more than 30 years, Van Michael Salon (multiple locations) has served the glitterati of Atlanta. Opened in 1984 on West Paces Ferry Road, the original location has grown to 10,000 square feet—not to mention seven additional locations and almost 400 employees. Co-owner Van Council himself has cut the hair of celebrities like Jodie Foster, Bridget Fonda and Cindy Crawford. Today, he balances his career with a fulfilling personal life. Council, who lives in Woodstock with family nearby and a lake in his backyard, travels often for both business and pleasure. He’s an avid outdoorsman and a particularly accomplished mountain biker. He’s especially proud of his second-place finish in the grueling La Ruta race, often billed as the hardest race in the world. La Ruta asks racers to cross Costa Rica from coast to coast, starting at sea level and climbing five mountain ranges totaling 29,000 vertical feet. Considering Council is a business leader who’s built one of Atlanta’s most recognizable brands, it would be easy for him to sit back and admire his own success. But this is a man whose idea of fun is carrying his bike through tangled jungle on Costa Rican mountainsides. It doesn’t sound like he’ll be taking it easy anytime soon.
Van Council keeps a jam-packed and family-filled day.
Van Council turned a love for the movie Shampoo into one of the most successful boutique salons in America.
He works hard, but plays hard too. Here’s what’s top of his mind when he’s not at his salons.
Photography by: Patrick Heagney