||Last Updated: Nov 6, 2013 - 9:30:15 AM
Daniel Island resident Kate Howdyshell is in the business of helping people feel good about themselves. She’s not a therapist by trade, but when you leave her shop there’s a pretty good chance you’ll feel like a new person. As co-owner and stylist at Daniel Island Salon on River Landing Drive, she has certainly found “shear” joy on the job.
“(It’s about) making people feel good, making people feel confident, making them smile,” said Kate, while on a break between customers last week. “People are just in an awesome mood when they’re in here.”
While she always enjoyed the beauty industry as a teenager and young adult, Kate decided to pursue a math degree at the College of Charleston. But as the Ohio native neared graduation, things just weren’t adding up. She felt the pull to go in a different direction and soon left the Holy City to enroll at the School of Cosmetology at Ohio State University. After completing her studies, she returned to Charleston in 2005 and accepted a position as a stylist at Daniel Island Salon.
“I took a leap of faith,” she said. “…And never regretted it!”
Three years later, Kate became part owner of the business.
“We have a wonderful team,” she said. “I have never been with a group of girls that are truly this nice! They are just genuinely good people…We do a great job. The personal attention is pretty awesome.”
Days at work are busy and full, added Kate, who lives with her husband, Rick, in the Smythe Park neighborhood. A typical shift might mean putting in nine to 12 hours, she said, but it’s all worth it to her.
“It’s a lot, but I enjoy it! It’s usually a very hectic day, but in a great way. There is always someone new coming in…and new conversations!”
And speaking of conversations, the salon is constantly abuzz with the latest island news, said Kate. Recent topics have included the community’s annexation talk and school-related issues.
“We hear everything!” she added. “People want to talk about themselves, which is good, and they want to know about what I’m doing. They want to know about new restaurants, and about what’s happening and what’s new on Daniel Island…. A lot of people will come in and say, ‘Tell me what I’ve missed!’ They want to know what’s been going on.”
It is a relationship that clearly benefits all involved.
“You just form really wonderful relationships with people,” said Kate, who also enjoys seeing her clients while out and about on the island. “…It’s a cool job because you’re making them feel good and making them look good, but you’re also gaining these friends in a sense.”
And as this talented stylist has discovered, when it comes to just about any job, it’s easy to stay a cut above when you focus on the highlights.