Hanna Stephens has known since she was a little what she wanted to be when she grew up. As the middle daughter, Hanna describes her childhood days of playing and dressing up as a princess with her two sisters, her dolls and always gravitating towards playing with hair and makeup.
“As a kid, I was a princess, and all of my Barbies got haircuts,” says Hanna. “I was always getting into my mom’s makeup, then one Christmas, I received my own makeup kit. I have always known that I wanted to do hair and makeup.”
Now at the age of 21, Hanna is one of the youngest stylists in the county thanks to the concurrent education classes offered at Bryant High School. In her junior year of high school, Hanna began taking cosmetology classes offered by the University of Arkansas – Pulaski Tech and Benton’s Beauty College. The classes were offered through the high school as continuing education program.
Their students would enroll in Cosmetology I and Cosmetology II courses teaching the foundation elements of the craft including theory classes and safety as well as the more technical sides of the cutting and coloring hair.
Hanna jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the class. “Our classes had around 20 girls in each section,” says Hanna. “Many of us took it for fun, and about half us went to beauty school after high school.”
Once she graduated from beauty school in December of 2014, she hit the ground running on growing her own clientele.
Her first salon was La Bella Vie Boutique Salon in Bryant. There she learned the ropes from stylist Beth Johnson. “Beth taught me so much,” says Hanna. “I learned a lot from her, and she trained me to be in line with their standard.”
Moving to Saline County with her family as a child, having your own business in your hometown creates a list of clients who have known Hanna for the majority of her life.
“I have such a passion for my clients,” says Hanna. “I love doing what I do every day. I would rather take time with them than ever rush.”
While Hanna works with her clients on some of the happiest and most memorable days like their wedding day or a family witnessing their child’s first hair cut, Hannah’s also been with her clients on some of their toughest days.
One day she had a client visit her who was losing patches of her hair due to chemotherapy from her cancer treatment. Together, Hanna helped her client gather the courage to shave her head and give her client back a sense of control over her look. “Each client that I get to work with they become family,” says Hanna. “I learn so much about them and their experiences.”
As a stylist of the Blue Door Salon and Boutique in Bryant with one of her best friends and owner of the boutique Dodi Miller, Hanna feels like she’s found her home. Blue Door offers a full range of services including up haircuts for men, women and kids, up-dos, spray tans, and lash and hair extensions.
Hanna also offers makeup as a part of her business, providing her clients “the works” when it comes to weddings, homecomings, prom, and pageants. “I’m one of the youngest stylists at 21 years old,” says Hanna. “I’ve had to step up my game and show that I love what I do. It’s a very competitive industry.”
September begins Blue Door Salon’s busy season, which will last until the spring. “Weddings are spread out throughout the year, and with proms and homecomings it gets busy, but we feed off the craziness,” says Hanna.”