Pressbar is a unique silk press and micro link salon which specializes in natural hair and hair extensions. The Pressbar brand provides a celebrity VIP vibe experience for each client. The salon has a bar theme with all the services named after cocktails and embodies Black Excellence with tributes to black history and hair pioneers.
Hair products and their signature Gippie sleep beanies are also available to purchase with a hairline in the making. When you walk into a Pressbar salon you will soak in the positive energy by being greeted with compassion and professionalism by the front desk staff, which are referred to as “bartenders”. Pressbar follows CDC guidelines and provides a safe, fun, environment that gets you in and out. You are sure to come back and refer others as well. Pressbar is one of the hottest attractions in Atlanta that understands the importance of needing to feel and look great.
Michigan’s own Kali Gipson, who prefers to go by first name only, is the owner of 3 Pressbar salons, Dream Salon Suites, and a product line. She began her career as a child braiding hair in her parent’s kitchen. She was inspired to become an entrepreneur by her father who was one as well. In 2006 she opened her first salon, Kali’s Hair Salounge in Novi, Mi, and in 2019 she moved to Atlanta for a fresh start. Kali prides herself on great etiquette, customer service, and affordable prices. Kali plans to franchise soon in an innovative way that will make a major impact in the industry and inspire Black Business owners for decades to come.
We Empower Magazine got an exclusive interview with Kali.
Tammy: Last Summer we witnessed our nation in an uproar as we showcased the importance of all Black lives. Why do you think it’s important for more entrepreneurs to emerge within the Black community?
Kali: Being Black, and a woman, it’s just our time right now. A lot of people are giving us that spotlight right? We need to make it great.
Also, it’s important that we build our own communities. If we don’t, who will? And when they do and push us out, we get upset.
This is our time to have awareness of what’s going on, monetize from it, and get stronger as a culture and as a community.
Tammy: What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
Kali: The feeling that you created your own destiny. Also, being as creative as I want without being put in a box.
It’s a little scary at times when you don’t know what’s on the other end. But it fulfills me each time I reach the goal I set for myself!
I especially love helping others that want to do what I’m doing understand that it’s not as hard as they may think it is.
It has a lot to do with confidence. Entrepreneurship helps with that for sure! We all should be able to live out our dreams.
Tammy: Please tell us about some moments that stick out to you where you truly grasped that you have made an impact through the services you provide?
Kali: So I’m no longer behind the chair, but my favorite moments are when I go to one of my establishments and I hear clients say, ” Is that the owner? I’ve been wanting to talk to her.”
To hear them tell me how much they love my salons or that they’ve been following all my salons since I’ve started or all their family and neighbors come to us or that they’ve literally watched us grow and appreciate what we provide. This is what makes me know I’ve made an impact. Knowing that all the hard work I put into my business is being appreciated is the best feeling.
Tammy: Let’s talk accessories?
Kali: My Gippie Beanies are selling like crazy! They’re sleeping caps with satin on the inside. At first, I was buying something similar from China, just to test the waters. Once that was a hit, I decided to design them myself and I have a local seamstress make them. It makes me proud knowing the whole company is minority created and operated now.
When clients purchase our Gippy Caps they’re helping small businesses grow. I picked the name Gippie because of my father. He would go by, Gip. He was a tailor and we used to sew together all the time. He passed away in 2010 and I always wanted something that would keep his name going. Our clients really love them! They wear them while they’re working out, to sleep, or as a fashion statement. They are long-lasting and were created for both men and women.
Tammy: We’ve just finished celebrating Women’s History Month. Who are some women who’ve inspired you in your life and career?
Kali: That’s a great question! Of course, I would start internally with my Mom and my Grandma. My Grandma on my father’s side, we call her Big Ma. She never whooped us, but she always demanded respect. When we came around no one ever got out of line with her. She showed so much love and supported everything that I did.
I didn’t grow up with money, but I grew up with a lot of love. Having that love was the foundation of me having confidence because I’ve always had love in my household. My Grandma had eight kids and knew how to raise a family. For her and my Mother, I would say their integrity and support.
Also Michelle Obama. She is always giving back to others. I love how she is an example of doing whatever you want and she’s also big on health. She’s a phenomenal woman. Most first ladies don’t stand out the way that she has.
Tammy: You work in an industry that enhances self-esteem. What would you say to women out there who may not feel confident?
Kali: There’s so much pressure because social media is so major. When you’re watching other people’s lives it’s so easy to slip into the mindset of asking questions such as, what are they doing? Why am I not like this? Why did they get opportunities and I didn’t? Whenever your self-esteem isn’t the strongest, I feel it has a lot to do with the circle of people around you.
Try to be around people who are going to give you positive affirmations and energy. Also, look within yourself to find your strengths and focus on them. Don’t over-focus on things that aren’t the best about you. Things could always be worse. There’s so much about you that other people admire. So keep a positive attitude and strive to be the best person that you can. You may not know it but someone is watching and inspired by you.
Tammy: What are you looking forward to next with your business?
Kali: More Brand awareness and locations!!! We will be everywhere! Pressbar, Dream Salon Suites and Gippies!
Tammy: What advice would you have for black women who want to become an entrepreneur?
Kali: Everyone says that you should have a plan, but that’s not enough! You also need to be prepared and then execute. All 3 are necessary for success. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
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Multimedia Creative and Personality Tammy Reese is an award-winning Writer and Journalist. Writing and Directing short films on social issues to spread awareness through the arts gained Tammy the Makers: Women Who Make America Award honor on International Women's Day 2019. Tammy currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television. She is also the Founder and Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media.