Motley, Author at Candice Motley |
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This year for Thanksgiving my family and I decided to do something a little different. This is the second year that my family is in a co-parenting space. Last year was the first holiday season since my kids’ dad and I split and it wasn’t the easiest. This year we have a little bit of footing and know where we’re going. I really wanted to do something that was inclusive of everyone—my whole family AND his whole family. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for his family to join us, but it still felt amazing to be able to bring my immediate family (my mom, sister, and my two littles) out of town with me.

We decided to go to Massanutten Resort in the mountains of Virginia almost 5 hours away. I wanted us to go out of town so that no one had to cook and everyone could just relax. My mom has always been the one to spend the entire day before and the whole day of Thanksgiving cooking so that she barely gets to enjoy the meal herself. It was so cool to be able to treat her and allow her to actually enjoy the holiday.

We drove up the morning of Thanksgiving and got there just in time for their amazing Thanksgiving feast. The resort was beautiful and everything for the Thanksgiving meal was already set up when we got there. The food was delicious… my favorites were the cranberry encrusted salmon and the marshmallow sweet potatoes.

The best part about being in the mountains with crappy WiFi is that it forces you to connect with those around you. I got to spend time with my kids doing all kinds of fun things from ice skating to pony rides to karaoke to board games. I also got to talk to my mom for more than just 20 minutes. Typically when I see her it’s because she’s coming over to watch my kids so I’m rushing out the door. It’s rare that we are all purposely and intentionally sitting down together. I also got to connect with my sister and find out what she has going on. It was so nice to be able to spend real, quality time with each of them.

My biggest takeaway from the entire experience is that I want to spend more time just like that. I’m already planning to incorporate it into my 2020. I want to spend more time with my family and my kids actually going somewhere, doing something, connecting, and being intentional. Truly experiencing things together as a family.

I’m a big advocate of work/life balance and try to maintain that as much as possible for a business owner. I have always been a proponent of having holiday time spent with family where you do not have to worry about work. For the last 4 years my studio has had a 5 day spread where my employees had time off. We come in and work the Monday before Thanksgiving so we can have that full time to connect with family and friends. This has become a tradition that my whole team really looks forward to.

I am so thankful to have had such a wonderful holiday and am looking forward to how I can incorporate more intentional quality time with my family and kids in the new year.

About two months ago, on a random afternoon in the salon, I had a wild hair and decided to do something pretty drastic. I finished up a little early that afternoon and was about to head out to a photoshoot when I found myself looking in the mirror feeling like I just really wanted to do something different with my hair. In that instant I grabbed my shears and started chopping. My team looked at me like I was crazy.

Months earlier I had seen a photo of a really beautiful shag (check out the photo below) and I just kept looking at it, but I just didn’t want to cut my hair. For whatever reason on this afternoon I decided to just go for it. I knew if I cut it and decided I wanted my length back I could just get new extensions.

Modern Shag

In case you’re not familiar—a modern shag is super short in the front and super long in the back. One could say it looks like a mullet, but it’s more like a shag from the 70s. There’s lots of shorter layers, pieceyness, and fringeyness around the face. I’m pretty much obsessed and I haven’t looked back. When I like something, I tend to like it a lot. For example, I’ve had the same hair color for almost a decade and I can’t think of any other color I would like for my hair to be. I feel the same way about my modern shag haircut and plan to keep it for a very long time.

There is a bit of a stigma about long hair having to look a certain way, particularly with hair extensions, but it’s certainly not the case! Changing up your style is always possible, and can sometimes even make the extensions work even better for your natural hair type.

My hair is definitely not typical when it comes to texture. It’s curly and puffy and I was told for so long that I could never have extensions that would blend. This cut helps my curly extensions blend perfectly with my natural hair.

To anyone getting bored with your hair, whether you wear extensions or not, the modern shag is a perfect way to change up your look. I’ll let you know how it continues to grow out, and I’ve included some photos below from the very beginning when I first cut it to now about 2 months later so you can see the difference.

