Ambitious, resilient and compassionate, Rochelle Hunter has worked diligently her entire life to become the successful business women she is today. Rochelle is the proud owner of Salon 804 and #Turnsmart, Ltd (a non-profit). She has also created and produced the hair care product line, R96 in Harlem, New York. She is the author of two books: “How to Do Your Hair at Home” and “Life After Beauty School”.
Rochelle grew up in the Blackwell public housing project community in Richmond, Virginia. She remembers her home life as being dysfunctional with not many positive adult role models around her. Luckily, for Rochelle, it didn’t have to be many, she just needed one. For Rochelle, that person was Ms. Sharonda Robinson, who inspired Rochelle to be the successful person she is today.
In 1992, Rochelle began her career in modeling. She rose through the ranks and secure the feature cover model position for Essence Magazine’s 25th Anniversary Calendar. Rochelle’s stunning images made her a sought-after model that afforded her the opportunity to appear on beauty companies Revlon and Soft Sheen Carson’s Dark & Lovely hair color packaging. Over the next few years, Rochelle used her versatility and bright personality to transition her focus to acting. As an actress, Rochelle appeared in several hit music videos such as Naughty by Nature’s “Feel Me Flow” and Heavy D’s “Got Me Waiting.”
In 1997, Rochelle established Salon 804 in Harlem. To further hone her hair styling skills, Rochelle studied and received certificates from highly esteemed industry giants like Affirm, John Amico, The Dudley Corporation, and Mizani. The Salon has flourished for the last 20+ years.
Rochelle wanted to give her clients the opportunity to have a Salon 804 experience at home and in 2015, with her clients in mind, Rochelle introduced R96, her own hair products line that are paraben and sulfate free. When asked why did you name it R96? Rochelle says “Because it is R to the 96 power... We're not 100% but we're darn close.”
Salon 804 has been spotlighted in a New York Daily News article promoting the film, “Beauty Shop” starring Queen Latifah in 2005 as well as being featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show doing makeovers for the less fortunate. She was also a recipient of the Golden Scissors Award for hair color. Rochelle’s celebrity client list has included tennis icon Serena Williams, to the legendary singer, songwriter and musician, Roberta Flack. Rochelle has also styled TV Judges Karen and Hatchett, comediennes Adele Givens, Sommore, philanthropist, Malaak Compton-Rock (wife of comedian Chris Rock) and hip-hop legend, MC Lyte.
In 2016, Rochelle took on another challenge to advance her skills and knowledge in hair care. Having an unshakeable purpose and with steadfast faith, she successfully completed a comprehensive study and was awarded a diploma in Trichology Healthcare. Trichology is the study of hair and scalp disorders. Rochelle is on a mission to serve and educate anyone with scalp problems: men, women, children and families.
Rochelle cares for the community and established a non-profit, #Turnsmart, Ltd. It was set in motion after witnessing disadvantaged girls failing to reach their potential because of limited or no opportunities and resources in their communities.
There is no stopping Rochelle’s continuous pursuit of success. “I understand what service is all about and I am here to serve. I feel that I don’t have to worry about what I’m getting. It’s about what I’m giving. I’m just following God’s plan and this is His plan for me. “Whatever He lays on my heart, I just move with that. This is not my design. I’m just following a path and I’m gonna ride it until the wheels fall off.”