strong system, build a strong team, develop the best training and always provide the best customer service. The most important advice that she gives is that no one will know you exist if you don’t promote your business. Now is the age of social media and promoting you is easier than it has been in years.

In 2012 Hutchison decided to expand her empire in the making and to include a beauty school. The Dooby Shop School of Cosmetology will open its doors in early 2014. The school is a longtime dream of hers and will also place her as the [first] African American woman to own and operate a Cosmetology School in Charlotte, N.C. With the opening of the school Hutchison is imprinting another mark in her legacy. She sees the school as an opportunity to present to young ladies that want to be professional stylists that she didn’t have. When she was training to become a stylist she had to first graduate High School before attending Cosmetology school. She believes that when you know what you want to do there shouldn’t be age limits on when you can start to fulfill your dream. Individuals as young as 16 can apply for admission to The Dooby Shop School of Cosmetology and there are no requirements for a High School Diploma or G.E.D.

For those salon owners that may want to open a beauty school, Hutchison implores them to be sure that they are doing it for the right reason. She insists that you must be willing to give of their time and talents to shape the lives and careers and individuals that you will be mentoring. Over the last 20 years Hutchison has taught, trained and re-trained staff as the cycle of stylists coming and going continues. For her, the school will allow the flexibility to personally educate and develop stylists and filter them directly into her salons. A benefit of attending the school provided guaranteed job placement at any of The Dooby Shop locations. Outside of her salons and school, she is also the CEO of Carolinas 1st Outpatient Therapeutic Counseling Center and a single mother of three sons; Eddie, Jr., Jonquail and Tyrese.

How does she balance all of this? She lives by her favorite scripture Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and says she gives God all of the glory for the works in her life. Hutchison says wherever she is something gets left at the door. When she is in the office home is at home and when she is at home office paperwork is left in the car. Vacations also help. As she continues to build her legacy Hutchison is excited about the possibilities. Her ultimate goal is to franchise her salons and schools – expanding further into North Carolina and into Georgia and Virginia. Could she also be the next Kim Kimble – celebrity hair stylist? Maybe. She says that she would love to style Oprah Winfrey. Why Oprah? Not just because she is Oprah but because of her style. She likes the fact that her soft, healthy hair is always professionally styled without the need for extensive hair weaving.

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