Gina Orage


When Gina Orage’s mother was ready to retire, her daughter knew she couldn’t let the business, Lundy’s Hairstyle Salon, close. So she took over, continuing to run the shop from the small cement building between her home and her parents’ on the Hilton Head Island road named for their family.

She only opens the salon by appointment, and never in the evenings, but her clients keep coming back. That’s because, Orage said, they know that even surrounded by relatives and her boyfriend, Orage is still a single mom whose first priority is her kids.

Gina Orage2In the afternoon, Orage closes the shop so she can pick up her son, Caleb Hutchinson, at Hilton Head Middle School, where he plays football and basketball and runs track. She also drives her 6-year-old daughter, Journee, to dance lessons several days a week.

“I’m their free Uber,” she said.

Orage is always on the go. In addition to sports practice and dance lessons, she shuttles her kids to Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist church, where they sing in the choir, usher and dance.

“I like to keep my kids busy,” Orage said. “Call me overprotective. But if he does something he’s not supposed to do, it’s on him, not because of me.”

The family is in church every Sunday, and Orage can count many of her hair-dos on parishioners sitting in the pews.

Although she has considered other careers and is interested in the medical field, Orage has stayed at Lundy’s Hairstyle Salon because doing hair is in her blood — her mom, Georgia Mae “Lundy” Orage, is a longtime stylist. The business is also convenient for her family.

“I take 10 steps and I’m at work,” Gina Orage said.

Gina Orage3

In addition to the hair salon, she has two other small businesses — one for each of her children. In a glass case near the blow dryers and a baby walker that belongs to her 1-year-old nephew, Orage sells the Paparazzi line of affordable costume jewelry to women who come in for weaves, sew-ins or cuts. Profits from the jewelry go to “my son’s weekend money,” she said.

Her other business, Journee’s Treasure Events, is named for her daughter, who likes to hang out in the salon and play on her iPad. The company does decorations for baby showers, weddings and other events.

“It's something I started doing for my daughter and it went from there,” Orage said. “I’ve done events on Hilton Head and in Beaufort. I go wherever I'm needed.”

Her services are in demand partly because Orage is a well-known member of Hilton Head’s Gullah community. She feels rooted in the place her family has lived for generations.

“It means a lot [to be part of the Gullah community],” she said. “It's a good reason for me to stay and carry on the family tradition. It’s a good area for me to raise my kids.”

But like many parents, she hopes her children see the world before they settle down.

“I want to push them to go on,” she said. “There are better opportunities other places.”