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Salon Otter: Nashville’s Best Rodney Mitchell Salon – Nashville’s Best Hair SalonsSalon Otter: Nashville’s Best

Salon Otter: Nashville’s Best Rodney Mitchell Salon – Nashville’s Best Hair SalonsSalon Otter: Nashville’s Best

Join us today as we visit Nashville, to meet Rodney Mitchell, the owner of Rodney Mitchell Salon to chat all things hair, beauty, and fashion in Music City.

We cover his many years in business, top hair and beauty tips for dry hair, and how to build a reputation that has seen him trusted to work with many celebrities and public figures over many years.

Enjoy!

Rodney, tell us more about yourself

I’m the owner of the Rodney Mitchell Salon, and have always had a passion for helping people and always wanted to be the star that I was born to be.

When I first came to Nashville, I had a dream of working with the biggest names in town. It’s safe to say I’ve made this dream come true having worked with celebrities such as Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Tanya Tucker. Plus I’ve had the honor of working with the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

Rodney Mitchell

What will clients experience visiting Rodney Mitchell Salon?

My salons have been around for over 25 years and our current location is nestled in Music Row and a walk away from Vanderbilt University. We are a full-service salon but specialize in color.

We pride ourselves on our friendliness and complimentary bloody marys! (Which we’ve made in-house for over 20 years) Our salon offers a modern vibe with the perfect amount of warmth that makes you want to stay all day!

What specialties does Rodney Mitchell Salon offer?

We have teamed up with Invigorate Health and they offer top facial treatments, Botox, and filler all at the salon. This makes us a one-stop shop for all of your beauty needs!

What is your number one tip for a happy, healthy hair and beauty routine?

At-home care is so important! Using a shampoo and conditioner that is curated to your hair needs and products that prolong your color and hair integrity are at the forefront of a healthy hair and beauty routine.

What Nashville hair, beauty, and fashion trends are you seeing right now?

Curtain bangs have been HUGE at the salon lately. It’s the perfect way to experience bangs and texture in your hair without making the big jump into straight-across bangs. Nashville is going crazy for them!

What hair and beauty products do you think should be in everyone’s day-to-day routine?

For our blonde clients, we always recommend K18 at-home care to maintain hair health after lightening services. Aside from that, getting a good hydrating shampoo and conditioner such as the Kevin Murphy hydrate me wash and rinse, will work wonders for your hair.

Some clients think their hair is damaged but in fact it just needs a little moisture!

Rodney Mitchell Salon stylists

Beyond Rodney Mitchell Salon, who else would you like to give some love to?

We love shopping at our local store “Smack” owned by Rob Wei! He sells vintage clothing and has styled some prestigious celebrities for major events here in Nashville.

Who is your all-time hair, beauty, and style icon?

The only correct answer is Dolly Parton. She has done so much for our community, all while having the best hair and outfits!

Which current celebrity or public figure is getting it so right with their hair, beauty, and styling?

Jacob Elordi! He has that perfect hairstyle that always looks so effortless, not to mention his impeccable sense of style.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our SalonOtter readers?

We as a team believe hair is just the start of looking and feeling your best, we put our best foot forward every day and treat people with kindness and compassion. Beauty goes beyond the surface and when you look good and act good, nothing can hold you back!

Where can people find Rodney Mitchell Salon?

We’re at 1810 Chet Atkins Pl, Nashville, TN 37203

Check out our website to make a booking and we’re also on Insta

Thanks so much Rodney, we can’t wait to visit you at Rodney Mitchell Salon again soon!

