Mechelle Khodayari, co-owner of Aria Salon Spa Shoppe based in Alpharetta, Georgia. 
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Mechelle Khodayari, co-owner of Aria Salon Spa Shoppe based in Alpharetta, Georgia. 

Mechelle Khodayari is a second generation stylist, who started her career under the award-winning duo and platform artists Sandra and Brian Smith. In 1991, she moved to Atlanta where she worked her way up to a master level designer and education director for another fast-paced salon. At the same time, she was a color educator for the Aveda network. In 2000, Mechelle and her husband Matthew opened Aria Salon Spa Shoppe with a focus on customer service. The salon now has two locations in Alpharetta and Cumming, Georgia. In 2017, Mechelle was selected to be a member of Intercoiffure Canada America. During her spare time she enjoys gardening and painting. Most of her inspiration comes from nature and the outdoors. 

As part of a leadership series with Intercoiffure, SALON TODAY recently caught up with Mechelle:

ST: From where does your entrepreneurial drive originate?
Mechelle: “I’m an accidental entrepreneur! I just wanted to have an environment that allowed me to be me.”

ST: What are your strongest leadership qualities?
Mechelle: “Empathy and flexibility.”

ST: How would you describe your management style?
Mechelle: “I don’t mind getting dirty. I’m out there in the trenches with everyone else.”

ST: What’s the best lesson you’ve learned after making a mistake?
Mechelle: “History seldom remembers failures. Tomorrow is another day.”

ST: Who has been your biggest mentor?
Mechelle: “My husband and business partner of 32 years.”

ST: What’s the best thing an employee/colleague ever said about you? 
Mechelle:
“She cares.”

ST: How would you like to spend your retirement?
Mechelle:
“Quietly reading a good novel in my garden.”

ST: Describe your company’s culture.
Mechelle:
“A flat organization with like-minded people, who are trying to make a difference.”

ST: What business project are you working on now?
Mechelle:
“Building out our next salon.”

ST: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise most of the people you know in the professional beauty industry.
Mechelle:
“I love to ride my skateboard.”

ST: Why did you want to join Intercoiffure?
Mechelle:
“If you want to be the best, you must learn from the best.”

For more information about Intercoiffure Canada America and becoming a member, visit Intercoiffure.com.