Sunday, December 3, 2023

What’s your vision? You may want to check your board


By Glendal Jones

You may have heard of them and why some business owners wouldn’t go without them: Vision boards are a relatively new craze for people interested in goal setting, and for many, they really do work. Just ask India Gary, who opened Shodah Spalon salon in Indianapolis more than five years ago, with a vision and a dream.

“I knew I wanted to open my own beauty salon, but I was stuck on how to get there,” Gary said. “One day I was watching the Oprah Winfrey show, and she had a segment on vision boards, and I was hooked.”

Vision boards are used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal, using any sort of board to display images that represent whatever one wants to be, do or have in life. The idea is that good things come to you if you write them down, and the larger the photo, the greater the rewards. After eagerly pasting pictures of what her salon could be, Gary imagined the decor, what kind of clientele she wanted and more. Also included on Gary’s board was a photo of rapper/actress Nicki Minaj.

“I had pictures of clients and the word ‘yes’ for inspiration on my board, as it was a reflection of what I wanted,” Gary said.

With only knowing what she wanted, a salon decorated with dark chocolate custom mirrors and Italian Belvedere-style chairs, Gary says she got emotional and overwhelmed, since she didn’t have the budget for it. But client Deb Oatts suggested looking at an Ikea store where similar mirrors were priced less than $30. With a desire to find specific mirrors and more, Gary says she drove to the Ikea in Cincinnati, Ohio, in a snowstorm, where she also found light stands with the exact color and look from her vision board. Later, she found the styling and dryer chairs she needed through a Craigslist ad posted in Kentucky. A family member picked up the chairs and drove them back to Indianapolis, and Gary began to see her vision taking shape.

“That’s when things started to really click, and I felt like Superwoman for finding the furniture on my vision board at a fraction of the price,” she said.

Her dreams became reality again two months later when she prayed for dozens of clients she could service while allowing other stylists and makeup artists to participate, too. A client contacted Gary about styling hair and applying makeup for 23 models and dancers for Madonna’s team for the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis. After speaking with Madonna, she also learned Nicki Minaj, the person she placed on her vision board at the beginning of the journey, was also part of the halftime entertainment.

“I was so surprised and excited, because I got to meet not only Madonna, but also Nicki Minaj, and attend the show,” she said. “That was my ‘a-ha’ moment.”

With a well-established client base, Gary is ready to create a third vision board to help her focus on her next steps.

Shodah Spalon is located at 5945 E. 86th St., in Indianapolis. Learn more at (317) 570-7330 or


Creating and using vision boards serves several purposes, some of which include helping you:


  • Identify your vision and give it clarity


  • Reinforce your daily affirmations


  • Keep your attention on your intentions


For more information, check out

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