I had the opportunity to be a presenter at a Women’s Conference this past weekend.
The Boss Lady retreat, in New Smyrna Beach. What I thought was going to be an opportunity to touch at least one life and inspire one female entrepenuer (which is my life goal) turned into learning more about myself than anything.
I was given the platform to educate women who were looking for inspiration, education and empowerment. My favorite kind of fucking woman, I thought.
I worked on my presentation for a few months, I knew I was speaking about Cultivating a Culture of Customer Service, something I have done pretty well at (If I do say so myself). I knew the ins and outs, and I knew that I had valuable information to share. And I was stoked. I want to change the world, I want to touch people’s lives, I want to inspire. Blah blah blah.
But, I had also never taken a speech class, or built a power point. I was also first to get up there at 9:30 in the morning (which, on a normal day, I am not even awake…), and was left with a lot of faces, staring at me. All I could see was silhouettes and a couple of familiar faces in the front row. Holy. Shit.
Nevertheless, I persisted. Made a few jokes, delivered some valuable info, and took some questions. It was amazing. I have never felt more like a Boss, even though I educate every single day at my salon, whether its my team or my clients.
But then everyone else presented. I knew I was going to be presenting along with some inspiring women, but my mind was blown. A couple times, I was actually left thinking “okay, what the fuck am I doing with my life?” Especially when I had a chance to have a one-on-one with another presenter, whom I admire greatly, and she told me some of the mistakes I was making in my branding concept. What. The. Fuck. That wasn’t even an aspect of my business I had thought about. I have a culture, we specialize in making the best hair ever affordable and accessible in a little beach town, we drink, laugh and play. I knew what my brand was. Right? Didn’t I?
Well, shut the hell up, Ashly. You know nothing. But knowing nothing felt so great! I was like this little sponge, ready to take it all in.
I learned that I have spent so much time worrying about my business that I seem to have forgotten one vital fact: I want to change my industry, and the way stylists treat each other.
Dollface Hair Refinery seems to pretty self-sustainable. We aren’t changing much here, maybe a couple little things. We are going to rock out some awesome hair, and do it well. Period.
The Men’s Refinery, our ‘brother’ salon, is coming along nicely and I spend a little time daily or every few days building an employee manual, designing what our interior will be and developing a curriculum for my staff (which I don’t even have yet, oh shit.) for when we open in a couple months.
And then there is me. It would seem that in building my salons, I seem to have forgotten that I need to be fulfilled. I need to be doing something to give back. I need to help other women grow into confident, successful stylists. I developed a bit of an education platform when I opened, and trained a stylist who blows my mind sometimes with her talent in just 2.5 years of being licensed.
But, isn’t it kind of self-serving to keep all these secrets, and what’s the point, if all I am going to do is train my ‘babies’ and send them off into the salon to build their clientele? That’s stupid.
I work in a shitty industry. The beauty industry is not for the weak, and most stylists spend so much time tearing each other apart and saying awful things. But what’s worse is we keep secrets of success from each other. WTF? Who does that? No one, this is the only industry, and its stupid. Hair stylists can be some of the most stagnant, selfish people. No one in their right mind should want to see other people fail. Like, ever. If you do, you are an asshole.
And, I am going to change that. I am going to educate. I am going to use my platform as a Boss Lady in this beauty industry to change our standards. I have to. No one else wants to, and its ugly. I don’t want to be associated with selling beauty in such an ugly industry.
I want to lift other women and stylists to feel like every single day is the best day of their career, and give them the tools to do it. I want to educate, and create an encouraging network of women who can help get each other to the top.
I have a plan. And I am going to change the way the world sees stylists. I don’t have any other choice. I was moved this weekend, and reminded why I wanted to be in the industry in the first place.
So, while I have always been Dollface, its time I turn that into something that shifts people’s minds and means something.
I learned, through presenting and speaking to a room full of women about my belief in the importance of a culture, that I want to help change the world. I don’t care if you tell me I can’t, or I won’t. Because you don’t know shit… I am capable, I am a bad ass, I am a boss lady, and I can do whatever the hell I want. If you don’t want to grow, no one can help you. If you don’t want to learn, then you’re going to be left behind.
And if you don’t to change, then you are part of the problem.
So, today I am building a new brand, a new concept and a new outlook on how much I can do with a cosmetology license. And, I promise, it will be one that makes a difference in the world. Join me for the ride!