We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivia May and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olivia, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Ive always leaned into my creativity since i was a little girl. My parents always encouraged me to pursue things that i was good at and found interest in. My family has a thick music background so, i also blame growing up in a environment that was diverse and rich in art, culture and music! In my high school career i was surrounded by peers and teachers who did not speak much on creative career options. It was the usual medical, attorney, finance route that was mostly pushed in my town. Not that anything is wrong with that! Those are all great career choices. I actually had a time where i was on a path to sports medicine. I was involved in my high school sports medicine team and had taken classes that would benefit me in that career choice for college. It came down to my heart not truly being in it. I loved the idea of helping people but, my heart wasn’t in the medical field. It didn’t stimulate me and i felt that i would burn out quick. It wasn’t until my hairstylist took interest in me and educated me on the beauty industry and all the opportunities that i could find within that realm. I was a 17 year old high school girl that was deep in her hormonal awkward phase so, beauty school sounded like a perfect solution! Haha.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a hairstylist but, i like to say creator now that 10 years has gone by in the industry. My clients are my pallets and i truly believe we create wearable art for our guests.. It’s more than just doing hair appointments all day. It’s about the feeling my clients get. I help them feel good about themselves. I get to be challenged, formulate and be creative all day. Who wouldn’t love that feeling? I’m really excited for my career, covid really forced me to re evaluate my goals and i leaned into that. The outcome was new opportunities in this industry that I’m taking on that my 18 year old self would have never thought possible. The last 10 years have not been easy to say the least. Being an entrepreneur and a stylist requires old fashion hard work. No skipping to the front of the line. I sacrificed a lot for my goals. Which is how it should be right? They say nothing good for you comes easy and its so much more appreciated that way.. Ive learned to always trust my gut. Always. Even if it means turning something down or saying no. Your gut intuition is your best tool. Taking care of yourself comes hand in hand with trusting your gut.. We as hairstylist give so much of ourselves daily. Physical and mental. If you aren’t healthy, in a good mindset, your work will reflect that. You cant pour from an empty cup. Do the work on yourself so you can plan for a better future. I’m very passionate about my line of work. I’m very invested in evolving and learning about this industry daily. Always wanting to discover new things with hair and in turn i learn more about myself and artistry.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would say first the food! Houston is known for the good eats. We’re so diverse in the culinary field the options are endless! A cute spot for casual cocktails, Wicklow in the heights! They have everything from food trucks, cocktails, events and live music. Perfect hangout spot.
A FAB date night spot is my personal fav when I feel like splurging, steak 48 in Houston.
Houston has a great art and museum district as well. You have to check that out!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents 100% deserve all of the recognition. My family unfortunately had fallen on a extremely hard situation and I had to grow up quickly. Yet, no matter how hard, they continued to support my dreams through it. If it wasn’t for the encouragement from them i would not be here right now. I get my strong work ethic from them and one day hope to give back everything they deserve plus more.