“I actually enjoy my work. I’ve been doing hair since 1980, which is what? Thirty-eight years? And I still love it.” – Julie Winn, co-owner and stylist
Deviney Luchsinger/Multimedia Specialist
Winn, Franklin discuss joys of owning salon
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Muscogee (Creek) citizen Julie Winn is the co-owner and stylist at Up-Scale Hair Salon in downtown Okmulgee. She is warm and friendly, with big hair and an even bigger personality.
She has been in the beauty industry for over three decades and is still wildly in love with what she does.
“I actually enjoy my work,” she said. “I’ve been doing hair since 1980, which is what? Thirty-eight years? And I still love it.”
Her career began with a phone call from her sister. Winn had been living in California until her sister told her that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation would offer her financial assistance to go to cosmetology school if she moved back, so she seized the opportunity.
A few years after graduating, she was renting a booth in a salon when she had the thought that she could be running a business of her own. She set to work, diligently researching and planning to have her own salon.
With some successes and failures over the years, Winn now runs her own salon with co-owner and stylist Roslyn Franklin.
“It’s just nice having something that is yours,” Winn said.
Winn said she loves the flexibility that comes with running her own business and the freedom to set her own hours. Additionally, it is not the same thing everyday.
Mostly she likes connecting with people and bringing out the beauty she sees in them.
“If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, that’s going to have an effect on your self-esteem, your confidence,” Winn said. “But if you look good in that mirror? It makes you feel like ‘Yes, I can do this!’”
She said image is important. It is how you present who you are to the world. If you look good then you feel good. For her a good image starts with good hair.
Winn said having a good haircut and color sets the scene for anything else someone does to fall into place.
“Color is where it’s at,” Winn said.
Franklin said that she enjoys doing hair and making her clients look and feel beautiful, but mostly she loves using her position to share her faith and talk clients through the difficulties life throws at them.
Franklin said being a safe person for people to confidentially share their struggles is what brings clients back, not just the haircut.
She enjoys working with Winn and the other ladies at Up-Scale. To her it feels like family.
“I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else,” Franklin said. “It’s not like work at all. I love it so much.”
When she started cosmetology and decided she wanted to run her own salon, she was faced with people saying she could never be successful, especially in a small place like Okmulgee.
But Franklin continues to prove them wrong.
She said what sets her apart from her competitors is not only her passion for the beauty industry, but also for continually building on her education and keeping up with the trends.
Franklin has passed her passion down to her children. Her son apprenticed under her for two years and now works as a barber. Her daughter is apprenticing at another salon.
“I am not meant to be a lawyer or a doctor. This is where the Lord wants me; right here behind this chair,” she said.
Franklin’s advice for anyone wanting to start a business is to do it because they are passionate and no just for the money.
Winn said you w ill always have people saying you can not do it. If you want it enough and it is realistic, put the work in, have a little faith and you can achieve anything.