MAXWELL — Jessica Chapman looked long and hard for a property for her new beauty salon before arriving in the small town she was raised.
“I grew up riding my bike over to the post office to collect stamps and I just thought it was super cool when I saw the building was up for rent,” she said.
Now her business — Apollo Beauty Artistry — is the town post office’s new neighbor at 15 S. Main St. in Maxwell. After working in the beauty industry for several years, she’s setting off on her own, driven by a desire for something more than competition.
Chapman specializes in eyelash extensions and training others in the profession. She currently has an apprentice, Erika Knapp, studying under her.
Apollo Beauty Artistry has several suites Chapman plans to rent out to independent business owners in the beauty industry. One has already been secured by Becky Marowelli, a facials specialist.
Other specialties Chapman is interested in welcoming include waxing and permanent makeup. She has no plans for anything hair-related.
“I wanted to switch the spotlight from hair to speciality services, and beauty is big right now for a lot of people,” she said.
Her business’ name was inspired by her admiration for astrological signs and Greek mythology.
The mother of three lives in Greenfield but still has family in the Maxwell area.
She had been looking for a place to rent around Greenfield for a little over a year, a task the COVID-19 pandemic made more challenging.
The outside of her new space was recently updated, and she gave the interior a makeover with lots of gold and black along with soft lighting.
“Most businesses — they’re light, bright, white and airy, and I wanted to create a calming space where women and men could come for specialty beauty services,” she said.
Chapman started in the beauty industry in 2011 doing hair but soon discovered a prevailing characteristic that eventually drove her away.
“I’m not a competitive person,” she said. “I push the opposite way, so it really caused me to leave; I wanted nothing to do with the beauty industry even though as a kid I always knew it was where I was supposed to be. I was doing my friends’ hair, makeup, everything, at nine, 10 years old, so it was really disappointing for me to have to leave the industry.”
She left for several years but found her way back after starting to get eyelash extensions and becoming intrigued by the uniqueness of the service and its rareness in and around Greenfield.
After getting laid off from her customer service job, her husband cashed out a retirement account and encouraged her to take an eyelash extension course she had been wanting to take in Fort Wayne. Upon completing that, she started doing eyelash extensions at a business in New Castle and later in Indianapolis. She took an educator course in the profession as well.
“I just decided, toward the end of COVID, I just was ready to be my own boss,” Chapman said.
She started doing eyelash extensions out of her home office, but realized there wasn’t much room to do much else, and she wanted to begin training others in the trade.
Chapman was also after something she hadn’t gotten from her previous jobs.
“I just wanted to create a space here where people like me who could come and work together and just build solid relationships with our clients and not worry about the rest, just be chill and inviting. … You see these people more than some of your friends and family, honestly, and so you get to know their kids, and you get to know their husbands and you get to know about their lives, and it’s cool that people will allow you to be a part of that.”
Initially she never wanted to have her own salon, but she also realized she wanted more for her career.
“I knew I could do more and I was like, OK, I gotta strap on some boots and handle it,” she said. “And I’m learning every step of the way. My hope is that the people that are working here with me — we’ll stay together for a while. The hope is to put everything I have, water that grass so it’ll grow, so that we can all flourish together.”
That approach has been effective, according to Marowelli, who expanded her facials services to Apollo from the spa she owns in New Castle. As she bonded with Chapman after starting to go to her for eyelash extensions, she learned more about her vision and became drawn to her noncompetitive nature.
“She wants to help every person that she can, and that is very rare in this industry — very, very rare,” Marowelli said.
For more information on Apollo Beauty Artistry, visit apollobeautyartistry.com, Apollo Beauty Artistry on Facebook and apollobeautyartistry on Instagram.