Many people claim a movie was a life-changer, but for Van Council, who was inspired to go to cosmetology school by 1975’s Shampoo, a movie really did determine his destiny.
Nine years later after graduation, Council partnered with his brother Michael to launch the first Van Michael Salon in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, the salon company boasts seven locations throughout the greater Atlanta area, and Council has captured multiple awards for hairdressing.
A savvy business owner, Council’s heart is still a creative one. He loves to put together creative show presentations for Aveda, and recently he was named as the new Fashion Director for Intercoiffure, one of the industry’s most prestigious hairdressing organizations.
While Council still seeks challenge in his personal pursuits of white-water kayaking and long-distance road biking, the rest seems to come pretty easy to this southern gentleman with a silky drawl and a warm smile. Through his generosity of spirit, Council is always willing to share his business mind and his steps to success with other salon owners.
For what time is your alarm set?
What’s for breakfast?
I like to eat a big breakfast because I know I’m going to work out hard later, so usually it involves a lot of eggs and a lot of fruit.
First item you like to cross off of your daily list of things to do?
Riding my bike.
What time do you go in to the salons?
It really varies but most the time, it’s afternoon.
How much time do you spend there?
I try to visit every location at least once a week.
What’s for lunch?
Grilled Chicken and Vegetables.
Who do you wish you could have lunch with?
What’s your daily fitness ritual?
After breakfast, I do at least two hours on my bike. A couple of days a week, I also lift weights.
Biggest waste of time on a daily basis?
Sitting in Atlanta traffic.
What do you do when slacking off is an option?
Spend time with my kids or go white water kayaking.
When do you get your best ideas?
When riding my bike.
What would surprise me about you?
I cry during movies.
Cat, dog or something else?
Dogs! I have two—Rosie and Sophie.
Do you cook, and what’s your favorite meal?
No, I don’t, but my favorite meal is Sushi.
What time do you go to sleep? Do you sleep well?
11pm and yes, I sleep well because I’m medicated well.
What do you love about your life?
I love the people I am surrounded by – my family and my co-workers.
What would you change about the world if you could?
I would love to live in a world without prejudice of any kind.
What career would you have if you weren't a hairdresser?
A Navy Seal.
What would you tell your 18-year-old self?
I wouldn’t change anything, so I would tell myself to go in the direction of my dreams. To do what I love and to not worry about the money, that it will come.
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