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A glimpse into what its like as a fellow Thriver.

Kate and I belong to a group called Thrivers Society, in which we joined last year in April of 2019. Thrivers is an elite group comprised of hairstylists, salon owners, booth and rental suite owners who took it upon themselves to improve the quality of both their personal and professional livelihoods. We joined last year after hearing Owner, Marketing Strategist and Salon Coach, Britt Seva talk about the do's and don'ts of working in this industry. Britt and her team, are dedicated to providing stylists like us, with the tools and resources necessary to build a thriving business, no matter what phase of your career you're at.

Our stories are similar in the sense that we both knew something had to change. We were itching to learn more about the business aspect of our industry. Our first taste was Britt's free week long boot camp last year in April, and man were we hooked! I think we both knew our next step was to become Thrivers. Something that day told me, I was heading down the right path.

In January of this year, before the rapid spread of COVID-19, both Kate and I traveled to Southern California to attend our very first, "Thrivers Live." Britt was the host, along with many other motivational and key note speakers in the line up. The feeling of excitement, butterflies and emotions were at an exhilarating high, and we felt so honored to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We met so many amazing people and cultivated lasting friendships, that to this day we still keep in contact, and are so glad we stayed in touch with.

Thrivers Society has changed so many stylists in many different and positive aspects. Our trip to California solidified any doubts we had about traveling out West, after we heard Britt say we were meant to be here. We stayed for a total of five days, two of those days we attended Thrivers Live. The last three days of our visit in Irvine, we hung out with a different crew each night, and had so much fun getting to know them on a personal level! We support each other, we check in with each other, and basically network from different parts of the country. It's not just a bunch of hair peeps chilling, we are a community!

With the recent changes in our industry, Britt and her team have been a guiding source of information and support since the start of this pandemic. Last week, she announced that she would be hosting the first ever TS (Thrivers Society) Connect Calls. This space was created to help us connect with fellow stylists and/or salon owners about everything and anything we were feeling, during these uncertain times. Let me just tell you, this was exactly what we all needed. We started off as strangers not knowing how or what to start talking about, to people coming together having real, honest conversations with each other. I think both Kate and I can agree, we met some really inspirational people on this call, and took away valuable information, which we then shared the next day amongst each other.

The webinar took place on Thursday evening, of last week. I had the opportunity to connect with a group of stylists from different parts of the country. There were over 500 participants joining in on this zoom and we were broken up into smaller groups. There were about six or seven us in a break room at a time. It was a little nerve wrecking, however all feelings aside, we all found common ground, eventually. It was probably one of the most wholehearted, palpable conversations I've had, with a group of like minded professionals in while. It was nice to hear their perspective on how COVID-19 has affected their lives.

I felt so inspired by this week's call, I wanted to reach out to a few of our hair besties, and asked them if they could spill the beans on what its been like for them since they've joined Thrivers. Not one of them regrets their decision to sign on and, their stories were the inspiration to this blog.

I met DeAnna, Thursday evening when we attended TS Connect Calls. DeAnna works in Danville, California and has been in the hair industry for 10+ years. She is also a Blonding Specialist, among many of her talents, and Hair Extensions Educator for HAUS OF HAIR. What drew me to DeAnna, while we were all chatting were the mannequins in the background, which she then went on to explain that earlier in the day she was teaching an extensions class. As a fellow educator, I just knew I had to hear her story!

Prior to joining Thrivers, she explained that she had a somewhat successful career as a hairstylist. She enjoyed working behind the chair and photographing her work for social media. "Even though those pieces were in place, I often found myself thinking, but "WHY" am I doing this? What is the point exactly? I also questioned the business side, the budgeting, planning and marketing, etc. I just remember asking years ago, while in beauty school where the chapter in our book was for "HOW" to run our business. I was shocked to hear the teacher say, "There is no chapter on that."

"Fast forward to 2018, when Britt Seva popped into my Facebook feed, I joined the free week long boot camp and was instantly hooked. Finally, I was getting the answers to the questions I had been asking myself over the years. I love how she is constantly adding to her program and answering our questions through her Facebook lives and podcast, "Thriving Stylist Podcasts." I found my people, I was so excited to be a part of something I knew was going to be a game changer for me." DeAnna's advice for hairstylists reading this, is if you have the opportunity to sign up for Britt's week long boot camp, try it and see if its for you. It has helped her with the way she manages and conducts business both as an educator and behind the chair. (For more information on HAUS OF HAIR EXTENSIONS and all of DeAnna's beautiful work, follow her on Instagram, @deanna.salon77west!)

