0:49 - Meet Stephanie 1:37 - Stephanie discusses when she first realized she loved hair and makeup 2:29 - Jessica and Stephanie discuss the 'hairdresser effect' and how much they value the conversations with customers in their fields 3:32 - "And really, I look at it as like, an artist might use a canvas, or they might use skin; my medium is hair and I just love it." - Stephanie 5:42 - Stephanie and Jessica discuss things to think about when considering beauty school 10:01 - Jessica and Stephanie discuss how even their least thought out tattoos or piercings have meaning to them 12:20 - Stephanie dives into what it's like balancing motherhood and being an entrepreneur 14:38 - Jessica and Stephanie discuss the importance of self-care 16:40 - "It's amazing how each stage of life presents different things and you learn that you like different things." - Stephanie 21:00 - Stephanie talks about her favorite piercing 22:24 - Stephanie wraps up the interview by discussing how she went from never wanting piercings or tattoos to loving them
"I just want people to be happy and feel good about themselves.”- Stephanie
Jessica: Hello, friends! I'm excited to introduce you to Stephanie. She's been a huge inspiration to me personally starting out as my hairdresser when I was 12 and becoming a family friend. You were actually the first person to introduce me to the wonderful world of hair color and body art and I remember seeing your colorful sleeve and hair and what a Boss Lady you are, and I have obviously adopted at some of those choices for myself so, I have a lot of questions for you and I guess I just start with why don't you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Stephanie: Where to begin? Well, I grew up in a small town really conservative, so it was kind of crazy to branch out of that, I guess. I actually, when I was younger was always, like, I'm never gonna have tattoos. I don't like that. I don't want to have any piercings. And then I'm not really sure what happened. My first tattoo, I got it as a memorial for my dad after he passed away and it's really true what they say when you get one, you just have to keep getting them and that's what happened.
Jessica: That's awesome. What led you to do hair and makeup?
Stephanie discusses when she first realized she loved hair and makeup
Stephanie: So when I was like, five, my dad was sick my whole life so he couldn't go play outside with us and do all the active things that dads do a lot and so one way that I spent time with him was he would lay in his recliner and I would bring over a kitchen chair to sit on and one to put my stuff on a glass full of water, a comb and some ponytails and brats and stuff and I would play with his hair while he took a nap. It was one of my favorite things to do and ever since then, I always wanted to do hair.
Source:www.vividlotussalon.com and www.justjessicajune.com
Jessica: That's awesome.
Jessica: That is so cool. I had no idea that you did that. That is really really fun.
Stephanie: Yeah, it's one of my best memories because it's relaxing to get your hair worked on so he loved it and I love doing it, so we did it all the time.
Jessica and Stephanie discuss the 'hairdresser effect' and how much they value the conversations with customers in their fields
Jessica: That's awesome. When you see a customer come in, and they have an idea you are an artist, and that's one of my favorite things about coming to you is I'm always like, Okay, so this is how I'm feeling and this is what's going on in my life and I just need some help and you always seem to know how to put the pieces together so that I leave feeling like myself. Would you talk a little bit about that process from a creative standpoint? What it's like to have a customer come in and just share, we share secrets with you. You become family.
"And really, I look at it as like, an artist might use a canvas, or they might use skin; my medium is hair and I just love it." - Stephanie
Stephanie: Yeah, so I mean, a lot of it just starts with the fact that I am very social and I love people and I love talking to people and I think that everybody, no matter who you are has a story to tell and I love to hear the stories and you know, just things that people have done in their lives or whatever it is so it kind of starts there and just enjoying talking to people and hearing what they're about and what they like and all of that stuff and really, I look at it as like, an artist might use a canvas, or they might use skin. My medium is hair and I just love it. I love to try new things and create different looks and all sorts of things, so at the end of the day, it really boils down to I just want people to be happy and feel good about themselves and it's just a fun challenge to do that and try to make people really feel good about what they look like.
Jessica: That's awesome, and your personal style is very bold and colorful and what is your favorite kind of, I guess, when you do a hair, if I were to come in be like okay, do whatever you want, what would be your go to for inspiration like, what would you do?
Stephanie: So my favorite thing to do is fashion color because I love it but really, any kind of color. Color is my favorite just because there's so much you can do with it and so many directions and shades of color and it's just that type of challenge I really like taking on, but I guess at the end of the day, it really just is I just love to make people feel good. So if they let me do whatever I want, that's really exciting because I get more creative freedom, but also even just someone bringing a picture and saying I want it to look like this and the challenge of recreating what they want it to look like is really fun too.
Jessica: And you're really good at it. Whatever I tell people like, Oh, you gotta go to Stephanie I just show her a picture and then I leave looking like that.
