Meet the Owner


Michelle Ghassemi (she/they)  

Owner/Mindset & Business Coach for Creatives

“There are no limits to me, no limits to my company, no limits for those on my team.”

Michelle graduated from Northern Michigan University in 2005 for Cosmetology & attended Finlandia University in 2009 for Business and Communications courses. Throughout her career, she has played a variety of roles (stylist/manager/mentor/master colorist) in both local boutique salons & spa businesses across 3 states & corporations as well as a self-employed renter as a successful independent stylist, for 10 years behind the chair. Although she is no longer behind the chair, making the transition to managing her own employee-based salons as CEO/CFO 8 years ago,  Michelle remains a growth centered strategist who strives to remain innovative in her approach to the industry & the needs of her team.

She works to fill a need to improve, expand & elevate the commission employee based business model in our industry, providing career minded stylists opportunities to grow far past the “max” of this model without the “toxic” salon culture. Meraki’s culture, that unspoken but felt “air” is equally if not more important to her than the amazing hair walking out the door, & she creates & cultivates this support on the daily. She values a holistic, low toxic environment for her salons, striving to ensure sustainability for stylists & the best haircare for guests, showing you can achieve luxury hair without the toxins!

Meet the Team


Summer Mitchell (she/her)  

Raleigh Master Colorist/Extension Specialist

General Manager(GM)/Education Director/Mentor

After concluding her schooling in 2008, Summer went on to work in a salon and complete her…

apprenticeship on the lovely 0BX (outer banks) of North Carolina.She has gone on to craft her passion with enhanced education from Aveda and Kevin Murphy to truly re-create all shades of blondes with classic and advanced custom techniques. She also enjoys textured cutting of all lengths and everyday styling. She has been trained in hand tied & tape in custom extensions. Summer has a unique ability to ensure her clients are truly heard & feel comfortable. She provides an honest upfront dialogue her clients can trust & rely on, to deliver the total package for them!


Kerry Lott(she/her)  

Balayage/Vivid Color/Shag Cut Specialist

Raleigh Location Manager/Mentor

Kerry is an Aveda Institute in Chapel Hill 2019 alum. She is a 2019 Professional Beauty Association…

Beacon winner where she attended specialized classes among other top students from across the country at the International Salon and Spa Expo. She enjoys vivid colors, custom cuts and all things balayage. She specializes in total transformations helping each guest achieve their perfect look! A life-long lover of art and fashion, Kerry graduated from NC State in 2017 with a degree in Fashion and Textile Management. She is excited to join the Meraki team where she can grow and learn alongside her fellow stylists & mentors! Besides her love of hair, she loves quality time with her loved ones and cat Luna. She enjoys listening to podcasts, drinking coffee and seeing live music.


Katie Gilmore 

Master Stylist/Precision Cuts/Custom Color

Katie is a master stylist who has 15 years experience around the Durham/southpoint area. She specializes…

in precision cuts and textured cuts of all lengths. She loves to create custom colors and blonding using different techniques. Katie enjoys using her knowledge to create exactly what her clients are envisioning when they sit in her chair. “I love working with my clients to create unique looks that they feel great in.” When Katie is not in the salon she enjoys being outdoors with her husband and two kids.


Shelby Archer  

Dimensional Blonde/Extension Specialist

 Bridal Coordinator/Mentor/Educator

Growing up in rural Idaho, Shelby did not have access to high quality organic products like what we have…

here at Meraki. She have always been passionate about transforming hair through colors and cuts, as well as improving health and integrity of the hair at the same time. She started cosmetology school immediately after high school graduation, and have chased this passion until she found my dream job here at Meraki. “I truly love empowering people through their hair and makeup. There is nothing more rewarding than the smile on a client’s face at the end of a service.” Shelby loves all things blonding, as well as formal hair styling and makeup. I can’t wait to have you in my chair!


Rhiannon Quay(she/her)  

Curly Cuts/Custom Color Specialist

Raleigh Mentor/Educator

Rhiannon  graduated from Aveda Institute in Chapel Hill in February of 2020. Her favorite things behind…

the chair are vivid/fashion colors, balayage, and anything to do with curly hair! “I became passionate about hair when I was a teenager and wanted to learn more about my natural texture, and now I love to share everything I know with my clients and continue to learn everything I can about hair.” A few fun facts about her; “I am a cat lady and general animal lover, I enjoy reading, drawing, and playing video games in my spare time.”


Aaron Buday(he/they)  

Gender Affirming Cuts/Color Specialist

Durham Inventory Manager

Aaron joins us with experience in gender affirming haircuts as well as custom vivids and balayage.

A passion for education, he is excited for the opportunities that Meraki has to offer.
When he isn’t behind the chair, Aaron is a talented Cosplayer, sewing his own looks together. He also enjoys exploring all over North Carolina, crafting, and baking. Aaron is an animal lover and loves chatting with his guests on all things animals!


Emma Jean Cary(she/her)  

M.U.A./Stylist/Extension Specialist

EmmaJean’s goal as a hair stylist is to create a safe and comfortable space and give her clients the…

confidence to express themselves authentically. She specializes in bridal hair and makeup and also enjoys rich brunettes and balayages. Her signature cut is bouncy layers, curtain bangs, and an educational blowout. She is passionate about creating an accepting and welcoming luxury experience for you to relax and know that you are taken care of in her chair. When it comes to client care her goal is always healing and helping you to reach your hair goals. She is passionate about organic and holistic products & has an interest in health and nutrition which she incorporates into her services by the products and knowledge she‘s accumulated. When you sit in her chair it’s more than just a service, it’s a personalized experience and she loves focusing on each client.


