While I was a student, I would give men’s haircuts. And to me, I’ve done that since I was 16, 15, and it’s just been easy to talk about it, so when I would give men’s haircuts, people would gather around and I would do a lot of little teachings, and the director saw that. And she liked that. I had a really good way to talk to people and show them. I didn’t want to be an instructor, but I just really wanted to work. It fell in my plate and I jumped at the opportunity, so…
What led you to this industry?
I got laid off from my job. I was at a job for a year and one day, and on that one day, after my year anniversary, they called me in and said that the department that I organized and built, they were gonna give it to another company, so they didn’t need my department anymore. So the people that I hired and stuff, they let them go, and let me go. So I had…nothing to do. I didn’t want to go back to the university, ‘cause the economy at that time was bad. I just…thought about what I could do. Unemployment offered me to go back to school. I started looking around at what I wanted to do, and I was already cutting hair. I had a chair at home, I was like…why don’t I just do this? I didn’t want to be a barber; I just didn’t want to limit myself, so…I looked into Ogle, and that was the only school that I really looked at, and before you know it, I was enrolled. On my birthday, I did orientation, and then the next Monday, I started school.
What obstacles did you encounter during your schooling?
Well, while I was in school, my unemployment almost ended. I wasn’t gonna have any means for school. By Phase 2, I was about to withdraw because I didn’t have any way to continue without not working. This was the only option, because I had two little girls to support in the house and everything, and unemployment was sort of taking care of that, and if it wasn’t gonna happen after Phase 2, then I was gonna have to quit. Also, my father died about a month into school, and that was a really hard…kinda transition for me, just because I grew up really, really close to my family. I took a week to go and do all the funeral stuff and everything, but coming back, it was kinda hard. But to me, my overall look of everything was my daughters and making sure that they were taken care of, so I never wanted to quit, just because every morning I would wake up, I’d see their faces. They didn’t understand that there was anything bad going on, and I never wanted them to see that. So…I just kept pushing myself and pushing myself.
What would you tell someone in a similar situation?
To not give up. Just because…your kids are looking up to you, whether you…believe it or not. You’re really their role model from the get-go. For instance, for me, my dad worked for a company for over 40 years. Day in and day out, from 8 to 5, he was there, for 40 years. You know, nonstop. He finally retired when I graduated high school because he knew that I was already taken care of up to that point, and that’s when he finally said, “You know, I’m gonna go ahead and, you know, relax a little bit.” And I saw that drive in him. I saw that motivation in him. I want to present that to my daughters, and that motivation, so…anything that you do is always a reflection of, you know…the way you’ve lived your life, and stuff. And you don’t want your daughters to…or your kids to not have that motivation and that drive. Plus, I don’t want to see my kids without, so I wanna do whatever I have to do to make sure that they are with.
What is the most rewarding aspect of this industry?
Just the possibilities that it has. There are so many avenues that this company can take…or, this industry…this…it just…so many things. I mean, you can work from being one of the inspectors, to being behind the chair, to being that platform artist, to an educator for a specific company. Just the avenues and the abilities that you can take your craft into…is awesome.
Everyone has a story.
This is Joey’s.
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