We had the good fortune of connecting with Erika Clary and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erika, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have always been determined to do things my way. Hard work and strong work ethics were instilled in me at a very young age. I carry a high level of expectation for myself and being a goal oriented individual combined with cutting hair for almost 20 years owning a salon seemed inevitable. I had a vision of where I wanted to work, the feeling I wanted to accomplish and what I wanted my clients to experience. After dissecting and researching every aspect of the industry, I built Arcane Hair Parlour from what I felt was most important. I was inspired by individuals like Robert Cromeans who took their love of the craft and a commitment to learning and made that accessible to young professionals and I too incorporated this in my plan. I took my knowledge from past work experiences and used these skills to carve out my own space in the industry. The idea of bringing others along came from the thought that together we could learn, grow and thrive in a collaborative environment and really create something magical.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I love the moment you walk into Arcane, you get the feeling it’s like nowhere you’ve ever been before, with an inviting quality that’s intriguing but inclusive. Working here, I have witnessed clients quiet excitement as their eyes scan the salon, settling into a sense of belonging. I wanted to make a place where you feel taken from the day to day grind and momentarily lost in a world where all that matters is you. Arcane is a place for anyone and everyone. I am delighted everyday to have the opportunity to literally change the way someone looks and likely feels about themselves. It’s what drives me to do my best and lead my team to do their best every single day. This is a responsibility we do not take for granted. Realizing every interaction with a client yields potential life changing results. It is truly a pleasure to work in the environment we do.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I pride myself on knowing awesome and interesting things about the city and being able to show anyone a good time. For instance, our first Governor along with his family are buried in a must see pyramid style mausoleum in Papago Park with a lovely area to hike including a 360 degree view of the valley. Tempe has some of my favorite restaurants including Umami at Shady Park, the Phoentia and Ted’s hot dogs. Tempe town lake is a local treasure and we would likely skate the five miles around stopping at Sweet Republic for ice cream along the way. For anyone who’s never been to Phoenix a short trip to Goldfield is a must. This is a great way to spend the day in a tiny western town near the Superstition Springs mountains. Siphon Draw Apothecary is must stop for local & organic products. The Phoenix Art Museum is another must see. The museum does a fantastic job at displaying an array of interesting pieces spanning eras, styles and exhibits, it is the largest museum for visual art in the Southwest US. We don’t drink often so when we do, we want to be wowed. The most recent wow experience I’ve had was at Pigtails downtown Phoenix. Fancy drinks with a great ambiance. Local shopping is a must. Some of my favorite spots include: Zia Records, Frances Boutique, Buffalo exchange and Changing Hands Bookstore. My secret for exploring any city is by geocaching it, but you’ll have to look that up.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
At 27 years of age I found myself at roller derby tryouts not knowing how to roller skate. This incredible group of women welcomed me as a member of their tight-knit community. Over time they became not only my friends but mentors and mentees. They were instrumental in facilitating my greatest lessons in triumph, loss, and what the human spirit is capable of. I was inspired to work hard and be who my team needed me to. The Arizona Derby Dames organization helped me build confidence in myself, taught me what it really means to be tough, work hard and see something through to the end. I’m a better leader and business person because of my experience and I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunity.
Margarita Kalmikova Katie Amezquita Josh Heyoo Aspen Day-Flynn