Taylor Prince  

Balayage & Color/Modern Cut Specialist

Raleigh Native. Loves unique styles, vivid/fashion colors, balayage, edgy cuts/shags and most…

importantly making you feel good about yourself. Don’t be fooled by her initial shy demeanor, she knows hair color. Taylor Prince has a knack for paying attention to details and is happy to answer any questions you may have.


Amanda Kauk 

Cut & Color Specialist

Amanda graduated from Eric Fisher Academy in Wichita, Kansas in 2016, and she have a passion for…

all things hair and learning. Her current specialty is precision cutting and barbering but she wants to learn it all! “I’m also a history nerd (and I love the history of hair), and enjoy antiquing in my spare time. I also cross stitch, bullet journal, and I’m definitely a cat lady!”


Paris Garrison  

Blonding/Lived In Color Specialist
Both Locations

She’s originally from Lexington, NC! She has been behind the chair for 2 years now after receiving…

my diploma from Leon’s Beauty School. She specializes in lived in color and blonding! “I have always had a passion for the beauty industry and using my creativity to help others. My goal as a stylist is to help people feel like the best versions of themselves while maintaining healthy hair. In my spare time, I like to binge horror movies, travel, and read.”


Cortney Niclaus  

Color Specialist(Blondes/Vivids/Brondes)

My favorite things to do behind the chair are highlights/ balayage, & vivid colors! I knew I wanted…

to work in the beauty industry when I was around 12 or 13, when i started becoming more interested in altering the natural hair color in the healthiest way possible & helping those build their confidence & to love themselves. I also love how hair trends (color, haircuts, etc.) are constantly changing so there’s always something new to learn about! I am a dog mom that also loves animals in general. In my spare time, i love to travel, go hiking, & watch documentaries.


Marcella Angelicchio (she/they) 

Precision/Curly Cuts/Creative Color/Special Occasion
Durham Manager

Marcella joins us with experience in precision cuts, bespoke color, and special occasion styling.

A steadfast passion for excellence, Marcella has advanced color, cut, and styling education from Oribe Atelier, Tony and Guy, Wella, Redken, Sarah Necia, Tony Medina and more.Behind the chair, she enjoys being able to provide services such as curly cuts, creative color, and educating clients on their hair, maintenance, products, and easy everyday styling. When out of the salon, Marcella enjoys directing editorial projects as well as working with local creatives to invigorate her life force. An artist at heart, Marcella enjoys bringing her love of editorial work to her clients; “The best part of having a clientele is, when they can authentically be themselves, and embrace my motto, which is ‘hair is fun!


Trevor Giles (they/them)

Color & Cutting Specialist

Both locations

Trevor brings almost two decades of experience styling hair for television Fashion Week…

and AD campaigns for Michael Kors and Vera Wang trained at Vidal Sassoon in San Francisco as a master in hair cutting and trained by privé Beverly Hills in the technique of balayage and air touch.  Gravitating heavily towards the hypernatural and expanding into Vivid brights and neons paired with precision haircuts tailored with accuracy create an overall bespoke experience that starts out with a thorough one-on-one consultation that digs in a little deeper to find out what’s going to bring your style to the next level.


Catherine Rich 

Creative Color/Blonding Specialist

Both locations

My name is Cat. I’ve been a stylist for almost 7 years…

I am a blonding and fashion color specialist. Fashion colors are my true passion I love everything to be bright and full of color. I also love old school and new school shaggy cuts and mullets. My favorite thing about being a stylist is making people feel beautiful and good about themselves! 


Becky Gibbs 

Colorist/Curly~Natural Hair Specialist/Bridal


My name is Becky and I’m originally from the Topsail beach area. I’ve been in the Raleigh area for close to…

10 years now and I have two beautiful children. My passion for the beauty industry doesn’t stop at hair, as I have a love for doing nails as well as Individual lash extensions! In my spare time, I love watching a good horror movie and spending time with my family. 


Alexis Stallings


Alexis is a graduate of Mitchell’s Academy. She’s killing it in our co-artist program and …

she looks forward to learning and growing in her skills in the co artist program. “I have a huge passion for this industry and can’t wait to start my career with Meraki.”


Keira Probert


Keira is a graduate of the Aveda Institute in Chapel Hill. Her passion…

for hair started at an early age and grew as she started working on guests. She loves seeing someones mood change when they get that transformation! She loves having her guests leave with confidence and a smile on their faces as their happiness and comfort are her priority. She looks forward to growing in her skills at Meraki so she can continue to elevate her craft for her and her guests. She can’t wait to meet everyone!


Alissa Adams

Salon Coordinator

I was born in Pennsylvania but I have lived in the Raleigh area for most of my life. I have a super close family including…

my daughter and 6 pets. I graduated from Mitchell’s Academy’s esthetics program in 2017 and have specialized in skincare and waxing ever since. I have worked in a salon setting for years and am excited for the future with Meraki.


Quanshae Lloyd

Salon Coordinator

I’m originally from Rocky Mount, I Just Moved To Raleigh Recently…

I Have 2 Amazing Children. I Been Trying To Find Where I Belong Here an I Found My Way To Meraki. I’m New To Meraki an I Really Enjoy The Culture That Meraki’s Brings, An I Can’t Wait To Build A Friendship With All The Amazing People At Meraki!


Natalie Morse

Salon Coordinator

 I am so excited to be a part of Meraki Salon and everything the brand stands for!

I am a student in college focusing on Public Relations, and Social Media Marketing. I was a competitive volleyball player and now coach. On my free time I love traveling, and eating at unique restaurants.


Abby Conover

Salon Coordinator

Abby joins us at our front desk eager to give our team and clients the best care!