Chelsea Bruce McCrommon
Owner and CEO, Chelsea Rae Salon and Chelsea Rae Salon Consulting
Chelsea Bruce-McCrommon’s successful 16-year career began with a hobby she pursued through college: hairdressing.
Owner and CEO of Chelsea Rae Salon, a multicultural salon specializing in naturally curly and textured hair, Bruce-McCrommon can give anyone in Pittsburgh a fresh cut, color or hairstyle. Her main goal, however, is to help customers love their natural curls by showing them simple hair care. Her “hair knowledge knows no bounds” as she regularly attends classes that help her keep up to date with the latest hair trends and business tips. “I’m always willing to try anything. You never know what will help your business in the long run,” she says.
Bruce-McCrommon launched his salon after years of working as a partner in a traditional salon. The knowledge she gained in the process led her to start a second business, Chelsea Rae Salon Consulting, which helps other hairdressers open their own salons. “A lot of stylists feel like if they left their current salon, they would start over in terms of clientele,” she says. “When I left my salon, I felt the same way, and I think that resonates with my consulting clients.”
Going forward, Bruce-McCrommon wants to prepare salon owners for unforeseen circumstances that could harm their business, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. She also hopes to use her knowledge to teach other salons how to style textured hair, a topic she says most cosmetology schools don’t cover.
Bruce-McCrommon supports national adoption of the CROWN Act, which means creating a respectful and open world for natural hair. The law would prohibit race-based hair discrimination that denies employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture or protective hairstyles such as braids, locs, twists or Bantu knots.
The best advice she’s ever received is to “let your business work for you” and to “work smarter, not harder.”
“When I decided to go solo, I knew I needed to have a better balance between work and home,” says Bruce-McCrommon. “These quotes helped me hold myself accountable for attending my kids’ after-school sporting events and family gatherings that sometimes happened during my regular work hours.”
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