Tennessee Highlighter: Meet Rodney Mitchell | Salon Owner & Restaurant Aficionado

Tennessee Highlighter: Meet Rodney Mitchell | Salon Owner & Restaurant Aficionado

We had the good fortune of connecting with Rodney Mitchell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rodney, how do you think about risk?
Obviously, going into business for yourself is a huge risk, especially when you are using your own money to do it. And I know it’s a cliché, but if you don’t take the risk, you don’t get the reward. And it’s important to remember that not every reward is about money. I have opened 5 salons myself. My career hasn’t always been easy though. I have lost and made money several times in the process.
But taking risks has allowed me to work with amazing hairdressers and incredibly successful clients and
has helped me make a name for myself in the big city of Nashville. Not bad for a small town boy from
Alabama.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business is my pride and joy. I built my salon from the ground up, and trust me, there is nothing easy about starting your own business. It is a 24/7 job. In addition to my salon, I have also just helped
open one of the most exclusive private clubs in Nashville. It’s a fast paced life, but I have no plans on
slowing down anytime soon. It’s not for the faint of heart. It takes a great deal of determination and grit
to keep up with it, but it is the most rewarding feeling in the world. Through the years, the most
important thing I have learned about business is to persevere. Don’t dwell on you failures. Everyone fails
before they succeed.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Nashville is truly an amazing place to explore! I’ve lived here for years and still haven’t gotten around to see everything this city has to offer. A few of my favorite places to eat and grab a drink include Sinatra Bar and Lounge if you’re looking for a high-class experience; Skulls Rainbow Room if you’re looking for a truly legendary Nashville experience with great food and entertainment; and Nudie’s Honky Tonk if you want that true lower Broadway feel. My favorite chill spot is D’Andrews bakery which is the best lace to grab a coffee and pastry and catch up on some work or meet up with friends.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I could honestly fill this magazine with names and stories about all of the people who have helped me on this journey: my family, my friends and most importantly my clients who have become my friends
and my family. I have formed unbreakable bonds with all of them and friendships that have withstood
the test of time. My clients have seen me at my lowest lows and my highest highs. They have been there
for major events in my life and still continue to trust me, love me and show me compassion. Without
them I would not have a business and for that I am truly grateful.

Website: rodneymitchellsalon

Instagram: instagram.com/rodneymitchellsalon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RodneyMitchellSalon

Bold Journey: Meet Rodney Mitchell

Bold Journey: Meet Rodney Mitchell

We recently connected with Rodney Mitchell and have shared our conversation below.

Rodney , so good to have you with us today. We’ve always been impressed with folks who have a very clear sense of purpose and so maybe we can jump right in and talk about how you found your purpose?
When I was a teenager, around 19 years old, I was living in Montgomery Alabama and I was watching a tv program, about children who had cancer and they were organizing this camp for them. Seeing that triggered something in me and made me want to be apart of it. I immediately put in an application with the American Cancer Society and received a letter a few weeks later saying I was not qualified because I did not have a college degree. As disheartened as I was I called once more and they told me that there is a woman in Birmingham Alabama who is organizing a camp herself, you should give her a call. I called her and asked if there was anything I can do. Her name was Vicky Griner, she was the PR person for the Birmingham stallions football team. I joined forces with her, and together we started the camp “Smile a Mile” one of the first camps for kids with cancer in the country. That single event really opened my eyes to my passion for helping women and children with illnesses. Later on when I decided to go to cosmetology school, that event was the driving force when it came to my passion for hair and from that moment on I never doubted that this was my purpose on this earth, to help people look and feel good about themselves. I have done multiple fashion shows and charities with some of the biggest designers and one of their requirements was to always give back and I have always stood by that, even to this day. I still work with the American Cancer Society and cut wigs and give styling tips to anybody who has lost their hair due to cancer. As of today, we have help raise millions of dollars for different charities.

Let’s take a small detour – maybe you can share a bit about yourself before we dive back into some of the other questions we had for you?
I opened my own salon in 1998, it grew very rapidly and in 25 years. I have worked with a lot of high profile people including the speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi but I have also done a lot to help my community and that has always been the goal when it comes to the “Rodney Mitchell” brand. Out of the blue 2017 I was offered an opportunity in the hospitality business, I am now working for Icon entertainment group, with Bill and Shannon Miller. I manage Skulls Rainbow room, Sinatra’s bar and lounge as well as run my salon. I love every minute of it. And one take away is that even if you don’t have any experience in whatever you chose to do with your life, that does not mean that you wont be a great fit. Take the risk and see where life will take you.

