Pamela D. Hogan knows the beauty of business–inside and out. ?The veteran hair stylist and beauty educator, has traveled the world–from the UK to Nigeria to Trinidad– teaching professionals and consumers. Hogan also serves as the research and development consultant for one of the largest multicultural haircare brands, Strength of Nature. Strength of Nature is the maker of African Pride, Beautiful Textures, Elasta QP, Mega Growth, Soft & Beautiful, Soft & Beautiful Botanicals, TCB, and Proline Comb Thru lines.
Since getting the itch to enter the world of beauty at age of 15, Hogan, who has a salon and cosmetology school in Atlanta, has gone on to style such celebrities as Lynn Whitfield, Raven Symone?, Kelly Price, Steve Harvey, Lisa Wu Hartwell, Michael Baisden and Angela Bassett.
Hogan takes TNJ.com inside the beauty and haircare industry.
TNJ.com: What do you love about cosmetology?
Pamela Hogan: I love making people feel beautiful inside and out. The industry is very exciting, never boring and has much to offer. It allows you to carry so many titles at once. For instance, I am a licensed master cosmetolologist, teaching instructor, beauty expert, international educator, producer, developer, consultant, salon owner and school director/owner. I love what I do!
TNJ.com: What are all the services you provide?
PH: My cosmetology school, Hogan Institute of Cosmetology & Esthetics, offers an array of services from cuts, colors, perms/relaxers, extensions, all sorts of healthy hair care solutions, manicures, pedicures, facials/skin care services and more.
TNJ.com: What have been some business challenges and how have you overcome them?
PH: Just before opening Hogan Institute of Cosmetology & Esthetics, I felt like I did not have enough experience as a teacher. I confided in a young lady that I met at the school I graduated from. She was now teaching at a well-known school in the Atlanta Metro Area. I thought she had all the answers. We partnered up to open the school together but the problem was she had no money. We worked the kinks out so she could repay her half over a period of time. ?My husband has carpentry skills and her husband had electrical skills so they worked together to get our building ready. When it was time to do the work, she wanted us to pay her husband for his labor. My husband was willing to do the labor for free on my behalf but sometimes when you think you have a good partner you find out otherwise. We had to dismiss them from the partnership. Now my husband and I were on our own. How was I going to do this? I started praying and asking God to guide me. I have been a confident person all my life even in the beauty industry. I love a challenge, but I felt like I was in unknown territory. I was determined not to let this break me. My husband and I put every cent of our money together to make this school work. I began to do a lot of my research online and ask a lot of questions, frequently calling the State Board and checking twice to make sure my paperwork was in order.? Meanwhile, my husband was submitting permits with the city. We worked day and night non stop. This became our life’s goal. Three years later, we are still here and strong!
TNJ.com: Were you affected by the financial crisis? If so, how did you deal with it?
PH: I was not affected by the crisis because the beauty industry is recession-proof. People pay for what they want and they love looking good and feeling good. The beauty industry is a billion dollar industry that is here to stay.
TNJ.com: How did you start to serve as the research and development consultant for Strength of Nature? And what sorts of things do you do for the company?
PH: I started with the company initially about 13 years ago as a platform/print work artist. After about 1-2 years working with the company the owner was so impressed with my dedication and knowledge on healthy hair care that he asked me to help test and develop a product called Growth Renew Design to help rejuvenate the hair follicles to allow the hair to grow back. The product did so well that I was asked to be a permanent consultant for research.
TNJ.com: Do you feel the African-American beauty consumer is still being overlook by the industry? If so, why do you think this is still the case even with the huge buying power the Black consumer has?
PH: I think that African-American consumers play a very important role in making the beauty industry such a success. I know it is not being overlooked by the big cosmetic companies because they are buying the African-American companies out left and right. They understand our buying power. I just think we don’t understand it. If African-American cosmetic companies joined together to keep their companies in control, financially stable and marketed correctly to their consumers, then there would be no need to sell out.
TNJ.com: What are your goals for the rest of the year?
PH: My goals for the rest of the year are to focus more on the school to make it bigger and better; continue to push the envelope with the beauty industry; and challenge myself in the educational development for the young minds that want to enter into the exciting world of the beauty.
TNJ.com: What are your long-term goals?
PH: I want to open more schools across the country inspiring people of all ages that the sky is the limit and if you truly want to become a cosmetologist or esthetician, we can teach you everything there is to know about the beauty industry at Hogan Institute of Cosmetology & Esthetics.