We had the good fortune of connecting with Alayna Holm and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alayna, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Growing up, the idea of a 9-5 Monday through Friday work week at a desk job terrified me. I always knew I would be miserable if I wasn’t doing something I loved. My parents taught me that when you’re doing something you’re passionate about, and that you know you’re supposed to do, the money will come; and I am proof of that. The beauty industry has been something that’s always intrigued me, and a natural talent I found out I had at a young age. I loved the idea of doing hair, making people feel beautiful and excited about themselves, but I hated the idea of working for a salon that takes essentially half your pay, controls your work hours and clientele, and regulates your creative freedom. When I decided to rent a room and be my own boss at the young age of 19, I knew I was taking a huge risk. However, with a lot of hard work, creating an instagram to promote myself, and making relationships with so many wonderful clients, I was able to establish a steady clientele in two years of working. Now, almost seven years into my journey, I run a successful business that brings my life not only the ability to live freely, but so much love and light that I wouldn’t be able to achieve in any other job.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Hair is something that’s always been important to me. When I was a child, I went to a private school that was very small and intimate, meaning the student to teacher relationships were more involved then a public school could be. I specifically remember during class, running to my mom’s pre-k class room (she was a teacher there) to grab a pair of scissors to cut one of my teacher’s bangs. I had to be fifteen at the time. I would color and cut the girls in my classes hair, and prom was always a big event that I would get multiple classmates ready for. If hair or makeup was involved, I was needed! Going to cosmetology school wasn’t necessarily an easy decision though. I was a competitive volleyball player, with opportunities in scholarships to a few big colleges in Texas. I had a lot of people around me telling me I was throwing away a huge opportunity, that hair should be a back up plan and to peruse a real career in college. That I wouldn’t make much money in cosmetology, and I wasn’t living up to my full potential. Luckily, I have the best parents who encouraged me to chase what I really want; and I did just that.
My journey through cosmetology school and my career up until now has been anything but easy. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, knowing your work and your schedule, your supplies, your income, your entire business relies solely on you can be extremely triggering. No one is making you go to work, no one is checking up on you or holding you accountable; owning your own business is completely self reliant. There are days where it takes everything to get out of bed, and then having to see multiple people in one day, hold conversation and put on a happy face can be so draining. However, in the same breath I’ve learned that my own testimony and struggles have helped me relate to clients in a way that’s very intimate and special. My clients not only trust me with their hair, but their personal stories and grievances, their biggiest insecurities and secrets. They come to me for advice or just a listening ear; and because of what life has brought me through, I am able to be a person they need. That to me, is worth everything. That’s why I call myself a hair therapist, it’s so much deeper than me coloring or cutting some hair.
If the world could know anything about me and my business, it would be that you’re welcome here. Come as you are, unapologetically, and let’s see what I can do to help you feel your absolute best self.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When my friends who live in California and Utah come to visit, we tend to go with the flow. The amazing thing about the houston area is you can just walk around or drive and find the most incredible shops, food, or art exhibits. A favorite thing of mine is to try different coffee shops. I’m a caffeine addict as most business owners are, and I’m a sucker for a good, sweet iced coffee. Pair that with a fresh bakery item and I’m set. If I haven’t been, I’m going in. The best way to find experiences is to try new things. Compliment someone and see what happens!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family, specifically my incredible parents deserve all the credit and love in the world. They trusted me, encouraged me, and believed in me and my dream without any question. Without them and their support, I wouldn’t be where I am today.