Back in the day, I used to have this awesome feature called Work It Woman! Wednesday. I featured some super awesome ladies like Summer, Haley, IleenieWeenie, Kristin, Molly, and more. It was just a fun way to shine the style spotlight on some of the awesome women in my world.
Fast forward 5 years, and I think it’s time to revive the feature! I’ll be doing it monthly instead of weekly, and they will be about not only style, but work, life, and what inspires and drives these awesome women. First up….. Chelle Neff!
Chelle is the owner of Urban Betty Salon (pretty much the best salon in Austin) and recently started the Austin Weird Homes Tour with my friend and her husband, David Neff. She was named the Philanthropist of the Year at Austin Fashion Week in 2014, and supports numerous non-profits in the Austin area. She’s also incredibly brilliant, funny, lovely, and has MAD style.
Receiving her cosmetology license back in high school, Chelle worked her way up through the ranks of salons, starting a Supercuts and Regis before moving on to her own rental space. Eventually, the urge to do it her own way grew strong (and her slight control freak kicked in) and she opened her own space. Urban Betty has been open since 2005, and has been named one of the Top 200 Salons in the Country by Salon Today Magazine, as well as winning the Austin Chronicle “Best Of” Award and the Austin Citysearch Awards for hair salon, styling, hair cuts, blow outs, hair color, and extensions. See? I wasn’t lying when I said it’s like the best place in Austin!
I have mad respect for her as a business owner. Chelle owns the salon, still does hair two days a week, and manages the social media for the salon. What’s her secret to staying on top of all of it? “Hiring great staff,” Chelle answered without missing a beat. She is incredibly proud of her low turnover, and works hard to maintain a rewarding and positive environment for staff and clients.
How did the Weird Homes Tours start?
(Editor’s note: I’m paraphrasing from my notes because I am terrible at interviewing people)
David and I were walking around in our old neighborhood, Crestview, and we passed this house that can only be described as a custom adobe/hoarder style. I wanted to see the inside so bad! I asked David “Is there a Keep Austin Weird Homes Tour? There should definitely be one. This house would be perfect!” I sort of forgot about it after the walk, but it stuck in David’s mind, and later he told me that he thought we should do it. Now we have an online submissions system, as well as a great letter that we leave at houses that we think belong on the tour. We don’t mean Weird in a bad way at all. We mean in the spirit of Austin Weirdness; eccentric, a little out there, and completely awesome.
Is there any place not in Austin that you wish you could include on the Weird Homes Tour?
Yes! We visited a place about 45 minutes outside of Abilene that would be PERFECT for the tour. It’s an old missile silo, that people live in. It’s an actual home! They are also set up a sort of bed and breakfast, but they give the apocalypse/ disaster prepper experience. It would be great if it were in Austin.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
I grew up pretty rough, and I learned at a young age that I had to fend for myself. I had to learn to care for not only me, but my brother as well. I never really enjoyed working for others, and I knew that I had the capacity to do it myself. I’m also not going to lie; I’m sort of a control freak.
And because this is still a style blog…….
Fashion Quick Fire Questions
Curly hair or straight hair?
Stilettos or flats?
Flats (or wedges or boots!)
Mascara or eyeliner?
Pants or dresses?
Two piece bathing suit or one piece?
Glamour magazine or Vogue?
Piercings or tattoos?
Top 3 places to shop:
Target, H&M, and Nordstrom Rack
Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?
Thanks for being the first woman to help me revive Work It Woman! Wednesday, Chelle!! You are an amazing woman, and it is truly an honor to be your friend.