What is your occupation?
I’m the founder and one of the owners of Midwest Beauty House. It’s been a crazy beautiful thing watching my dream come to life. For me, it’s akin to becoming a mother. You are so in love when you meet the thing that you dreamed about, that you would never want to give it back, but no one could ever prepare you for the experience. I wear a million hats. Most importantly, I am in the business of people. My staff and all the lovely people that walk through my doors are what drives me. My hope is always that walking into one of our locations, that you really feel like you’ve found that relative’s house that was your favorite place growing up. I want you to have community and a home at any of our locations.
When it comes to my trade, being a beauty operator/barber is in my blood. My grandma was a hair dresser in the 1940’s. I started telling people when I was 9 that I wanted to do hair when I grew up. I specialize in cutting, especially those curls. I feel that my eye for hair has changed over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I love color but my favorite thing is to give someone a good cut that fits them and their hair type that they can wear with ease. I also am a make-up artist and formal styling for weddings is a passion of mine. I love helping make the dream come true.
How did you or why did you pursue a position at MBH?
One reason I created MBH was because there wasn’t a salon in the area that fit all of my specialties and interests. I wanted to create a business where other artists, like me, would feel encouraged to pursue their passions and specialties and be allowed to pursue the kind of career that they want.
How long have you been a Beauty Operator?
I’ve clocked 18 years total in the industry already. I started in high school as a receptionist and started training for hair the minute I turned 18.
What is your favorite MBH shop memory?
The day my neon sign went up in the window of my first shop. It made the dream real. I’ll never forget what that felt like.
What do you love most about doing hair and makeup?
I’m a maker. I have to always be creating something. Hair is a great outlet for my creative personality. I also do it for the people. Two days are never the same. The memories and relationships are priceless.
What is your current style icon/inspiration or favorite role model?
I draw style inspiration from lots of different places. If you look at both of my shops, it is very obvious that I love old things. I draw inspiration from everywhere though. Nature, textiles, images, other art forms. I don’t have one specific style icon. If anything, I am always playing with my personal esthetic. I don’t think my esthetic should ever define me. It’s just one expression of a part of who I am. Most of my current role models are the rad ass 55+ ladies in my life that are kicking butt and living large, but still humble enough to admit that none of us know everything.
What is your favorite or most used beauty product?
I keep getting more and more minimal. I use all natural and organic beauty products whenever possible. That’s why I chose the lines that we carry at MBH.
What do you love most about Madison/the Midwest?
I was born in Madison and it’s my home. I joke that I can’t commit to a lot of things, but when I bought my house and opened my business, I chose to marry Madison. I’m in love with Madison and we are in a committed relationship. Like any relationship, it’s not perfect, but there are so many good people here.
What is another favorite local business of yours?
Sooo many! I love this question, but I feel like I won’t do all my business owner friends justice if I start listing and leave some out. If you own a small business in Madison, I probably love you.
Why is receiving beauty services important to you?
I love getting my nails done. It’s always been the one beauty service I could receive and it doesn’t feel like work. It makes me feel more put together. I also, like everyone, have a hard time taking time to myself. It’s time where someone takes care of me. We all need someone else to take care of us every once in a while.
What does “better beauty culture” mean to you?
I chose the slogan, so I could go on and on forever about better beauty culture, but one thing I like about it is that it is open-ended. I’ve loved hearing my staff and clients define what it means for them. That’s what I think is important. Let’s all strive for better beauty. What that means to you isn’t going to be what it means to the person next to you but they are all the right answer.