Why It's Epic

“Every day presents every one of us with the opportunity to create positive effects.  Even the simplest, seemingly insignificant choices we make in our daily lives—what to eat, what to wear, what to use on our bodies and in our homes—have a ripple effect that reaches far beyond us personally.”    
- Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda

For those of you that don’t know Aveda salons or products here’s your intro.  Aveda is a cosmetic company that produces some of the best plant based hair and skin products in the world and partners exclusively with hundreds of salons.  

Aveda was created in 1978 from hair stylist Horst Rechelbacher with the help of two renowned Ayurvedic physicians, Drs. Vinod and Kusum Upadhyay.  Aveda’s products are influenced by Ayurveda, the 5,000+ year old Indian healing tradition based on the interconnectedness of all things.  Aveda considers the effects of their products not only on hair or skin, but on body, mind and emotion.   
I’ve frequented Aveda salons for over 14 years. I have a special affinity towards my local Aveda salon called Epic Hair Boutique in Kapaa, Hawaii.  I had the pleasure recently of interviewing owner Darci Furtado.  I’ve been curious of her story and wanted to connect with her as a female entrepreneur.  After the interview, I left her salon feeling amped from her good vibes.  Here’s Darci’s story…
The Idea For Epic Hair Boutique
When Darci decided to become a hair stylist she wanted to receive the best education.  After highschool she left Kauai where she grew up and went to the school of Paul Mitchell in Orange County, California.  When she returned home she moved to Oahu and worked as a Paul Mitchell sales rep.  

At 20 years of age the job felt high pressured and Darci craved the creativity of being “behind the chair”.  She was hired as a stylist at an ultra-hip salon called Chop.  Two years later Darci and her husband conceived a baby girl.  They moved to Arizona where her husband, who played professional baseball had spring training.  Both Darci and her husband came from close nit families true to the ohana style of Hawaii.  After about 8 months they knew it was time to re-think their careers in order to raise their family back home.  

They made the transition to Kauai and Darci initially worked for an Aveda Spa.  The spa shut down 2 years later and Darci decided to open up an Aveda hair salon knowing there was a niche for it.  Thank you Darci!  

This was 9 years ago far before the “no panic it’s organic” craze. She felt strongly about what she learned from working at the Aveda Spa and the influence it had on her healthier life style.  Darci explained Aveda goes far beyond a bottle of shampoo, it’s about health, sustainability, and top quality.  Darci knew the salon was a special way to educate people about better health and body care options.
How long did it take to bring the idea into reality?
It was a whirlwind of 2 months from idea to opening.  Wow!  Darci was already friends with the Aveda sales rep from her time working at the Aveda spa.  This helped get her Aveda account approved easily.  She hired 2 other stylists to join her.  Her mother and husband were a huge help with her 2 daughters both under the age of 3.  She said she couldn’t have done it without her family.  Being surrounded by support from family and friends was key.
How do you keep your staff so happy?
Darci is careful who she brings on to the team.  She explained you can be an amazing hair stylist but you need to fit well with the family.  Also she learned from her Paul Mitchell days that a family that plays together stays together.  Therefore she makes time for the team to connect on a personal level not just business. 
As a business owner what advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
Know what you really want and go for it.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise or let outside influences get in the way.  Careful who you surround yourself with.  Keep family a priority otherwise why work so hard in the first place?
Darci’s top core values:

  1. Family

  2. Integrity

  3. Humility

In what ways does Epic Hair Boutique give back?
Epic Hair Boutique donates money to Easter Seals, every year fundraises for Surf Rider and helps with beach cleanups.  Nice job Epic Hair Boutique!
How do you describe success and how would you consider yourself successful?  
To love what you do and whom you do it with.  Being happy to come to work.  Success isn’t a number because it isn’t lasting happiness.  
What’s some important advice you would give your younger self?
So much.  To not put as much pressure on yourself, enjoy the moments more.  To soak it all in more.  Be more present each day instead of racing into the future.  Mahalo for the advice Darci.  I think many of us could use it.

Kristin Brown