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Meet Kati Wilhelm

Hi Kati, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I started doing hair when I was 18. My first “hair job” was at the Hair Cuttery that used to be located in Seaside Farms in Mt. Pleasant. I worked at that location for 6 years, including a few years as an assistant manager. I stepped down from my management position when my first child was born, as I had decided to work part-time so that I could spend more time with her.

From the Hair Cuttery (which had been bought out by Famous Hair by that point), I went on to work at a small salon on IOP called Salon Latitude. I had a great time working there and had the kindest boss, but I eventually grew bored and needed to go somewhere that was more fast-paced.

Next, I found Strawberry Blonde in Mt. Pleasant. I loved working in such a high-energy environment and all the education we were constantly receiving. This is where my passion was renewed, and I am eternally grateful for that. I went on to become an educator for the salon and carried an apprentice daily, which taught me so much about what I wanted for my future!

Fast forward to today, as I sit here writing this, I can’t believe that tomorrow is the first day of opening my own small business in Capelli Salon Studios in Mt. Pleasant. One of my closest friends, Christopher Theime and I joined forces and made our own little hair oasis, named “Society” and we are over the moon about the possibilities! We hope that even bigger things are in store for our partnership, but only time will tell!

Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
As is everything in life, there have been many obstacles, but nothing great is easy! As a person who is happiest as an open book, making moves in private was difficult for me emotionally. But as I carefully weighed my options on how to go about the changes, it became clear to me that there really was only one way to safely handle our “landing”.

Learning all the details and finances that go into starting even the smallest of companies has been very eye-opening as well. Just trying to absorb all the information without forgetting any steps is challenging! And of course, there’s the rest of my life! My husband and I have been blessed with a household of six! Three teenagers (send help) and a preschooler! Not to mention our three furry friends. Maintaining all of this while working and opening a business has been nothing short of chaos, but my husband definitely stepped up to the challenge and helped me in any way he could! I truly couldn’t have done it without him!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a very visual person and I love to do hair in a very organic way with very little advanced strategic planning. I typically don’t decide what I’m going to do to someone’s hair until they’re in my chair, even if I’ve been doing their hair for years! Everything that has happened to their hair since the last time I touched it has an impact on how their hair will look by the time they return. Once I can get a good look at their starting point, we discuss what we both like or dislike about the current state of their hair, and formulate a plan!

I specialize in “lived-in” highlights, meaning seamless grow-out with a “could be natural” look. This generally takes a few hours for the chair to accomplish (sometimes up to 4.5 hours!) but can often go anywhere from 9-24 weeks without being lightened again, depending on how much light the client wants to keep in their hair! The more blonde, the closer the appointments!

I also love doing extensions! I am certified in hand-tied and tape-ins already and am eyeballing another method, so keep on the lookout! I feel that being able to give somebody the length or fullness they desire from their hair is such a game changer for a woman’s confidence!

What do you think about happiness?
What makes me happiest at work is getting to relate to all of my guests. Share stories and struggles with each other, laugh together, and share advice! I have a very dry sense of humor, so I love when I can be blunt and sarcastic with clients and we can make jokes about life, husbands, or children. I don’t jump in too quickly with that though! I always have to wait and see if a guest can handle all that I am first! Haha!

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