Coral Gable | DevaCurl Educator and Certified Stylist | Curl Specialist and Co-Owner of Penny Lane Studios in Chicago, IL
What does being Licensed To Create™ mean to you?
"Becoming a licensed barber or cosmetologist frees us to be designers, as well as encouragers to ourselves and others."
Q. Where are you happiest?
A. In the sun! I love being out and about in the city on a warm day.
Q. What do you love most about the industry?
A. I love that this industry has the capacity to empower people. Working in a field where I can help people see what their natural texture has the potential to do—and not be afraid of it—inspires clients to see their hair and themselves in a more positive light. And what an incredible privilege it is to see them walk away feeling beautiful and proud of themselves.
Q. Whom do you admire most in the industry?
A. I admire the crew of people I get to work with each day—both in the salon and out in the field. Watching us all grow together has been an incredible journey. And it’s freeing to be able to admit that I don’t know everything by asking another stylist in the salon if we can collaborate on a color or product formulation. The same goes for educating out in the field for DevaCurl. I love meeting a room full of motivated stylists eager to learn something new so they can better serve their clientele in a completely different way. It increases creativity and keeps us all motivated.
Q. What inspires you?
A. Learning! I love watching videos and trying to recreate what I’ve seen. This applies to both personal and professional learning. I could watch videos of people cutting and coloring hair all day, but I am also obsessed with home improvement projects and gardening shows.
Q. How do you push yourself every day?
A. I encourage myself to slow down and be calm. I found out very early in my career that I love to work and could do so until I have nothing left to give. But I’ve discovered that having a balance is key. So I practice mindfulness in every way I can and make a conscious effort to not take on too much.
Q. What do you love doing outside of work?
A. I am a doula, and I love it. Being able to connect with women and their families during their pregnancies and deliveries helps me keep everything in perspective. It demands my complete presence and focus on another person while she listens to herself and her body. I’ve learned a lot from being a birth worker and absolutely love doing it when I am not working on my other passion, being a stylist.
Q. What do you love most about your clients?
A. I love it when I see my curly clients get to the point that they look forward to getting their hair done—and they get good at doing it themselves. It shows me they are proud of their hair and excited by what they have accomplished.
Q. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
A. Building and opening the salon with my business partners has been the biggest and longest continuous challenge I have ever faced. Managing and employing a team of people is not easy, but it’s very rewarding. It’s teaching me how to be flexible and embrace change—no matter whether it’s deciding to open the shop seven days a week or what color to paint a wall. Something is always changing, and that isn’t a bad thing.
Q. What is your favorite place to visit?
A. The Catskills in New York. My friends have a cabin up there, and it is the place I see when I close my eyes and want a quick escape. And it’s the place I run off to when I want a not-so-quick escape.
Q. What is your favorite cutting technique?
A. I love dry cutting on both straight and curly hair.
Q. What is your favorite color technique?
A. Hand painting hair is my go-to. I love how creative and open it feels, but I am playing around with foiling more.
Q. What is your favorite trend?
A. Curly bangs! I’m glad people are getting bold and trying new things with their hair.
Q. Do you use social media to advance your career? If so how?
A. We have a social media manager for the salon that posts on-trends, tips and tricks and a running portfolio for me and my team. I have learned I cannot do everything when it comes to growing my business and delegating that task has been the best decision ever!
Q. Why are beauty shows important?
A. Beauty shows provide a great way to get a lot of people in the industry at one place to share skills and experiences. And I find that it’s important to discover how other people work, as well as have the opportunity to increase your friendships in the industry.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
A. Two words of wisdom come to mind. First, I need to take care of my body by stretching every day. This is the only body I get, and this industry can be hard on it. And second, I must remember to work smarter and not harder.
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years?
A. I see myself still working with people to help them and inspire them to feel good, look good and love themselves!
Q. What are your must-have products?
Shop online or visit your local CosmoProf® Store for your favorite DevaCurl products.
Posted December 1, 2018