By Angelee Wiley
Times West Virginian, Fairmont.
Sometimes children decide to follow in their parents’ footsteps when it comes to a chosen career path.
Three local siblings decided to do just that.
For more than 30 years, Barbie Bland has been a cosmetologist, and now her three daughters, Brittney Carpenter, Brandy Bland and Brooklyn Bland, have joined her in the cosmetology field and recently opened their own salon.
It’s called B & Company Salon and Spa and is located in White Hall.
The salon opened the first week in August, and so far the sisters say they are loving every moment.
“It’s amazing,” Brandy Bland said. “I don’t even feel like I’m coming to work. I just feel like I’m hanging out with cool people.”
She said this isn’t a new experience because the sisters have been working together their entire lives.
“They know what you’re thinking before you even think it,” Carpenter said. “We get along very well, and it’s very cool.”
Carpenter said it’s amazing that three sisters would go into the same profession as their mother. She said as special as it is for each of them, it means even more to their mother.
“I think it’s more amazing for her than any of us, because we just like to be able to go to the same place every day, hang out and spend time with each other,” Carpenter said. “(But my mom says) she passed on a legacy and feels proud.”
In fact, Carpenter said they even put in some of the mirrors on the walls at B & Company Salon and Spa that came from their mother’s first salon.
Carpenter said her mother cried when she walked in and saw the mirrors that once lined the walls of her salon.
Brandy Bland said growing up, she and her sisters never imagined going into cosmetology. She said she originally went to school for psychology. Carpenter went to school for criminal justice, and Brooklyn Bland said she wanted to be a plastic surgeon.
Brooklyn Bland said she wanted to be a plastic surgeon to help people feel better about themselves, but said she gets that same opportunity by doing someone’s hair.
Brandy Bland said even though all three sisters planned on venturing down different paths, they knew they wanted to one day own a business.
The Bland family also owns the Art & Science Institute of Cosmetology and Massage Therapy (ASIC).
“Even before we owned the beauty school, my parents have had many businesses, so we’ve always had that entrepreneur bone in us,” Brandy Bland said.
The three sisters are Fairmont natives and said it’s nice to now own a salon near their hometown where their mother has worked for many years.
Brooklyn Bland said she can’t wait to get up each morning and come into the salon.
“The best part is being able to work as a team, coming to work and knowing that I’m going to have my sisters there every day,” Brooklyn Bland said.
Carpenter said the most important thing is that each customer walks out the door with a positive experience.
Brooklyn Bland agrees and said she will stay and fix something until the customer is pleased with the way her hair turned out.
Carpenter said her favorite part of her job is meeting new people.
“The relationships that I build with my clients and the people who come in (is the best part),” Carpenter said. “I meet friends (here) that I’ll keep forever.”
Brooklyn Bland said she loves cosmetology, but the best part is seeing how customers react when they see their new look.
“I love doing hair,” Brooklyn Bland said. “When I get someone to cry (because they’re so happy), I love that.”
Brandy Bland said at B & Company, they do a “big reveal” at the end. She said the customers are turned away from the mirror the second they sit down and don’t get to see their hair until it’s done.
She said there is a lot that makes B & Company Salon and Spa unique.
“The atmosphere — it just doesn’t feel like anything in Fairmont,” Brandy Bland said. “We’re just having a good time in here, (and) teamwork is our biggest thing.”
She said those at B & Company are always learning and always growing to provide customers with the best service.
At B & Company people can get their hair, nails or makeup done, and the salon also offers skin-care treatments and body scrubs.
Brandy Bland said cosmetology is something that has always connected her with her sisters and mother.
“I feel like it’s another language we speak away from people,” Brandy Bland said. “I think it’s really cool that we have something to share like that.”
B & Company Salon and Spa is open from 10 a.m. until the last appointment Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 304-368-0990.