Both the beauty salon and the playground are familiar environments for Mary Macnider, co-owner of Parlor in San Francisco. A preschool teacher for eight years, Macnider has always loved working with children and majored in early childhood education in college — and she also managed a spa during that time. As a preschool teacher, “I love the genuine feelings you get when you see how much growth your group of students goes through during their time in preschool,” she says. “The children’s language, negotiation skills, motor development, collaboration, as well as their independence really transform in preschool and it is truly amazing to witness.”

Macnider got back into the beauty industry over a year ago, when she partnered with Rachel Cheng to open Parlor. “I always knew I wanted to have my own business, but was wary of opening up another preschool in the Bay Area,” she explains. “When Rachel approached me, I felt like it was too exciting an opportunity to pass up.”

It can be tough to balance the two demanding jobs. Macnider cut her hours at the preschool from 40 to 30 hours a week and hired two front desk staff to split the shifts at the salon. She likes to personally get to know regular clients, so she spends three days a week at Parlor as well. “I guess you might say I’m sort of a workaholic,” she says. “But when you’re passionate about the work you do, it feels natural to invest a lot of time in something that is challenging, exciting, and fulfilling.”

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