There’s an old saying that says, “Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like.” That’s how I felt before I met Kristine Ozola-Weatherby of K.O. Styles at Elite Salon Suites in Brandon. I could never find a stylist that understood my wants or needs when it came to my hair.

When I met Kristine to interview her for this story, she offered to give me a new hair style. I was thrilled! Kristine is originally from Latvia, which is a country about the size of West Virginia. It is situated on the Baltic Sea, across from Sweden. She was formally trained in color and design in Latvia before she came to the United States. She gets her inspiration to do hair from her grandmother. Her grandmother owned a salon when she was a young woman, but had to close it and flee the Russians during World War II.

“I’ve always had it in me to do hair,” Kristine said. “I was doing everyone’s hair as a child.”

While she was doing hair in her country, she was learning various techniques and styles that were very popular. She was given the opportunity to leave Latvia and come to the states through a program to be a nanny. She was working as a nanny when she met the man who would eventually become her husband. They got married and she applied for her citizenship. Even though she had been doing hair for years in her country, she had to go back to beauty school to get her American license to do hair.

“It was hard because the language and terminology is different, so I had to study very hard,” Kristine said. All her hard work paid off because she’s been doing hair for six years in the Brandon community. She still goes back to Latvia to attend hair shows so she can stay on top of current European hairstyles and trends. She brings those European styles and techniques back to use on her clients so they can be trendsetters over here. She does everything from hair cuts to hair extensions. Her hair extensions are fun because they come in every color you can think of and she has glitter extensions as well. Kristine’s favorite service to offer is a cut and color.

“A hair cut and color go together,” Kristine said, “It’s all about art and style.” That is the service Kristine gave me and I left her salon a new woman. For more information on the services Kristine offers, you can visit her website at or you can contact her at 391-9014. If you mention that you read this story when you contact Kristine, she will give you $15 off a cut and color service. Elite Salon Suites is located at 2064 Badlands Dr.

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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.