“I knew I wanted to do hair when I was 4 (years-old),” said Jessica Thomas, owner and stylist at Posh Spa and Salon.
Raised in style, her mother was a hairdresser who taught cosmetology school in Orlando. Thomas joked with her as a child saying, “one day you'll work for me.” Today, she does.
In fifth grade, after meeting her mentor and future cosmetology teacher at Sullivan South High School, Mrs. Holt, who always “encouraged me to do hair,” Thomas said, I knew “I wanted my own salon.”
Before the concept of Posh came to fruition, Thomas worked at a salon in the same building. When the previous owner decided to sell in 2011, Thomas, despite building a house and planning a wedding at the time, seized the opportunity and became a salon owner at the age of 28.
The now wife and proud dog mom to three Chihuahuas purchased new equipment and completely remodeled the interior of the brick salon to create a more functional and friendly environment for both staff and client.
Posh opened its doors on April 29, 2011, and Thomas' revamp of the space proved worthwhile; business has grown around 30 percent since that first day.
Her dream realized, the entrepreneur credits her crowning achievement to the unyielding support and sacrifice of her parents over the years.
The spa and salon operates mostly on referrals from existing customers and offers a wide range of products and services to its expanding clientele.
“We mostly do everything,” Thomas explained. “We have a full service spa where we do manicures, pedicures, facials, body waxing, chemical peels [and] massage.”
Different styles of these services are offered in adjacent rooms offset from the main salon where makeup applications and hair coloring, texture and styling services are performed.
Products like those from the Redken hair care line as well as the entire gloProfessional line, including gloMinerals makeup are available for purchase in-store.
The Posh crew, consisting of Thomas and her eight hardworking and dedicated full-time staff members she titled “blessings,” consistently stay up-to-date on all the latest trends and newest techniques. They attend Redken classes and travel to conventions and shows (they recently went to Orlando and have another trip planned for New York this year).
Thomas, who spent a lot of time traveling in her 20s, endeavors to bring some of that “big city” appeal to her small-town salon.
The blow dry bar is the latest trend utilized by Posh. All the rage in larger cities, Thomas was one of the first in the area to install one in her salon (the closest full bar is in Nashville, Tenn.); Construction began in December and was completed in January. The blow dry bar conveniently serves customers seeking routine maintenance or a shampoo-and-style before a special occasion. Wine and mimosas are served during the luxury service as well as a “chick flick” shown for entertainment.
Posh was designed to be modern and chic while maintaining a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Several customers have fallen asleep on our couches, Thomas said smiling. I'm glad they can.
“I just want them to relax while they're here," she said.
Posh Spa and Salon is located at 114 E. Market Street in Downtown Kingsport. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For an appointment, call 423-246-2877.