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Hello beautiful boss babes! My name is Kathleen.  I have been in the hair industry for eight years now, and I still am absolutely in love with what I do. My love for the industry originated when I took the cosmetology program at Paul Kane High School. Shortly after starting grade 10, I decided to enroll with the Registered Apprenticeship Program, starting my apprenticeship at a small local salon and I was on my way, building towards my career. In my grade 11 year I was the victim of bad high school bullying, so I decided to graduate early by fast tracking all of my high school classes. Shortly after, I decided to challenge the hair program at Eveline Charles Academy, graduating at the age of 17, and quickly earning my Red Seal Certification at the age of 18. Fast forward over six years, and I now own a hair salon called The Hair Lounge in St.Albert.

What inspired you to start your own business?

Since the beginning of my career as a hairstylist I had worked in the same small, less than 500 square foot, salon. After seven years I started to feel as though I had no room left to grow where I was working. I was suffering from bad anxiety even just heading to work every single day because I didn’t know how I was going to be treated from day to day by the owner, you can say I was beyond fed up. I was at the point that I wanted to quit hair, but in the back of my mind I knew hair was still my passion, I just had to move on. Long story short, I ended up getting fired for having a dream of potentially opening my own salon. I was left with no job, and still had bills to pay. Let’s just say that lit a fire under my butt. Getting fired gave me the push I needed (that and my fiancé constantly telling me “you can do this Kathleen!”), and in that moment I decided I was never going to work for someone again. In less than 17 days, I got keys to a building, and we were fully renovated. I guess what I am saying is, as unfortunate as it was, I had to hit rock bottom before I could start building, but the thing about rock bottom, is it makes for a pretty darn strong foundation to build off of.

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What is your best boss babe moment?

Actually, this moment wasn’t until very recently. Although I have been fortunate enough to have a very successful career from day one, I did not realize how much support I had until opening The Hair Lounge on June 1, 2017. My best boss babe moment was when The Hair Lounge turned one this past June. One year of successfully working for myself. One year of hustle (honestly, I never leave the salon). One year of confirmation. One year of “yes, Kathleen, you can truly do this.”

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Why do you love being an entrepreneur?

In this day & age, honestly who isn’t trying to be a female entrepreneur, and I love it. Why wouldn’t we want to try to be the best we can be for ourselves? I absolutely love the support I get from co boss babes, and I will always do anything in my power to support other entrepreneurs. Being a female entrepreneur is so rewarding in many ways. Although, anyone who tells you that working for yourself is amazing because you can work less hours, have holidays whenever you would like, etc. is totally lying to you. Working for yourself is amazing, but it is A LOT more work in the first few years. You don’t get many vacation days, and you work a lot more hours without the extra pay. But, I can personally say, being an entrepreneur is probably the most rewarding thing thus far in my lifetime. I get to make my own rules, and if you ask any of the girls that work with me, they will tell you, I don’t like rules.

Professional goal for your business?

I am currently in the process of making an online shop for The Hair Lounge so clients don’t have to leave the comfort of their own home to be able to have our professional products in their hands. Also in the works is our “Local Company Shop” where we do a two month rotation in store of goodies from other local companies. I love the idea of supporting local so I feel like this is a great way to get other small companies names out there.

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Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. In my past there have been a TON of bumps in the road, and I can honestly say that I appreciate [almost] every single one of them because without the bumps I probably would not be where I am today. You have to be able to hold onto the bumps that will push you into being the best you can be, but also let go of the bumps that may hold you back. My hope is to encourage & motivate anyone into being the best they can be, and to stand behind & encourage any co-YEGBOSSBABES!

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All photos by Sara Jewell Photography – www.sarajewellphotography.com

Facebook link – www.facebook.com/t8nhairlounge

Instagram – business @the.hairlounge

                       Personal @hairbykatleenaa

Website – www.t8nhairlounge.com

When do you make those big decisions like, ‘When do I actually start up my business or next venture?’ or, ‘How do I know it’s the right time to switch things up and take that next step?’

There never seems to be a good time for big decisions. But if you wait until that ‘perfect’ time, you will be waiting forever.

So, how do you know it’s the right time?!

By listening to your gut, planning, saving, talking to your support team, and if you’re like me: a lot of praying.

Whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re deciding: make a solid plan. What are your goals? What is your timeline and budget? And how will you achieve all of this?

What are you doing in the meantime to work towards that goal?

