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Desi's Bio

"Up The Ladder ... One Step At A Time"

Desiree O'Kelley-Smith, owner & operator of Desi's Full Service Salon, has an extensive background in the Hair Care Industry. After graduating from Elizabeth Seton High School in 1974, she attended the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle Campus, majoring in Business Management. This was her . . . step one . . . up the ladder to owning and managing her own business.

She then entered the prestigious Pivot Point School of Cosmotology where she graduated in 1978 . . . step two.  In order to learn as much as she could about the cosmetology field, Desi worked in the testing salon for DeLuxol Laboratories, the makers of French Perm Relaxer.  Later she began working as a commissioned stylist at Mr. Atley's Beauty Salon in the South Shore area of Chicago.

During her 6 years at Mr. Atley's she also worked for French Perm as a chemical technician, traveling regularly to Canada to train stylists on the use of the French Perm Relaxer . . . step three.

Starting . . . step four . . . While still working at Mr. Atley's as a stylist Desi was moved to the Revlon Realistic Division as a technician, traveling regularly for six years and working in all the major trade shows. Next she moved to Body Tenders, east on 79th Street in Chicago where she spent three years as a stylist renting a booth. While working at Body Tenders she also worked for Avlon Industries, makers of Affirm Products . . . step five.

Later Desi moved to Just Showin' Off on West 95th Street in Chicago for a very short time when the opportunity to have her own salon came about so she quickly leaped to
. . . step six.

In June of 1989 Desi O'Kelley-Smith opened Desi's Salon at 2134 West 95th Street in Chicago. At that time the shop featured hair and nail services only for five years. Through this step, Desi was able to put into effect her skills in management and operation as well as cosmetology. On to . . . step seven.

1994 brought about Desi's Full Service Salon at 2130 West 95th Street in Chicago. This corner space next door to the original Desi's Salon is about 3 or 4 times larger and has far more services. Desi expanded adding facial and massage services in addition to a receptionist, more stylists, nail technicians, locticians, a barber and a boutique . . . step eight.

Every other year Desi sponsors a big picnic for clients, friends and family. There are clowns and carnival attractions for the kids, card playing, lots of games, face painting, cotton candy, snow cones, softball, horse shoes, a D.J. for music and lots of food and beverages. She has also sponsored Great America trips and the clients have received appointment books, calendars, t-shirts, balloons and flowers on special occasions. Giving back to the client community is . . . step nine.

Following is an article that was featured in Saints magazine:

"Stylist Desiree O'Kelley-Smith shares that, even though the industry has grown and is now building nationally known professionals there is no substitute for the Christian stylist who remains spiritually balanced. Desi indicates that the beauty care industry offers many rewards: financial, personal growth, professional, social and career.

She has, over the years, developed the following success tips: 

    - Come to work on time and set daily schedules
    - Be Dependable and consistent
    - Be knowledgeable of your area of specialization
    - Love the Clientele
    - Be honest
    - Work for Love, Love the Work
    - Know that GOD is your source and supply
    - Be where you ask your blessings to come
    - Customers are the channel for your blessings
    - Have fun
All of Chicago's beauty secrets no one will ever know. The fact is that the beauty industry will continue to thrive and rake in profits. New salons and spas are coming. There is a common denominator which we share along with Desi and that is the Lord is the Source of your Supply!"

Recognize GOD and be recognized ... step ten.

Desi has taken all of these steps with God by her side, a loving family and many good friends and long time clients. She is very involved with the school activities, fundraisers, chaperone duties, cheerleader booster, volleyball and karate commitments of her two children Raymi and Rachel. All this while still finding time for a little, steppin' and skating.

Now with this website, Desi has taken the next step … into … cyberspace!
© 2006 O'K. Graphic Design for Desi's Full Service Salon. All Rights Reserved