Stephanie: It's hard sometimes because you look at something, but it's attached to someone else's face and obviously, I am not gonna change your face so some people can really look at it and be like, wow! my hair look exactly the same and then some people are like, wait a minute, I don't look like that person so sometimes it gets a little crazy, but I always do my best.
Jessica: I can relate to that. Being a photographer, people come and say, I want this and I'm like, yes, but let's find what's best for you.
Stephanie: Right. Yes.
Stephanie and Jessica discuss things to think about when considering beauty school
Jessica: If someone were to come to you, you thought for a little bit.
Jessica: You thought for a little bit and so if someone were to come to you and be like, okay, I like hair and makeup. I'm thinking about being a cosmetologist and a hair stylist, what advice would you give them?
Stephanie: A big thing that I have run into just with talking to people in the past, is a lot of people think that it's just like, playing with hair all day and it's not. So, I guess some of my advice is to really think about the whole part of the job, you have to be on all day, you have to talk to people all day you have to be able to listen to people.
Stephanie: I think that's a complaint I hear from a lot of clients is that, well, you know, so and so just made me look like everybody else that leaves their chair and there's much more to it. There's a lot of psychology and all sorts of things that go into this job and the other thing would be is if someone's looking to go to school, and I think me and you have had this conversation even, that don't go to a school just because it has a name attached to it like, the most popular name or whatever because at the end of the day, the basics of beauty school you learn, probably at any beauty school, there may be some exceptions, but for the most part, that you really need to find an environment that fits you, not just a name that you know. Does that make sense?
Jessica: Yeah, no, it totally makes sense. Yeah, that's really good advice. I remember I've actually had many conversations with you about cosmetology and maybe that's a path that I'll take down the road because it's definitely something I'm passionate about, but life has led me here. That's like the one thing that I tied in from talking to you, I think when I was 15, I was like, I think I want to do this and you're like, Okay, but don't just go anywhere. Go somewhere you want to go?
Jessica: Okay, that's good advice.
Stephanie: That's a good advice for any job in general. The environment that you're going to spend so much time in matters, whether it's a salon or anything else, you have to find an environment that you're happy in because who wants to get up and go somewhere that you're unhappy all day?
Jessica: Exactly and it's gonna affect your creativity in the end anyways, because if you're not feeling fed creatively, you're not going to feed creatively.
Jessica: So we talked a little bit I guess about why you started with body modification, like you got your picture of your dad, but you continued it. So what led you, I know it's addicting because I've gotten addicted to it too. What about like going in and---it's like a bravery thing like you go in and you're like, this is my picture badass and you leave and you're inside feels a little bit more badass, even if you draw on yourself. Why did you keep going? Could you talk a little bit like you have piercings you have a full sleeve like, what kept you going?
Stephanie: I guess it really is the fact that it's art that I get to wear all the time. I used to do a lot of accessories like, when I was in high school and stuff I wore headbands and barrettes and necklaces and bracelets and all sorts of stuff and as I've gotten older, partially just because I'm busy working, but now I'm busy with 800 children. I don't even have to think about putting on accessories because I have them. So I think that's a lot of it. I used to do a lot of piercings which I do love piercings but as I've gotten older and with kids and stuff, I don't really, really know why but I obviously I took a bunch of them out.
Jessica and Stephanie discuss how even their least thought out tattoos or piercings have meaning to them
Stephanie: I guess I just woke up one day and I was like, I kind of overdose, but I really like this one so-
Stephanie: I really love it, too. Yeah. It's just expression, really.
Stephanie: Every tattoo that I have means something to me in some way or another. I wouldn't say it's because I'm super picky about what I get. I don't want to ever think oh, why I get that? I want it to be something that matters.
Jessica: Yeah, it's the same for me. I have been tattooed behind my ear, which I'm sure my mom has told you a little bit about how she feels.
Jessica: I got a meme tattooed behind my ear and it's Shavacado. Have you seen that?
Stephanie: I don't know what that is.
Jessica: Well, Taco Del Mar did a sign that said free avocado, but they spelled it wrong so it looks like free Shavacado.
Jessica: And I got that tattoo behind my ear.
Stephanie: That's awesome!
Jessica: I'm a little bit like though, it wasn't my most thought out tattoo. To be completely honest, it was not my most thought out and I think that's okay and I think that's okay for our listeners to hear is that, I wouldn't call it a mistake though, because even though it is ridiculous, and it's funny, and my mom hates it. I got it with my best friends and she was going through a really hard time in her life and part of her feeling more like herself was both of us getting this really ridiculous tattoo very close to her face and it's gonna be there forever and I'm going to look at it in some days, I'm gonna be like, I have avocado tattooed behind my ear, and it's spelled wrong and other days I'm going to look at it and be like, you know, I was there for friends.