There is so much advice out there about all the different skills and qualities folks need to develop in order to succeed in today’s highly competitive environment and often it can feel overwhelming. So, if we had to break it down to just the three that matter most, which three skills or qualities would you focus on?
Kindness, empathy, and dedication. A piece of advice is to start each day with meditation and purpose. Having a purpose for the day makes it easier to reach your major goals. Don’t go through life waiting on things to happen, go out and get it done. If you fall get back up and try again.

Awesome, really appreciate you opening up with us today and before we close maybe you can share a book recommendation with us. Has there been a book that’s been impactful in your growth and development?
A book that I really admire that has helped me grow my business is “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company” written by Robert Iger. Two quotes have always stuck out to me and I think about them often. The first being “If you approach and engage people with respect and empathy, the seemingly impossible can become real.” Kindness and empathy have always been top priority for me and my business, approching people with kindness and empathy will resonate with them for years to come. You are not just selling your business, you are selling yourself as well. The second quote that means a lot to me is “People sometimes shy away from taking big swings because they assess the odds and build a case against trying something before they even take the first step. One of the things I’ve always instinctively felt is that long shots aren’t usually as long as they seem.” Like I mentioned in the last question, always pursue your passions no matter how much experience you have. As long as you believe in yourself and are willing to put in the work you can achieve more than you think you can. Everybody starts somewhere and it is better to try and fail than to never try at all.

Contact Info:

Nashville Voyager – Rising Stars: Meet Rodney Mitchell

Nashville Voyager – Rising Stars: Meet Rodney Mitchell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rodney Mitchell.

Hi Rodney, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in a small town in Alabama. I was watching the Country Music Awards on the floor of my living room at five years old and immediately knew I wanted to be in Nashville one day. I thought I wanted to be a singer, but instead, I became a hairdresser in the late 80s. I decided to leave Alabama and make a start in the city had I loved since I was young.

In the late 90s, I landed my first celebrity appointment with Martina McBride. That experience paved the way for me to meet and style Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Tanya Tucker, and many more.

In 1998, I stumbled upon an old house on 19th Avenue. It turned out to be a commercial property and where I decided to open my first salon. I have been blessed to see Rodney Mitchell Salon thrive throughout the years.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Though I have had a successful career, there have been challenges throughout my journey. As things change in our industry, issues arise and you have to learn to grow and innovate through them. During Covid-19 and the even recession a decade ago, I dealt with challenges just like any other business owner. My team and I fought to continue to do our work, as many people struggled financially and could not afford to get their hair done as usual.

Covid was difficult as we navigated state and city-enforced rules about social distancing, but our number one concern was keeping our clients safe. We are so thankful that our doors stayed open after 2020 (unlike so many other businesses) and we are a thriving business! I am proud of how my team handled the past two years, and appreciate our clients’ grace through it all.

Another challenge I have experienced is people taking advantage of me in business. Unfortunately, I have had people in my life that have stolen money from me. I value trust and loyalty in relationships, so this hurt me dearly. Lastly, I would say a very recent challenge has been staffing.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a business owner, professional, and artist! I own Rodney Mitchell Salon and continue to work as a stylist alongside my talented employees.

I’m proud to be one of the South’s most influential hair stylists for more than two decades, working with celebrities around the world. Most recently, I serviced Speaker Nancy Pelosi (uploaded photo attached to this Q&A). I have also worked with Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Jeffrey Steele, Big Kenny, Martina McBride, Tanya Tucker, and Shania Twain. I also have enjoyed working with fashion designers for their shows. These designers include Michael Vollbracht, Ralph Rucci, Pamella Roland, Lela Rose, Zang Toi, David Rodriquez, Rosalinia, Tracy Stern, Mattoe Norris, Douglas Hannaut, Gustavo Cadille, Tulah, and Badgley Mischka.

