Dedication to Clients and Employees Shine in SBA’s 2018 Minnesota Young Entrepreneur of the Year Katie Steller

Release Date: 
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Release Number: 
18.16.MN
Contact: 
Sarah Swenty, 612-370-2316

MINNEAPOLIS – The U.S. Small Business Administration has named Katie Steller, owner of Steller Hair Company in northeast Minneapolis, the 2018 Minnesota Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Katie Steller is a fighter. At age 11, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease. The diagnosis dictated much of her childhood, but not her spirit. By age 18, her illness had progressed beyond remission and doctors were forced to remove her large intestine.

Her serious health challenges caused her hair to start falling out. Seeing Katie’s distress, her mom decided to take her to a salon. Katie had never received a professional haircut before. After having her hair cut and styled, she realized the impact hairstylists could have on their clients.

Sitting in the stylist’s chair, Katie was no longer defined by her illness; she felt like a person again. This experience sparked her desire to help others feel the same way. She enrolled in the Aveda Institute and, upon graduation, spent a year working as a stylist at a salon and two years as an Aveda educator.

After observing her fellow stylists struggling to make ends meet, Katie decided to open her own salon and ensure that her employees were paid a living wage. In every aspect of her life, Katie strives to be an advocate for others: her employees, her clients and her community.

Steller Hair Company is a seven-chair hair salon that attracts high-caliber hair stylists who have experience, education and personal drive, and who want something more than what traditional salons offer.  It is known for providing top quality hair services in a safe, approachable and affordable environment. Since the planning stages of Steller Hair Company to today’s operations, Katie has received mentoring and business development resources from WomenVenture, a SBA partner which nominated her for the award.

The SBA Minnesota District Office, along with the SCORE Association, will honor all the 2018 winners at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards Luncheon on May 11, 2018, at the Doubletree by Hilton Park Place in Minneapolis, Minn.

For more information on Small Business Week, which is April 29 through May 5 this year, please visit www.sba.gov/NSBW.

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