David Towles has lived in Aiken County since 1988, moving to North Augusta about five years ago.
In July 2008, he opened Edge Salon and Spa in Hammond’s Ferry, recently expanding with the opening of Edge Formals across the street. He earned a master of cosmetology at Augusta Technical College, where he received the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership in 2007. Towles also studied speech communication and vocal performance at University of South Carolina Aiken for three years.
Towles said many clients come to the salon for relaxation along with haircuts, manicures and pedicures. He also is involved in pageantry, which he said helps young girls learn lifetime skills.
Towles likes to collect fine art antiques and enjoys sushi. He and his wife, Valerie, have two children, Nathan and Elizabeth.
Q: What was your career before cosmetology?
A: Before I was a hairdresser, I was in public relations and marketing. I was a corporate spokesperson. I worked for Xytex for nine years.
Q: What led to a change in careers?
A: I actually wanted to originally become a cosmetologist in high school, and life got in the way. I started following our daughter in pageants when she was 9, and my passion for it came back. I wanted to work for myself and be able to build something.
Q: What services do Edge Salon and Spa offer?
A: Hair, makeup in the retail shop (Edge Formals), nails, manicure, pedicure, facial massage, pageant consults and permanent eye lashes.
Q: What do you like most about the business?
A: The enjoyment of seeing someone’s satisfaction with their hair or seeing the transformation in a girl working with pageants.
Q: What do you like least about the business?
A: Long hours.
Q: What is your involvement with pageants?
A: Coach, wardrobe consulting, talent and stage presentations, custom design swimwear and outfits. I make swimsuits and evening gowns for the top 10 and top five in Miss South Carolina USA. I have a custom swimsuit designer in New York City.
The majority of my work is in hair and consulting. I am also moving into editorial work (such as a recent ad for crushprom.com with local models).
Q: What do you like most about pageantry?
A: Probably the transformation. It’s not so much changing a young woman into something else, but helping them to become the best they can be through discovering proper posture, walk, presentation skills, effective interview and communication skills, verbal and nonverbal.
Q: Why did you decide to open Edge Formals?
A: I felt the area was underserved, and I constantly had clients trying to send me photos of gowns and it was difficult. I thought there really weren’t enough options here for pageants, much less prom. This is my third year in the dress business.
We opened in January 2009 and continued to grow every year. We ran out of room and felt if we wanted to become even more successful, then we needed to expand our inventory.
Q: What is a future goal of yours?
A: We are looking at other locations for a site. There will be a new location in the town center when it opens in Hammond’s Ferry with a totally different look, and we are continuing to do more editorial work (hair/makeup and direction for ad campaign photo shoots).
Q: What is something people might not know about you?
A: I’m left-handed, but I cut right-handed.