I love my community and work to make Nashville and Middle Tennessee a better place by using my fundraising and hair skills to do good for others. I’ve helped raise millions for organizations like Feed America First, The American Cancer Society, Look Good Feel Better, Gilda’s Club, Locks of Love, Bridges of Williamson County, Nashville Cares, The Comprehensive Care Center, The Human Rights Campaign, Camp Smile Mile, The Elephant Sanctuary, The Nashville Symphony, the Red Cross, and the Second Harvest Food Bank.

What matters most to you? Why?
I want every client to feel their best after receiving amazing customer service at Rodney Mitchell Salon. Each person who walks through our doors will get the same experience that celebrities have encountered here. I also really value the charity work I have done. As I have mentioned, I’ve worked with dozens of non-profits and feel blessed to be able to help by using my talent and passion for hair, along with my fundraising skills.

When it comes to my relationships, I value loyalty. After owning five salons since 1998, I have realized how important loyalty is in personal and business relationships.

Click here to view this article on Nashville Voyager, where it originally appeared.

Canvas Rebel: Meet Rodney Mitchell

Canvas Rebel: Meet Rodney Mitchell

We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Rodney Mitchell a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.

Hi Rodney , thanks for joining us today. Can you talk to us about your team building process? How did you recruit and train your team and knowing what you know now would you have done anything differently?

Over the years I have hired many talented stylists but when I opened my first salon in 1998 it was just me and my trusted assistant. I knew I did not want a team at first, I wanted to experience this new change on my own and really go after the atmosphere that I had envisioned. After about 2 months I started having stylists come to my salon asking if we were hiring so luckily I did not have to seek out employees. Once I built the team I wanted the salon took off and lead to me opening 5 more salons in middle Tennessee where I was the sole owner. I have had more stylists than I could count, some that have stayed with me through all the years and some that did not but with everything said and done, I would not have done anything differently. Through the good and the bad, everything that has happened has gotten me to the place I am at now and I have the most amazing team in a space that really emulates the Rodney Mitchell ambience.

Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers.

I own a full service salon in the heart of music row in downtown Nashville. We use Goldwell color and have recently been loving Kevin,Murphy styling products. We offer an array of services from color and cuts to keratin treatments and extensions. I have known from a young age that I wanted to pursue my passion for hair. I moved to Nashville from Alabama in hopes to get my name and business known. With hard work and dedication I have built my salons from the ground up and styled some of the most amazing people in the Nashville area. I have worked on big name celebrities such as Tanya Tucker, Faith Hill, and Shania Twain. Something I really pride myself in is building strong bonds with all of my clients, so much so that some of my current clients have been coming to me since I first started this journey! Through the years I have learned that kindness and compassion are some of the most important attributes you can have in this profession. Leading your business with kindness and being an active participant in my community is very important to me and because of that I have worked with some amazing organizations such as Look Good Feel Better, The American Cancer Society, and Gilda’s Club. My team and I recently participated in a fundraiser for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt for the 20th year in a row!

Any advice for growing your clientele? What’s been most effective for you?

Growing your clientele can be very hard and discerning when you are first starting out in this industry, especially if you live in an area with other competing salons but perseverance is key. When I first started growing my clientele I would take any and every walk-in I could and would even come into the salon when we were closed. You can take all the walk-ins that come your way but that does not mean they’re going to return and that is where compassion comes into play. Really listening to your clients needs and getting to know them personally goes a long way. You can do amazing hair but if you are not taking the time to get to know your client, then there is nothing separating you from other stylists in the area. So always be kind and genuine and you will start to see that hard work pay off.

How do you keep your team’s morale high?