If you have any questions or if you feel inspired to make a big chop yourself with your hair extensions in please let this be the fuel you need to do something a little different. I’m here to tell you that it feels amazing!

A couple of months ago, I launched a YouTube channel called Garnish Your Growth. I’ve shared this with you before, but today I wanted to share something I’ve learned since starting the channel, and how I’m revamping it to be even more authentic.

When I decided to start a YouTube, I knew I wanted to make a channel that spoke to creatives of any kind. Creatives in general have a different mind and different struggles. I wanted to shed some light on things from my perspective, through both my own experiences and those of my lead stylist, Niko.

I’ve experienced an immense amount of growth in the last 5 years since launching my own business and becoming an entrepreneur of a brick and mortar space. I’ve learned so much and wanted to have a channel that was both devoted to growth and helps stimulate thoughts about growth. Growth is great, but sometimes it really sucks; sometimes it will bring you to tears; and sometimes it makes you feel like you’re completely failing.

I really liked the content we were giving, but I noticed when the episodes were put out that while they were very open, honest, and transparent, they were also very curated. I looked at my own content and realized I had left a big chunk of a story out because I knew it would bring me to tears or I didn’t go into something because it would open up a portal to something else that wouldn’t fit in the set timeframe. It didn’t sit well with me that I told a story, but kept some of the information to myself.

I wanted to be more real, open, honest, and vulnerable. We learn and grow from other people telling their truth. And believe me, it’s hard to tell the unadulterated truth of something you’ve failed at. But I knew if I was going to put out the content of my growth, I wanted to give you real life scenarios and ultimately do a better job in telling my story.

This means starting from the beginning. If you’re just finding the channel, you don’t know who I am or what my story looks like or why this is so important or how it saved my life. So I decided to switched up the style of the video and amount of content I have. It’s less about specific topics and more about real, honest conversations.

So we are unofficially relaunching Garnish Your Growth with this week’s episode. You can expect it to be more real, raw, and less edited. We’ll be sharing more of who we each are and why we wanted to pour ourselves into this to begin with.

Below I’ve included a preview video for what you can come to expect from this channel in the future. I hope you’ll join me in this important conversation as we normalize the challenges of growth and share the relatable ups and downs of our journeys.

This blog post is more of a message of gratitude.

I wanted to share with you all exactly why I feel like I truly have the best job in the world. When I first joined the hair industry at 18 I chose it because I’m very creative, love the beauty industry, and love being around people. That was all I really knew about the career I was choosing. Now that I’m 36 and have been in this career for nearly 20 years, I feel so much stronger about what I do passionwise than ever before.

Garnish Hair Extensions

Being inside this industry for so long I have watched it grow so much and my career has evolved rigth alongside it. On a daily basis I get to talk to such dope ass women. A lot of women that come in to my studio are part of our tribe because we connect on more things than just their hair.

Because I specialize in extensions, the guests I see are in the studio longer than they would be for just a cut and color, which allows us to connect on a deeper level. Every single day I come home having had the best conversations, and having met the most interesting people. Not only do I have amazing clients whom I love, I also work with a bomb team that I pretty much handpicked that choose every day to be there.

Garnish Hair Extensions

I have been doing the same thing for nearly 20 years, but I have not had the same feeling about it the entire time. I believe you can fall in and out of love with a career just like anything else in life. Around the 8-10 year mark I felt stale and stagnant—stuck in my current salon space feeling complacent and scared to leave.

The clients coming in were not my people, and the services I was doing were not what I was most passionate about. Almost 10 years later, every single person who walks into my studio has chosen me to connect with and to invest into themselves with. I have worked my ass off to offer something in a niche specialty that boost womens’ confidence and helps them feel better. I am the person that gets to give women that mindblowing-holy shit-never felt better transformation that they are craving.

Garnish Hair Extensions

Overall I just feel so fulfilled and in alignment with what I’m supposed to be doing. I didn’t know this was my path starting out, but once I saw it years ago, I’ve been working my ass off to get to this place. I feel really grateful and really fortunate to have found it at a young age and have been able to make it come into fruition. And to find like minded people to work inside my studio and help me bring this vision home and keep it growing is just an added bonus.

