One of the number one questions asked by first time clients at the salon is, "Why did you start doing hair? Did you always know you wanted to go into the hair industry?"
I'll start by saying, no I did not always want to do hair. Actually, for a little while I had completely decided that I was uninterested in the hair industry. I grew up with my mom working at a stylist in my hometown, Stow, Ohio. She loved going to work, and I loved seeing all the stylists doing hair but in my head it wasn't an option to go into a career in the hair industry. I went to private Catholic schools from kindergarten until I graduated high school and trade schools were not often talked about- it was assumed that you would graduate and go to college and get a degree. During my senior year in high school the idea began to pop into my head that cosmetology school was an actual option, I mentioned it to a few friends and they were all extremely encouraging of the idea. However, I decided, with the help of my parents that because I was still unsure of the idea that I would attend The University of Akron, take a variety of classes and keep my mind open to all of the possibilities of the degrees I could choose. After a year, if I was still leaning towards cosmetology school then I would switch.
A year later, I was 100% sure that cosmetology school was the right choice so I enrolled in Paul Mitchell The School Cleveland. I had definitely romanticized the idea of cosmetology school, I thought that if I was in school for something I loved that every day would be a dream and the 1500 hours spent there would be perfect. Of course, I was only partially right- I loved every bit of the hair, I did well in all of the sections that we worked through, I met one of my best friends Kara Scott, but besides that it was a challenging 11 months. I was surrounded by some negative people, most of which no longer do hair and it felt as if every day had a bit more drama than I was use to- what can you expect with a group of all girls with each other for 40 hours every week. All of that being said, I learned a lot at Paul Mitchell, was given a lot of opportunities for events outside of school and was completely prepared to enter into an apprenticeship program as an assistant after graduation. While in school I started realizing that I didn't want to just follow in my moms footsteps, while assisting at Fringe Salon and Spa, the salon she worked at I was always known as Carols daughter- when her clients came in they often said "oh I've heard about you you're whole life, you've grown up so much!!" It made me feel like a little girl again, and very much as if I didn't have my own identity, I was always linked with my mom. I began saying that someday I was going to live in Chicago and work at a salon there, naturally as the planner I am I researched salons all of the time. In every one of my google searches Red 7 Salon would pop up and it quickly became my dream salon- I told everyone about it. Four months after graduating I interviewed at Red 7, and five months after graduating I packed up a moving van in the middle of a snow storm and moved to Chicago and began working at Red 7 two days later.
I'm lucky enough to work at the salon I dreamt about working at while living in Ohio. I learned SO much information throughout my 16 months in their assistant program and I am loving every single minute being on the floor as a Colorist there. I work among some of the most talented stylists and colorists that I have ever met, so I am learning every single day. I'm not known as Carols daughter there, but you can bet I talk to my mom every single day about the things I learn and the clients I have.
I remember growing up my mom always said to me, "I want you to wake up every morning and be happy to go to work," and I am lucky enough to say that I truly am happy to walk into Red 7 every day. I am passionate about what I do- I love hair, I love the detail that a highlight requires and the creativity that a balayage requires. But more than that, I love people. Every single day I have the opportunity to turn someones day around, they can walk in frustrated with work, the weather, the hectic commute that a city ensures you'll have and I have the chance to make them feel beautiful and cared for. I get to be a listening ear for the people who need to vent, I get to hear about travel and food and family, I get to share stories about my life and where I come from. Storytelling is a powerful part of humanity and its a huge part of being a stylist- something most people don't think about when they choose to go into the hair industry.
In comes my faith, Jesus told us to love one another and boy do I have an opportunity to love so many people!! Relationships with people are at the center of Christianity, and my career is centered around creating relationships with people. To be honest, I struggled with seeing where my faith fit into my day to day job as a colorist at first. I've learned that your job doesn't have to be in a church building to be building up the church. My Gospel Community (small group) at Missio Dei read Garden City by John Mark Comer a couple of months back and he couldn't have said it better, "...and you'll do your job really, really well, and the world will be a better, more garden-like place because of it. And every day when you show up for work, you'll embody the way of Jesus, so that your boss, your coworkers, your contractors, and your clients will all get a glimpse of what Jesus' way is all about and hopefully, an invitation to join in."