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.
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.”
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.
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!
All photos by Sara Jewell Photography – www.sarajewellphotography.com
Facebook link – www.facebook.com/t8nhairlounge
Instagram – business @the.hairlounge
Website – www.t8nhairlounge.com