Big goals take big work. A lot of times we have to do things we don’t want to, to get us to a certain point. So, what are you willing to do?

To me, that is what being an entrepreneur is. It’s the tough stuff. The keep you up at night, can’t shut your brain off, what’s my next move mentality.

YES, the appeal for a lot of us as business owners is to do what we want when we want, but let me tell you there is so much more to it.

When is it time to push through something because it’s so worth it? When is it time to take a break because you’re burnt out? Or, when is it time to actually move on to the next idea or plan? These are things only you can decide. If you do your due diligence, put a lot of planning and thought into it, and listen to your gut, those big decisions won’t seem so scary.

Remember, just because we’re entrepreneurs, we don’t always get to do whatever we want. Tackle those tough jobs, persevere, and take some risks.

You never know where it will take you!

xo Amy

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The business I have created is called Sober Saturdayz. I work hard to plan really rad, alcohol-free events around YEG! I’ve teamed up with some of Edmonton’s most amazing restaurants and bars to build community and implement non-alcoholic options into their establishments. Although this business is on the up-rise now, the brainstorming started at a very young age. I grew up in an abusive home this includes physical, verbal and substance abuse. I saw first hand how alcohol altered my family and I felt first hand how it started to deteriorate my own personality. I became obsessed with the idea of how to help my family, reading numerous self-help books, researching resources online and reaching out to advocates. Even though I put in so much time and energy, I felt like I had hit a dead end. I became frustrated with the fact that I was unable to save or cure some of my family members and that lead to my own binge drinking. Things were dark and felt helpless for a little while but eventually when I began to help myself, my passion project arose! Its amazing how things line up when you start taking care of yourself, and that was the birth of Sober Saturdayz.

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Growing up I always knew I would own my own business and that I would help people rekindle the fire within themselves. I just didn’t know how, I tried a few different things but nothing ever came to full fruition. It always felt like I was forcing things, until Sober Saturdayz came around. Initially it was me and another friend who brainstormed ideas, but slowly the project became too big of an idea and I was alone. I knew I was relatable because of what I had been through and I knew I needed this project just as much as this project needed me.

“The goal is to become a little more awake and aware each day. You have come too far to fall back asleep dear sister. Weave your wisdom. Search for ways to wake up”.

Besides the Sober Saturdayz project I am also in school to become an Acupuncturist. I Will finish my Degree by march 2020, this is my toughest goal and will take the most dedication!

I was lucky enough to have a meeting with some of the crew at Start Up Edmonton, they are really good at breaking things down into easy(er) steps. The ability to hold (sold out) events every month is goal one. Finding the most delicious non-alcoholic products is goal two. Collecting resources for addictions and other support in the city and adding it to my website is goal 3. Integrate DELICIOUS non-alcoholic beverages into local establishments is goal 4 and creating my own non-alcoholic product is goal 5. Man that feels good to write down!

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There have been more than many times where I wanted to end things. My own mental and physical health played a big part, lack of support from friends added to that and then dealing with my own family was the icing on the cake. Dealing with it all was gross, I’m not going to lie about that. I lost some friends, had to spend a lot of time alone and take risks that I didn’t feel brave or capable enough to take. But here we are, and seriously if I can do it, so can you.

I knew things were going to be okay when I started getting attention from the press. When CBC radio messaged me, followed by an interview on CityTV news and then a 15 min convo with Ryan Jesperson. This showed me that importance of my project and that I wasn’t the only person hungry for change!

I definitely get the best responses from people/community on Instagram. But facebook has been really great for media to get in contact, I think they’re both important platforms to use. I don’t mess with Twitter, I think that will lead to me spreading myself thin. Also I have to say WIX has been THE BEST for creating a webpage. It the only site that was easy enough for me to use and with the layouts I needed!

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Finding balance with work and school and Sober Saturdayz has been a ride for sure. Not drinking DEFINITELY helped with that. For me it was really important for me to do things slowly and on my own time. Staying in on weekends, getting enough sleep and long walks (without my phone) with my dog were seriously therapeutic. Not to mention baths with candles, essential oils and face masks. Because for some reason face masks always make me feel like I have my shit together!

The support within the YEGBOSSBABES community is what i’m most stoked about! The fact that we are encouraging one another and helping out with advice when we can (without judgment) is incredible. It’s a seriously amazing feeling seeing woman around you following their passion and glowing because of it!

Interested in being featured? Contact us at yegbossbabes@gmail.com