Managing a team can be a struggle for a new salon owner or just a business owner in general. The advice I would give someone is to remember that your stylists are their own person. Stylists grow at different paces, handle conflict differently and have their own personality. Find stylists who are kind and teachable. Teach them everything you can and watch them grow from there. Hiring kind stylists helps your team to flow easily together and lift each other up creating a positive environment.

Contact Info:

Nashville People: Rodney Mitchell

Nashville People: Rodney Mitchell

Photo courtesy of 90 East Photography and Think Country and Nashville People

No matter where you go in Nashville, one thing you’ll see are a lot of beautiful people.  There may be plenty of good, Southern food here, the kind that packs on the pounds, but don’t let that fool you.  Most residents of this city are pretty health-conscious. They take care of their bodies and with that healthy lifestyle, they like to look good from head to toe.  That counts double for those in the music industry, particularly artists.  

Nashville People had the opportunity to sit down with one of Music City’s most sought-after stylists, Rodney Mitchell, and hear him tell his story.  I think you’re going to love this one. Without further delay, let’s get right into it, just as it sounded in the salon that summer day.

Nashville People:  Here we are, Rodney, in your very cool salon.  It’s eclectic, I love it. Let’s start off with where you’re from?

Rodney Mitchell:  I’m from a little, small town called Eclectic, Alabama.  That’s where I grew up.

Photo courtesy of encyclopediaofalabama.org

NP:  When did you originally come to Nashville?

RM:  I came here in 1987.

NP:  So, you’ve been here for a while, so you know what you’re talking about when you say you are a “Nashville person”.

RM:  Yes.

NP:  What made you choose this as a profession?  What inspired you?

RM:  I think I was trying to find myself and what I wanted to do back in the 80’s, and a friend of mine said, “Hey, you’d probably be really good at hair”, so I went to hair school and worked in Montgomery, Alabama for a couple of years and one day I had the opportunity to have a job offer in Nashville.  So, with a mullet and two-hundred dollars in my pocket, I went, and I took the job.

NP:  You had a mullet?  So did he! (I pointed out my husband who was wandering the salon taking photos)  It was the style back then.

RM:  (Laughing)  My ex asked me, “Why do you want to move to Nashville?”  I said, “Because I want to work on a celebrity.” He kind of looked at me and said, “Celebrities don’t go to people like us.”  I always kind of kept that in my mind. So, later on in my career, I think it was in the 90’s, I was in the right place at the right time and RCA referred over a new artist from Kansas.  Her name was Martina McBride. She sat in my chair, straight out of Kansas, and that’s how I started my career doing celebrities.

Photo courtesy of countryuniverse.net

NP:  Martina McBride, wow.

RM:  Right.  So, she was first, and Tim McGraw was my second one.  Tim and I were really good friends. Once his number one single was out, he wanted to redo his look, so I was pretty much famous for cutting his mullet off.  So, I was the guy that did that and gave him his look.

NP:  How did he feel about that?  Was he ready?

RM:  He was a little nervous, but he trusted me.  It was a good call.

Photos courtesy of Taste of Country and 90 East Photography, Think Country and Nashville People

NP:  It did well for him.

RM:  Yeah, it did.  It went well and I had the opportunity of working with Faith Hill through Tim.  They were really, really nice to me. They trusted me. I did a New Year’s Eve show with them at Bridgestone which was a huge deal for me.  Let’s see… Shania Twain was next. Her people called me because she was getting ready to film an NBC Special. We had a phone conference. She was in Canada at the time and I was working.  Someone said, “Shania Twain’s on the phone,” so I said, “Okay” and she told me exactly what she wanted. She wanted ribbons in her hair, she wanted a certain look for this special. She was very to-the-point, very in-control of everything.

NP:  She seems like an in-control woman.

RM:  Yes and she was very pleasant to work with.

NP:  Big Kenny.  I see you’ve worked with him.  Tell me about that because he’s just got this big mass of curly hair.

RM:  Yeah, he was fun to work with.

NP:  Did you have to stand on something to reach his hair?  He’s tall!

