Lisa McDaniel-Ramos is the embodiment of a renaissance woman, embarking on many different career paths throughout her life, and embracing change as it came to her. Now, Lisa is the owner of C&C Hair Company, a salon that encapsulates everything she’s grown to know: embracing change will lead you to amazing places, and everyone deserves to feel fulfilled and in control of their own life, which can start with a fresh new hairstyle.
“I always say life is like a puzzle, when you have to push and force the pieces together you know they don’t belong but when they slide into each other you know they really fit, and that’s what happened when it came to opening C&C Hair Salon.”
So many of us get caught up in endless thoughts about where our life is going, and whether or not we’re on the right path. These overwhelming thoughts can, in turn, block us from seeing our true potential, and hinder us from realizing that we know what we want, even if we don’t know how to get it.
Lisa McDaniel-Ramos is an entrepreneur, but honestly, that’s putting it lightly. From a young age she was instilled with a hard work ethic, and the understanding that remaining open to the opportunities in the world will lead you to great places, as long as you’re working hard for it.
“I only went to college for one year, so a majority of my experience comes from the many spaces I’ve worked in throughout my life, whether it be volunteering, training dolphins, marketing, etc. This has given me an immense amount of common sense in regards to how to interact with others and navigate different working environments,” McDaniel-Ramos explained.
Upon completing a year of college,” McDaniel-Ramos departed from school and cultivated a great deal of versatility by partaking in various jobs. During the early stages of her career, she worked as a sea lion and dolphin trainer, a portrait photographer and as a travel agent. Additionally, she gained valuable expertise in the dentistry industry, as a wine consultant with Kroger, where she served for almost 20 years, as a marketing events coordinator and backstage concert hospitality for King’s Dominion Theme Park and as the Snow Queen with the “Legendary Santa” at Miller & Rhoads Department Store.”
“Everything I have done has given me life experiences that shaped who I’ve become, and who I’m becoming. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, and honestly I still don’t, but that’s the beauty of wearing multiple career hats and putting myself out there to be open to new opportunities.”
“I came from a family that always believed in hard work, and never took excuses for not working towards your goals. School and working were always the only two options which instilled an extensive work ethic in me from a young age. I’ve had a lot of different interests in a lot of different things, and I’ve been lucky enough to find spaces where I can dive into those interests and really explore new avenues of work and life,” McDaniel-Ramos exclaimed.
“The salon came about relatively recently with the Covid-19 pandemic giving me the opportunity to really focus on what I wanted to do next in my life after wearing so many different and unique career hats.
I always say that the salon is like my retirement plan, since I don’t actually cut or style hair, this was a way for me to use my experience to run the business without being the business.
I was lucky enough to have a close friend who’s a hairstylist that I was able to go to for advice when it came to entering into the business. The owner of the salon that she was working with at the time was also gearing up to retire, and this was right around when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit so a lot of service businesses were closing down, so in January 2021 everything kind of just fell into place for me to acquire the business.
Honestly I was very lucky to be entering into the salon business when I did. Before I was still working full time up until the salon opened its doors, so it wasn’t the smoothest transition, but the challenges we did face we were able to overcome working together.
Most of the girls working in the salon have been in the space for around 30 years, so there’s a big familial energy when it comes to our clients, we treat everyone like we’ve been friends for years, because for some we actually have been.
It’s a very lively and fun environment to work in, the connections we make among each other translates with our clients because we all love what we do and genuinely want to see each other, and the salon, thrive. Anytime one of us can’t make it in, there’s always someone to take over and make sure that our customers are still being prioritized while we’re taking care of our own.”
“At C&C Hair Company our motto is ‘beauty belongs to everyone,’ and we really mean that. We strive to make our clients feel as beautiful and confident as possible, because everyone deserves to feel good about themselves, and to play a role in helping someone achieve that is indescribable.”
McDaniel-Ramos then offered some advice for those in the business/entrepreneurship realm when it comes to being successful. She also discussed the importance of not being afraid when you’re not sure where your life is headed. Her attitude has always been open to opportunities and change, especially when it comes to trying something new.
“I truly believe that customer service is number one when it comes to running a successful business. If a customer isn’t happy, we’re not happy, especially being a business that’s built on helping people feel good about themselves.
The kinder you are in life, the more you get back. When you have a difficult customer, there’s nowhere to go but up when you believe that ‘killing them with kindness’ will lead to an optimal outcome.”
Outside of her work in this capacity, she volunteered with more than one therapeutic horseback riding group and with the organization Camp Baker, where she worked with children with mental and physical disabilities.
“The motion of the horse, as far as physical goes, is great exercise for those with physical and mental disabilities because their bodies are moving with the horse. Beyond the physical benefits, emotionally you can just tell when the kids relax on top of these horses and it’s such a beautiful thing to witness. I mean think about cowboys and their horses, the connection between these animals and humans has been around for centuries, so it’s amazing to see it firsthand and give that joy to those who really deserve it.”
When it comes to those who feel stuck in their current everyday lives, and don’t know what their next step should be, McDaniel-Ramos encourages those to not be afraid of change, and to put themselves out there even when things seem impossible.
“Throughout my whole life I’ve always just put myself out there and made myself available to whatever opportunities crossed my path, and I think that’s an essential part of being successful in general. When you get too comfortable in life, it can become easy to get stuck in what feels like a monotonous routine with no real payoff. Remaining open to new things and change gives you the freedom to take on new roles and overcome certain obstacles.”
McDaniel-Ramos also credits a lot of her success to the life experiences she’s granted herself the chance of taking on. Throughout her life, she’s had the opportunity to travel to England, Iceland, Hawaii, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Denmark, Alaska, Jamaica, Guatemala, and numerous states throughout the US.
In Guatemala, she embarked on a mission trip building houses in the highlands, while in Jamaica she was able to reunite a man they met on their trip, named Mickey, with his family after he hadn’t seen them in years. McDaniel-Ramos, a friend, and Mickey rode motorcycles through a multitude of mountains for hours until they were able to find and meet his family.
These trips only further aided her in gaining knowledge from the “school of life,” while also being able to try new things, and discover new interests within herself.
“You can’t be afraid of failing, because that’s just a part of life that we all experience in one form or another. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, but keeping yourself open to putting yourself out there will get you through those tough times.
Some people know exactly who they want to be and they just go for it, and then there are those of us who simply don’t have that same mindset, but that’s okay. We all find success and happiness in our own ways, on our own journeys, so though it may be hard, it’s integral to trust the process, and most importantly, trust yourself.”
Curiosity, determination and an insatiable urge to discover new things led her to accrue many different experiences. Looking toward the future, McDaniel-Ramos aims to foster her salon and bring in new and returning customers on a consistent basis. She also is looking to continue her volunteer work with therapeutic horseback riding with veterans as well, as the riding is great for both physical and emotional comfort.
“In the future I’m hoping to embrace my philanthropic side more, especially with the salon. We’ve been discussing doing something like a ‘Cuts for Kids’ for underprivileged youth so that they can feel their best everyday. We’ve also donated to two golf fundraisers for charity, as well as women’s groups, so again it’s about embracing these opportunities to give back whenever it seems possible and that’s definitely something we’ll continue with in the future,” McDaniel-Ramos stated.
To learn more about Lisa McDaniel-Ramos and the amazing work they do at C&C Hair Company, check out their website here!
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.