STAIY Tran’s family arrived in San Francisco from Laos in 1979, when she was just a year old, to live the American dream. And that's exactly what Staiy wants to do.
Although affluent in Laos, Staiy’s family struggled in America. California was expensive, and good jobs were scarce. The family headed toward the Midwest, where jobs were more promising. They moved from state to state until Staiy was 5 years old, when her father landed a job in South Sioux City, Nebraska.
Loyal to their hardworking, traditional Asian culture, Staiy’s parents didn’t allow their daughters to hang out at friends’ houses, go to parties or attend other social functions. The girls found support in one another, and they got creative with entertaining themselves. Every Friday night, they played dress-up, put makeup on each other, and cut and styled each other’s hair. Staiy remembers sitting in front of the mirror with Cosmopolitan magazine, finding a picture of a girl and copying her exact makeup and hairstyle.
After high school, Staiy moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, and enrolled in the College of Hair Design, where she received her dual license in cosmetology and barbering. At this time, she’d had her daughter, Oki, and was pregnant with her son, Krew. She worked at a few salons, but building a clientele takes time. She had patience, grit and a strong work ethic, but she also needed to support her children.
In 2010, Staiy attended a class in California, where she was mentored by Philip Wolff and Chief Behr. It was an intense class, but Staiy also found it to be spiritual and uplifting. Helping people was what she loved most about her job — watching her clients light up when she changed their lives just by changing their hair, talking to them, touching them. It was her gift.
While in California, Staiy realized that the Midwest often is last to get the cutting-edge styles emerging on the coasts. And that’s when she found her passion and her mission: She wanted to return to the Midwest and open her own salon. She wanted to create an environment where she could train and host top-notch, A-list stylists — the best of the best. She wanted to teach other stylists, offer education to others and build a like-minded tribe around herself.
Today, Staiy Tran has brought her passion and mission to life in STAIY SALON.