Hair Affair Boutique
Tanae Emory opened Hair Affair when she was 25 years old, after pursuing all things hair as a side hustle in college. Eleven years later and Hair Affair is now located in District South in the Van Aken commercial district, and makes women feel beautiful inside and out every day.
“Hair Affair is both my brand and my lifestyle,” says Tanae when describing her salon. “It’s a bond between two individuals who are in a long-term relationship.”
To describe a shared bond between oneself and one’s business is another level of passion that is absolutely admirable. Indeed, you can recognize this passion when stepping into Hair Affair: there’s a team of experts standing on the gleaming floors, at the ready to give clients just what they need.
Tanae chose Shaker because she loves the area. “It’s upscale and there’s a good amount of traffic around here. I wanted my business to be in a safe place and I liked how they were building up this commercial district.” Her tenacity and drive is evident. Although her lease was signed in 2019, and construction was planned to begin, COVID-19 hit and delayed her opening.
“I had to sit during this time. There was nothing I could really do in terms of getting my business ready to open, but I noticed there was a big market for wigs, so I made them at home and made a living this way until I was able to open.” There isn’t a trace of lament in this statement and there’s no doubt Tanae’s determination is inextricably linked with the success of Hair Affair.
Tanae describes the rewards of a small business as getting to do what you love to do every day, and making others feel good, especially in the beauty industry. She also mentions the reward of watching time go by in a positive way: “I was 25 when I started as a young entrepreneur, and here I am 11 years later, successfully continuing to run my business.”
Doing what you love comes with its own challenges, too. Tanae spoke candidly about the sacrifices of being a business owner: “there are few days off and your phone is always on, but operations do tend to run smoothly, so I think the sacrifices are worth it.”
Tanae’s positivity and ability to see through these challenges goes hand in hand with the advice she would give to anyone wanting to start their own business: “Be kind,” she advises. “Be open-minded and consistent as well as professional at all times.” This kind of advice is typically observed.
When asked if there was a mentor or someone she looked up to, Tanae smiled confidently and told us it has always been her mom. “I have always looked up to her. She has several degrees, and was a childcare provider. She was always independent and her own boss and I always go to her for advice.” Tanae strives to emulate her mother.
These are the types of stories we look forward to learning about from our businesses here in Shaker. It’s inspiring to hear about what exists within the walls of a business, beyond the business itself, but who that business is. As Tanae mentioned, her salon can best be described as the bond between her and her passion. Hair Affair is a love letter to her passion and a promise to continue living it each day. With new services being added regularly, and featuring apparel in the spring and summer in front of the salon, Tanae has definitely mastered the art of the pivot, transforming Hair Affair into a one-stop shop for all things beauty and clothing.
It’s passion well taken care of.
Hair Affair is located at 20128 Chagrin Boulevard. They offer care and color for natural hair, hair extensions, lash services, eyebrow waxes and tints, esthetician waxing services, makeup services, and nail services. Follow @_hairaffair on Instagram and book an appointment for any service using the link in their bio.