August 2020 Feature Story: Elissa Zehr

Elissa Zehr | Hair Stylist | Hair by Elissa

Lauren Harrienger Photography

Elissa is a rockstar! I met Elissa at our most recent styled photoshoot in Syracuse, NY and she was an absolute gem!

We had to postpone this styled shoot 5 times and were constantly in search of new vendors because the new dates weren't available for our original vendors. Elissa stepped in as our hair stylist and I'm so glad she did.

Not only did she style our models hair, she also stepped up and offered to help in other areas. She was a true rockstar and a valued vendor in this industry. Her drive and passion for what she does is amazing. It's always so nice to work with vendors who are willing to help out in other areas at any event even if it's not their specialty or job! It's a breathe of fresh air to meet people like Elissa. I can't wait to work with her again in the future.

Enjoy her story below.

Tell us about yourself - Where are you from and what did you wish to be when you grew up?

I’m from Adams, NY but am now living in Cicero NY. I’ve always wanted to do hair, but got a college degree first, and then went back to peruse hair. When I’m not doing a hair, I’m being a wife, and a mom to 2 little boys (1 1/2 and 4 1/2).

What brought you to where you are today?

Hard work and determination have gotten me to where I am today, being willing to start at the bottom and work my way up!

Embraceable Joy Photography

What do you do professionally?

I’m a hair stylist! My main focus is bridal and hair extensions! Transformations are my thing!

What is the number one struggle you find in owning and running a business?

One of my main struggles is saying “no”... I love challenging myself, and usually try and go above and beyond, but sometimes I need to say no, and take time for myself, so I don’t get run down.

What does a day at work look like?

My days are full of movement and conversation! Not only am I a hairdresser, I’m a listening ear. When you’re behind the chair, you’re not only a hairstylist, but you turn into a therapist, you listen, you give advice, and hopefully, people leave your chair feeling way better than they did when they enter the salon.

Lauren Harrienger Photography

What do you spend the majority of your days doing?

Last year I became certified in hair extensions, and that’s my new found passion. My clientele base has growth tremendously over the last few years, and more recently with hair extensions!

What year did you start your business and how long did it take to acquire a consistent client base?

I became a licensed cosmetologist in 2015. I first started out doing lash extensions, and now I am only doing hair, but it’s taken me all 5 years to build a consistent client base.

What do you enjoy most about running your company?

The best thing about being self employed, is being able to make my own schedule.I work 3-4 days a week, and then I’m able to be home with my boys. 

Lauren Harrienger Photography

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

In 5 years I see myself having an even larger clientele base, and really making a name for myself. It’s taken me almost 5 years to get to where I am now, and I know in the next 5 years, I will continue you learn and grow!

Embraceable Joy Photography

What advice would you give to people your age looking to start their own business?

I would tell them to go for it! It’s not easy, it’s hard work, but if you believe in yourself, and have a strong support system, everything will work out!

If a child walked up to you and asked for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?

BE YOU! There’s only one you! So be strong and confident in who you are!!


Lauren Harrienger Photography

Elissa Zehr

Facebook: @hairbyelissazehr

Instagram: @elissa.zehr.mkwsalon