Hydie J. Knuckles
Bello in Home Salon, Saco
An Aroostook County native and licensed cosmetologist, Hydie J. Knuckles took a 15-year detour into a career in the banking industry.
But in 2009, she found herself without a job. So she returned to her passion, launching a traveling salon service.
Now, a year in, she’s developed a unique niche, offering hair and makeup services, manicures, pedicures, waxing, and spa/diva parties in the comfort of people’s homes, as well as on-site at various businesses, hospitals, hotels, and photography studios.
Q: What were your most important needs in getting started?
A: In the beginning, I took some time to think about where I was in my life and what I wanted to do, re-evaluating myself as a person and what was important to me. The first thing was to just have a base of clients that I could market to or help. I started with people I already knew. The banking career helped in that sense. Being in that job, I was expected to do a lot of networking and be out in the community. Not having the money in the beginning to do advertising, I had to do a lot of word-of-mouth, networking, calling organizations and businesses that I thought could benefit from my services. It’s been a while building up clients, but now I have a really good client base. Now I love it. I wish I did it years ago.
Q: What was there about your upbringing that gave you the courage to venture out on your own?
A: I was born and raised in Aroostook County, right next to the Canadian border. My parents taught me the value of hard work. I got out of school to pick potatoes like all the other kids up there. I was raised in a family that taught me if you want something in life, you just have to go for it. And if you’re good to other people, and treat them right, that will come back to you later in life.
Q: What do you think are the advantages of being a female entrepreneur?
A: I think women just have it in their blood to multi-task and juggle so many things.
Q: What advice would you give an aspiring woman entrepreneur?
A: I think that if a woman really has the desire and wants to go out on her own and do something that she feels is right and is in her heart, she should just go for it. You don’t know until you try. If you really believe in something strongly, it’ll happen. There’s going to be a lot of hard work and determination along the way. It isn’t easy, but nothing in life is easy.
Q: If you knew then what you know now, would you have done anything differently?
A: I would’ve thought out pricing, how far I would travel for my prices. Contracts are another thing I wish I would’ve thought about.