Meet Ashley...Kate and I met Ashley on our trip to Irvine, in January of this year. Ashley was in the hotel lobby waiting for an uber, when Kate chimed in and asked if she wanted to share a ride with us. It was the first day of our two day business conference, and the waiting area was filled with dozens of hairstylists making transportation arrangements. Ashley also lives in Northern California and works in Benicia. She is a Blonding and Lived-In Color Specialist.

Ashley joined Thrivers Society in the fall of 2018, and it was one of the greatest decisions she made for her business, she confessed. Realization set in for Ashley, when she discovered that her marketing efforts needed just a little bit of a boost. She mentioned that, "I needed to take matters into my own hands and joining Thrivers Society has given me the foundational tools to build the clientele and work life balance I've always dreamed of. It has lit a fire inside of me to do big things, and to be unapologetic for it."

When all three of us met at Thrivers Live, our mindsets shifted which then allowed us to be open to so many opportunities that weekend. Ashley went further into explaining that, meeting so many amazing and like-minded stylists from around the country, allowed her to form meaningful friendships, which have been essential in sharing and communicating through any roadblocks they have all experienced these last few months. "It not only has been a life changing experience, but the further along you are into Thrivers, the better it gets. I love this tribe and am so proud to call myself a fellow Thriver." (You can follow all of Ashley's beautiful work on Instagram, @ashleylanierhair!)

Here's the beauty about working in this industry. We aren't just "playing with hair," we take on many roles to include, therapists, confidants, best friends, counselors, etc..., but the most important role we play, is that of a leader. When we signed up to become hairdressers, we added entrepreneurship to our job description. We chose to run our own small business. The responsibility of building your book. providing services, scheduling one-on-one consultations with your clients, tracking your sales and expenses, even scheduling your client's next visit, solely relies on you. That's right, you are the epitome of what it truly means to be an entrepreneur.

With that said, I want to introduce you Tarah. Kate and I met Tarah in California at Thrivers Live.

Tarah lives and works in Florida, and is a suite owner in Jacksonville. She joined TS (Thrivers Society) three years ago and is a Goldwell Master Colorist, specializing in Dimensional Color, Balayage and Blondes. Joining Thrivers and meeting Britt has impacted her business in such a profound way that not only changed her professional life, but personal one as well! "Being a Thriver has given me the direction and confidence to successfully build a business from the ground up. It has really helped me do everything with purpose, focus and intention. TS has also given me an incredible opportunity to connect with so many amazing and incredible like-minded hairstylists from around the country, in a unique and truly incredible movement."

Like so many of us entering this business, we were meant for more. I truly believe that our hard work, combined with dedication and creativity are key factors that not only fuel our passion, but our souls as well. Tarah's biggest "aha" moment, was discovering the power of changing your mindset! Since Thrivers, she's been learning how to get past self-imposed hurdles and obstacles, and in doing so have seen such exponential growth, both personally and professionally. Ask anyone who chooses this line of work, they'll tell you its more than just styling hair. It's a community, a culture of driven, motivated, ambitious and talented hairstylists honing in on their skills, and constantly perfecting their craft. (Check out Tarah's Instagram and follow @tarrahmatteihair for more of her story and beautiful work!)

These are just a few testimonials from some of the stylists I have met, this past year as a Thriver, who I now have the honor and privilege of knowing. I can't tell you how extremely grateful I am to have stumbled upon this amazing community. The experiences I've gained from the individuals I now call colleagues, have helped me through some really pivotal moments in my career. To share this opportunity along side with Kate, the owner of the salon I currently work at, is one of those influencing people. I am so thankful I can count on her, and so many of my wonderful colleagues to keep me accountable and vice versa, as well as, navigate through these difficult times together. Thank you to each and every one of you who have helped me along the way, and through the wise words of my fellow stylist, DeAnna "I finally found my tribe."

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