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Conversations with Kristina Willis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristina Willis.

Hi Kristina, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I became a Licensed Cosmetologist in 2009 immediately following my high school graduation.

I started working behind the chair and honestly, I was not sure that it was the career path for me. I went to college and graduated with a degree in Respiratory Therapy. Once I had graduated, I decided to leave the beauty industry behind. It was just not what I expected at the time.

After working in a hospital for a couple of years, I realized what I left behind. I knew that I could build a career that I love doing hair if I just focused on performing the services I loved most. I decided to slowly start out part-time and I invested in furthering my education in hair extensions, balayage, and blending. Once my passion started to show through I was able to build a full clientele with a focus on my favorite services.

After working for a couple of salons, I decided that my vision was bigger. I wanted to open my own salon. Not only that, but I wanted to help other stylists find their passion as well as build a successful business.

I started out in a single-chair salon suite. Now I have slowly expanded to a 2 chair salon in Downtown Simpsonville. I have an assistant training with me and another full-time stylist. One day, we will grow more, but I believe it is important to focus on perfecting what we have now before moving on to the next big thing.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I fully believe anything that is good never comes easy. There have absolutely been bumps along the way. That is always expected.

I struggled with overworking myself. I had issues with scheduling myself during off hours to accommodate people. Being busy is a good problem to have but it is important to have self-boundaries. I resolved that issue by remembering my family needs me too.

I tried to offer services that I thought I love. It became tough down the road to decide that it was no longer for me and tell clients that.

I have worked in salons that I realized I wasn’t the best fit for. The important thing is remembering why you do what you do and growing from your struggles.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am known for Natural Beaded Row Extensions and dimensional coloring. This makes up the majority of my clientele. I am proud of this because it is what I am good at. I have worked SO hard to become good at my craft. I have spent countless hours on education and building my brand.

I am currently enrolled in DKW Styling Academy. It is an academy based out of California and I am training to become a Licensed NBR Artist. This is top tier in hair extension and business education.

I am one of very few artists in South Carolina who will be a Licensed Affiliate with Natural Beaded Row Extensions.

Hair Extensions are my passion. It is so intricate and detailed. I love the outcome and the confidence it gives my clients. Every time I see my client’s before and after photos, I am in awe of the beauty.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
Most of the time focusing on my academy work helps me to do my best at work.

I also love listening to the Big Money Stylist podcast. It is a podcast centered around the Creator of NBR and her education director. They offer a lot of insight and inspiration into my industry. I highly recommend it.

On the home front, I like to make sure I am taking care of my body and mental health. I love to work out at the gym and go to church. It helps to keep me centered mentally and spiritually. I truly feel that I need God and fitness in my life to be at my best.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Madeline Turner and Shannon Golding

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