A La Porte County Life in the Spotlight: Elle Hook

A La Porte County Life in the Spotlight: Elle Hook

Elle Hook is the owner of Elle Salon in Michigan City. She has owned this business for 16 years, and is just as happy now as the day she started. 

“When I get to work, I enjoy it, and I find myself having a hard time leaving,” Hook said. 

Though Hook thoroughly enjoys her career in the salon, this wasn’t her original plan. After graduating from LaCrosse High School, she started college at Purdue University where she majored in business as well as minoring in philosophy and psychology. It wasn’t until graduating and trying out corporate jobs that she realized that kind of life wasn’t for her. 

“The corporate world just wasn't really my jam,” Hook said. “I would always do my friends’ makeup, but I never really thought you could make it into a career until I went to Aveda all the time. I spent around $150 every time, and I thought this was what I wanted to get into.”

She decided to go into beauty school after graduating and eventually opened her salon, which she now runs with her husband. 

“My dad was a little confused, but thankfully he saw me open my business and he loved to come in and have coffee. He said he loved to watch the pretty girls get their hair done,” Hook said. “He passed away in 2010, so it was nice for him to be able to see me at least open my business.”

Hook has now owned the salon for 16 years. Her daily responsibilities are more than just cutting and styling hair. She is responsible for the business side of things as well. Being the owner, she has to make sure all the stylists have all the tools they need to be successful each day. She also notes that it is very important to make sure her clients and employees feel comfortable and enjoy their time at the salon. 

“Basically, I want to make sure that they feel good and they're set up for success at the salon,” Hook said. 

Hook fully understands how stress from work can affect personal life. Hook developed Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism due to the amount of stress she was under in her life. She has learned first-hand the importance of a work-life balance. Hook used to have two locations for her salon, the second being in New Buffalo, which had to close due to the pandemic. However, she has since realized she prefers having one location rather than two. 

“One business is enough, and that way I get the balance of being with my family,” Hook said. “People always think they need you more when they're younger, but I think ultimately, they need you more in their teenage years.” 

Hook also focuses on keeping herself happy and enjoying her career. Her biggest inspiration is definitely her parents, especially her dad. She grew up on her dad’s farm and got to see how happy he was in his chosen career. This inspired her to do the same for herself. 

“I think that's why I got into this industry, because I saw him every day loving what he did. He loved being a farmer, and it didn't seem like a job,” Hook said. “That's how I feel with what I do.” 

Outside of work, Hook spends a lot of her time doing physical activities such as yoga, weight lifting, and exercising. She is also vegan, and has recently been spending a lot of time in the kitchen trying out new things, many of which have helped her with her hypothyroidism. 

“I love making healthy food for my family. I geek out on nutrition and health. I think if I wasn't doing hair, I would be going towards the path of nutrition because it's changed my life. Going on a plant based diet and such, I’m getting my cholesterol in a normal range and I just feel really good.”

Hook has spent her entire life doing what makes her happy and not listening to what others tell her to do. She hopes her two daughters will do the same. Her message for young people today is to stay true to who you are and follow your own path.

Learn more about Elle Salon at the website purelyellesalon.com/.