In the Spotlight:
WHAT: Diverse Spa and Salon
WHERE: 10160 Carlin Drive
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday
CALL: (770) 385-7070
Longtime friends Darlena Washington and Diana Richardson share a passion for making people feel beautiful. So, they opened a spa and salon facility in October, Diverse Salon and Spa on Carlin Drive.
The name reflects their desire to accommodate all ethnic groups. It also reflects the makeup of the staff, which has four white stylists and four black stylists. Two are male and six are women.
"We're not a black salon or a white salon. We're diverse" said Washington.
"We decided to come together to start a diverse salon with a diverse clientele and diverse set of stylists, and it worked," said Richardson. "And it happened in an area that's not so diverse."
They bought a full-service salon with existing equipment and have since added a couple of stations for their stylists.
Diverse offers services including full color, highlights, lowlights, cold-wave perms and liquid-gel relaxers. It specializes in natural products like Global Keratin hair treatment and foot detoxification. Diverse is the only salon in Covington that specializes in threading and dreadlock takedowns.
Washington began styling when she was 16. After graduating from cosmetology school in 2008, she became an instructor at the Georgia Career Institute. One of her specialties is making wigs for cancer patients.
"I do hair to make people beautiful," said Washington. "I love making people feel good about themselves."
Richardson, a licensed esthetician and aesthetic instructor, specializes in hair, skin and nails. She has been styling hair for 15 years, starting out as a barber, then added training as a nail technician and a stylist.
She wanted to create a one-stop shop for customers to receive a variety of health and beauty services under the same roof.
"I just kept going until I obtained all of my licenses," said Richardson. "My passion is to elevate myself, educate myself in the field of hair, skin and nails."
Diverse offers half-priced services for government employees on Tuesdays as a way to give back to the community. The salon will also present a Valentine's Day special, a two-for-one detoxification special for couples.
"For some reason, there is a demand from couples who want to see each other's toxins and bacteria," said Richardson. "It's very interesting; one wants to see what the other has. It's becoming really popular."
Diverse will stage a customer appreciation day on March 12, providing food and beverages. Washington said she plans to provide free hair styling for teens who are otherwise unable to have their hair done for prom. She said the salon would pick five students from five high schools.
Washington and Richardson plan to acquire the space next to the salon within the year to expand the business into a full spa and salon. The expanded facility will offer full-body massages and European facials.
For more information, visit Diverse Salon and Spa's Facebook page.