Today we’d like to introduce you to Benjamin Novak Hudgins.
Benjamin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Being named after my Grandad Novak Bullard, I took on several of his principles. See, my grandad not only lived his life for the sustainability of bees, he was a bit of a whistleblower in his time. At the start of wide pesticide use and other environmental threats, he would say that if we don’t start looking after what we’re doing, we would be putting ourselves in harm’s way. Unfortunately, his predictions came true. As of today, we are losing bees at a very alarming rate. It is predicted that without them, we could only sustain life as we know it for about four years. This background gave me true respect for nature and our planet, developing my passion for sustainability and the sustainable beauty movement.
I grew up in the Dallas suburbs as the youngest of six to a single mom who taught me hard work and determination. Because of this, I was fortunate to know what I wanted to do for a living at a young age and started working towards becoming a hairdresser when I was at the ripe age of 14 years old! I really got my start in the beauty industry 17 years ago, thinking back on it floods me with some incredible memories.
One of the things I knew early in my career was that I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself I wanted to inspire others to be their best selves. I knew I wanted to be a platform artist! I put my time into perfecting my craft behind the chair. Over the years, this led me to work in many different types of salons: mom and pop shops, big corporate salons, a few commission-based, and in both open concept lease, as well as booth rental. I’ve been there. When the time was right, I found a company to grow with and became a national platform artist with a leading brand in the beauty industry. It was incredible! I was part of a team that was creating new trends that we would teach state to state, inspiring hair artists to take their gifts to new heights and achieve stunning looks. This also allowed me to open doors to opportunities such as NY Fashion Week and the Mercedes Tent at Swim Week in Miami. The next door to open was my participation in pageants. Before I knew it, I had become one of the go-to pageant hairdressers, with many state titleholders flying in from all over the U.S. for me to help them create winning looks.
These foundations are what lead me to create Novak Hair Studios. I traveled across the U.S. and walked into salons, talked with stylists, and gained a true understanding of what the corporate-ran culture was doing to the beauty industry. I gained more perspective than I could have imagined. The same problems were presenting themselves in every state and I knew I had to influence change. The beauty industry that I had devoted my life to was suffering;customer service was being put in the background. Novak Hair Studios was created based on a series of strategic solutions that I feel heal the problems I experienced within the beauty industry. My “why” was clear: ease the confusion and distractions that are plaguing the beauty industry.
The same problems were presenting them selfs in every state, and I knew I had to influence change. The beauty industry that I have devoted my life to was suffering, and customer service was being put in the background. Novaks is a series of solutions that healed the problems we saw within the beauty industry. My Why was clear, ease the confusion and distractions that are plaguing the beauty industry.
Our mission at Novak Hair Studios today is to revitalize the salon experience in a luxury setting while creating a sustainable future. We believe in building relationships, establishing independent business owners, and keeping our planet and people beautiful and balanced.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Challenging the status quo will always bring difficulties. You’re walking a path that hasn’t been walked by many people.
Being one of the pioneering businesses in the W Lancaster redevelopment of Fort Worth gives a bit of push back all on its own. One example, we have a great deal of responsibility in making sure that we set the precedent for the neighborhood. We want to make sure that this area is for everyone, all walks of life, races, sexes, and religions. With many of the salon situations today, there has almost been an unspoken segregation of White salons, Black salons, and Asian salons.
With that said, we make an extremely conscious effort to go against the grain and truly become professional partners with the independent stylists who own their own businesses. We really think about what that means: the word “partner,” meaning that there are expectations on both parties. It means helping them create an experience; it means helping them set and achieve goals, and that they do the same for us. Not everyone is going to understand or adapt to that vision and that’s ok. You’re not trying to be the perfect fit for everyone, you’re trying to be everything for the right people.
When it comes to sustainability, we have to change the way we think of salon waste. Collectively, we have to come together to divert 95% of the waste leaving the salon away from landfills. We need to do things like clean up the oil spills in our oceans, limit chemicals from contaminating our local drinking water, and turn chemical-covered foils and metals into clean energy, since they can no longer be recycled by standard procedures. We’ve created a solution by placing waste-sorting bins throughout the salon to make it easy and convenient for everyone to participate in sustainability.
We don’t feel that we’re in competition with each other as hairdressers or as salons; instead, we believe that “we are all better together” and when we elevate each other, we all come out on top. However, we have learned that mantra is not every business’ perspective. We have been on the receiving end of slander, rumors, and lies. When dealing with these things, we have chosen the direct approach of addressing them and found it to work mostly in our favor. Staying true to who you are and not participating in negativity is key. The truth always prevails; you just have to give it the time to surface.
With every adventure, especially when you are going against the grain, you will find friction. It’s important to document your “why” stay true to your mission. In the end, you will come out on top.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Novak Hair Studios – what should we know?
We are proud to be Fort Worth’s first and only zero-waste salon and the first fully-sustainable eco-friendly salon in the entire DFW metroplex. We are even positioned to be one of the largest, if not already the largest, in the nation when we reach full capacity.
We are making beauty beautiful again by providing sustainable experiences in most areas of the salon industry. Our offerings include: makeup services, lash services, massages, skin care routines, waxing, and, of course, hair services for all people, regardless of personal style, texture or color.
Partnering with our Luxury Solo Artists™ allows us to help create the ultimate customer service experience while keeping all of the providers independent and empowering them to run their businesses as they see fit.
With our Novak Gives Back program, we are able to continuously work with incredible organizations. Partners include: P.O.S.H. Ministries, who works to help empower marginalized women in situations that can push them down; New Friends New Life which helps end human trafficking; and The Leg Up Program that helps people affected by homelessness with jobs and home placements. We use our talents and our platform to give back to the community that gives so much to us.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Keeping true to our core values and partnering with like-minded individuals are two key qualities that have landed us the impact that we have today.
- Address: 250 W Lancaster Ave #110 Fort Worth Tx 76102
- Website: Novakhairstudios.com
- Phone: 8175924247
- Email: Info@novakHairstudios.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/novakhairstudios/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/novakhairstudios/
Stephanie Smith- Oh Hello Photographie, Wes Ireton – Tourmax