Former Chattahoochee Tech cosmetology student Jade Gonzalez has become a successful business owner after establishing Jade Salon of Atlanta 12 years ago in Cobb County. Her salon, which is located at 3020 Highlands Parkway off I-285 near Vinings, is now considered to be one of Atlanta’s top specialty hair salons, offering Japanese thermal hair straightening for all types of hair.
After graduating from McEachern High School in Cobb County, Gonzalez said she attended college in New York for a year before returning to Georgia and enrolling in classes at Chattahoochee Technical College. “The college I had gone to in New York was very large – a big college, and a big campus. Even though it was a community college, you definitely felt like you were one of a million people there,” said Gonzalez. “But Chattahoochee Tech was a smaller environment, and I loved it. You could really get a lot of attention from your teachers, because the classes were smaller. I had a great experience at Chattahoochee Tech,” she said. “Anytime I meet anyone who is considering going to a technical college, I always have positive things to say.”
Gonzalez said she began her educational journey by taking core classes, which she later transferred to Kennesaw State University, when she decided to also take the cosmetology classes offered at Chattahoochee Tech. “Quite honestly, hair was always a passion of mine, and I finally thought, let me actually go for the cosmetology license and continue going to school for business training,” said Gonzalez. “The cosmetology classes at Chattahoochee Tech helped prepare me for the state professional licensure exam. It would have been impossible to prepare for this test without going to a good school.”
Putting her cosmetology training to good use as a highly skilled professional, Gonzalez continued to work her way through college by working part time in a hair salon. Then, thanks to a class project in her college Economics class, she said she realized that her part-time job as a hair stylist could evolve into a rewarding, full-time career. “In weighing everything, I thought hey, if I did this full time I could definitely do really well! I worked at Bob Steele Salon for five years, one of the biggest salons in Atlanta, until I felt like I was in a position to open up my own salon.”
Soon after launching her own successful salon in Cobb County, Gonzalez was joined in business by her husband, Baldem. “My husband saw how well I was doing, and saw I was so happy,” said Gonzalez. “Now he is a hair stylist here as well! It’s been about 10 years since he’s been doing hair, and we work here together. It’s been awesome! I’m super happy and I feel very glad that I chose this career.”