Makayla Jones’ passion for beauty started in middle school, when she started doing her friends’ hair and makeup for picture day. She realized she had a talent for helping people look their best, so she enrolled in beauty school immediately after high school.
These days Makayla owns and operates MakJones Co. at Executive Beauty Suites in Everett, sharing space with her middle school friend Roberta Smith of Diamond Touch Studio. But it was a long road for the two entrepreneurs to find their ideal home base.
“Fresh out of beauty school I worked at a corporate salon, but after about five years they closed without any warning,” Makayla says. “Then I freelanced for many years, styling for weddings and driving from client to client cutting hair. During the first few years of the pandemic I liked freelancing because it meant that I didn’t have to worry about paying rent. But driving in traffic became really draining.”
Finding a home away from home
Roberta also got her start at a corporate salon, before renting a chair at one local salon, and then another. going into business with a very good friend. Unfortunately, their business partnership wasn’t a success.
“I was working alongside very good friends, but we weren’t compatible business partners. At the first salon, I found out that the owner wasn’t keeping up with her rent and utility bills. At the next, stylists were stealing product, and their behavior was actually making me lose clientele,” she says.
So when Roberta heard about Executive Beauty Suites, she decided it was time to branch out on her own. Josh and Laycee Gwyther run Executive Beauty Suites, where they rent space to other beauty businesses at extremely reasonable rates, and also offer classes, mentorship and other networking services.
“Laycee and Josh are amazing. I’ve been here four years now — it’s my home away from home.”
The perfect fit
Roberta invited Makayla to share her suite at Executive Beauty Suites, where their middle school acquaintance has grown into a strong business partnership.
“We’ve built this awesome relationship where I can depend on her and she can depend on me. I’m so grateful for her!” Roberta says.
The two businesses generally keep separate opening hours, though Roberta says they often share skills, ideas, and push each other to keep improving.
“It works for us! We’re both moms, and we both get it,” Makayla says. “Executive Beauty Suites is a great, accessible location. If we ever have a problem, Laycee and Josh are right on top of it — they were amazingly supportive when I had to go on maternity leave. Laycee is also offering a class on business taxes coming up, which is going to be so useful.”
MakJones Co. offers hair, make-up and other beauty services, with an emphasis on women’s empowerment.
“Clients sometimes thank me by saying, ‘You made me look pretty.’ I always correct them — you ARE pretty, I just help bring out your natural beauty,” Makayla says.
Diamond Touch Studio offers beauty, cosmetic and personal care services, with a current emphasis on hair services. Roberta is working towards her body enhancement certification, and is hoping to begin offering noninvasive body sculpting cavitation later this year.
“So many of my clients are looking forward to that! Most of us have had children but don’t want to get a ‘mommy tuck’ surgery. This body enhancement follows the natural curves of your body, enhancing your existing shape without surgery,” Roberta says.
Find Diamond Touch Studio on Facebook and Instagram @diamondtouchstudio. Find MakJones Co. on Facebook and Instagram @makjonesco. Executive Beauty Suites empowers new and established entrepreneurs by providing an environment where independent businesses can thrive at 111 SE Everett Mall Way, Building F, Everett. Learn more at exbsuites.com.
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