Reece Gutierrez, the founder of Holy Chic + Co. is even busier than normal right now. She just launched their eco-conscious nail care line, BARE. She 's also just put the finishing touches on Holy Chic Headquarters in Manchester. We're excited to catch up with her and ask a few questions about business, success, and life in Richmond.
Why did you start a business? Ultimately, I wanted to create a different future for myself and my family. I felt my previous work environments were lacking a positive culture I wanted to be part of. I wanted to feel valued as a team member. Prior to Holy Chic + Co., I knew I wanted to be in business, I just hadn’t pinpointed what exactly my thing would be. I tried a few things and they either weren’t fruitful or they were small pieces of what Holy Chic + Co. is today. I’ve loved nails since I was a child - I’m a reformed nail biter (I know!), and so my mind was always racing, thinking about how I could get my nails longer and stronger. I had the same nail artist for 12 years and after a while I realized I wasn’t enjoying something I was super passionate about. It was super rushed, the atmosphere wasn’t very trend-forward, there’d been a few instances where I had knowledge about things that were happening in the nail world before my nail artist did. I wasn’t getting an experience. After reading an article in the Times about poor working conditions, I decided I wanted to create an incredibly dope salon like one I would want to go to.
What's the best piece of business advice you've received?
To be honest, I haven’t really received much sage business advice. I’m an Aries, so I’m inquisitive by nature and I love to talk to people and pick their brains. I’ve befriended a lot of business owners in the RVA area and I’ve noticed that we’re kind of adjacent to each other as far as timelines go. No matter what the good or service is, we go through a lot of the same struggles and have a lot of the same issues. I listen to a lot of podcasts vis a vis business and the hiccups that business owners are bound to face. I listen to their opinions and how they’ve handled their business and the tactics they’ve employed in certain situations when a problem needs solving. That being said, I admire other entrepreneurial women - I guess you could say they’re my teachers in life right now.
How do you define success? Two things - remaining authentic and original (no biting!) and time. There are a lot of businesses in the beauty industry that have the same goals, are trying to achieve the same things, that draw from the same sources of inspiration, but I think that if you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, it will show and you’ll be rewarded handsomely. Our team at Holy Chic + Co. is constantly working to find the balance between trying to remain trend-forward and relevant, but being innovative and trying to set ourselves apart from our colleagues. Also, success means time. I would love to be able to spend more some time with those that matter to me while growing my business. I guess you can say I’m working more to work less. (Entrepreneurs quit their 40 to work 80)
When you have a little down time, where's your favorite place to chill in RVA?
This might be a skosh biased, but I truly do love spending time at Holy Chic + Co. My team is the backbone of my business and I enjoy hanging out and catching up with them. Our clients also are a high point as to why I like hanging out there. We know what’s going on in their lives and vice versa, so rather than just surface-level conversations and interactions, they become part of our family. I’m always hanging out somewhere in my entrepreneur cohort. Ant from Little Nomad and Matt from Brick and Mortar are good friends to vent and pick their brains. Sun and Selene’s Brittanny is one of my greatest friends! I’m always looking for new spots. I’ve stayed at Quirk and the Graduate, Sabai has really great Thai food, Charm school is super fun. Richmond has quite the variety, and where I hang out depends on my mood - I don’t have a favorite yet.
Photos courtesy of Kaytee Lauren