RM:  (Laughing) No, no.  He was a good guy to work with. Another exciting person was Tanya Tucker.  You know, I pretty much had to live with her on her reality show, Jason the makeup artist and myself for about six weeks, all together.  It was on TLC. It was fun, a lot of stories.

Photo courtesy of Patti McClintic,  Think Country and Nashville People

NP:  Probably a lot you can’t tell.

RM:  Yes!

NP:  Those are the best ones.

RM:  She was really, really sweet.

NP:  That’s very exciting.  You’ve worked with a lot of fashion designers as well, correct?

RM:  Yeah, I got on the fashion circuit, probably back around 2000, working with Zang Toi and Pamella Roland.  We did some really high profile fashion shows. One that I do remember was the Halston Archives show which was held in Franklin, Tennessee.  It was an event. It was hosted by Leon Hall who was Joan Rivers’s sidekick at the time. We did hair and makeup that night and Leon Hall got up in front of the crowd and said it was (the hair and makeup) better than he had seen in New York and L.A.  That kind of put me on the map that night. There were periscopes and we had people in and out of New York, it was a show! There were planes landing and then there was the story of Paris Hilton. There was a chair with her name on it and she was late, of course.  Leon Hall was making a joke about her and there was an outdoor speaker outside of the venue and she had pulled in and heard it, so that was kind of the night of… it was a night.

Photo courtesy of funinsider.com

NP:  I’ll say.

RM:  After that, for dinner Rosanne Cash sat at my table, and I’ll always remember this moment.  She was sitting there and she looked at me and said, “What would you do to change my hair?” I said, “I would turn it red.”  Ever since that moment, if you look at photos of Rosanne Cash her hair is red.

NP:  I was going to say that her hair is red.

RM:  Yeah, she changed her hair color to red.

Photo courtesy of NPR

NP:  You have the eye.  So, when did you open your first salon?

RM:  Well, I started doing hair in the 90’s and I started opening salons in 1998.

NP:  In the larger scheme, that really isn’t that long.

RM:  No. It was one of those things where I really wasn’t looking to open one.  I tell this story. I wasn’t really wanting to open a salon, I just got out of a relationship, I was looking for a place to live and I was riding down 19th Avenue on Music Row and I saw a bungalow house up for lease.  I stopped and looked through the window and thought, “This looks really neat”, so I called about it. Actually, Ray Stevens owned the property, and the woman on the phone said it was still available and it used to be a salon.  I went and looked at it and she said if I didn’t take it someone would probably lease it by tomorrow, so I had to make my mind up. So, I took it. I was going to open a salon. We tried to think of a name and I went with my middle name, which is how Rodney Mitchell started.

NP:  Not to be confused with Paul Mitchell.

RM:  No.

NP:  I’m sure you get asked that all the time.

RM:  I do, yeah.  So, I opened that one in 1998 and after that I opened four more, so five total with this one.  It’s like I went to bed, this guy who came from nothing, and beat the odds. People who told me I would never be anything, I proved that you can do it if you really want to.

NP:  This is amazing, a really great success story.  You’re also involved in fundraisers like crazy.

RM:  I am.  That’s one of the biggest things, when people come to work for me, probably 2,000 to 3,000 people who work under me or train under me, that’s my passion, charity work is very important.  That’s part of the requirement, that you have to volunteer some of your time, especially for shows we do or Gilda’s Club, that’s a really big one for me, helping women with cancer.

NP:  It’s really important to give back and it gives you a good feeling to give back.

RM:  It really is important to me.

NP:  Do you have any special charity events planned right now?

RM:  We don’t have anything lined up right now, but every year we usually do the Monroe Children’s Fashion Show, but things really start happening for us in the fall.

NP:  Do you find that your field is competitive?  Especially in this city?

RM:  Yeah… there are very few of us around that are kind of old school.  I think it’s very competitive, but being in business this long, there are very few of us that last, you have to know what you’re doing.

