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Meet Chadwick Pendley and Igor Araujo of Ouidad Salon Fort Lauderdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chadwick Pendley and Igor Araujo.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
When I was 8 years old I had found an image of a haircut that I thought was awesome. I went to my guy and showed him the torn magazine page and asked to have my haircut like the model in the picture. He nailed it. I felt like I could do anything in that moment and I felt like I was the most important boy around. I was confident and I was happy wearing a smile that must have lasted as long as the haircut. It was later that day I knew that I wanted to help others feel the same way about themselves that I felt that day. I decided then and there in a small town in KY that I would cut hair. I started immediately after high school with my training and I trained every opportunity I could and I trained everywhere I could. I remember once driving 7 hours just to see someone cut hair and learn his techniques. When his class was finished I drove the same 7 hours in order to be back at the salon the following day and share these techniques with my clients.

It was around 15 years into my career that I met Ouidad. I flew to NYC to learn how to cut and care for naturally curly hair. There I was and there she was. I was nervous and I was excited. She was tough and she was very protective over her certifications. If you didn’t get her methodology you were going home. I decided in that moment that I would push myself and work on the most challenging of models with the craziest heads of curls. She noticed and shared with me techniques that forever changed my career. I returned many times to her NYC salon and trained harder and learned more and more and more. Soon I was there in that exact same spot on a Sunday morning welcoming the stylist to their certification only this time I was the Master Artistic Educator and I was teaching as she had me years before.

I currently spend most weekends traveling all over the United States empowering others in the art of cutting curly hair. Somewhere in all this I met Igor. Again my life was forever changed. He was coloring hair and with so much passion I knew I had to know more about this energetic and brilliant young man who had made his way to America from Brazil. The day I knew we had to team up and do amazing things was an ordinary day. He was busy at the computer and had been for many late nights. When I asked what he was up to he informed me that he was writing an online book for young curls teaching them how to style their hair. There it was! I saw in that moment the same driving force in him the wanting to help others. I knew then and I certainly know now. We are going to do great things to help others. We began to work together shortly after that day in the same salon. He was coloring my clients and I was free to focus and only cut their curls which is my true passion. He immediately began to color with techniques that catered to curls. He saw curls differently and understood that they must be colored differently. He was and still is developing new ways to enhance curls through his art, hair coloring. Both Igor and I believed that we knew and understood curls and their owners and felt like they deserved a place they could call home. A salon where they could trust that they were in the most loving and caring hands. A place that understood their hair coloring and cutting services where unique like their curls and should be approached the same way. We wanted a space that was not only beautiful but a space that was luxurious and offered the most state of the art applications. We believe curls are unique, beautiful and awe-inspiring and felt the salon should reflect this. It’s so wonderful to see just how much our guests love the space and environment they have their curls cared for in. We knew we wanted the space to be beautiful but I don’t think we realized just how beautiful it was becoming.

I was teaching in NYC one weekend and Igor and I were speaking on the phone. I remember Igor saying to me I think our salon is more beautiful than we imagined and I think when you see this week’s progress you will be so excited. He was right! I was overwhelmed and I remember thinking that that was a sign from the universe that we were headed in the right direction. We were and still we are so excited to have anyone visit us. Since we are both educators we have many stylists from all over the country fly in to shadow and study how we do what we do. Our salon is also a training academy where stylist can attend the two day certification that Ouidad taught me over a decade ago. We believe through education all things are possible. We believe this so much we created The Learning Lounge. The heartbeat of our salon. We want clients to know and understand their curls on an entirely different level. The Learning Lounge is where clients can participate in hands on DIY classes offered to help empower them. We want them to style their curls as well as we do, so, once a month’s we host The Curl Talk Class. They arrive with their blow dryer and diffuser and are guided step by step on how to style their individual head of curls. They leave so confident. It is such a beautiful moment to see an individual love how they appear and to have been the one to achieve this look themselves. Not only do we offer classes that are complimentary we like to reward our guests. We have clubs that offer savings off of various services. Clubs that make it affordable to visit the salon frequently. We have created a bit of a community here and our girls look forward to their next visit. It is so fun and an honor to see a salon filled with naturally curly haired individuals sipping Rosè, Mimosa’s, Champagne, Red or White Wine, an exotic tea or a coffee drink chosen from a very extensive Nespresso coffee menu. We want to pamper and spoil or guests. Currently we are putting together a calendar of guests’ artists to appear in the salon. These talented artist are individuals I have met in all my teaching escapades all across the U.S… They excel in our craft and we want to share their talents with South Florida. We host many special events at the salon as a way to help empower others and continue to grow and educate not only ourselves but our clients as well. We are hosting a book launch this November for the founder of Naturallycurly.com Michelle Breyer. She is a huge voice for those with naturally curly hair and has been a constant guide and source of information for over two decades now. We want everyone no matter what to feel good about their naturally curly hair and our salon is the platform upon which we put this belief into practice.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
One of our greatest obstacles to overcome is building a business that caters to those with naturally curly hair. Finding stylist and colorist to build a team that cater to only curls is not that easy. Most hairdressers want to do everything. Team members here are focused on doing one thing and doing it well. Either you cut or you color and even more specific you do this on naturally curly hair. This provides an environment where one can hone in on his/her craft and excel. Before we even opened we were repeatedly told that our ideal would not work. 1 in 10 interviewees would be interested. We pursued and have brought talent in from various areas of the country, NYC, L.A., Connecticut as well as some amazing local talent. In fact in under a year of opening we have stylist from all over the country flying in to shadow and learn our techniques and business models. We were voted on and placed in the Top 20 Salons of America today by Salon Today after only being open 6 months.

Ouidad Salon Fort Lauderdale by Chadwick and Igor – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We specialize in naturally curly hair! We are totally geared to cater to naturally curly hair. Our entire approach is different than any other salon found in America. We empower our clients to love and understand their hair on an entirely different level. We believe by properly educating our clients about their own unique head of curls we can achieve great things together. We are known as The Curl Specialist. We take pride in the fact that we are changing the lives of people with naturally curly hair one person at a time. We are helping parents of bi-racial families understand their child’s hair. We are helping women 50 years + to finally embrace their natural curls and we are helping women to transition from chemically straightened hair to luscious beautiful curls. The education we instill in our clients is paramount. We offer DiY videos while you wait in the lounge, a complimentary monthly styling class, and extensive shared information with each visit to the salon. Through education we want to “free your curls”.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
We feel that success is a client who owns her beauty. We love the opportunity to help others achieve this. We get a lot of hugs and a whole lot of tears of joy and happiness mixed with relief and we believe that this is a pretty good indication we are doing things right.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
David Silverman & Christopher Hooper, Steve Richner @ DigitalBusiness360.com

Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Jerry Butcher

    August 5, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Chad,You have come a long way from the days of Muhlenberg County, KY and “Spartan Pride.” I can say, “I knew you when.” Congrats on a great ambition and success. You did Powderly proud.

    Jerry Butcher

  2. Mercedes Silva

    September 23, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Loved this editorial. It was very inspiring. It just so happens that I have curly hair. I’ll be making an appointment for my next cut!

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