For Nadia Duncan, owner of Posh Salon in Williamsburg, Virginia, each day is a balancing act. As a mom to three and currently pregnant with her fourth, Nadia has learned just what it takes to balance a successful salon with all that motherhood entails.
As both the owner and an Elite Stylist at Posh, her responsibilities expand across both her work and home life. “I’m a stylist for around 30 hours per week and a mom and owner 24/7,” Nadia shares.
It’s her passion and love for what she does, and for her family, that keep her going throughout the ups and downs of finding that perfect balance. “In this industry full of moms,” Nadia says, “I think it’s time to celebrate how much we all handle and how awesome we are at doing it...we’re much more than just stylists.”
Journey to Ownership
Having deep roots in the industry, Nadia became the owner of Posh salon in 2014. However, her journey started long before that. “I was always the one doing everyone’s hair for Homecoming in high school,” Nadia says.
After trying college and deciding it wasn’t the right fit, Nadia found herself ready for the next adventure. “One day, I went to the hairdresser that I had always gone to growing up with my mom,” Nadia shares. “The owner pulled me aside and told me about the Aveda Institute and told me I should apply...I started the next month.”
It was this decision that launched her career forward. After studying at The Aveda Fredericks Institute in Cincinnati, she graduated and began working as an apprentice in that same salon.
It was during cosmetology school that Nadia met her husband, Clay. “He’s been there since the start,” Nadia says. “He’s been on this journey with me for 20 years.”
While Clay is a prominent part of Posh today, his commitment to Nadia’s goals started early on. “When we were about to get married, we met with a financial planner and started doing investments,” Nadia says. “I knew that my long-term goal was to be a salon owner, so we began investing in 2002.”
Fast forward to 2014, Nadia found herself and her family in Williamsburg, Virginia. She began interviewing for jobs, since her oldest two were school-aged at that point, and landed on working at Posh salon. Six months later, the owner at the time approached Nadia and told her she was retiring and selling the salon. “I went home and told Clay about this and his response immediately was that we should buy the salon,” Nadia shares. “And we did!”
When Nadia took over ownership, the salon had five stylists and only carried hair care products. Under her ownership, Nadia has taken Posh to an entirely new level of luxury.
“We turned it into a concept salon and then into a lifestyle salon, which is the biggest you can be in the world of Aveda,” Nadia says. “We moved to our new location two years ago because we needed more space, we were just busting at the seams.” Now with an entire retail area with products from skincare to CBD, a team of 23 stylists, and an expanded list of services, Posh has become a noteworthy name in Williamsburg and beyond.
A Balancing Act
Currently in her second pregnancy since she has been with Posh, Nadia has experienced first-hand what it takes to be a successful stylist and owner while juggling motherhood. “As a stylist and a natural perfectionist, I found myself trying to be the best at all of my roles,” Nadia says. “I’ve had to swallow my pride and realize I can’t do it all. I either have to ask for help here or at home.”
With a supportive husband always willing to take on more time with their children and a management team to back up her role at Posh, she feels confident in doing what it takes to balance her life as a mother and owner. She has also found that pregnancies and the daily nuances of motherhood have allowed her to connect with guests on a whole new level. “It’s just another way to feel closer to each other,” Nadia shares. “With my clients that come in every 5-6 weeks, they see a progression in my belly.”
Nadia’s role as a working mother has allowed her to find time for both her children and her salon. “My children understand that even though I work, and even though Mommy has to work some Sundays, I’m able to be there for them,” Nadia shares. It’s this commitment that has allowed her to not only tell her kids this, but show them. She’s able to be around for the milestones, the sports games, and the school meetings. Through good communication with their school and community, she makes time to be there for those can’t-miss events. While it’s always a balancing act, she finds that it has paid off in her relationships with her children as well.
“My time spent with my kids is valued more now as a working mom than it was when I was a stay-at -home mom,” Nadia shares. “I'm a totally different mother now than I was then.”
A Family Affair
Nadia isn’t alone in this juggle between hair and motherhood. In fact, in the past three years, Posh salon has welcomed nine babies. Over half of the stylists at Posh are mothers themselves. “I don’t give a restriction on maternity leave,” Nadia shares. “Because I want them to come back happy and when they want to come back.”
In addition to offering supplemental insurance and other benefits, is the reason that Posh stands out as a mom-friendly salon when it comes to both their guests and their team. Not only does Posh encourage maternity leave for new moms, but Nadia also sees the importance in supporting her staff as they navigate motherhood.
“I’ve been there,” Nadia shares. “I’ve been behind the chair with a guest only to have to run and bring my son something at school while my client’s color processed!” She understands the importance of giving stylists the opportunity to be home when their child is sick, to be able to attend big events, and all of the other “in-between” moments of motherhood.
With Posh’s maternity policy in place, Nadia found that it was essential to have her team trained and in sync with one another to account for motherhood and other life events that come up. “When their usual stylist is out, we want our guests to feel confident that they’re going to get the same service regardless of who they come see,” Nadia says. “This is why we chose to use a VISH color system, so that everything is stored from your previous visits.”
Moving Forward into More
As she prepares for her new arrival in October, Nadia is confident about leaving the salon in good hands. “The thing about being a mother is learning that you have a good team behind you,” Nadia says. “I know that I can go on maternity leave and not worry about how the salon will run.” To do this, Nadia takes great pride in putting systems in place where there are rules and concrete processes. Because of these systems, she can rest easy knowing that each aspect of Posh is in capable hands.
Looking back, Nadia remembers a time where she took a walk with a friend who asked her, “Did you ever think you’d be where you are now?” As she fondly looks back on the journey she’s been on throughout salon ownership and motherhood, she is able to feel proud of her accomplishments and the salon she is building. “It kind of feels like a dream sometimes,” Nadia shares. “There’s so much more growth and the sky's the limit...I’m never going to stop trying.”
As both Nadia and the salon continues to grow, some things will stay the same. “While we’re always trying to stay ahead of the industry, we don’t ever forget the people we cater to,” Nadia says. “We’re a Williamsburg salon and we’re a family atmosphere...it’s a big deal for us.”
As Nadia, Clay, and the rest of the team support one another each day, the end goal is to see their family at Posh and at home continue to grow and continue to be happy. It’s this belief that she takes to heart and transfers into each and every area of her life, both personally and professionally. “I am proud to be a working mom and still feel extremely involved in my children’s lives,” Nadia shares. “While I might miss homework time some nights, I’m always able to be there for the times that really matter.”