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Hannah Catlett, 29
Owner/Salon Director at Studio 417, 417 Blow Dry Bar; Co-owner, Hudson Hawk Barber Shop
Paul Catlett opened Studio 417 13 years ago. A major reason it has thrived is his wife, Hannah, who came on board as salon director in 2009. She has overseen rapid expansion that hit a fever pitch in March 2014 with the opening of Studio 417’s second location and 417 Blow Dry Bar at Farmers Park, in south Springfield.
Hannah credits Studio 417’s longevity to its commitment to offering a premium product and continual innovation. “We want to make sure we’re always giving the customer something new and exciting and different,” she says. That mission included diversifying: The Catletts opened Hudson Hawk Barber & Shop, along with Thad Forrester. Hannah says the Blow Dry Bar is a destination salon for women who need hair styling and makeup for a big night out—basically everything a salon offers except cut and color.
In her free time, Hannah chases after sons 4-year-old Link and 3-year-old Hawk, and volunteers for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Doula Foundation. This year Hannah also is chairing the Friends of the Zoo’s Ball of the Wild fundraising event.
Occupation: Business Owner, Salon Director
Education: Bachelor of science in Communication, Missouri State University
1. How did you end up at your current job/profession?
When I married Paul, he owned a hair salon, Studio 417. After four years of marriage and time spent engaging in other professions, we decided it made sense to use my education and talents to help him further pursue his passion. We make a pretty good team.
2. Where do you find passion to do what you do?
I find passion in the people, whether it is mentoring a young employee or seeing a client achieve self-confidence through a new style.
3. Tell us about your family.
I am the opposite of single. I’ve been married for eight and a half years and spend every day (working) with my husband. Paul and I have two boys, Link (4 years) and Hawk (3 years). We also have two goats, two cats and a dog.
4. What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
Spending time with my family is always top of my list. Next to that, I love to have dinner with my girlfriends and dream about architecture and design.
5. Are you involved in any charitable organizations? (If so, what are they, and what is your role? Why is it important to you?)
I am quite passionate about finding a cure for cystic fibrosis. My friends, family and I are always supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as they close in on a cure for the awful disease that my son’s best friend is fighting. This year I am excited to be the chair of Ball of The Wild, benefiting Dickerson Park Zoo. We are lucky to have such a wonderful place in Springfield, and as a young mom who frequents the zoo; I want to keep supporting such a great cause.
6. Are you a member of any professional organizations? (If so, what are they, and what is your role?)
I would consider this an area for improvement.
7. How would you define the secret to success?
Success isn’t something to be dreamed of; it’s something to be worked for.
8. What's your favorite thing about your career?
As a business owner, there are no boundaries for your success. Also, the salon industry is always changing and growing, and it is so inspiring. The combination of potential and inspiration keeps me up at night.
9. What's your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
This area is full of humble, hard working and talented people.
10. If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself to relax and enjoy the ride. Whatever that means.
11. What was your “dream job” at age 5?
I always wanted to be in charge.
12. List three traits that define a successful career:
Character, vision, and follow-through
13. Why are you a 20 under 30?
Well, I’m shocked because hardly anyone remembers that I’m not 30 yet! I would hope I was nominated and chosen because I’ve helped or inspired someone.
14. What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
Oh man, this is timely. We just completed construction on our second salon, second barber shop and new blow dry bar—all at Farmers Park. I look forward to growing those stores in the coming months and to begin work on our next adventure. Wink, wink.
15. What completed project are you most proud of?
In the last year we’ve restructured our company to be based around a very thorough and intense education system. This ensures that young stylists have the professional and technical skills to build their careers, and it allows for variety and advancement for some of our seasoned staff. At the end of the day, our staff is growing and happy and that means our clients are happy. It is such a great project that positively affects so many people.
Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:
Link and Hawk makes life worth living.
A day at work wouldn't be complete without a kiss and a debate with my husband.
Ten years from now, I hope I'm healthy and happy.
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would forget where I placed my ticket.
The best part about being a 20 under 30 is reflecting on a blessed life.