Story by Liesel Schmidt
A former makeup artist and beauty connoisseur, Nikita Montgomery was inspired to launch Hazel O. Salon in 2019 after recognizing the need for more diverse salons in Old Town and the greater Alexandria communities. Co-founded by her cousin, the salon is named for their grandmother, who created deep community ties as a salon owner and through her church involvement. “We wanted to create a space for stylists to do what they love while providing an environment that was enjoyable for clients,” says Montgomery. “We also wanted to provide a place where people could come and be serviced no matter their hair texture.”
Much like the grandmother that inspired her, Montgomery has been making an impact on the Alexandria community. “I believe I've made a difference by creating a diverse space for both professionals and consumers,” she notes. “I believe that, with my connection to the community, I'm able to speak to the history, progress and future needs of Alexandria. I love the city and am committed to contributing to its growth.”
“Day after day, people are the reason I’m passionate about my work. It will always be people for me, from the development and growth that I'm able to cultivate in my team, to the experience that I'm able to curate for our guests. I believe every encounter with a person is an opportunity to impact and to be impacted. I love people.”
Montgomery also has some deeply personal reasons for believing in the need for women’s heart health awareness. “My maternal grandmother died of a heart attack in her late 40s,” she says. “Between home and work life, there are a lot of external stressors for us as women. I love that the GO RED initiative is bringing awareness to this and other factors that can result in heart disease for women. I want to live a healthy, peaceful life for my family and community and want others to know that they can too.”
Join the movement. Raise Awareness. Go red.