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Holli Gaspard: Unleashing the Beauty Within

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There’s nothing like adding a little beauty to the world, and, for nearly 30 years, the team at H2O Salon and Spa in Metairie has been committed to making customers look and feel their best — from the inside out.

HollyREG“Our DNA has always been to touch the inner person by enhancing what the outer person has,” says Holli Gaspard, owner of H2O Salon.

When Gaspard says, “our DNA,” she’s referring to the inspiration for her business, which she co-founded with her sister Heather. The sisters are second-generation hairstylists whose mother owned her own salon in Metairie decades ago.

“I observed my mother every evening doing people’s hair, and, my two sisters and I, we just always grew up wanting to be exactly like my mom,” Gaspard says. “So it was really just something that was in our core — we valued what she valued, which was making people look and feel beautiful and serving people.”

Following in their mother’s footsteps, Gaspard and her sister opened the doors to their salon in the square of Old Metairie Village in 1988, but, after quickly outgrowing the space, the duo moved the salon to its current location on Metairie Road in 1996. They’ve since added another 4,000 square feet to their business by moving their phone bank, storage, executive offices, skin clinic and spa-related services to Metairie Towers next door. All it took was a simple formula.

“We knew we were hard workers,” Gaspard says. “We love what we do — making people feel beautiful. But those were the two ingredients: hard-working and love-serving people.”

Over the years, Gaspard has focused on growth, not just of her business, which now features a spa, skin clinic, blow-dry bar and nail services, but of her staff as well.

“I tell the girls who work with me, ‘Your future is really in your hands,’” Gaspard says. “Our future is literally in our hands, including whatever we do with our hands to make a person look beautiful and feel fulfilled.”

Being able to use her hands, she says, is one of the most rewarding parts of how she makes her living. “The greatest thing about what we do is, it’s the only business no computer will ever take over, because we do it by hand, which is a beautiful gift,” Gaspard says.

In addition to bringing out the beauty in her customers themselves, Gaspard and the H2O team have recently begun their Style With Knowledge service, which includes an educational component.

Gaspard or another stylist walks the customer through the steps of washing, blow-drying and styling their hair to teach the customer to implement their favorite hairstyle at home, with a stylist’s touch.

“We give them the tools they need to be able to bring their hairdresser home,” Gaspard says. “We want to educate our client more on how they can take care of and implement this experience that I just gave them. I want my guests to look great the whole month that they don’t see me after I do their hair.”

Gaspard and the H2O team are committed to serving the community even beyond what they can do for their customers within their salon’s four walls. What makes H2O stand out, Gaspard says, is being a business that supports important issues, from Alzheimer’s disease, which affected their mother, and breast cancer, to battered women and local education initiatives.

In her spare time, Gaspard herself enjoys volunteering at Jesuit High School, where her boys attend, helping out her family members and neighbors, and focusing on self-improvement through reading, journaling and Bible study.

But when it comes down to it, Gaspard doesn’t even need the spare time for her days to be rewarding. “If you love what you do, you’re never going to work a day in your life,” Gaspard says. “We love what we do; we know we’re great at it; and it really comes out of a love for it.”