Trendsetter to Know: Hair Stylist and Colorist Adrienne Small

Name: Adrienne Small





Age: 35

Title: Colorist

Married/Single: Married

Kids: I have 2 children. My daughter MaKayla is 15 and my son Dallas is 3.

City you live in: Memphis, TN

A typical day in my life includes…  That really depends on the season! Currently, I only work in the salon Wednesday – Friday from 9am- 3pm. I only focus on hair color on natural hair. What that means is, my client base is ALWAYS getting some type of color service done (from full corrections to just gloss services). If they aren’t receiving a color, then we are focusing on steam treatments. I don’t do “shampoo only” services. So, if you need a shampoo and blow out service, you will definitely be receiving some sort of deep steam treatment as well.

When I am not at the salon, I’m of course on mom/ wife duty while also juggling being back in school 3 days a week virtually for my instructors license, running my non profit teen program, The Adrienne Small Foundation,  and in due time, I will be back to creating content for my magazine, Hair Color Concepts Magazine. So in other words, I’m ALWAYS busy!

I was born… In Memphis, TN

My favorite thing about Arizona… The mountains and views are SO beautiful!

I’m listening to…  Right now Jazmine Sullivan, and H.E.R have my ear. I am obsessed with soulful  voices and I guess it’s because I don’t have one!

My family… My family is everything! Within my home, we are all different souls. My kids are as dramatic as they come, but they consistently blow their parents’ minds with how smart and innovative they are. My husband is the most laid back person you will ever meet, but puts his life on the line daily as a firefighter. If ying and yang were a person, I guarantee it would be me and my husband. I’m the crazy to his cool!

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be… If you put me at the table with Michelle Obama and Rihanna, I’d be in heaven! Michelle, for her elegance and down to earth demeanor, and Rihanna, for her rawness! I love them both, and they have both created things and have become people that no one knew them prior to the limelight. Could you imagine marrying someone who would become the FIRST Black PRESIDENT, or, starting off as a chart topping musician then creating a BILLION dollar makeup and lingerie empire?! I’m sure they have some stories and advice that I need to hear! 

One thing I cannot live without… One thing I cannot live without is my relationship with God. Everything I go after, everything I put my full self behind, is guided by the relationship I’ve built with Him. 

When I was younger, I wanted to be… When I was younger, I always wanted to be a stylist. I knew hair was a huge part of my life, but my parents drilled college and degrees and hair was considered a hobby. So, when I thought about what I wanted my career after college to be, I wanted to be an OB Gynecologist. Anatomy is by far my favorite subject and delivering babies was always something I was always fascinated with, so that became the Plan A. Clearly that didn’t happen at all!

I’m inspired by… I’ve always been inspired by the idea of what COULD be. Just knowing what I COULD become literally pushes me to keep moving, keep executing, and to just keep being great!

The one person who motivates me is… Knowing that my children are always watching me motivates me to continue to go after my goals. They need to see that I never gave up, and kept pushing through all the hard work.  BUT, one of my best friends, Zii, is someone that just gets me. She is a force and knows how to keep me on track, and also reel me back in when I’m ready to throw in the towel.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be… If I could change anything in the world, it would be the lack of inclusivity. Honestly, I hate how the world separates people from what they are capable of achieving based off of the color of their skin. 

The perfect day would be… I honestly don’t know what the perfect day would consist of. But, the day I secure 6 or 7 figures in ONE day would be a pretty great day! 

My first job was… I actually had 2 first jobs inside of the mall at Lady Footlocker and Sally’s Beauty Supply. When I was off at Lady Footlocker, I was working at Sally’s. 

My favorite escape… Every time I go to the mountains is my favorite getaway! Getting a cabin makes me unplug and escape everything.

My life… Is a work in progress. I’ve accomplished A LOT, and I’m so grateful for it, but I’m still not completely fulfilled. 

I’m currently working on… I am currently working on 2 big things, (1) turning my non profit into a full time year round program (we were only an annual summer camp up until now), and (2) I have begun the process of creating my online hair color academy, Hair Color Concepts Academy. It’s a quarterly program that is an extension of my magazine (which is meant to be more about hair color education), and will allow me to operate in my “zone” of educating stylists, on a beginner and intermediate level, personally. I hope to have it completed and ready for enrollment by early summer. 

Always… Always say what you mean, and mean what you say!

Never… Never say never! You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve said ‘you couldn’t pay me to work with kids.’ Now look at me, loving every single moment of being with all the teens that become a part of my program!

Favorite Quote… “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Biggest Dream… My biggest dream is to operate one of the best, state of the art, facilities for teens interested in the beauty industry. I would love to be able to get ahold of them BEFORE they hit beauty school and being able to run my non profit out of our own building that teens from all over the world want to travel to is a heavy dream of mine!

My Pet Peeve(s)… my biggest, and I mean BIGGEST, pet peeve is when people doubt my ability to execute or pre-judge me based on someone else’s opinion. I like to be challenged, I like being stretched, and I like just being able to get the chance to try. When people take that away from me, it drives me crazy.

More About Adrienne Small:
Adrienne Small is a professional hairstylist who brings an air of elegance, sass, and individuality to each of her clients. A “Beauty Mastermind Curator,” Adrienne provides multi-cultural services for all hair types and specializes in color, cut, styling, and natural hair blowout services. 

Her skillset has made her one of the most sought stylists for stunning transformations.

Adrienne began her career in 2005, working as a receptionist at Gould’s Salon in Memphis, TN while attending Plaza Beauty School. She was a professional hair stylist for Gould’s for over nine years and in that time, proved to be one of the best signature stylists of her time, transitioning to her own suite inside of Salon de’ Coupe in Bartlett, TN. 

Her experience spans from the East Coast, having trained with some of the best styled events in New York City, while working as a stylist at Ted Gibson Salon in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Since relocating to Tennessee, she has also worked with some of Memphis’ biggest names, including the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies Grizz Girls.

In addition to being a professional stylist, Adrienne is also an educator. She spent three years as an educator, and taught some of the leading stylists in Memphis. 

Philanthropically, Adrienne also takes time to give back to the community. She is the creator and producer of THINK PINK! Hair & Fashion Show, a benefit for Memphis’ Susan G. Komen Foundation, as well as creator of ‘Beyond The Chair: A Beauty Symposium,’ a three-day symposium with intimate demonstrations and panel discussion sessions, which is now a non-profit organization for future beauty professionals ages 13-19, known as The Adrienne Small Foundation. 

Adrienne serves as an educator and artist for global company, Celeb Luxury, and was recognized in November of 2016 as one of the Top 40 under 40 Urban Elite Professionals in Memphis, Tennessee for her work as an entrepreneur. She also created and serves as Editor-in-Chief of Hair Color Concepts Magazine.

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