Women & Business Profile: Chelsea Bruce-McCrommon
“I am always willing to try anything. You never know what will help your business in the long run.”
Owner and CEO, Chelsea Rae Salon and Chelsea Rae Salon Consulting
Chelsea Bruce-McCrommon’s successful 16-year career began with a hobby she pursued in college: styling hair.
Owner and CEO of Chelsea Rae Salon, a multicultural salon that specializes in naturally curly and textured hair, Bruce-McCrommon can give anyone in Pittsburgh a fresh cut, color or hairstyle. Her main goal, though, is to help clients love their natural curls by showing them simple hair care. Her “hair knowledge knows no bounds,” as she regularly takes classes that help her keep up to date on the latest hair trends and business tips. “I am always willing to try anything. You never know what will help your business in the long run,” she says.
Bruce-McCrommon launched her salon after years working as a partner in a traditional salon. The knowledge she gained in the process led her to start a second business, Chelsea Rae Salon Consulting, which helps other hairstylists open their own salons. “A lot of stylists feel as though if they leave their current salon they would be starting all over clientele-wise,” she says. “When I left my salon, I felt the same way, and I think that resonates with my consulting clients.”
Going forward, Bruce-McCrommon wants to prepare salon owners for unforeseen circumstances that can potentially harm their businesses, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. She also hopes to use her knowledge to teach other salons how to style textured hair, a topic she says most cosmetology schools don’t cover.
Bruce-McCrommon supports national passage of the CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. The law would prohibit race-based hair discrimination that denies employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture or protective hairstyles such as braids, locs, twists or bantu knots.
The best advice she’s ever received is to “let your business work for you” and to “work smarter, not harder.”
“When I decided to go off on my own, I knew I needed to have a better work and home balance, Bruce-McCrommon says. “Those quotes helped hold me accountable to make it to my kids’ after-school sporting events and family functions that were sometimes during my usual work hours.”
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