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Life and Work with Stephanie Rhoades

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Rhoades.

Stephanie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It all started my senior year of high school when I decided to walk away from softball and dive into cosmetology school. Shortly after I graduated high school, I graduated cosmetology school and got my first job working two years for Mastercuts. After that, I took a leap of faith and joined Ambiance Hair Design where I became a full-time independent booth rent stylist. I worked for this salon for 10 years and over that 10-year span, I branched out part-time to work at a retirement salon in four seasons and Main Street salon in Temecula. I also entered into Sebastian’s what’s next awards and worked other events in LA. Once my time came to an end at Ambiance, I worked at another salon for a couple of years while also venturing out to down town San Diego to work at Brick and Mason for a while and ultimately ended up back in Temecula to work at Main Street Salon.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This journey has been very rewarding but not always a smooth road. It consists of long hours, hard work, dedication, consistency, patience, and communication skills among many other things. It definitely falls under the struggling artist category. When I first started out as a booth rent stylist, there would be days I would sit and wait for walk-ins and no one would show and I would go home feeling so defeated but I always came back and showed up ready to work. After many years of consistency and making myself available and always willing to work and take on new creative challenges, I finally built a booming business. 12 years of hard work has paid off. Then, the salon I was at sold to another owner and my journey started in another city at a new salon. Moving salons means rebuilding and being patient all over again but I did it and once again was successful. Until one day, we all showed up to work and the owner closed the doors to the salon on us. I had to the end of the day to move my whole business to a new location with no warning. Talk about rough. But I did it before I can do it again. Luckily, I have made so many connections and friends along the way I found a new salon family right away. So, no matter what if you are just starting out or have been in the industry for a long time, this industry will throw so many curveballs your way. But stay strong and keep up the hard work. You have to constantly be growing and building to achieve success, and never ever give up.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of. What sets you apart from others?
I am a licensed cosmetologist of 15 years now. I specialize in all areas of hair coloring, creative hair cutting both men and women, and special event styling including weddings, hair shows, runway shows, and photoshoots.
My absolute favorite thing about my craft is being able to explore my creative side. Taking a blank canvas and turning it into an amazing masterpiece. I believe building genuine connections with people so they trust me and allow my creativity to flow is what sets me apart from others. Always working hard and ready to take on new challenges.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
I see so many successful women in this industry it is hard to say that there is any barriers. I have seen over the years owners go through criticism and judgment. They are constantly under a microscope from others who think they can do it better. There is so much competition out there it’s hard to be unique and stand out.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Audry Smith

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