Stephanie: I actually recently got a tattoo behind my ear and it's one of my favorites.
Jessica: Oh is it? Can I see it?
Jessica: Oh, I love it!
Stephanie: And I just got this one.
Jessica: Oh, yes!
Stephanie: And Brandon got Minnesota.
Jessica: Oh, that's cute.
Stephanie: We got it for our one year anniversary.
Jessica: I can't believe it's been a year.
Stephanie: I know. It's crazy.
Stephanie dives into what it's like balancing motherhood and being an entrepreneur
Jessica: This whole life journey has been crazy. You're a mom of six now.
Jessica: Just a whirlwind which kind of brings me to my next question and that is you balance family and vocation exceptionally well. You might not be [inaudible 12:37] because you're constantly balancing it.
Stephanie: Thank you.
Jessica: I see you chasing your dreams. I was there to photograph your wedding. I see how much do you love your husband, you know and I also see how much you pour in to those kids and you love them, all the ones that are biologically yours and the ones that are not and there is no way that you would know you were a blended family from the outside and you just balance it so well and you started two businesses that have been extremely successful. I think you're rocking it and so if someone were to come to you and be like, hey, Stephanie, I am balancing my life and I'm trying to balance my dream and I'm having a really hard time.
Stephanie: That I am also having a hard time. Every day is a new adventure. I tried to look at it as an adventure because that's better than like a nightmare or something. It's hard. It's really, really hard, but you just have to get up every day and do the best that you can and I would say that right now is has been the biggest struggle probably of my life just with not being able to work and not having any income and yet we just bought a house and have to put all this money into it and the kids are home all the time now and I'm finding myself homeschooling, which I never wanted to sign up for. So no matter what's going on, every day is gonna be a struggle balancing all the things we have to balance. You just have to do your best and try to take care of the things you need to take care of. If you didn't get to something, it's gonna wait for you so just let it go and try to take care of yourself because self-care is really really important for everybody.
Jessica and Stephanie discuss the importance of self-care
Jessica: Yeah, what's your go-to for self-care? I know you're really busy.
Stephanie: Honestly, I get really, really excited when I can lay on the couch and put a mask on my face and a little over a year ago maybe, I can't remember exactly when it was, but I started getting my nails done.
Jessica: I love your nails!
Stephanie: Thank you! It's not something that I ever really put the time into before and honestly, I don't really like sitting to have them done, but it makes me feel really good when they're done. So those are the two things that I would say I consistently put the time in to do and then here and there, I'll do other stuff but that's about what I get on the regular.
Jessica: That's awesome! This is weird, because I've spent like the past three years of my life going, can we just have a universal life pause, please? and can someone send me free money? And we're experiencing a universal life pause and I got my stimulus check yesterday. Okay, so I got both the things I want but I realized that's not actually what I want, was wanting or needing. I think what I wanted and needed was the motivation to connect with people.
Jessica: And that has been eye opening during the time when it's really hard to physically connect with people-
Jessica: -but it has definitely taught me a lot about myself, and that my self-care is going for walks and I hate exercise.
Jessica: I don't know why that has been the thing that brings a smile to my face, but it is that in being outside. My whole life, I hate going outside, I will avoid the sun at all costs, I do not want to go in the pool. Do not ask me to sit outside where the sun is and now I'm like, sunshine and exercise is like, I wake up in the morning, Sean's looking at me, he's like, Who are you? And I'm like, I don't know but this is who I am now and I'm like, get your running shoes on, we're going for a walk.
"It's amazing how each stage of life presents different things and you learn that you like different things.”- Stephanie
Stephanie: It's amazing how each stage of life presents different things and you learn that you like different things and I've always known that I love to be around people and I love talking to people but I'm really learning through this how important that is to me because like you said, I am hardcore, struggling being at home and not being able to connect with. I have plenty of people at home to connect but it's different.
Jessica: Yeah, I totally understand, like, I see Sean every day, and I love getting to see him and talk to him but I miss my customers as weird as that. I think I've talked about it on every single call. I'm like, I miss the people in the store and it's not the business that I miss. It's like, because being doing hair and makeup, they come in and they tell me very, very private, almost like sacred secrets and I miss that connection.
Stephanie: Yup, me too.
Jessica: Yeah, it's actually why I started these calls is I was telling our owner about how much I missed it. He's like, well, why don't you just start talking to our customers and I was like, that is great idea.
Stephanie: That's awesome!
Jessica: You should definitely start doing that. And so I guess you didn't touch on you went through many different seasons of life and some have been very, very hard and challenging. When you first started, what were some, I guess really for everything not just creative but like personal wise and with COVID, when you face those challenges, what is your approach? Do you do soul searching or do you just kind of like okay, let me put on my boot strings and I just go through it, if someone were to come to you with a similar story, what kind of outpouring would you get?
