LEVEL 7 SALON

INDEPENDENTLY TOGETHER

OPENING IN EAU CLAIRE OCTOBER 2019

Fake it till you make it? FUCK YES

Have your attention now?

Fantastic.

It’s been a hot minute since the initial blog entry, cause life happens…and so do kids, wedding season, time off, brides and having to just completely turn off and enjoy the life you’ve created.

To write, sometimes you need to be ‘inspired’ by something. This morning this ‘something‘ was a variation of something I keep seeing on the Instagram, Facebook memes, and variations of it keep being reposted and hash tagged #fuckyes #stylistsupportingstylist #preach #thisiseverything #killingit #micdrop

What is it?

“Fake it till you make it only works in bed”

No. This is not everything. Let us not preach. Let us break it down.

One. We do not arrive in this world ready to go balls to the wall. We don’t know our life mission in the womb, decide what type of person we’re going to be, nor what career path were going to walk down. We don’t know what our strengths or weakness will be, what will make us anxious and cower, or what will motivate us and push us forward in times of darkness. Following? Good.

Two. When we complete our post secondary education, be it university or a trade, you leave with some or minimal on the job experience compared to what you WILL have in comparison to the END of your career. Some career paths offer placements, years and years of supplemental hours in order to receive your degree or reach the highest accolade in your field. However, what all paths have in common is this:

faking it + realizing you need to educate yourself = making it.

You will have to fake that confidence to score that account. You will have to fake knowing how to work a room and schmooze, because you haven't done it enough to feel confident. You will have to fake that smile for that new client who chose you for their 8hr correction, because there are so many different ways to approach it. Don’t let them see your fear or uncertainty. And hot damn, don’t go looking for the answer to life on Instagram cause you’ll probably need a detox tea, a skinny wrap and 10 years to take notes from self proclaimed self help gurus who buy their fake money stacks on Amazon. You want that client to be exploding with hair happiness when they leave! Stylists are posting left and right on their Insta accounts about ‘praying to the hair gods!’ during the process, hashtag nailedit…well hold up. Is this not the same? Just a different way to express the same thing? What you’re not seeing is them playing Jekyl & Hyde - freaking out in the back room and immediately turning that frown upside down when they go check how hopefully not green their clients hair is…

Fake it till you make it.

But what happens if you fuck up? That ash toner didn't work. You lost that account cause you didn't say the right things. You had verbal diarrhea when you were schmoozing cause you were so nervous and were so socially awkward and had so much to say but were so nervous you said nothing and were basically mute?(True story. I used to stutter so bad and was incredibly self conscious about it I refused to talk) Or, you did the complete opposite and said really inappropriate things you wish you could take back but can’t…

What do you do? OWN IT. LEARN FROM IT. As I tell my son ‘use your noodle’ and seek the help and/or education you need to better yourself. Invest in yourself and make the necessary choices to help yourself ‘make it’ to the next level.

Did I know how to be self employed when I took that leap? Fuck no. Taxes? Nope. How to pay myself? Nope. How much color to order or retail to order? Not at all, which is how I wasted 12g’s. BUT I pretended I did to get me through that time of ‘not knowing’ till I could seek out help.

Be humble enough to know when you need help and fearless enough to ask for it.

When you’re unsure of how to do something, search out those skilled individuals in that area to help you ‘make it’. The reality is however, no one will hand you the confidence, take away your anxiety nor coddle you with a heart felt pat on the back when you shut down and can’t work through it. You must do that for yourself. The world doesn’t owe you anything. No one owes you anything. The faster you stand up and fake it till you make it to the next level, you’ll come to realize on your own what you need to move up and on, gain that confidence , and put one foot in front of the other. You need to do that for yourself.

Listen guys. We fake it every day.

Fake nice. Fake smile. Fake happy. Fake Instagram, its our highlight reel, lets get real. Fake hair. Fake lashes. Fake friendships. Fake confidence. You reserve your truth for those that wont judge you and those you trust to help you make those difficult decisions to better yourself. Those who will encourage you take those hard necessary steps. We figure it out as we go along. Our reality is, is that everyday is fake. Life doesn’t come with a manual, neither do our jobs. Could you imagine telling that random stranger at Starbucks asking you “How’s your day going?” what is really going on in your life? L O frickin’ L People would give you bug eyes and run away like Hussein Bolt! Trying not rant here guys, hopefully you’re getting the gist of it….

I didn't know how to be a mum till I had my kids. I’d never actually held a baby till they placed my son in my arms cause I was paranoid about dropping other people’s babies. True story.

Didn’t know the first thing about buying a house. Or selling a house. Faked some happiness and hid the nervousness and found a rockstar agent…after we went through 5 shitty ones.

Or buying my first car. Luc was in Regina wrapping up 6 months of hellish training and the mega douche from Hyundai printed me out a spec sheet and told me ‘to send it to my husband and come back when I was ready’. I left in tears, went home and researched what I wanted, went back and pretended I knew what the fuck I was talking about.

How did my makeup bestie and I get so ‘lucky’ with our opportunities? Build our portfolio? We had to pretend we lived in Toronto and take the overnight Greyhound so photographers would work with us. We faked it HARD.

I did not know a damn thing about being self employed. Screwed up along the way, owned it, and found ‘my people’ because I couldn't do it alone. Faked that with an epic fucking smile, figured it out and am STILL working on it.

