LaShawne Granger
LaShawne Granger

DHI Media Staff Writer

VAN WERT — Van Wert hair stylist LaShawne Granger still remembers her first experience at cutting hair. She was 5 years old and she cut all of the hair off her Barbie doll.

“Unfortunately that hair didn’t grow back,” quipped Granger. These days, Granger is the assistant manager at Van Wert’s Great Clips. She describes her life as, “giving haircuts and making people happy.”

Granger laughed when she said that hair stylists are often referred to as “$13 therapists.”

“I hear a lot of stories and build a lot of connections,” said Granger. “I like to do all I can to make people feel better and give self-confidence.”

Granger said that how much she responds to any particular situation depends on how the person feels and what is being said.

“It depends on the situation. I try to give encouraging words,” she said. “I try not to give much advice, but I do what I think I can do to help them get through.”

Much of Granger’s path to success passed through Vantage Career Center. In fact, her experience at Vantage was deemed so successful that she was asked to speak to her graduating class in 2014.

“Vantage really put me on the right path,” said Granger. “Both teachers I had my junior and senior years were great teachers.”

In addition to styling hair, Granger always had dreams of being involved in teaching situations. That opportunity has presented itself in educational opportunities as assistant manager at the salon. In addition, she is invited to return to Vantage once a month to teach a vocation class, presenting information and answering questions.

Many of her employees at Great Clips are also Vantage graduates.

“I know that a lot of my workers have to work hard to meet their financial needs,” said Granger. “I am so thankful to give them the opportunity to do so.”

Up until now, Granger had four employees working for her at the store. She recently hired two more, booting her staff to six.

Granger said that Great Clips, a franchise reaching from Fort Wayne, currently has 21 stores. “

This is my life,” said Granger. “It has a lot of opportunities. I love it that there are great opportunities to connect with stylists and to teach with this.”