A cut above: Hearing impaired stylist opens unique salon in South Knoxville
By Melanie Tucker | (email@example.com)
Christy Frazier-Paine, a 31-year-old mother of two, is using her business sense and sense of style to offer a unique experience not found anywhere else.
She opened her own hair salon almost a year ago in South Knoxville, a location she said is the perfect fit. That’s because this business entrepreneur has her shop, Salon Christy, near Tennessee School for the Deaf and other organizations that cater to the hearing impaired.
The hearing impaired are the clients she wants to serve. Frazier-Paine lost her own hearing when she was just 4 months old and said opening her salon to fit the needs of others like her has been a dream for years.
“Business is building up,” she said through an interpreter. She said the biggest challenge was finding a suitable place to rent. Now the client base is building as satisfied customers tell others about this one-of-a-kind place.
Frazier-Paine was born in Newport and started attending Tennessee School for the Deaf as a young child. She would ride the bus from Newport to the school in South Knoxville. She lived in the dorms when she was older and graduated from TSD in 2001.
After leaving high school, Frazier-Paine went to cosmetology school at Tennessee Technology Center in Knoxville. She worked at several salons but said there were definite obstacles because she is deaf. Some simply didn’t accept her. She has worked as a licensed cosmetologist for 13 years.
“My hair skills and professionalism were above par but society can be so judgmental,” Frazier-Paine explained via email. “Over the years I have formed a very good client base and after my last encounter at work I feel the time is long overdue for me to open my own business.”
This salon owner offers a range of services that include the latest cuts and styles, coloring, facials, manicures and pedicures. Frazier-Paine also sells a line of hair products and accessories, featuring Paul Mitchell and OPI lines. Salon Christy is open four days a week — Wednesday through Saturday.
Her website, http://www.SalonChristy.weebly.com offers other information on this unique salon. Online appointments can be made, or Frazier-Paine also takes appointments through texting.
This desire to be part of the beauty business, Frazier-Paine said, has been with her since she was 3 years old and used to go to the salon and sit next to one of the stylists. “I would sit and watch her work her magic,” she explained. “My love of hair began then and it has never stopped growing.”
There have been people Frazier-Paine has come into contact with over the years who doubted her. But she hasn’t let any of them keep her from taking this major step.
“I am handicapped but I am not lazy,” Frazier-Paine said. “All my life I have heard how unsuccessful I would be in life. I am very passionate about doing hair and I will so until I can’t anymore. At this point in my life, failure isn’t an option.”
Most of her clients are deaf or hard of hearing and she is fluent in sign language. Frazier-Paine also does some lip reading and wears hearing aids. She said she is looking at taking the next big step, which includes turning Salon Christy into a multi-store chain.
“Hundreds of deaf and hard of hearing people are just as excited as I am about this,” she said. “This is a salon where they don’t have to worry about being mistreated as deaf and dumb, but more importantly a salon stylist who can communicate and relate to them.”
This young mother of two said the last 12 years in the styling workforce was tough but it has only made her stronger and more determined to be her own boss. She said her husband, Charles, has been an important source of support as she takes this unique journey.