After 16 years of working at other salons, mostly in downtown Austin, Mandy Granado decided to strike out on her own.
She chose Cedar Park to start Beauty Triq Salon and Makeup Bar. Since opening in January 2018, she said she has received a crash course in small-business ownership—and enjoyed the satisfaction that comes with creating and managing her own business space.

"I'm the owner, receptionist, you name it," Granado said on a recent Friday as she greeted clients while preparing to apply makeup to a client.

Granado said her experience as a makeup artist—she starts by creating a custom foundation based on a customer’s skin tone—and a small cadre of specialized hair stylists draw customers from across the Austin area. On a recent Friday afternoon, her salon was accommodating clients from Cedar Park, Austin and Round Rock.

A self-taught stylist, Granado said she remembers the challenges she faced to break into the business, so she offers an apprenticeship program for new stylists. New stylists must first pass a skills assessment test, she said.

One of the most satisfying parts of Granado’s role as salon owner is getting compliments from her customers about the salon.

“It’s a space that I created, so I just love it when people come in and say how much they like it here,” Granado said. ”I’m happy that they like it here; I want them to feel welcome.”