Recently I took a new leap into my journey as a hair artist, and it has taught me a lot about myself, and what we all are really capable of if we push ourselves outside of our comfort zones. Over the years in this industry I have been lucky enough to work with some truly wonderful people and companies, but in the past few years I have come to really appreciate and see the depth of what L’Oreal Professionnel brings to the world of hair. Now, this isn’t a sales’ pitch, I promise, I merely just to share my recent experiences with this company and the transformative personal growth that they have brought me. I really think that important insights can be taken from my experiences, not only for those inside the beauty industry, but also for anyone simply wanting to change how they see the world and the people in it.
I have learned throughout life that allowing my creative side to flourish is the foundation of happiness for me. What began as art and music classes growing up, was followed by years practicing interior design in Chicago, and has now led to me exploring my inspirations with hair and color. This passion has over time honed in on a specific company, who I feel are one of the great global leaders in technology and innovation: L’Oreal Professionnel. They offer a unique opportunity to spread the joy that being creative gives me, and present a path for their artists to evolve, grow, and connect to others of like mind and spirit. So I took a leap of faith and decided to try to join this inspiring company.
The whole process started by first putting together an audition video, passing an interview, and then receiving a formal invitation. The invitation itself was a prestigious (and terrifying) offer to join a group of talented artists and immerse myself into the fascinating world of L’Oreal Professionnel alongside them. For six days I sat with people who were initially strangers, but are now friends, as we shared our fears, learned technical information, vocabulary, and presentation techniques and skills that pushed us all way past our personal comfort zones.
Outside of the technical aspects of this program, there were things I learned that I feel are universal to success and happiness in life for everyone. First is that no matter what our background is, we all possess a drive that is really not that different from those around you. I sat in a room of incredibly talented individuals and realized that everyone has something to contribute to the world, and that one’s past experiences are just as important in their journey as the person next to them, no matter how minor they may initially seem.
To learn that Glenda is Trisha Yearwood's stylist, and Michelle works on the set of Nashville, and Mary Jo was just featured in a magazine spread, to the inspiring tales of getting to work with the incredible Jo Blackwell and countless other nationally known artists in our industry. Don’t ever discount the life experiences of the person sitting next to you, because as big or small as it may seem to you, I am quite sure that you will learn something from them if you just open up to it.
But the most important thing I learned there is that stepping outside of your comfort zone is the hardest, and best, thing you can ever do for yourself. I will always remember when David Brown, the director of Columbus Harmony Project Choir, told me, “When I have been given choices along life's journey, one being a comfortable safe choice and the other uncomfortable, which ultimately stems from fear, I choose the uncomfortable choice.”
This choice I made to expand my thinking and challenge my fears alongside my fellow artists at L’Oreal Professionnel has changed my life and really allowed me to grow. I feel so grateful for this experience, the tremendous people I’ve met through it, and who it has helped me become, both professionally and personally. Recently a client asked me how my trip was and I told them that it was simply the hardest and most rewarding experience I’ve had in my career.
I really can’t wait to see what happens from here.