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.
staff bio to come!
Charlotte Hair Stylists | 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 Stylists | Katie Mulhare
“Amazing” is the word Kathleen Mulhare most often chooses to describe her family and friends. A Rhode Island native, Kathleen stays in close contact with her parents, brother, and sister as well as her grandparents and cousins … because “there are 24 of them, after all!” A graduate of the Aveda Institute Charlotte, Kathleen says she has been fascinated with hair ever since she modeled as a teenager. “The greatest reward of the job is making a guest happy, and letting my creative freedom flow. I would like to start a hairstylist alliance where fellow hairstylists from different salons come together and try to make change,” she says, such as “haircuts for the homeless and salon days for people with special needs who don’t feel comfortable in a regular salon setting.” With altruism part of her bones, Kathleen resonates with the salon’s ethos of recycling and community engagement.
“I love Orange Olive because we are a family. I can’t imagine my life without the women who have come into my life. They make me excited to come to work. I feel emotionally invested in all of their lives and them in mine. I feel like we are able to teach and learn from each other. The women of Orange Olive are amazing,” she says. “I’m just lucky to be a part of it.”
Charlotte Hair Stylists | Kathryn Patel
From a hardworking, tightknit family, Kathryn Patel grew up jumping surf on Cape Hatteras Island. But it was meeting her husband in the mountains of Boone—where she worked the front desk in one of his family’s hotels—that drew her away from the coast. When the young couple were searching for a place to put down roots, they chose Charlotte to be close to a good friend. “This made sense,” she says. “We love it.” They still enjoy the bookends of the state—in their home in Boone any time they want fresh mountain air, and every May when they rent a big house with friends on the Outer Banks.”
A graduate of Cosmetic Arts Academy near Hickory, Kathryn says she has found her fit at Orange Olive. “I like the connection I have with each stylist. We are all friends. We do stuff together all the time. It’s not easy to make girlfriends, so, I’ve loved it. Our salon is a little house in NoDa. You can come in PJs if you want, but you can also dress up. We want people to feel at home here.”
Charlotte Hair Stylists | Chris Crowson
staff bio to come!
Charlotte Hair Stylists | Stephanie Dey
Bio to come.
Director of Operations
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.