Angelic Gardner has made a career out of boosting the self-esteem of Wilson County ladies.
Like a therapist and artist combined - she cuts, curls, colors and works her magic on clients, who she considers to be friends, to reveal their inner sparkle. "I love seeing the transformations. Everyone has their own story. It is about seeing the beauty from the inside make its way out," she said.
Gardner, a stylist and owner at Lookers Salon & Spa Studio, moved from her native West Virginia to Lebanon in 1988. "My dad retired from coal mining and I moved down here a few months later to be with them," she said.
Gardner opened her salon on July 15, 1999. "I always knew I wanted to own my own business. So many salons make you create and style 'their way' and the area has enough of what I call factory salons," she explained. "I opened Lookers Salon & Spa Studio so stylists could continue their education while keeping their own artistic individuality."
Of course, the biggest challenge with being self-employed is time sharing. Gardner has three daughters, Casey Cole, Courtney Russell and her "mini me," Kennedy Gardner, who keeps her busy when she isn't beautifying. "I'm also blessed with three fabulous grandchildren," she said of Carson Cole, Sydney Mae Russell and Kylee Mae Russell.
"My family always comes first, but as a business owner you learn to equal it out. It really helps if you have a supportive, understanding family."
A woman she admires is her mother, "because of her unconditional love, selflessness and teaching me true Godly values."
Gardner said her mom instilled in her to always treat others the way she wanted to be treated and to "do what you love and love what you do."