To anyone who has ever offered encouragement, given blessings, or offered support–thank you. I feel extremely lucky and blessed to have this as my career path. I’ve truly never been happier inside of my career than I am now.

It’s official—I have a kindergartner.

This is my first year with a child in the Wake County school system. For the last 4 and a half years I’ve been inside daycare, live-in nannies, childcare, grandmas, etc. The first year sending your child to school is very different. But I can honestly say, from 2 months ago to now as I’m writing this, I’m so proud of Kingston. There have been some things that caught me off guard about kindergarten and I wanted to share them with you.

First of all, Kingston is going to school downtown at a charter school that is very different from your typical school. They focus a lot on interpersonal skills, leadership,  and on not just being aware of what’s going on in their own neighborhood, but also world issues. I’m used to A, B, Cs and learning to read, not putting together campaigns for water consumption and looking at global warming. Not only does Kingston work on his reading and writing, but he comes home talking about things that really matter. It’s really amazing to hear.

They also do a lot of affirmations and talk about goal setting and being a good human being. All things that you know I love. To hear these things coming out of my 5 year olds mouth kind of blew my mind. I didn’t expect that kindergarten would be like this at all. I’m really shocked and amazed to have him in a school that has such a different philosophy. I’m also super thankful and really excited that he was able to get in. I had no idea that Charter schools are set up on a lottery system. You have to apply, and are selected solely based on the lottery. Kingston originally didn’t get in, but a month and a half later we got the call that he had been accepted! It’s been really special to see him thriving and coming home with stories and meeting friends.

A perfect example of this is a conversation we shared recently. He said, “Mom I’m a big boy, I’m going to fill up Houston’s bucket.” And I asked him, “What do you mean?” He said, “Well, I want to fill her up with good things and love so that she can give that to the next person that she talks to.” Talk about an amazing thing to hear from your 5 year old!

With all of that goodness, there had to be at least one hiccup. For us, that’s the morning routine. So far it’s been a little bumpy—trying to get him downtown—there’s no transportation and no lunch so we’re having to pack everything and drop him off. The biggest battle is having Kingston going to one school and Houston going to another school.

Thankfully, my friend Amber just moved into my neighborhood. Since then she has been taking Kingston to school with her daughter because she goes to the same school. It’s been a huge blessing and I’m so grateful.

Kindergarten has certainly been a new experience, but a very rewarding one so far. If you have any specific questions about the school, feel free to reach out and I’ll give you the information.

I want to share some exciting news with you all! I am pumped to have been nominated as a member of the KNOW Tribe. I had heard about and seen this particular book floating around Raleigh for years. I would always pick it up and thumb through it thinking that it’s such a cool concept and collaboration.

The KNOW Tribe

These are the women you need to know—all leaders in their industry. I’ve always loved the idea of networking and connecting with a tribe like this, but between owning my business, having kids, traveling, and teaching, I haven’t had a ton of available time or space.

The KNOW Tribe

You’re only able to join the KNOW Tribe through being nominated by a current member, and I’m honored to have been nominated by my good friend and photographer, Amber, of Images by Amber Robinson. The criteria that they look for is someone paving the way and acting as a trendsetter in their particular industry.

Once you’ve been nominated and you decide that you want to move forward, they invite you into their Tribe. I’ve been to two functions so far and have met a lot of different women at the top of their game inside of their industry. The network spans pretty much every field you can think of from realtors to photographers to chefs to estheticians. I feel really overwhelmed with gratitude for Amber for having connected me to this group.

The KNOW Tribe

Being a new member myself also provided me the ability to nominate my good friend who has worked in my business for so long—my Business Girl Friday, Sahar. KNOW spans nationwide and is all about collaboration over competition. I love that there are so many KNOW tribes throughout the country and we are all connected. They seek out new businesses every year that are branching out and making waves.

