Finding Inspiration in Style

Finding Inspiration in Style

by Susan Neuhalfen

If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than the owner of Cloud9 Spa, Salon and Boutique, Kim Cloud Skidmore.

Kim was only 19 when she started working as a stylist, a newlywed with a baby. Within five months she became an accidental business owner when the owner of the salon where she worked decided to close shop abruptly. In order to keep the staff and the salon open, Kim had to quickly learn some hard lessons, in business and in life, and she’s never stopped learning. Today, that salon she saved in a practically abandoned strip center, is now in its own building, a 8200 square foot destination.

“There’s not much that we don’t do,” said Kim about Cloud9’s stand alone two-story building in Flower Mound. “We have about every service you can imagine and I’m blown away by the talent here.”

Cloud9 now has 37 stylists, specializing in everything from color to innovative cuts to special occasion styles, nails, waxing, all facial services, lash extensions, brow blading and massage. The atmosphere downstairs is upbeat and friendly. It’s not loud and raucous like some salons, but rather fun and relaxing with a wonderful energy surrounding it.

Upstairs in the spa, it’s as if you’ve entered another world. It’s quiet and soothing but with the same detail to customer service that is experienced throughout the entire salon. Making sure the clients are receiving the best service possible is the main goal of Cloud9.

“We have so many different types of clients, all with their own special needs,” said Kim. “We just want to make sure the experience exceeds their standards.”

Although Kim has a brilliant business mind, her true strength lies in her people skills. While that mostly applies to customer service, it also applies in how she treats her employees.

“I built this place on the premise that I would help my employees be empowered,” said Kim. “I make sure that everyone who works here has the tools necessary to be successful.”

While many salons just rent a chair or station to staff, Kim makes sure that the stylists and techs have the extras they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. There are always friendly people at the front desk ready to greet clients and schedule appointments. She also has a full housekeeping staff so that the stylists and techs may concentrate solely on the clients and the job they are doing.

Despite the many expansions and the constant schedule she keeps, Kim has always worked as a stylist. Working at her side in the next chair is her son, Nathan, the baby she had when she first started working in a salon. She has always taken an interest in every member of her staff, taking many under her wing and out of bad situations.

“Many women seek us out to help teach them to be successful stylist/techs/businesswomen on their own,” said Kim. “Some come from abusive environments and some just out of high school looking to start their careers. The one thing they all have in common is that they are ready to succeed and we’re all happy to help them achieve that.”

Though Kim has many stories like that, her community service involvement goes much farther than in her hiring practices. Over a dozen years ago, Kim started Cloud 9 Charities. This organization, with a strong, active board, has become an integral part of our community, raising money for other established organizations that help women and families. Just this year they’ve donated over $72,000 to 16 different organizations.

Their fastest growing cause is #bedtimerescue where donors are asked to put up a homeless family in need for a week at the Econolodge (at a huge discount). That week gives the family time to focus and make long term plans without having to worry about where they’ll stay. There are counselors available to help them find work or to mentor them. With the homeless family populations growing quickly in Denton County, Cloud9 Charities is getting phone calls directly from schools, child protective services, and CISNT.

“I’m just glad we can help these families stay together,” said Kim.

So what is Kim’s message to those who need a little inspiration?

“Find your passion at work and in your heart,” said Kim. “There’s always something you can do and so many organizations that need help. You can find your place.”

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