Shayne McBride has just been bought out of the popular Athens salon she co-founded, Model Citizen, and started another, Washington Square Studio. She’s excited to scale back to a two-person studio with her friend and partner Allie Miller, where she can focus on doing what she loves—hair!—and doing it exceptionally well.

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!

Washington Square Studio

Photo by Sam Hudson

Shayne describes her business move as a simple case of “be careful what you ask for.” After starting a thriving salon, she had to ask herself, “What does having a successful business mean?” She found that she was unable to get out from under her management duties long enough to use the skills and artistry that inspire her, and none of those elements added up to her personal standards of success.

To Shayne, it’s all about simplifying.

Examining what she was building helped her to openly recognize what she’s good at, and what she isn’t. That recognition enabled her to let someone else take over, and free others to be great together.

Coming Full Circle

After growing up in Athens and attending UGA, Shayne was ready to get out of town. She moved to South Africa for a year, where she had no relationships, and lived unencumbered by the identity she’d carved out for herself in Georgia. Shayne refers to her time in South Africa as a year-long sabbatical, where she waited tables, tended bar, and traveled. She came back to Athens with a new perspective, and as she starts over again, she invokes that period of growth.

Washington Square Studio is a new concept for Athens, where customers are accustomed to having a single hairstylist. The new studio has hair teams—cut and color—instead of a single stylist. This salon concept is much more common in bigger cities, and she’s ecstatic about bringing it to Athens. Shayne loves people, creative freedom, and collaboration, and hair is a great outlet for her passions.

Collaboration in Motion

Shayne keeps up with a lot of great stylists in New York, and as they’ve all gone out on their own, she’s fostered her industry relationships through Instagram and editorial work. On a recent trip to Boston, Shayne collaborated with a Chapel Hill stylist on R+Co, or Rogue and Company, a line of collaborative hair care products created by leading hairstylists.

To come up with new product ideas, Shayne does a challenge with other R+Co salons. They sketch ideas using an iconic person and a product drawn out of a hat, and dare each other to deliver something great within a week.

Playing and experimenting inspires Shayne, and she stresses the importance of pushing and letting people push back. If competition motivates you to perform better than you did the last time, you’re expanding and refining your skills. Collaboration is key, because working with someone means coming up with something neither would arrive at alone.

Take a look at what you want and what you need. Dig below the surface to learn what motivates that. And let everyone do what they do best.

Consider the Worst

Shayne believes in working with the people around her, and taking in everyone’s point of view. When it comes to networking, she has one thing to say: show up!

A lot of people don’t make it out to social events, and Shayne attributes that to intimidation. Everyone has hang-ups and insecurities, but consider: what’s the worst thing that could happen? As long as the conversation is allowed to progress organically, people don’t have to talk all about who they are and what they do. Little risk, with great reward.