April 2018

Hair Designers: Getting Personal

Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Mark Goodman, owner of Hair Designers in The Village at Wexford

Growing up in Alton, Illinois, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Mark Goodman’s family had a summer house down by the river where he boated up and down and tromped through woods like a modern-day Huckleberry Finn. One grandfather was a local judge and the other owned a local grocery. “Everybody knew who I was and what I did.” After attending college, training as a stylist, and considering a career in television and radio broadcasting, he was ready to step out and see what more the world had to offer.

A fortuitous introduction to David Bagwell, one of Hilton Head Island’s first salon owners and stylists, led to a job offer, and Goodman leapt at the chance to join his team. Becoming a partner in the business in the early 1980s, Goodman has owned Hair Designers in Village at Wexford since the mid-’90s, and he is starting to think about where the next steps in his life may take him. No worries, however; wherever those steps take him, they will not be taking him away from his seminal salon.

“I think one of the next things I want to do is more volunteer work here on the island,” he said. With a passion for his business and his salon team, a love of art, and learning, and travel, Goodman has been a somewhat behind-the-scenes kind of guy. While he tends to direct the spotlight away from himself, he did agree to the following Q&A. Enjoy getting to know Mark a bit better.

Kitty Bartell: What is your favorite virtue?
Mark Goodman: Honesty.

KB: What are your favorite qualities in a man?
MG: Charity and a good heart. My father’s favorite thing to say about a person was, “They’re just such good people.” Charity towards others, open-mindedness, and the ability to love are everything.

KB: In a woman?
MG: It’s the same; no different.

KB: At your core, who are you?
MG: Open-minded, open-hearted, open to new challenges, and so grateful for friends. There’s a line in one of my favorite poems that goes, “I keep a small graveyard to bury the faults of the ones I love.” Faults don’t matter to a friend, and that’s one of the things I cherish most.

KB: What is your main fault?
MG: The thing that I work on the most and that drives me the most crazy is that I can procrastinate.

KB: What is your idea of happiness?
MG: When I have a small gathering of friends sitting around the dinner table, breaking bread and sharing conversation, where there are no qualifications or expectations.

KB: What is your idea of misery?
MG: Cocktail parties and small talk around people I barely know. That’s probably my least favorite thing to do in the world.

KB: Who or what would you be if you weren’t yourself?
MG: I like who I am. I’ve liked what I’ve accomplished. I like being me. L. Robert and I have a wonderful life. I was a theater major in college, and now I go on stage and teach nearly every other weekend somewhere around the country, and really, I’m acting when I’m up there. I love coming to work, so there wouldn’t be another job that I’d want to do, and I’ve expanded this job into a lot of different creative fields. There’s nothing else I would do.

KB: Who is your favorite fiction or nonfiction hero?
MG: I’ve always admired Mark Twain and some of his characters and their honesty, their humor.

KB: Who is your favorite artist?
MG: There are different times in my life that different artists have captured my attention. I love Sargent and his portraits. Now, I am going through a phase where I’m trying to learn as much as possible about van Gogh. I think it’s his colors and the short brush strokes and the excitement of it that I’m looking at now.

KB: What are you known for among your friends?
MG: I hope it’s kindness and an open heart. I hope it’s the things that I value in other people that people see in me.

KB: Are you a morning person or night owl?
MG: As a younger person, I would be up all night and could not wake up in the morning. I am now a morning person. I wake up at the same time every morning, jump out of bed, and I’m ready to go.

KB: Describe your perfect morning.
MG: A cup of coffee, a nice long walk with the dog [Sparky] and, hopefully, L. Robert.

KB: How do you unwind?
MG: My greatest way to unwind is the beach. The feel of the sun and listening to the music of the beach; children’s laughter, the birds, the wind, the surf. That is where I do my best unwinding.

KB: Do you have any silly fears?
MG: Tons of them. I love my solitude, but I have a huge fear of being alone later in life. I’ve seen too many people so alone. I think that would be devastating.

KB: What is your least favorite chore?
MG: Taking out the trash. I enjoy cleaning, because it feels like I’m cleansing my life. I don’t like any task where you can’t see the finished result.

KB: Of all the places in the world that you’ve been, where would you like to go back?
MG: My favorite place in the world is Florence. It’s the history thing. Going to Florence is sort of like going to Charleston. When you’re in downtown Charleston, everything is old. Florence is even more so, because there are very few cars on the street, and it’s like you’ve stepped back in time. I love that. And sailing the Greek isles is on my bucket list.

Goodman shares his island home and life with husband and artist L. Robert Stanfield and Sparky, and he gets back to his Huckleberry Finn roots regularly, visiting for holidays and weddings and to see family. “I’ve been very lucky being a young guy from a small town in Illinois and then to move to Hilton Head, and then to become president of the National Cosmetology Association (now retired), 17 years volunteering on their board of directors with four years as president. It has allowed me to travel to Germany, Italy, France, London, South Korea, to almost every state in the union — teaching or as a guest. It’s been good, and Hilton Head has always been a wonderful place to come home to. There’s nothing like coming across that bridge and smelling the marsh. I love this island, and it’s been very good to me.”

Hair Designers is located at 1000 William Hilton Parkway, Suite F1, Hilton Head Island. For more information, please call (843) 686-4247 or visit thehairdesigners.net.

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