Simonah: Hairstylist and Business Owner

Introducing Simonah Mcdonald, Freelance Hairstylist using Social Media to build her business.

Tell me a bit about you, your career & what gets you up in the morning. I’m Simonah, a 22 year old freelance hairstylist. You’ll catch me in the salon most days and if I’m not at the salon I’m out looking for the best live music and cocktails on the coast or hanging with my 2 beautiful cockatiels. I only took the big step in going out on my own in May 2020. I specialise in blondes, balayage and lived in hair, I’ve worked at a few different hair salons and have done a lot of education to help further myself. No matter what industry you are in you can never stop learning, anyone who offers to help you or show you something - always take advantage of the opportunity because you never know what you can learn from it. I work hard to make sure my books are full each week by using social media as a platform to promote myself staying up-to-date with styles but still always keeping my own flair and style - as you never want to lose who you are for a position or person.

What gets me up in the morning is knowing that I’m going to go do something I love and that I’m going to go meet so many amazing people hearing so many unique stories. Being a hairstylist isn’t just doing hair and being creative, you become a friend and therapist to many people. You hear about the good and the bad times, the falling in love, the breakups, the new friends and the losing of loved ones. It’s nice to know that you’re helping people feel beautiful and even be that shoulder to lean on when they may not have anyone.

Life is busy. How do you manage it? Life is so busy, it’s hard to juggle running a business and having a life. The key is separating your work and personal life. You don’t always need to be available to respond to messages, you need to have that down time. That time just for yourself whether it’s just scrolling on instagram, binge watching Netflix, or relaxing in the bath. You need that “you” time otherwise you’ll just burn out or not deliver your best work. It’s important to always put yourself and your mental health first. How did you know this was the right path for you? What support networks do you have?

I knew hairdressing was the right path for me when the thought of not doing it breaks my heart, I couldn’t imagine not being able to do hair. My work brings me so much joy, being in the salon feels like home, it’s such a safe space where I get to express myself and make my clients feel like a KWEEN!. I’m forever grateful for my parents, as they have alway been such a massive support for me and always making me feel like anything is possible. I also have such awesome friends who are always there for me and are willing to help out in anyway. How did you manage to keep things going in the COVID lockdowns, and did you find it gave you more time to think outside the box? I found COVID to be one the hardest times, I lost my job, broke up with my partner at the time and had to move back to my parents. I definitely felt lost and uneasy with everything that laid in front of me but I didn’t let any of that set me back. I automatically started messaging other salons looking for a space I could call home, I thought it was the perfect time to go out on my own, I had no toxic partners holding me back, if it didn’t work I was in a safe space to go home to. I had to do something for myself, to believe in myself and to go for it. I’ve never looked back since taking the chance. During the month when I lost my job I didn’t stop bettering myself, I kept up-to-date on my instagram, continued interacting with my clients - checking on their mental health, and watched tutorials and education.

What are your top 3 tips for women wanting to do something out of the box?

Always believe in yourself! Never let anyone hold you back. In my 1st year of being an apprentice I was told I’ll never make it as a hairdresser. Now I’m running my own business, I knew hairdressing was my passion and I proved to myself that I could do it.

NEVER stop learning and pushing yourself. You can do this by always setting yourself short term and long term goals, it can by something as basic as listening to a podcast or as big as buying a house, also never missing the opportunity to learn something new.

Love yourself! Do everything possible to stay positive, show compassion and be gentle with yourself. Remind yourself you are where you need to be. Don’t compare yourself to others and support each other because supporting another’s success wont dampens yours.

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