Our mission at Harper Ellis Hair Co. is to support stylists in their quest for personal success. We elevate our hand-tied artists not only by providing them access to the highest quality hair extensions on the market but also in offering an unparalleled stylist support network and industry-leading hair education.
In this spotlight, we chat with our very own lead educator here at Harper Ellis Hair Co., Creighton Ellis. Creighton helped pioneer the Harper Ellis Concealed Bead Method and now shares his knowledge with stylists allow over the country. He is also an ELITE Stylist at our home salon, Salon Five Zero Four. Today, we're learning all about Creighton’s career as an extensions artist, his assistantship with Terra, and so much more!
Hi Creighton! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
•I was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.
•I am fascinated with travel and experiencing new places. I will use just about any excuse to hit the road or the skies!
•I recently got engaged to my best friend, Breanna Sumpter! Our surprise engagement trip was life-changing; snow, cabins, and quaint Christmas towns made for the perfect proposal.
•I am obsessed with fashion and design, however, I learn the rules of each to break them! You will rarely see me without my collection of designer shoes nearby!
•” Average” is my worst enemy. I refuse to settle for average when I know that “ outstanding” is possible.
We would love to know what’s brought you to where you are now! What can you tell us about your career as a hairstylist?
My career began long before I was aware it had. Growing up, one of my relatives had a small salon that I spent uncountable hours at just hanging out, watching, learning, and talking way too much. As a licensed master instructor, she naturally taught me the fundamentals of cosmetology over the years.
Having that advantage going into cosmetology school, my experience was great in school. Unfortunately, it honestly created an egotistical future professional out of me. I excelled in school, so I would excel in the real world, right?
Soon after school, I began my career at Salon Five Zero Four, owned by non-other than Terra Harvell. It was great to be offered a position in the most elite salon in the area, but it came with one stipulation: I had to work part-time as an assistant! What???
You see, that day Terra saw the potential in me. She knew I could perform the services and that I had the ambition to work for my success, but she also knew that my ego would ultimately stand in the way. My contracted assistantship went from three months to a year and a half. Why?
I was able to “Shed my Armor” and realize the amount of growth that can happen when you humble yourself! No matter who you are or what you are capable of, you can always take and cultivate by learning and collaborating with others. That life lesson is what got me to where I am at in my career today!
What do you enjoy most about being an educator?
What I enjoy most about education is helping others to grow and reach greater success by sharing what I have taken years to learn. Education creates a community and a sense of family! I love to see stylists come to multiple Harper Ellis events — it is always a heartwarming reunion.
What advice would you give to other stylists as we enter a new year?
My advice would be to learn to thrive on fear! Change is scary, growth is scary, and success is scary, however, none of the above come from being content! Each day, do at least one thing that makes you uncomfortable!
Can you tell us why you choose to use hand-tied extensions and why you use Harper Ellis hair?
My list of reasons to choose hand-tied extensions could go on for days, but I have three main reasons:
Comfort: With the Harper Ellis Concealed Bead Method, my clients have no downtime, no discomfort, and no stress on the scalp!
Function: I have models, athletes, business professionals, teenagers, elderly, etc. clients that all wear hand-tied extensions. They all have one thing in common: they want easy. When they get home, they can recreate the look they leave with or they can create any other style they wish without the fear of their extensions showing, coming out, or causing damage.
Time is Money: I give myself one hour to complete a two row move-up! My clients are busy people that have to maximize their time, so sitting for a 4-8+ hour appointment is not an option!
How did you get SO FAST at the Method? I believe your record for one row is 20 minutes — is that right?
Yes, my record is 20 minutes! But it didn't happen overnight. It came from practice, practice, practice! Oh yeah, and more practice!
Repetition is the key! Once you perfect the installation, push yourself! Need to fill a reservation on your books, but you might not have enough time? Book the appointment and push yourself to get it done! It is a win-win situation.
If you weren’t a hairstylist, what would you be?
I love editorial work! Therefore, photography would be my next profession. I love to capture a moment in time, to create art, and to feature beauty! Creighton Ellis Photography may be coming soon.
Tell us something you’re looking forward to in the new year.
2021 is going to be a year with a lot of change! I am working on many different things professionally. Plus, I am opening a whole new chapter in my life by marrying the girl of my dreams! I have many things to look forward to.
Finally, can you tell us any juicy secrets about Terra?!
She is the best dancer ever! Next time you see her ask her to show off her moves!
Thank you so much, Creighton, for being of our FIRST featured stylist of 2021! If you want to follow along with Creighton’s big year, be sure to find him on Instagram at @thehandtiedcraftsman.