By Angela Cutrer

Salon owner Tammy Herod has been in business for more than three decades, but she’s only been a “business person” for about 20. 

In 1994 came her first real lesson about business, occurring on a “day that my life changed,” she said. It was at Dudley Cosmetology University in North Carolina that Herod learned that as a person who “does hair,” she is the only person allowed to touch another person’s body, except for a doctor.

“I learned that ‘doing hair’ is much broader than just the hair on a person’s head,” she said. “It’s much deeper. A dentist couldn’t have a nail tech in his office – it would be odd. But I can have someone doing nails in my salon, as well as working with hair waxing, eyebrow arching, giving a massage or fitting a wig.”

With that ability, Herod felt great responsibility to her clients. She took those lessons about offering services and nourished her dream of running a successful salon with a large clientele. “I’ve built my business on customer service; it is my desire to satisfy everyone who comes into my salon,” she said. “I want you to get what you came for.”

Herod said she’s not sure that today’s upcoming stylists have the same thoughts about their craft, but hers has never changed. Whether you are in her salon, Tammy’s Hair Gallery, for relaxers, waves, eyebrows, eyelashes, weaves or wigs, Herod wants you to leave satisfied. If you aren’t, she’ll redo it all until you are. After all, the salon’s motto is “Looking good is understood.”

The lessons from the university helped her to become the best hairdresser she could be, but she wanted more. Herod has since branched out her business after a much smaller start. After working with another hair professional, Herod opened her own shop, but the work grew so fast, she had to move to another building, which she hoped to buy one day.

“I don’t know what I was doing,” she admitted. “I didn’t know anything about owning a property, financing, having a personal bank account and a separate business account, the insurance needed, how to get a loan or any of that stuff.” 

However, after quite a few small business development sessions at Ole Miss, she learned. That was almost 20 years ago.

After a suggestion to call her local banker to see if she could get a loan to buy her own building, she did. She said she was surprised he said over the phone that whatever she wanted to do, the bank would support her. “I don’t think hometown bankers do that anymore,” she said with a laugh. “But he told me he knew me, that I was a wonderful client of theirs and he would support me. That meant a lot.”

Since then, she bought her building on University Avenue and built up her clientele even further. “I have people who come from Memphis, from Calhoun City, from New Albany, and they love that I’m right off the highway so they can zip in and zip out,” she said. 

In November, it will be 19 years she’s been “in business” at the current location.

However, these days Herod is downsizing. Her original business may be booming, but she has other irons in the fire. In 2018, she earned her bachelor’s in marketing at Ole Miss, the same year she earned her real estate license. She hopes to construct that into another booming business of buying and selling. She already owns rental properties and wants to own more.

Her future plans are to become a broker and possibly own her own organization. “I would love to create new possibilities for families in my community,” she said. “Many families do not believe they can become homeowners. My desire is not to just sell them a home, but also help become aware of everything that could be available to them.  

“I would like to build my own community with some property that I already own for those who do not meet income requirements to purchase a home. When I started my first business, my mother taught that if I was committed to helping people first, I would always be compensated for my time. She said to be dependable and trustworthy to every person I came in contact with. 

“I have learned over the years that teamwork makes the dream work. I am a team player with MCG Real Estate LLC and look forward to making more real estate connections. I have learned making the connections not just with preceptive clients, but also with knowledgeable realtors are very important to my success. 

Herod said her advice to others wanting to get into business is to continue their education, find a good mentor and be a student of their craft. Without these three things, it’s hard to succeed. said her advice to others wanting to get into business is to continue their education, find a good mentor and be a student of their craft. Without these three things, it’s hard to succeed.

“Many people know their craft, but not their business,” she explained. “[The education I received] made a difference in knowing how to run a business properly.”

These days, through a nonprofit organization, Herod mentors girls about business. She helps them learn how to succeed – and how to do things so they aren’t “paying someone else’s mortgage.” She said she’s been helped along her way and she wants to do that for others.