NP:  Something has to be said for that.  You must be doing something right.

RM:  Most people think you can just pop open a business and that’s it.  There’s a lot more to it.

NP:  I’m sure that you probably work when you’re not working.

RM:  Yes, I do. I’m really never not working.  I think 1998 was the last time I ever really slept.  The night before I opened my first business.

NP:  Is there any advice you would give to somebody that was thinking of going into this business?

RM:  I would always say to make sure it’s what you want because you’re not going to have a life.  Your life is your business. Make sure you get some great advice and make sure you always watch your money.

Photo courtesy of 90 East Photography, Think Country and Nashville People

NP:  I guess you kind of answered this already, but I’m going to ask it again and maybe you’ll have a different answer as I’m asking it more directly this time.  How does one actually become a “stylist to the stars”? Is it just a stroke of luck?

RM:  For me, it all played out by doing some really good work, being recognized and being in the right place at the right time.  Getting out there and networking and meeting people.

NP:  What do you think sets you apart from all these other salons out there?  What do you do differently here that would make me want to make an appointment here rather than somewhere else?

Photo courtesy of 90 East Photography, Think Country and Nashville People

RM:  We’re well-educated, well-trained, we spend a lot of money on education.  We’re down-to-earth, you know. A lot of people like us, we bring in all walks of life, we’re very down-to-earth and we do a good job.  We have a really good staff and they’re really loyal. They’ve really gotten out there and educated themselves.

NP:  That’s good because nobody wants to come out with messed up hair.  

RM:  No, no.

NP:  When you go to a salon and your hair isn’t what you hoped for, you’re going to have a bad day.  Or a week.

RM:  Or a month.

NP:  Alright, tell me how it would be if just a regular person, like me or any regular guy or gal wants to come in for a haircut or color, how will that go?  Give me a rundown. We’re not celebrities, just regular people.

RM:  Well, we’ll probably sit you down and I’ll make you one of my famous in-house Bloody Marys, then we’ll talk and have a consultation about your lifestyle and what your needs are.  Some people come in with something you’re not going to get, so I have to break the news to them. A nice consultation would be the start.

NP:   You’re saying that’s something like, if you have no hair at all you’re not going to come out with thick, voluminous hair without spending a lot of money?

RM:  On extensions, right.

NP:  You can just be a regular person though, right?  You don’t have to be a celebrity to make an appointment at a Rodney Mitchell salon?

RM:  Right, of course.  We welcome all walks of life.

NP:  As a Nashville person, where’s a place to get a good cup of coffee?

RM:  Fido, a couple doors down in Hillsboro Village.  They’ve been around for 22 years and yes, that’s the place to go.

Photo courtesy of Fido

NP:  That many years?  I’d say you can’t go wrong.

RM:  Oh yeah, they’re great.  Hillsboro Village, this whole area has a lot of good things.

NP:  A nice place to go for a quiet dinner?  Somewhere where you can hold a conversation without fighting the noise of the music or people talking loudly.

RM:  I like Virago if you like sushi.  It’s one of my favorite places to have a nice martini and sushi.  My everyday place, you know, I’m old school, you see a lot of old Nashville in there, is Bricktops on West End.  It’s a nice place you can have a nice conversation,  

NP:  Best rooftop bar for a good view and a fun time?  

Photo courtesy of fglhouse.com

RM:  Well, the place where I work.  (Rodney Mitchell also works at FGL House)  So, yeah, FGL House. Luke’s 32 Bridge is nice downtown.

NP:  Send a shout out to a local business that you love besides your own.

RM:  This is so tough, there are so many!  I would have to say D’Andrews Bakery & Cafe which is located in downtown Nashville.  It’s an old school family that used to own a department store and he’s the son. He was a pastry chef in New York and he and his husband moved here and opened up this bakery.  You can go in and get fresh coffee or a fresh pastry, something you would see in New York City or something.

