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Beauty is a passion for Bray at Epix Salon

With a desire to give every client inner beauty, empowerment, and self-esteem, Shelli Bray decided to become a hairdresser almost 25 years ago. Today she is the owner of Epix Salon as well as a stylist.

Bray first opened Epix Salon around 2001, and throughout the years, she has changed locations. This October, she re-opened at her new location downtown on 200 East Academy Street.

“Beauty is my passion. I love a personal approach to hair, exploring textures, visions, and individual hair goals and desires for each client,” Bray said. “I love making people feel beautiful and confident.”

Bray believes that it’s very important to enjoy the work you do and she feels lucky that she has the best job in the world. “There’s never been a day where I didn’t want to come to work,” she said. “What I appreciate most is my long-time clientele. Everything we do is for our customers.”

One of the deciding factors that led Bray to re-open Epix here was her daughter, Mackenzi Williams. Williams was living in Birmingham, but Covid shut down her previous job, which brought her back home to Troy.

Bray re-opened the salon so Mackenzi could complete an apprenticeship for cosmetology under her. “I grew up here, went to high school at Pike Lib, but moved away for a few years.” Williams explained. “When Covid happened, I decided I needed to look for another career.”

Having grown up in her mother’s salon, Williams knew she wanted to apprentice to be a hair stylist. Around the age of ten, Williams would go to work with her mother at the salon, run the front desk, help with hair and makeup for weddings, and go to hair shows.

“Working as a hair stylist is special because we, as women, are empowering women.” Williams said.

“At a young age, she learned responsibillity, from finances to how to run a business,” Bray said. “Her dealing with the public in the salon made her very mature.”

Bray and Williams said it’s very easy for them to work together. They have not only become great partners, but also best friends. Working in the salon together and sharing a passion for making others feel beautiful was another way for them to bond.

While Covid is still making their job difficult, the mother-daughter team is thankful for their new building, which provides a lot of space to keep everyone six feet apart. Eventually, Bray hopes to use some of this space to set up a massage therapist and maybe bring in a few more hairdressers. Bray also hopes that her daughter will take over the salon in the future. Bray has enjoyed running the business and doing things the right way. She also has fun keeping up with new trends not only with hair and makeup but also new trends for furniture and décor.

“I’m always looking for the newest trends and the newest and best products,” she said. “We always look for the best hair products to use and whatever is trending. I want my clients to have the best options available and to feel beautiful when they leave our salon. That’s what it’s all about.”