This week’s storyteller is my BFF’s mom/my second mom, Stephanie Fears! She owns The Cutting Edge (a hair salon) here in White Oak and she is easily one of my all-time favorite people.
Stephanie is one of the most compassionate, caring, and loving individuals to ever walk Planet Earth. Anyone who knows her would say the exact same thing.
Some of my most treasured memories involve trips to The Cutting Edge with Jess to hang out and visit with Steph! I have always loved watching her work.
God uses her every day at the salon, and I know He’ll use her story, too!
As a child, I had multiple things that I wanted to do and dreamt of being!
I wanted to be a poet (I loved rhyming)!
I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast. My parents tease and say they talked more to my feet than to my face because I was always flipping and flopping.
I wanted to win the limbo on roller skates and I practiced several times a week knowing someday I would be the best at “limbo lower now.”
But, most of all, I was a people pleaser at heart and loved making others feel good about themselves.
With that being said, I really loved cutting hair!
I would beg for barbie dolls only to scalp them. I even gave an occasional midnight haircut to my siblings as they lay peacefully sleeping in their beds.
My parents would hide all the scissors in the home for fear of my impulse cutting urges.
I took cosmetology in high school my junior and senior year. I had my license by the time I graduated. It’s what I had always wanted to do and the school offered vocational programs and I jumped on it! I did everyone’s hair for prom…except mine obviously (looking back on those photos, I was a total wreck, lol!).
While I was building up my clientele, I worked at funeral homes doing hair (yep…you read that right! I did deceased people’s hair for years! They never complained, bahaha!).
For 16 weeks, I didn’t have a single client.It was somewhat miserable!
I washed towels for the whole salon. A lot of towels! I answered phones, cleaned the salon, “paid my dues” if you will. I shadowed the seasoned stylists trying to learn from watching and asking questions. Let’s see…I became creative with incentives trying to appeal to new customers! I made flyers with coupons on them and went to local businesses placing them under hundreds of windshield wipers, created a “refer a friend” incentive, and handed out business cards EVERYWHERE I went.
But the patience paid off.
After that dry spell, I wouldn’t quite say the flood gates opened! But, once a few people gave me a chance…word of mouth began slowly building the business that I still love to go to 26 years later!
For the most part, I have always done hair in some capacity. Whether it was putting barrettes in my baby brother’s hair (before he knew to resist ), giving haircuts as a child to both willing and unwilling participants, hair for prom or weddings, your final debut in the earthly form, or becoming the licensed professional required by state law to make a living doing what I loved.
I was able to follow those dreams so easily because I had an amazing family and friends that believed in me and were willing to look past some of the horrible experiences of some botched haircuts.
I completely failed at all of the things I felt like a total Rockstar on…like being the “queen” of the skating rink and the Mary Lou Retton of my time!
Ironically, the one thing I was horrible at as a child (doing a symmetric haircut that wasn’t to the scalp), is what I am still passionate about to this day!
I LIKE going to work every day and using my skills to make everyone feel better about their physical self-image. But, I LOVE going to work every day and having personal relationship time with my client family!
The hair is just a part of what we do behind the chair — we have an opportunity to build up, encourage, and even challenge their spiritual self-image (and vice versa).
I will never regret the relationships built, the laughter and joy that is shared during a high time, the tears that flow during a shared heartbreaking low time, the celebration of milestones of each other’s families, and lifting each other up in prayers!
Those are the true points of gratification for a hairstylist…client satisfaction and beautiful hair are an added bonus!
That is the true treasure of my job…the hearts of my clients!
Here’s why it matters…
1. Failure is a necessary part of the journey if we’ll choose to learn and grow from it.
Steph didn’t let a few uneven haircuts keep her from fulfilling her longing to cut hair for a living! Instead, she continued to practice — on her friends, on her sleeping siblings, on the deceased (LOL).
She worked until she became a professional in her field.
Too often, we throw in the towel when things don’t seem to be going our way. We let a few failed attempts define our talent. As a result, we miss out on a grand adventure.
We expect to be the World’s Greatest right away…but good things take time. In order to be the World’s Greatest, we must first be the World’s Not-So-Good But Getting Better.
Failure does not have the last say. You do.
If we’re truly passionate about something, we will continue to pick ourselves up after we’ve fallen. We’ll take note of what we did wrong/where we messed up and make it a point to do better the next time around.
As Denis Waitley stated, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
2. Big things happen when we choose to show up anyway despite not seeing the results we want at first.
Mrs. Stephanie didn’t have a single client for 16 weeks. THAT IS 4 MONTHS, PEOPLE.
I asked Steph how she felt during that time. She responded, “I thought I had made a horrible mistake and wondered if I’d ever have a business. I didn’t want to be a failure. I was too determined to give up, so I just dug my heels in and worked other paying jobs at night and on weekends hoping someone would call or walk in every day. Not doing hair was not an option.”
There are going to be days when we are the only person who believes in us and what we are capable of achieving (aside from those in our inner circle who have our back no matter what). We’ll feel hopeless and like we’ve made a terrible, terrible mistake.
It is during those times we have to show up anyway. We MUST show up anyway.
If we don’t, we’ll live the rest of our lives never knowing what could’ve been.
But if we do…we’ll have a great story to tell.
Decide now that not doing what you’re passionate about (in some shape or form) is not an option.
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