Local stylist Holly Orr wanted to create a place where everyone felt welcomed. After graduating from cosmetology school in 2007, she worked for various salons in the area but always felt something was missing. "I've worked for several shops in town and had amazing experiences and mentors over the years, but I wanted a space that was very different." Therefore, Creative Soul Salon was born.
Holly envisioned a place like the TV show "Cheers." She dreamed of a place where everyone was greeted with a kind smile, a place where you were accepted, remembered and valued -- no matter your race, sexuality, age or walk in life. She wanted a safe place for everyone. "All we care about is the person in our chair."
When it comes to staffing her salon, she looks for stylists with the same mindset. "It is very important to have a space that is comfortable for the stylists as well. They can make as little or as much as they want to; they can decorate their space to fit their personality." Holly says at the end of the day, she "wants clients and her stylists to feel accepted and that there is no judgment in these walls." This is something Holly stands firmly behind and wants to cultivate. "It is not about the quantity, but the quality."
Recently, Creative Soul Salon celebrated three years of operation. It was something Holly feared might not happen because of the pandemic in 2020. "It was scary, but I felt like this was my space, this was my path, and it was going to work out one way or another." She had great ambition to keep going, and because of this, her salon is where it is today.
"Some clients drive one to two hours just because this is a comfortable space for them," Holly said. "We have some of the best clients in town because they are unique and creative like us." She loves having that connection. It doesn't matter how wild the color or haircut may be; she loves having that space for them. "As long as they are happy and feel good about themselves, I'm happy. I've done my job, and that's the most important thing." Sometimes clients will even stop in without an appointment just to say hi, give hugs and check in with everyone. Holly is grateful for those who do because this was her vision; this is what she wanted all along.
As for the future, Holly wishes to keep growing, or, as she put it, "growing through what you're going through." Bringing the community together continues to be her main goal. She wants to have events that bring everyone together in a space they already feel comfortable in.
Holly hopes to continue pursuing her dreams for her salon and has advice for those getting started on a career. "Never let anyone influence you in a negative way. If you have a dream, never let anyone stop you until you reach it." She says that no matter what, never lose sight of your focus and always be grateful along the way. "No matter what happens, keep moving."
Creative Soul Salon, at 3310 Texas Blvd. in Texarkana, Texas, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. They can be reached at 903-793-7685 or online at facebook.com/creativesoulsalon.
In addition to being a writer, lifelong Texarkana resident Nicci McCarty is a photographer, songwriter and musician. She performs both solo and with her band, Brain Panic.