We had the good fortune of connecting with Marnie Kivela and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marnie, what do you attribute your success to?
I truly believe that my children, and my parents, are the most important factors behind my success. My parents have always tried to remind me that success, no matter what it’s in, is never a given. You really do have to want something bad enough to actually work hard for it. And that doesn’t guarantee success, so you have to know how to handle loss and defeat along the way as well. Joining the military right after high school was the first choice that I made in my life to set me on a successful path. My parents were surprised by my sudden decision to go into the military, and it was definitley not an easy road. I had to work twice as hard as the men I worked with and around to be taken seriously, There were times I suffered and felt lost and defeated. I wanted to quit, I wanted to fight back against the people that were constantly trying to bring me down and hurt me. I was depressed, alone, struggled to find a place to fit in among the people I worked with. But my parents kept reminding me the importance of moving forward, and kept trying to keep on the right path. It was hard, I was difficult to control and had a fierce temper bc I was constantly defending myself against those that tried to bring me down. But my parents kept loving me unconditionally, kept being good, strong parents. I kept moving forward, sometimes so slowly that it seemed I was moving backwards. But my hard work finally started paying off when i was finally at a point I could go to school, and open my own business after finally getting out of the military. It took several years to gain the success I have been this far, and I don’t take that for granted. I try every single day to be grateful, and give my clients the very best of myself so they know how much they mean to me. Without them, my success would not exist. My own children now give me the same strength and courage that my parents gave me for so long to keep trying to be better. To keep moving forward. Ive always felt like, when all else fails, when you just don’t know what else to do, or how else to go on, just be kind, and the rest will somehow fall into place. When I don’t know what I am doing, when I feel like Im losing control, I just smile and remain kind hearted, and keep moving forward, and the rest eventually falls back into place. My parents and my children have always been the source of my determination, and continue to be the driving force that keeps me motivated to keep moving farward.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I offer many services that can be found in many different salons. Any good business owner hopes that their business somehow stands out among the crowd, is somehow more appealing to the clients. I’m no different, but I recognize there are so many great salons out there that strive to be the best they can be every day. What I try to do, everyday, is make sure that every single client that comes through our doors is greeted with a genuine smile, and feels comfortable and important. We get to know our clients very well, their lives, their children, their struggles and their happy moments. There are things in my life that I have trouble remembering day to day, but I can remember my clients’ childrens’ names, where they went on vacation, a loved one that was in the hospital, what college someone was accepted into, or maybe just that they prefer a certain type of music when they come in. When I say our clients mean a lot to us, I mean it. And we have some of the most incredible people come through our doors that trust us with their care. We take that very seriously. I definitely didn’t get here by accident. I went to school, practiced and sacrificed to master my trade. The Universe, and God definitely put the right people, and situations, in my life at the right time, and allowed me to move in the direction I was meant to move in. I work hard everyday, in some capacity, to keep my business relevant, and my family happy and thriving. We have had many tribulations, many reasons to give up and surrender to feelings of doubt and inadequacy. But I teach my daughters what my parents always tried to teach us, to keep moving forward, no matter what, and always try to be a better version of yourself. Never give in to the things, or people, in life that try to pull you down. Everyone has negative experiences, difficulties in life that seem insurmountable. We are no different, but, we try to be kind, we try to be decent people. When all else fails, be kind, bc someone else out there, perhaps someone that walks through my shop doors, needs our smile, our kindness, our listening ears. And those people will be back, will continue to seek out our business, tell others about us, and keep us moving forward. Something as simple as being kind and genuine can have an immense impact of the success of your business, and it costs you nothing.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would absolutely bring them into my shop first! Let them see first hand how good we are at what we do!. If its crawfish season, I’d take them to my favorite bar and restaurant, The Flying Pug. They have the BEST crawfish, and food and drinks in general. The service is also always pretty great, and the bartenders and wait staff get to know their customers just like we get to know ours. I also have a really close friend, Native Bombshell Photography, that is an amazing photographer, and knows some of the coolest, unknown places to take some awesome pictures while you’re visiting.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents and my children definitely deserve most of the credit. My best friend, and business partner, Misty, also deserves recognition. It’s been a long road, with a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns. I am so incredibly fortunate to have such loving, loyal, intelligent people in my life that have never let me falter. Having a strong support system has been instrumental and the most important part of my journey. Success isn’t permanent, and has to constantly be worked for and earned. Having strong people that back you up gets you through the difficult moments, and allows you to share in the good times with good people. These are my people, my family, my most cherished gifts. My business is only successful because I have been given the gift of monumentally amazing people. Honestly, my success came in the form of good people around me. My business was just a happy bi-product.
Other: IG @luxe_woodlands
Photographer–The Native Bombshell Photography Hair/Makeup–Elena Gamez and Luxe Woodlands