“Working with the Institute has been very educational. I gained information that I can share with clients; information I would not have been able to share with them before”, says owner of Royal Ambiance Salon, Elaine Richards. Royal Ambiance is a beauty salon that does not just catch you by the name, but by the beautiful, very spacious interior. It is a large sized salon, well suited for its large clientele. Richards has been working as a hairstylist for over 30 years, and asserts a very strong sense of leadership within the community. She has worked with the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health since the opening of her salon 7 years ago.
Working in the business for a long time has allowed Richards to meet and gain many clients. She expresses that now she has programs that can be influential to her clients. “The most memorable program the Institute has provided would have to be the HIV/AIDS program, it was very informative and I learned a lot of things I never knew.” Richards found this program to be very important - for herself and her youthful clients. “The experience influenced the young people the most. I am now able to give them information about contracting HIV/AIDS; and, they have become more cautious when having sex because they understand more now,” says Richards.
In hopes to continue to protect her family, keep them aware of health issues, and encourage them to take care of themselves, Richards hopes to continue to be partnered with the Arthur Ashe Institute and provide more health sessions for her employees and clientele. Elaine’s church has also benefited from the partnership and will continue to participate in health promotion activities with the Institute. “My salon is a professional environment that is very friendly. The clients have become like family to me,” says Richards.