Looking Stylish on Beach Drive
Jannon Johnson loves her new life as a Sunset Beach resident and Calabash hair salon owner.
Johnston County natives Jannon and Rocky Johnson were both working full-time for years at jobs they loved and spending their weekends driving to the coast to go boating.
“It’s our favorite pastime, being out in the fresh air and on the water in the Atlantic Ocean but driving two hours each way to the beach was taking too much time,” Jannon says. “We liked being in Brunswick County, so in 2019, after Rocky applied for a job here and got it, we sold our house in Smithfield and moved to Sunset Beach.”
With Rocky all set with his job, Jannon fulfilled her dream to open her own hair salon. “It’s our dream come true — we live in a beautiful place and I operate a hair salon with five employees in Calabash,” she says.
Immediately after graduating from high school in 1991, Jannon wanted to work as a hair stylist for women, men and children. She had a knack for fixing friends’ and relatives’ hair for special occasions so she went to Mitchell’s Academy for Cosmetology in Raleigh. Ten months later she graduated as a licensed cosmetologist in North Carolina.
For three months Jannon worked in someone else’s hair salon and she says that was a good way to learn the trade, but deep down she knew that she wanted to open her own shop, and eventually she did.
“It was called VersaStyle, and I ran that along with one other employee for years,” Jannon says.
The name for Jannon’s current salon came about when she leased the space at 10136 Beach Drive SW in October 2019 but was still toying around the ideas for a catchy name.
“I was chatting with Karen Sandidge next door at the Liberty Belle Thrift Boutique when she said, ‘It’s a salon and you’re on Beach Drive SW which is Highway 179, so why not call it Salon 179?’” Jannon says. “It was a great name, and I thank Karen for suggesting it!”
Jannon notes that she doesn’t have to spend any money on advertising.
“Our Facebook presence reaches a lot of people and I update it often,” Jannon says. “Most of our customers are local residents. We’re in a great spot in the heart of Calabash and through customers’ word-of-mouth recommendations, we keep busy.”
As the owner of Salon 179, Jannon is responsible for ordering inventory and staying up-to-date with trends, not just by looking in women’s magazines for the latest styles but by talking with other hair professionals.
She stocks lots of shampoos, conditioners and styling products in her 900-square-foot store. Most popular at Salon 179 are hair colors and highlights.
“I use KEVIN.MURPHY shampoos, conditioners and other products because they are healthier, natural products that are better for people and for the environment,” Jannon says. “For me, sulfate-free products are the way to go.”
Jannon plus two full-time hair stylists, one part-time hair stylist, one full-time nail technician and a receptionist work at Salon 179. Customers can phone for appointments or book them online through Facebook or Google.
“When I hire new staff, being able to provide them with steady jobs, both full-time and part-time in an often-tough economy means a lot to me,” Jannon says. “In that sense, owning the salon can be very satisfying.”
She very much enjoys working in the hair-styling business.
“Each day is the chance to work with a terrific group of women and interact with the many customers who come and go,” she says. “They want to look sharp and feel good for a special occasion or just because. Our goal in hair styling and doing manicures is to make the women look glamorous, and everyone feels awesome when they leave.”
Want to go?
10136 Beach Drive SW #5, Calabash
Open Monday to Saturday; see Facebook for daily hours