Everyone on staff at Orange Olive is committed to helping you look and feel your very best. Our stylists are all highly educated in cosmetology, and they are also a lot of fun to be around. Want to know more about us? You can learn more about each of us by reading about the staff below. Want to join our team? We’re always interested in hearing from talented and friendly stylists in the Charlotte area.
Creative Director | Nichole Smith
Nichole Smith is a unicorn—a born-and-bred Charlottean. She not only can recommend the best pizza, bowling alley, or live music venue—all of which she enjoys doing with her husband and two young sons—but she can also learn your “hair language”—the cuts and colors that make you look and feel your best. Had she not discovered Manic Panic hair dye in high school, perhaps Nichole would have become a “veterinarian or florist.” Luckily for NoDa’s tucked-away salon, Nichole graduated Paul Mitchell Charlotte and maintains her skills via classes such as a recent trip to Philadelphia, where she studied with industry leaders.
“I am always learning from my fellow stylists who push me to be better than the last day. It’s a small family,” she says of the salon. “We contribute beauty and support to our clients as well as local artists. We try to exceed expectations.”
Charlotte Hair Stylist | Chris Crowson
Chris has been described as a “literal angel” but also, “a Gemini”. Graduating from Paul Mitchell Gastonia in 2012, he is a true hair transporter, he loves being able to take his clients from one place to another, helping them reach their hair goals and seeing their excitement in the end. Since joining the Orange Olive team he has been able to attend classes in LA and hopes to further his learning with classes around the world. While some people have wild aspirations for the future, Chris is just happy being behind the chair. “I just love what I do, and I love doing hair.” He says of his time at Orange Olive, “this is my second family and I genuinely love everyone here” You can ask Chris about his 17 years of vegetarianism, gaming, or maybe teach him how to ride a bike.
Charlotte Hair Stylist | Kate Hite
Serendipitous, smiley and sweet! Those are just 3 words we could use to describe Katy Hite. Part hairstylist, part world-traveler – Katy has been doing hair for the better part of 7 years. Born in Denton, TX – Katy has lived and styled in places such as Charleston and Oregon. She found her way back to North Carolina in 2016, and then to our door at Orange Olive.
A true nurturer, Katy’s favorite part of what she does is the people. “Taking care of people and making them happy, and all the cool relationships you can make”. Katy’s special talent is making her clients feel beautiful inside and out. A true artist at heart, Katy dabbles in portrait photography in her spare time, photographing friends and beautiful spaces. You can usually find her in the great outdoors, scheming her next adventure and chugging Red Bulls.
Jr. Stylist | Bailey Green
Bailey was in Dental School when she first had her hair colored when she was 22, since then – it was love at first dye. Quickly deciding she was too creative for Dental Hygiene, she attended Aveda School, graduating in 2016 and joining our team! Artistic and unique, Bailey found that hair was the perfect outlet for her vision, “I love working in a team and being able to learn from others and support each other.” Bailey also owns her own craft jewelry line, Halo Jewelry – where she experiments with different styles using natural stones, wire wraps and mixed metals. She resides in Plaza Midwood with her boyfriend, rat terrier and chihuahua. Ask her about her favorite craft beers, tattoo spots, or Tom Petty. Her favorite part of what she does? “Making everyone happy!” We agree with this philosophy and hope she continues to make people feel beautiful and happy at Orange Olive for times to come!
Jr. Stylist | Johanna Clifton
Searching for a creative outlet, Johanna discovered the word of hair and makeup as a teen – and coincidentally, her own talent. Johanna went on to attend Aveda Institute of Charlotte, graduating in 2017, receiving a scholarship and placing 2nd in a Recycled Runway Competition in 2016.
If there were to words to describe Johanna, they might be “Fiercely Loyal” – but we prefer fierce and loyal. Johanna applies her creativity and passion in everything she does, especially when she’s behind the chair. “I love being able to make someone’s day, being able to change someone’s whole outlook with what I do is so rewarding”.
When she’s not in the studio, you can find Johanna at the Noda Dog Bar with her two pitbulls, Indi and Kujo, making music playlists for her friends or cooking up traditional Puerto Rican meals (um, yum!).
A Charlotte Native, Johanna’s roots lie deep in her commitment to her friends, family and community, “I love the close-knit team here at Orange Olive, we’re all friends, I love the sense of community and neighborhood”. She hopes to someday become a mentor and teacher for other stylists and looks forward to the future of expressing her creativity through unique colors and cuts.
Throughout her lifetime, Melissa has enjoyed cats, rabbits, dogs and even chickens as pets. This was always amusing growing up, since her parents were not animal people she giggles. This bohemian beauty clearly loves life and all of its inhabitants, so it’s only natural that she would love meeting new people and being creative, which launched her career path into business. After spending her first seventeen years in central Jersey, she headed south to High Point University, later graduating from UNCC with a degree in Organizational Communications and a Marketing minor. She shares that she had serious intentions to attend Cosmetology School and applied for the scholarship program at the Aveda Institute when it first opened in Charlotte. “My mom was a “beautician” and I have always had challenging hair… it just made sense.” Though she ended up taking a different route in the beauty industry, Melissa has been able to fuse her loves of hair, creativity, people and business together by opening Orange Olive Hair Gallery.
Melissa will tell you that as little girl, she was quiet and artsy. Some things don’t change. Her preference is to stay behind the scenes and let people shine as she encourages and helps push them to discover their potential. But ask her about her family and you will get a gorgeous smile and an animated story, which she has many to tell. She is she fluent in Hungarian, having spent summers there growing up with friends and family, she even stayed to attend school in Budapest one year as well as in Kastl Germany another. Still an avid traveler, she is also a busy mom with three children; (two boys and a girl). Somewhere in the midst of caring for her growing family at home and at Orange Olive, she finds time for tennis, hiking and walks, hanging out with friends, and showing girls that being cool equals being smart. Ask her some of the things she loves and she will tell you, “psychology, sewing, art, reading business books and industry publications, philosophy, strategic planning, patterns, analytics, logic, and of course, animals.”
Since life has gotten busy for the spirited entrepreneur, the animal population in the Needham household consists of only a plump cat, “Bubba” who is low maintenance and laid back. One day, she hopes her dream of owning a farm with horses, pigs, goats and some chickens will come to fruition. In the meantime, she inspires, creates, and motivates daily at the little green house on the corner of North Davidson and 32nd St. In NoDa. “I love this industry and all it has to offer. I couldn’t imagine doing anything more fun.” With a supportive family, fantastic friends and a wonderful salon team by her side, it sounds like Melissa has figured out the secret to life.
Join Our Team
Orange Olive offers established salon professionals the opportunity to work in an open concept salon. If you are talented and ready to work in a creative fun environment, contact us and we will let you know of any current or future openings. The best way to contact Orange Olive about employment opportunities is by sending us an email.