Photo courtesy of D’Andrews Bakery & Cafe

NP:  It sounds fabulous!

RM:  Yes, it is!  It’s on Church Street. (555 Church Street)

NP:  How about the best pizza in Nashville?

RM:  Hmmm… best pizza?  I would say Luigi’s downtown.

NP:  Where do you go when you’re out late and afterward you’re looking for somewhere to get something to eat?

RM:  I would probably say The Diner.  It’s a good late night place that’s open 24 hours.

NP:  You came to Nashville and you spilled red wine all over your very best suit and you’re in a panic.  Where do you go to get that taken care of?

RM:  Village Cleaners.  They’ve been around for a hundred years and they’re right here in Hillsboro Village.  They’re a family owned business and they’ve been around for years. A lot of high-profile people go there.

Photo courtesy of Village Cleaners

NP:  Best live music venue in Nashville?

RM:  I would have to say Jason Aldean’s Kitchen, they’re part of my restaurant family.

NP:  If, and let’s just say, when we write our coffee table book for Nashville People, we’re going to need quotes, yours included, so give this some thought.  Yours might even end up on page one. Give me your very own quote about Nashville.  

RM:  “Big hair and Cadillacs never go out of style”

NP:  I love that.  Great quote. Then I have one final question.  When you think “Nashville People”, what do you think?  

RM:  When I think “Nashville People”, I think you never know who you’re going to run into anywhere you go.   It’s a little bit more relaxed here with celebrities. I joined the TC Restaurant Group two years ago. My client came in and I said I was getting so bored with my life, and she said, “Well, we’re about to open a restaurant called the Florida Georgia Line and I could use your help” and I said, “Okay”.  Stuff like that. I work in a restaurant, I’m a celebrity hairdresser and a manager at Florida Georgia Line (FGL House), and people run into me all the time and go, “Is that Rodney Mitchell?” I think being in Nashville you never know who you’re going to run into. People do all kinds of jobs and all types of work.

NP:  We didn’t really touch on that much, your working at FGL House.  Are you enjoying that?

RM:  I do.  Like I said, it was one of those things with my client,  who is also a really good friend and a part of the TC Restaurant Group.  She came in and I was just telling her that I had been doing this a long time and I was getting bored.  She asked if I ever wanted to be in the restaurant business. I told her that I had. I was always infatuated with it even when I traveled I was always looking at the kitchen window and the expo and now I’m living it.  It was an easy, easy crossover for me. It’s been fun. It’s like playing a character. People ask me, “So, you really like it?” I’m like, “Yeah, I really do.”

Photo courtesy of 90 East Photography, Think Country and Nashville People

NP:  It’s also a break from your normal day-to-day.

RM:  Right and I’m still doing the same thing  One time we had Vanna White and Pat Sajak come in to film something and I knew how to treat them because that’s what I’ve done all my life.  It’s fun. I still do it and I still want to do it.

NP:  That’s fantastic.  

(It was at this point that Rodney Mitchell told me one last story about a very high-profile political client he worked on not long ago.  I have opted not to print this portion of our conversation to protect the privacy of all parties involved, but rest assured, this was someone in one of the highest political offices in this country, and Mitchell was overwhelmed and honored to have been the person chosen for the job.)

RM:  Yeah.  What a life.  This small town Alabama boy that used to watch the CMA Awards on TV.  I always knew I was going to do hair but I didn’t know how, I just knew I was going to do it.  

Photo courtesy of 90 East Photography, Think Country and Nashville People

NP:  What a story!  I’m proud of you Rodney, you beat the odds and you’re an inspiration.

RM:  Thank you.  It’s a great life.

Photo courtesy of 90 East Photography, Think Country and Nashville People

Rodney Mitchell Contact Information:

Website:  http://www.rodneymitchellsalon.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RodneyMitchellSalon/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/rodneymitchellsalon/

FGL House:  https://www.facebook.com/fglhouse/

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