When you walk into the Nu Image Salon, you get a tranquil sensation. As you look around the room, peace washes over you as you notice crosses hanging at the work stations. This is the specific environment that Olympia Walker sought when she opened her business three years ago. Walker said the Lord spoke to her through 2 Corinthians 5:17.
“During my study before I opened the salon, the verse stood out to me. It just spoke volumes to me because as a hairstylist, I want to transform women on the outside. But as a Christian, I also want to transform them on the inside.”
While 80 percent of small businesses fail by their third year, Walker is passing a milestone this year with the doors of her business still open.
“It was very challenging in the beginning, but God has provided for me. There are days when the salon is not busy and there have been times when I have wondered if I should close. But, I know God wants me here,” said Walker, who has been a hairstylist for 14 years.
Sharon Newton of Fort Hood is one of many clients referred to Walker by someone in the church community.
“Being military, every time I move, I have to find a new stylist. Because of my faith, I always look for a Christian stylist. By my second visit and getting to know her, I found her to be a strong Christian,” Newton said. “Coming here on a regular basis is a true blessing. I can open up to her and know it is confidential.”
Walker said the topic of Christianity comes up in conversation with nine customers out of 10 when they are sitting in her salon chair.
“I never push my faith on anyone. God opens that window of opportunity. Every morning when I get up, I pray and ask God to use me as he has planned. He speaks through me — it is not me,” Walker said.
She said referrals of customers by other Christians played a factor in building her clientele. She said she hopes her customers keep coming back because of the atmosphere which she described as small, quiet, and relaxing.
Walker said she also hopes customers return because she is a Christian woman and strives to represent God in everything that she says and does.
“There is a need in this community that is not being met. I do live here and I do have a business here. My outreach goes well beyond the walls of my business,” Walker said.