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Conversations with the Inspiring Shelby White

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shelby White.

Shelby, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in a small town in Connecticut. As a young girl, I loved everything about hair and makeup. I was heavy into dance and performing so makeup and hair was a big part of my life. I used to walk around the house with my grandmother’s red lipstick on, looking in every mirror I could find. My mother did not know what to do with me.

When I’m about to graduate from high school, I moved to Rhode Island and attended Toni and Guy Hairdressing Academy. After graduation in 2009, I began my career in the beauty industry.

I knew from the start, I wanted to do more than just be behind the chair cutting hair all day. I very quickly got into the fashion and bridal realm of this industry, working for multiple bridal companies in Rhode Island and Boston, doing a stylized photo shoot and also doing hair for providence Style week as well as a few small designers in New York. I love the creativity of hairstyling as well as the joy of making people feel and look amazing.

After working for and with some of the best people in the industry, I set out to one day open my own salon and start a company/empire of my own.

I would say my specialties are definitely bridal hair extensions and coloring specifically balayage.

I opened SW beauty March 2018, it’s a studio salon for both full service here and bridal.

Offering full-service hair and on location bridal services. SW beauty has been my dream and I’m excited for what the future holds for it.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s never a smooth road opening your own business. There is definitely a lot to learn and a few bumps along the way. With that being said I wouldn’t change it for the world.

My biggest struggle I would say was and still is at times, time management and finding the balance between work and personal life.

I am a workaholic! But I don’t mind it because I truly love what I do and at the end of the day be able to step back and say, “damn I did it!” Is a feeling every woman should feel!

We, as women tend to give and give, working our butts off and looking fabulous while doing so… it’s not easy! But it’s worth every bump, every tear and every break down on the drive home. Lol!

My advice to young women is that we can do anything and just keep pushing forward.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into SW Beauty story. Tell us more about the business.
I am a hairstylist, makeup artist and owner of SW Beauty!

I also educate for Hotheads Hair Extensions teaching other stylists about the brand and certifying them to use and apply for the extensions.

I would say, I specialize in a few things, including bridal up styling, blonding and balayage and extensions.
I am a meticulous and a perfectionist which shows in my work. Meticulous and a perfectionist which shows in my work.

I pride myself on my attention to detail, and customer service. I know life gets crazy and everyone wants good hair for events and things going on, so I tend to be VERY flexible and accommodating for my guests.

It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
Instagram has definitely change the hair industry and helped my career in more ways than one. Whether that’s exposure to new products techniques amazing stylists that inspire me. I have truly had the business grow with new clients both in the salon and bridal from Instagram. It’s free advertisement what’s better than that ?!

VagaroPro is my scheduling app! It’s amazing, sends out reminders to clients, people can book online, it tracks my inventory ect! Love it!

Another great tool is Milage IQ and Snapseed.

I have really been into audible books lately! Listening to ones that uplift and keeps motivated and going are key.
My favorites are: Three Feet from Gold and You are a Badass.

I also watch a million hair videos and blogs for techniques and ect education is key!!! My favorite person to watch is @lisalovesbalayage.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 23 North Rd
    Suite A16
    Wakefield, RI
  • Website:
  • Phone: 401-515-5631
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @shelbywhite_hmu

Image Credit:

Trisha Kelley Photography, Ryan Devoll

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