The KNOW Tribe

You have to stay competitive, productive, trending, and a leader in your industry to stay a part of the tribe. I have always had the best intentions to network, but it’s always so hard to find time. I also want to make sure that the people I’m around and network with are like-minded. KNOW is such a cool organization to be a part of and provides exactly that.

The KNOW Tribe

The book will be launching this week. I will have some copies in the studio at Garnish where you’ll be able to view our 2 page spread. I’m super stoked about being a part of the book and can’t wait to continue growing my network through the KNOW Tribe.

Just about a year ago while attending one of the BMS Mastermind Conventions, I heard one of the other stylists say, “All of this is so great, but I’ve never done this shit before and I feel like it’s a case of new level, new devil.” My mind was blown and it’s stuck in my head ever since. I revisit this quote all the time when reflecting on my business and life, particularly whenever I face obstacles or adversity.

NBR Hair Extensions

NBR Hair Extensions

You would think 5 years into owning a brick and mortar space, 10 years as an entrepreneur, and almost 19 in the industry, that it would be easier than it is. I’ve done a lot of different things in that time, but I’ve never done some of what I’m doing right now. It’s stressful, but I’m compelled to keep going because I have a certain goal in mind. I’ve realized that as you get closer to your vision and goal, there’s a lot of shit you have to bust through, that you have to end, and that you have to have weird conversations about to move forward, but that’s exactly what that stylist was talking about. That’s the new devil.

The old devil is no longer tugging at you because you’ve pushed through that particular phase and now you’re onto something new. If you stay complacent, there’s still a devil you have to work with, whether it’s mediocrity or staying stagnant. For most of the people I’m around now, the idea of no growth or change seems like hell on Earth. But even though we would rather keep moving forward into new territory, it’s scary to face the new devils. At least with the old ones, you know what to expect. With uncharted territory, all the wins that you have are met with powerful adversity. There’s no playbook, and you’ve never done it before.

I’ve found that these new challenges are an addictive state of mind and place to be.

The new devil for me is that I keep on going and it never stops. I’m constantly asking myself, “Is it ever going to be good enough? Am I ever going to get to a place where I can settle it down a little bit?” I push myself past what I probably should be doing into what I feel called to do. I move very quickly, but it’s all pressure that I put on myself. My new level, new devil is branching out into unknown territory and how exciting and fulfilling that is.

It’s always just one more thing—let’s just keep stacking stuff on. So, as I share this with you all today—this is my reminder to check in with what I see in front of me and to make sure it’s what I want, and that if I need to slow down, I give myself permission to slow down and not put so much pressure on myself to do new new shit all the time. Maybe that new shit for me might be slowing down and falling back in love with some of the first things that I did.

What’s your new level, new devil? What are you currently struggling with in your business that you’ve never experienced before? I also encourage you, for the sake of perspective, to reflect on some of your old devils that you’ve already knocked out that don’t bother you anymore. It’s a cyclical process, but it’s always worth reminding ourselves how far we’ve come.

A few weeks ago I gave you all a preview of my upcoming YouTube Channel and its first series, Garnish Your Growth. Now, almost a month later, we have officially launched the first 4 episodes! I wanted to share my experience with creating these videos and why I felt like it was so important for me to do so.

First of all, it has been very different for me to have a regularly scheduled YouTube episode coming out! YouTube is one of the few social media platforms I’ve never really worked with before, so it was a huge learning curve when it came to the process of creating a video and even how to talk for a video series. When it came to the content, however, I knew there was a lot I could offer inside of growth in the beauty industry and for creatives in general.

My industry experience spans pretty much everything. I started at the very bottom 19 years ago in a commissioned salon and have been in every scenario since then—booth rent, freelancing for weddings, salon owner, and now lead educator inside NBR. And through all of that experience I’ve noticed there’s one thing that’s often overlooked within the industry—growth and what growth feels like.

The reality is that growth doesn’t always feel amazing. I wanted to have a series to talk about some of the specific things that happen for all creatives, but especially inside of the beauty industry. We really delve deep into what growth looks like and feels like and how to get through it. I’m really proud, and very excited, to say we have launched our first 4 episodes, and invite you to check them out here below.