Take a step back and assess what steps you need to put in between ‘FAKE’ and ‘MAKE’ to get you to where you wanna be. Faking it till you make it means visualizing the job you want, the house you want, the trip, the life, your path , the change you need…whatever you want or need to live your best and fullest life on your terms and fucking do it. You have choices everyday. To help yourself or stay stagnant. Choose to help yourself. Choose to surround yourself with people who help you, rather than hold you back. Make the hard choices. Make the scary decisions. Make the change. Make it.

This post will probably irritate some people, and that's ok. ‘Cause guess what? I’m not chocolate and I can’t make everyone happy. Just as someone's irritating meme inspired me, this may inspire some self inflicted hate mail, and I’m ok with that.

And ps…if you need to fake it till you make it in bed…practice practice practice #preach

AM

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Welcome to My chair

Being one of the the stylists who’s career began before the explosion of social media, I miss the days of genuine face to face conversation. A conversation that’s uninterrupted by the Insta ding, Snapchat bing, texts, alerts or our aimless mindless scrolling. Rubbing our index finger on the glass we’ve shattered, spent a fucking stupid mount to replace, just to shatter it again so we can.......keep.......on........swiping 👌🏻

 

Soooo why a blog?  

 

I actually really enjoy writing. I went to author conferences when I was younger & in college while taking my Visual Art degree, I used to wing my essays in an all night writing sesh (thanks insomnia!) after not reading the material but reading the summary on Google. Not ideal. I don’t recommend it. But it still got me 90’s.

 

However it was one particular encounter in 2017 that reignited my desire to write. Consider it the cherry on top of the pile of misinformation out there for clients, current stylists and the future generations entering the industry. Let’s throw in the gaggle that’s social media, egos, lack of vulnerability, fear of judgement, everyone showcasing their highlight reel and not real life (I know your kid took an epic fucking tantrum after you took a selfie during the picnic cause you probably opened their granola bar wrong👍🏻) Do I go on?

 

So this is what happened. 

 

A while back, I met a seasoned stylist of over 20 years in Calgary.  When he was asked what advice he had for the new generation of stylists he flat out said without any hesitation, ' Find another job.' I had to momentarily control my 'Mc'scuse me?!' face & gave myself the afternoon to mull over his statement and came to some reasonable conclusions:

 

This industry is hard as fuck on your body. Throw in any pre existing conditions and your daily and lifetime pain and woes are amplified. Period.

 

Finding your 'people' is a journey. Finding a work environment that will encourage you throughout your career, genuinely care about how successful you are and actually give a flying shit about your work life /balance are few and far in between. Not everybody fits into the 9-5 Tuesday to Saturday know how to do it all be a master of non jack of all trades box. 

 

It can be a thankless job. The industry has changed & will continue to do so. Social media is an incredible communication tool, BUT does make our job incredibly difficult when we say 'no' to a service and you see stylists all over Insta posting a 12hr job condensed into a 30 second video with zero advice on maintenance, 0 after photos of the fadeage on mermaid colours, the steps involved or wait for it...COST. That was a mouthful. When we are the person standing between someone who’s already, in their mind , decided they’re leaving with Kylie Jenner hair...even though you’ve told them it’s a wig. Yah. Cue the crickets. 

 

We are stylists. Therapists. Professional huggers. Expectation managers. Consultants. Interior designers. Conflict managers. Match makers. Cheerleaders. Secretaries. Bookkeepers. Cleaners. Wives, husbands, and mums.  Did I forget stylist? 😂 

 

Do I sound like a Grade A asshole?

Probably. 

But these have been MY experiences & are my opinions. I won’t apologize for that. What I hope is that by bringing these to light, and putting them out there for fellow professionals, future stylists, clients and even just those that want a good read, whether you're sitting in the chair or standing behind it - you will understand. As a professional, understand you are not alone, and many others have the same fears, insecurities, wants and dreams as you do.  For the future generations, this industry is full of incredible opportunities YOU can create for yourself. And for clients or for those who enjoy reading all my F bombs, this is our job not a hobby. It is a lifelong journey of honing our skills, education & self discovery.

 

A stylists chair is equivalent to that of therapist, a hairapist is what my mentor Kate used to call us.

 

I want to bring that back.

 

Bring the value back to the appointments, to when we built genuine & sincere relationships with our clients. To when we saw them as more than just $$$$$ walking through the door. To when we shared the best and absolute worst days with them and actually made a conscious effort to remember it. To realizing people aren’t just paying you for hair, but rather paying you for a feeling. To leave our chairs feeling fucking epically fantastic. So let’s stop the shitty unfulfilling chit chat, keep our hangover stories to ourselves (like pop a tic tic and layer new makeup over last nights makeup if that’s your thing 🤷🏼‍♀️) and as stylists, lets all remind ourselves why we are able to enjoy our less conventional lifestyle. 

 

OUR CLIENTS. 

 

Without them you don’t get to replace the iPhone screen you’ve cracked so many times you’ve lost count.  

 

Spend a painful amount on clothes at Aritzia....just to splatter them with bleach. 

 

Buy the Tom Ford lipstick no one will realize is Tom Ford but you.  

 

To get lashes so thick it looks like you had a fight with your liner pen. Also can someone explain this trend to me? Why do you want your lashes to look like a peacocks bottom....? 

 

To give Starbucks 3/4 of our paychecks. 

 

Buy ALL of homesense. Like all of it🙌🏻

 

To put our gremlins in daycare, upgrade our house, splurge on a car or go on vacation.  

 

WE are nothing & have nothing without our clients.  

 

Repeat that.  

Remember it.  

Don’t fucking forget it.  

 

 AM xx