The Daily Gamecock

PYNK Butterfly salon empowers women through hair

Jessica Reese was the girl who did everyone’s hair and makeup in college. Now, her clientele includes Dawn Staley and the USC women’s basketball team.

“I love making women feel beautiful,” Reese, owner, operator and stylist of PYNK Butterfly salon, said. “I love doing hair and empowering. I love all of that, so I knew exactly what I wanted to do.”

At 30 years old, Reese quit her corporate job and enrolled in cosmetology school. But at that point, she was not thinking about opening her own salon.

“As I got closer to my graduation date, I realized that there was really no place here that I necessarily wanted to work and/or bring my clients to provide the type of atmosphere that I wanted to provide,” Reese said.

Melanie Jones, a client and friend of Reese’s for 13 years, said her experiences at the salon have been personal, professional and transformative. 

“When you walk in and you're not just with this client, you're not a commission client, you're not a test client, you're a PYNK client,” Reese said. “So everybody is responsible for ensuring your PYNK experience, from the greeting at the door to superior service.”

Clients have no wait time upon entering the salon and can book appointments up to 60 days in advance online.

Lakeisha Wardlaw, a client since 2014, said when she was getting her hair shampooed and scalp massaged, it felt like she was at the spa.

“I think that is the one thing that I was totally shocked by because I've never had a stylist, or someone who washed my hair and actually like massage my scalp so good, like she did it for like a good three minutes,” Wardlaw said. “I literally was almost asleep.”

Arkeya Brown, a client of PYNK since 2016, said the stylists go to the extreme to treat their clients with care, especially women who have health conditions and challenges with hair loss.

“Just observing how they handle those clients and respect their privacy, that really makes me just feel good overall as a person,” Brown said.

In cosmetology school, Reese met Kimeche Spears, who is now one of three stylists at PYNK Butterfly salon. Ada Love, the third member of PYNK, joined about six years ago.

Since 2006, Reese has opened five salons. Spears helped Reese build her brand: where beauty meets evolution.

“Pink is synonymous with pretty, beauty, feminine,” Reese said, “and of course the butterflies evolution.”

Reese worked with a chemist and manufacturer to create her own products that are weightless. She also teaches classes on styling, cutting and building a business. 

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the PYNK salon created product packages that included wellness tips and a video showing clients how to use the products.

“It is a salon that is evolutionary,” Lisa Gadson, a client since 2015, said. “The approach is holistic, and it's mind, body and spirit.”

Nicole Smith went to Reese when she decided she wanted to cut her long mid-back length hair short. 

“She really knows hair, and she can really look at her clients and be able to say what looks best on them,” Smith said.

Reese said the stylists go the “extra mile” to make sure clients are taken care of.

“It's a fun place to be,” Reese said. “ PYNK is where friends meet.”