Labeled as an entrepreneur, educator, artist and mentor, Shayla Foreman is a boss lady setting trends in the hair and beauty industry. Wednesday through Saturday, her location at 4237 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill is filled with longtime clients and professionals inclusive of entrepreneurs, business executives and television personalities experiencing her masterful skills and creativity.
Building on a 20-year career, Foreman is excited about what the future holds not only for her, but for her staff, business partners and clients. Working as a team, the owner of S-Spa of PGH, a multi-cultural upscale salon and spa, is aiming to be a powerful force in the region and beyond.
“I’ve loved doing hair since I was a child,” Foreman said.
Her first work experience was at age 13 was serving as an assistant at Hair 1st Class owned by Michelle Davenport as an assistant. “Throughout the eight years before embarking upon my mission of ownership I had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the best salon owners in Pittsburgh,” Foreman said.
She credits Fletcher and Shenita Jones, owners of Sittin Pretty in the Hill District, for teaching her the business side of the industry. Izear and Geri Mataya at Spa Uptown, she says, helped define her purpose by demonstrating innovative ways to run a business and set new trends.
In addition to gaining work experience from the best in Pittsburgh, Foreman gained her education from the Cosmetology Vo-tech Program at Penn Hills High School, completing 90 percent of the cosmetology hours needed for her license. Motivated to become a hair designer, she then enrolled in Pittsburgh Beauty Academy, graduating in 1997. Turning her dream into a goal, her goal into reality and following her mission, in 2011 Foreman opened her first shop, Beautiqology, in Shadyside.
In 2014 she rebranded, renamed the business and relocated to the Murray Avenue location. Along with providing all the traditional hair care services she and her staff specialize in for natural hair care, there are extension experts and hair colorists on staff as well. Aiming to be innovative and to offer her clients a variety of options, Foreman also conducts eyebrow microblading, a semi-permanent tattoo technique used to create the illusion of fuller brows. She has traveled to Las Vegas to become a certified educator in microblading and is writing a microblading training curriculum to teach licensed cosmetologists and master stylists the process.
Tooth gems are also offered to S-Spa clients. A popular trend of celebrities and models, tooth gems are tiny jewels applied to a tooth.
In the fall of last year, Foreman and Robyn Greer, known for her North Side Shop on East Ohio Street, combined forces and opened Bloom Salon Trevor James and S-Spa in the North Hills. Considered an upscale salon, they often hosted workshops and health awareness activities for their customers. Cosmetology services included caring for their client’s hair and skin needs.
The duo, considered serial entrepreneurs, are focused on expanding the business and aiming to develop a cosmetology empire in the region. They recently relocated the North Hills shop to the lower Hill District and have combined services with the Ebony Element Experience Salon at 1509 Fifth Ave. The Shop is called E3 and Bloom Salon.
“We are looking to make a mark in this region when it comes to the beauty industry,” said Foreman. Looking forward to 2020, she said they are exploring the possibility to expand into the Society Barber Shop and Salon on Herron Avenue and are in negotiations with a shop in Duquesne.
The couple is most excited about an opportunity being offered to them as part of a project being developed by Christy Porter, the wife of former Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker Joey Porter. According to Greer, Porter has purchased buildings in Pittsburgh’s Sheraden neighborhood for the use of a school for children with disabilities. Fifteen thousand feet of the building is being provided to her and Foreman to utilize as a salon as well as a cosmetology educational center. The goal is to have Bloom Salon Trevor James and S-Spa Salon operating in the space by the spring of 2020.
“This definitely fits into my plan and assists me in following my dreams,” Foreman confessed.
The mother of five says her goal is to be a full-time educator. Aside from teaching her clients how to maintain healthy hair, she teaches entrepreneur classes to youth and has traveled and trained shop owners in numerous cities, most recently in Charlotte. She is looking forward to teaching the microblading certification training to cosmetologists, estheticians, nail techs and tattoo artists worldwide.
Foreman has been priming her staff to take over some of her tasks. Her assistant, Marcus Jones, who she considers her right-hand person, has been working with her for over four years and her daughter Indyah, a recent Penn Hills High School graduate, is furthering her education.
Excited about the future of the S-Spa, Jones said his tenure at the salon has been rewarding. “Shayla has been more than a boss. She’s a mentor that makes you feel like a partner. She pushes me and has me striving to be the best Marcus that I can be.”
S-SPA OF PGH SALON OWNER SHAYLA FOREMAN, right, in her salon with Indyah Dawkins, left, and Marcus Jones, center. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels) (Featured Photo)
by Diane I. Daniels, For New Pittsburgh Courier
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