Candy Shaw Named Atlanta's Small Business Person of the Year

Celebrity hairstylist Candy Shaw, the CEO and founder of Sunlights Balayage, Inc., the makers and purveyors of leading balayage products and education, has been named Atlanta’s ‘Small Business Person of the Year’ by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, at an awards ceremony held on September 20th at the Georgia Aquarium.

Shaw won in the ‘Emerging Entrepreneur’ category for businesses between the ages of 3-7; her hair color company—Sunlights, recently turned three. Wells Fargo Bank’s Regional President, Mike Donnelly, presented Shaw with the prestigious award at the 31st annual awards presentation.

Of the eighteen nominees, seventeen attended college. Half went on to graduate school (predominately receiving MBAs). And nearly a quarter hold doctorate degrees.

In her acceptance speech Shaw remarked: “I never went to college. I never even went to beauty school. I traded haircuts for math homework to graduate high school. I’m a ‘street punk’. I succeeded based on the sheer will and determination to survive. I built my foundation on the bricks that others threw at me! I created Sunlights because I wanted to help stylists, who are predominately women (85% in North America), earn a better living and live a better life. I also wanted to decrease the environmental impact that hairdressing has on the planet. By eliminating the use of aluminum foil in coloring hair, Sunlights is a much ‘greener,’ more sustainable practice.”

Industry notables contacted by the Atlanta Business Chronicle had this to say about Shaw:

“I have known Candy for over 25 years. Some would consider us competitors, but that never mattered. Candy is genuine and truly engaged, no matter who is standing in front of her. She is inclusive in a world that often times forces people to be exclusive. Does Candy have one of the best products and businesses around? Probably, but I wouldn’t know much about that. What I do know is that Candy, the person/friend/wife/business woman and human being brings a lot of hope and joy to me personally, as well as to the masses,” says Winn Claybaugh Dean & Cofounder of Paul Mitchell Schools, Author, BE NICE (OR ELSE!)

“Candy Shaw is a wonderful businesswoman. The hardest working person I know and her product is one of the fastest growing in the industry. I’ve known Candy for almost 10 years, and am always amazed by her enthusiasm, her work ethic but most of all, her willingness to share and help others. She is truly ‘the face of our industry’– and highlights all that is good about the salon community,” says Steve Reiss Publisher, Modern Salon Media
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