Busta’s Person of the Week: Local hair studio owner provides a safe space and serenity for her clients

Busta’s Person of the Week: Local hair studio owner provides a safe space and serenity for her clients
May 07
13:14 2024

By Busta Brown

Contillus Archie-Myers is the owner and master stylist at Nu Dimensions Hair Studio in Winston-Salem. March 22, 2024, was the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new edition to the studio – an addition that only a visionary with a heart of gold would think of – a Serenity Suite. Before we get into that part of the story, let’s get to know this amazing woman of excellence and integrity. 

Are you a Winston-Salem native?

Yes, I am. I was born and raised in Winston Salem. I went to Old Town Elementary, Northwest Middle School, and graduated from North Forsyth High School in 1991. I attended NC A&T from 1991-1993 and graduated from Dudley Cosmetology University in Kernersville, Class of 2002. 

What inspired you to get into the hair care business? 

As a teen I started a “play salon” doing different things to my hair. Then I started doing my friends’ hair. Throughout middle school and high school, it continued. Then came the family and referrals. Lol! So I guess it’s safe to say God gave me the gift and passion. I blew up and started a bootleg kitchen salon. Even as an Aggie, in my freshman and sophomore years in my dorm room, it earned me gas and party money. 

What challenges have you overcome to turn this hobby into a successful business? 

I can honestly say Nu Dimensions Hair Studio is beyond blessed. We have not had many challenges. Starting off it was about building clientele and branding. Working briefly with two different hair salons, I knew exactly what I wanted Nu Dimensions to be. At that time, I wrote the vision, made it plain, and God brought it to pass. 

You’ve been doing hair for over 30 years and owned Nu Dimensions Hair Studio for 20 years. What do you believe helps Nu Dimensions Hair Studio stand out from other salons? 

The vision was given to me in October of 2003 and came to pass in January 2004. “The salon of excellence and integrity” has always and will be our motto. The salon is nothing short of the name’s meaning. 

Nu is the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet, and most think of it as a bad luck number, but I believe the number 13 has strong vibrational energy and can be a signifier of change. As it’s blessed with divine feminine energy, it also earmarks shifting cycles and can celebrate the end of one era and the start of something new. The number 13 can signify growth. 

Dimensions signify different lengths and heights that are never on the same level. Wellness is commonly viewed as having seven dimensions: mental, physical, social, financial, spiritual, environmental, and vocational. These dimensions can stand alone but influence each other. When one dimension of our well-being is out of balance, the other dimensions are affected. The spiritual dimension is described and is interpreted as the need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment in life; hope/will to live; and belief and faith. 

We have maintained all of the above and grown in the same location. And now we’ve expanded and opened a safe haven salon within Nu Dimensions – the Serenity Suite. 

What do you love most about what you do? 

I absolutely love the bonds that are created. As stylists, we become family with our clients. We go through just about everything they do – love, loss, childbirth, marriage, divorce, deaths, ups and downs, highs and lows. We are not only hairstylists, but when people sit in our chairs, we become more. Yes, the ultimate goal is to beautify the hair, but healthy hair grows from the inside out – mind, body, and soul. So we become informal counselors, therapists, teachers, mamas, aunties, and the list goes on. The love that starts with the hair appointment grows into lifetime bonds of friends and family. 

Take us on the journey that inspired you to open a Serenity Suite in your salon. 

My grandson KJ, aka my boogie, was born to my son, James Kenard, and daughter-in-law, Karizma, in 2019. I could absolutely talk about him all day! He was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and is non-verbal. He is so smart, talented, and strong willed. To know him is to absolutely love him. But we struggled to find a barber shop that could meet his needs. His MiiMii (me) is the only one he will sit for. So that inspired me to create my nearest and dearest expansion, the Serenity Suite, which was made possible by being a Greater Winston-Salem Minority Business Enterprise Grant recipient. 

I wanted all clients to experience the calm, peaceful, and untroubled care they deserve, regardless of their differences. So, the Serenity Suite caters to kids and adults on the autism spectrum, domestic violence survivors, and cancer warriors, who all may require or benefit from a more private, one-on-one experience with a stylist. 

What do you provide in the suite? 

The same services we provide at Nu Dimensions can also be rendered in the Serenity Suite, depending on the initial consultation. It’s a safe space, so aside from the salon equipment, you can expect there to be sensory tools, privacy, little to no outside distractions (low stimulus), and a TV. 

Aside from providing a physical space to offer services, we also help provide joy, excitement, and confidence. It warms my heart to see my clients feel good about who they see in the mirror. 

What products work best for your cancer patients? 

Raw, organic, and/or mild products are normally used for my patients battling cancer. However, each client is unique and reacts differently to products, depending on their care and medicine regimen. It is safe to say that during a 15– 20-minute consultation, we both will decide what is best for the individual client. It is definitely a collaborative process. 

What rewards and motivation do you use to help your autistic clients trust you and relax? Before services are rendered, clients (or their caregivers) will complete detailed paperwork which we discuss together before moving forward. Doing this allows me to personalize the suite and prepare for the service before they arrive. For instance, if they like a special TV show, I can have it on. If they are soothed with a particular song, I can already have it playing. We have sensory safe toys, a cozy corner, and chalkboard walls for drawing. 

What are some of the most beautiful characteristics we should know about children with autism?

They are extremely smart, authentic, and just downright amazing! I have art on the wall of the Serenity Suite that spells out autism using the words, Always, Unique, Totally, Intelligent, Sometime Mysterious.

What are some of the challenges you’ve overcome to develop the patience to do the amazing work in the Serenity Suite? 

As a professional cosmetologist, I hold cosmetic and teacher instructor licenses in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. Along with those credentials and decades of experience, my patience, love, and tender approach has developed as people with unique needs have been my clients before. My patience and care have only increased tenfold as I’ve had the honor of being a grandma to my grandson who is part of the autistic community. 

In addition to that, I’m now a certified Sensory Safe Solution stylist and salon, which provides even more training on sensory safe haircuts. But I won’t stop there because not all autistic clients desire haircuts. Some may want braids, ponytails, etc. Once trust and relationships are established, there is so much we can do. It’s all about offering a safe space where trust can be built. 

What advice would you give other parents with autistic children? 

Never be afraid to advocate for your child. Allow them to be uniquely themselves. It is not embarrassing. People should educate themselves before passing judgment. 

As a successful entrepreneur,  I’m sure it can be challenging. What have your parents instilled in you that gives you the motivation to keep pushing forward? Coming from a big family on both sides of my family, I watched my dad work a full-time job and commute back and forth as well as be an entrepreneur running his own business. I watched my mom be a housewife, as well as work outside of the home. They were hard workers; however, my motivation came from my sons and husband who always pushed me to do whatever I wanted to do, and because of that I’m successful. God always provides. 

Do you have a favorite quote or scripture and why? 

HABAKKUK 2:2 “God told the prophet to write the vision. But more than that, He told the prophet to make it plain so that not only the prophet himself could read it, but all who would be fulfilling it could read it and run with it in its appointed time. This is not to say the prophet wasn’t to be involved in fulfilling the vision.” I know that when I write it down, God WILL make it happen. Psalms 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

My phenomenal Person of the Week is Contillus Archie-Myers! For more info and to contact Nu Dimensions Hair Studio call, 336-896-0101, text 848-227-2232, email or visit Follow Nu Dimensions on Facebook, IG and X. 


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