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Wine Down Wednesday: Winston-Salem hair salon owners drink wine and talk hair

By: Jessica Clifford

Wine, women, videos and hair—a combination that has become the essence of the Winston-Salem-based salon, Do or Dye. Since the salon’s conception on April 1, co-owners Kristen McIntosh and Sierra Johnson have made a name for themselves with the unpredictable and youthful video series, “Wine Down Wednesday.”

After working together for nearly four years at another salon, the friends took a chance neither of them anticipated for their futures. Johnson said after leaving their previous stagnant careers, “We had to take this leap of faith and it was kind of a ‘do or die’ moment. So, it translated to our name.” Now, the pair owns a suite where the only two people working for them are themselves.

Before opening, Johnson created a YouTube series featuring the process of setting up the salon. This idea, plus an extreme amount of celebratory wine gifted to the friends during their salon’s opening, gave them the idea to start another video series. This time, their goal was to create free advertising, by showcasing their personalities to future clients in short videos.

“We wanted to not only get our name out there but also give tips and tricks and little tidbits of knowledge to people in a broader audience that might not be able to sit in our chair,” Johnson said. Their overall goal was to garner trust; to show the Winston-Salem community and beyond that, they were knowledgeable in hair care.

The video series, which is live on Johnson’s Facebook page every Wednesday night, is a casual and fun show for all ages, genders and hair-types. “We try to stay as PG as possible,” McIntosh said. “We try to keep it family friendly.”

Yet, the most appealing part of the series is the personality each owner brings to the videos. “We try to be engaging and answer immediate questions,” Johnson said. The pair wants to teach their 500 to 700 weekly viewers anything they want to learn, so they are constantly looking for topic suggestions.

Though the show is not always as prepared as a viewer might believe, as McIntosh said, “Wine Down is always a mystery;” they do have an ongoing list of topics they want to discuss live. McIntosh and Johnson want to branch out from talking hair care and try to discuss makeup and skincare as well. Just to name a few upcoming topics on their ever-growing list are men’s hair, redheads, a blow-out challenge and Halloween makeup tutorials.

The spontaneous and youthful pair bounced ideas around during their interview. “We should do a blindfolded up-do challenge,” Johnson said, telling McIntosh, “Write it down in the notebook.” They are also hoping to have experts on their future videos and potentially change their show’s location, which as of now takes place in their salon. “We are going to be like Kathy Lee and Hoda,” said Johnson jokingly, which is when McIntosh chimed in, “Live from Greensboro.”

However, what gives “Wine Down Wednesday” a unique twist is the weekly choice of wine the friends drink during the show. Originally, they started drinking the wine that was gifted to them. Since then, McIntosh and Johnson have decided to spice things up with boxed and canned wine, and a squiggly straw sometimes in the mix. Now, most of their wine glasses are from clients that know them as “the girls that drink wine.” The salon owners also recently received wine glasses with their names and their salon embossed on them.

Wine aside, McIntosh and Johnson are thrilled with how the series’ viewers range from clients, family and stylists. “We would go to classes and people would say we have seen you on Facebook,” Johnson said, referring to their continuing education classes. “When we did it initially, we didn’t think it would become anything,” McIntosh said. “It has become part of our brand essentially. That is what we are known for at this point.”

In the future, McIntosh and Johnson would like to leverage their business platform, by going live on both Facebook and Instagram. As Johnson said, “[We want to] get more of our work on there so people can see what we’re doing,” in the hopes of, “adding more and more people to the Do or Dye tribe.”

The duo’s success is far-reaching, not only as young business owners but as friends. With this kind of energy, it is obvious they are close. “I think we have a really similar drive, and what we want to do personally and professionally. [Sierra] is in all my best memories,” McIntosh said candidly. “I wouldn’t do this with anyone else.”

“Wine Down Wednesday” usually begins at 7:15 p.m. every Wednesday, with some videos starting earlier or later. To learn about the exact time the pair goes live or for other interesting hair care tips follow their salon’s Instagram account at doordyenc.

“Do it scared,” McIntosh said, a motto she lives by – a motto that has allowed her and Johnson to strive for a business of fun, friends, passion and of course, wine.

Jessica Clifford is an intern reporter. She is a senior at UNCG, majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in English.

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