August 31, 2015
FOCUS: 40 UNDER FORTY

Ashley Gauthier

Owner and Stylist, Salon Exquisite, Worcester

Birthplace: Framingham
Residence: North Grafton
High school: Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Marlborough

Career highlights: At 23, I decided to take a risk and open my own hair salon. The process of becoming a business owner was new to me. I had never worked in marketing, management or business development, but I was determined to own a salon that strived not only to meet clients' expectations, but exceed them. In 2011, with the help of my husband, family, and friends, I opened Salon Exquisite, which now has five employees and over 1,000 clients.

Community involvement: I am a board member for the Young Professional Women's Association of Worcester, membership coordinator for The Professional Women's Networking Group of Central Mass., and an active member of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. My stylists and I love to help those in need, so we provide free services for many community events.

Ultimate career goal: To have the most popular salon in Worcester, educate stylists, work behind the chair and market the salon.

Favorite book: "Water for Elephants," by Sara Gruen

Hidden talents: I asked my husband, who replied, "Your ability to be yourself in any situation."

"By the time I turn 50, I would like to have accomplished … expanding my business into a successful, prosperous salon at least four times its current size, (which) will allow my husband and me to travel around the world."

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