Huge leap of faith: local entrepreneur opens Chic Creations – the Oxford Eagle
Cam Gilliom was in the middle of a funk. She found herself at home in Oxford and the dream of opening her shop seemed more and more distant. Gilliom went around town to clear her head when she saw the sign. The property went up for sale next week and Gilliom knew then that she wanted it.
The previous two attempts to open her business windows were never successful, but the luck was too great for her to pass up. Although Gilliom had no way of knowing it would work, she appealed to God and took a leap of faith.
Gilliom is now opening Chic Creations, a hair, skin and wig spa, in her hometown. Located at 1903 University Ave., Chic Creations can meet a variety of beauty needs in the area, such as custom wigs, waxes, makeup, luxury press nails and more.
Starting her business was a challenge, but Gilliom was visibly moved and delighted on its grand opening day.
âI am extremely excited,â she said. âThe trip was moving. I still can’t believe this is literally happening and can’t wait to see what it blossoms into.
Gilliom was born and raised in Oxford and as a child was exposed to what would become her future business. Her mother, a cosmetologist, had mannequin heads with which she played as a child.
As a teenager, Gilliom was active and involved in many extracurriculars. She never saw herself doing hairdressing a business until she met her first client in eighth grade.
“After I braided my teammates’ hair before games, one of the parents asked me if I wanted to braid their hair,” said Gilliom. âI was like ‘Sure. I’ve never braided anyone’s hair with extensions but I’m going to give it a try,’ and that was my first client.
The first client turned into an opportunity for Gilliom to earn money, so she continued to braid hair while working part-time and participating in volleyball, basketball and track and field every year. She also took part in competitions and participated in school clubs and reunions.
âI feel like I’ve always been an entrepreneur,â said Gilliom. âI was really cunning. I remember when I was 10 or 11 I would make a bunch of key chains and go and sell them outside or in my mom’s store. I was making just a dollar or two and would use that money if I wanted to go to the store or go skating instead of asking my mom.
When it was time to go to college, Gilliom still made an effort to continue his business. She attended junior college in Alabama, but drove two and a half hours home to continue styling. Gilliom would return to Mississippi and attend Northwest Community College, then the University of Mississippi, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in social work.
While attending college, Gilliom became pregnant with her first child. She then decided to focus on braiding hair full time and started selling extensions.
Gilliom said that at this point she considered it a formal business and had spoken with a cousin about opening a salon together. First of all, they had to think of a simple but unique name and they came up with Chic Creations.
“[Chic] stylishly and elegantly fashionable means, âsaid Gilliom. âYou think of beautiful, stylish and fashionable hair. It’s simple and you can basically put anything under the umbrella.
Plans for this joint venture collapsed when Gilliom married and moved to Granada in 2016, but she still had the name and was determined to open her store. Gilliom searched for properties in Granada and found what she thought was the perfect location in January 2020.
She saved money, posted a bond, and bought herself the storefront on her 29th birthday in June 2020. During the remodel, Gilliom was heartbroken to learn that the building was having problems with it. flood that the owner did not disclose to him.
âI was devastated because I bought it for myself, I saved the money, I renovated and paid the rent,â she said. “If everything was flooded, I would shut down and lose everything I worked hard for.”
Gilliom decided to let the building go and found another location and started renovating, when she left Grenada and returned home in March 2021. The move used up most of her savings. hesitant to take another chance.
âI knew that looking at the situation, I probably shouldn’t be doing it,â said Gilliom. âBut I had enough faith and enough work and I was drawn into the building. I had to do it because why wait? So I ended up taking a huge leap of faith.
Gilliom has already hired stylists and professionals who will occupy booths and provide services as part of their business and have fully furnished their space. Gilliom tried not to focus on making everything completely perfect, but she pushed herself to be ready for the business she had been waiting for.
âI’m definitely, definitely, really enjoying the moment,â she said.
For more information on Cam Gilliom and Chic Creations, visit www.thechiccreations.com.