Stephanie: I mean, everything's been a little bit different. In the past, I've gone through challenges where you just keep going, you don't even think about what you're doing. You just keep going because that's all you can do. Especially, when I got divorced and all sorts of things but this one has been different than any challenge that I've been through because through every other challenge, I've been able to keep working and keep connecting and being creative and all that stuff. We closed on our house on March 25 and the salon was shut down on March 23 so it literally happened at the same time, so I almost think I haven't had a whole lot of time to even, I mean, I think about it, I guess, and I struggle with it, but we're just so busy. I mean, we literally painted every wall, some ceiling, all the trim, furniture, we ripped up carpet, there's new carpet down, there's other ones coming in, we painted this big fireplace and we are busy doing how stuff pretty much all day every day and at the end of the day we sit there and go, "hoo!" And then we go to sleep and we get up and we start again.
Jessica: I think that's the best way to go.
Stephanie: I mean, I feel very fortunate that the timing worked out the way that it did that at least if I can't be working, that I have lots of things to do, to keep me busy, because I don't know what I would do if I didn't have anything else to do. Every challenge is different, you just have to do your best. You know, at the end of the day, we can only do what we can do, and that's different for everybody but I just, again, tell people to just keep going, do your best, you know, and try to take care of yourself.
Jessica: Yeah, I mean, that's really all you can do and then because we were a piercing shop, I've been asking everybody, what is your favorite piercing? I know you've taken a lot of them out. You had your lip pierced. You had your eyebrows pierced. But what was your favorite one? I guess probably your septum.
Stephanie: I mean at different points, the first thing I got pierced was my eyebrow and I loved having my eyebrow pierced and then I got it pierced again. I think was my next one. No, my lip was next. I loved my lip piercing, I loved having two in my eyebrow, I never thought I'd get a septum piercing and now I love it. My first eyebrow piercing came out because I took them out to wax my eyebrows and my nails were too long that I couldn't get it back in myself and we're just busy. So it was like, I don't know, a week or something that it was out and one of them closed and I couldn't get it back through and I was really sad, I cried about it. It was like two weeks later, I was like actually I'm gonna take the rest of them out. So I would say throughout different points of my life, they've all been my favorite at one time but I really love my septum piercing now.
Jessica: I really like it too. It's super cute.
Stephanie: Thank you!
Jessica: So you said in the beginning that you grew up in a very small town that was very conservative and the idea of any sort of modification, you're like, that is ridiculous. I would never do that. How did you get here from there?
Stephanie wraps up the interview by discussing how she went from never wanting piercings or tattoos to loving them
Stephanie: I probably I would say that I was a little bit influenced by my older sister. She had an eyebrow piercing and a tongue piercing when I was still in school and I never was interested in a tongue piercing they kind of freaked me out so that was never something I wanted but I really liked her eyebrow piercing and I think just the creative side of me, I wanted to do something and so I started with my eyebrows because that didn't seem that scary and again, it was like once I had one, I just wanted more. I love decorations. I like decorations in my house. I like decorations on my butt. What can I say?
Jessica: I agree. That's all I have too. My first big piercing I think was my septum that I got here at Avantiand I remember being like, because I was like you and you met my parents. And my mom has her nosepierced and she's like the wild parents and then I have my dad who's like, why would you pierce your nose? And why would you? Colorful hair is cool but like you have red hair. Your hair is naturally colorful and I remember getting my septumpierced and I am being afraid to tell my parents so I tell my sister and tell her to keep it a secret and then my mom would be like, can you stop telling your sister to keep your piercings secret?
Tether Jewelry | 'Rift' Septum Cuff
Tether Jewelry | 'Carbonado' Septum Cuff
Tether Jewelry | 'Echo' Septum Cuff
Stephanie: Oh man! When I got my eyebrows pierced my mom; my dad had passed away already and my mom was like, your dad's gonna roll over on his grave so she doesn't love it and every time I see her for probably the first 10 years after I started beauty school, she'd be like, is your hair normal color now? I am like, Mom, No. She's accepted it now, 15 years later, but it's not her favorite.
Jessica: Yes. My mom too. I'm like, Mom, see? It wasn't a phase. I am still this person in my 20s. It's only gotten more extreme. Now, I made a career out of it but yeah, I guess for anyone listening, there is hope your parents will come around.
Stephanie: They will.
Jessica: All right! Well, thank you so much for your time, Stephanie, for sharing your heart for giving your answers and diving back in the past with me.
Jessica: I hope you have a great rest of your day and enjoy this universal life pause while you paint.
Stephanie: Thank you. You too.
Jessica: All right, well, I'll talk soon.
Stephanie: Okay, bye!
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