 

Wanting to add something additional to my work load on top of my already very busy schedule meant that it had to be something that was very important to me. I’ll be sharing more about managing my work load next week along with addressing the struggle to keep up with never ending change. If anyone has any questions about how I’m able to produce in the way that I do or how I’m able to consistently provide education while still taking care of my kids and running a studio…

I’ll be talking all about that in next week’s post. It all comes down to time management and carving out the time to do the things that need to be done. Which, of course, is easier said than done, and I’m still working my way through it.

Stay tuned next week for New Level, New Devil.

Whew. I just got back from a whirlwind two weeks of travel and it was AMAZING. You all already know I was just in Puerta Vallarta on vacay before being back in Raleigh for just 48 hours before I was back off again to California for our BMS third quarter Mastermind training.

BMS is the business marketing and strategy program for hairstylists hosted by NBR Extensions—also known as Big Money Stylist—for which I am one of the trainers. We meet quarterly to stay accountable and to ensure all of the members are moving forward and growing.

NBR Hair Extensions

This training was definitely my favorite so far. We did things a little differently than usual and it worked out perfectly. We realized after the last event that people are learning at different rates and different speeds, so we discussed what we could do to make this a better event for everyone involved.

Our team decided to try break out sessions instead of providing training with all the stylists at the same time like we usually do. The different sessions addressed top questions and concerns that people have when going through the trajectory of extensions, compared to what they’ve been doing before. We had 4 different sessions, 4 different times a day so there were 16 different options to choose from.

I loved working within the session model because it allowed us to give concentrated advice by addressing only about 15 stylists at a time rather than over a hundred. It was incredible to connect with people and answer specific questions that they had that might not have gotten asked if they had had to ask in front of the whole group. It’s difficult to talk about vulnerable topics, and I’ve found that it’s easier for us artists to communicate our questions in a more intimate setting.

The best thing about this particular trip is that I finally feel like I’m getting out of the awkward stage of speaking. I feel so much more comfortable speaking to a group now than I ever did before. I’ve had so many opportunities over the past year and a half to figure out what works for me and find my flow, and I finally feel like I have.

This time when I stood up to speak to the group it felt like second nature rather than something I had to prep for. I’m looking forward to educating on this level to continue to feel even more natural as we host our final quarterly training in a few months. Even more than that I can’t wait to begin hosting training in my very own studio beginning in 2020, along with traveling to train in other spaces as well. If you’re a salon owner who is reading this, and is interested in a class being held in your space, feel free to reach out.

NBR Hair Extensions

Oh, and the last thing that was totally different about this trip? I flew first class for the very first time on my way to California and it was a GAME CHANGER. It was a completely different trip. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me that first class was like that?? I was able to recline my seat back and actually get sleep, and was fed a hot meal and all the wine I could drink.

I probably won’t travel like that all the time, but for special occasions, I highly recommend you just go ahead and splurge one time and soak up the goodness.

What’s up guys…

I am coming to you fresh and rejuvenated from my vacation last week in Puerto Vallarta. One of my best girlfriends was turning 40 and wanted to celebrate with people around her that she knows and loves. I got the call back in January that she wanted to travel abroad and have her amazing 40th in this beautiful space.. I’m so glad that I took her up on the invitation and dusted off my passport.

You don’t really know how much you need something, until you are sitting in it. I generally take an annual girls vacation, to reconnect and hang out with some of my best friends… But because of life situations in different scenarios on everybody’s plate, we weren’t able to schedule one this year. In my mind I thought “no big deal we’ll catch up next year”.. I was wondering how I was going to get away with two vacations anyway… My friends 40th, along with my annual.


By the time September came I could tell that I was ready to unplug, and recharge. Things in the studio have been going great, but the constant demand of being a business owner definitely stacks up and it’s always nice to have a release… Even from something that you would consider your passion.

This is also my first year inside of a co-parenting space with my kid’s father, and again, even though things are going well there are definitely highs and lows in trying to work through this new space for us. And let’s not forget the actual two children as well. Whether you are in a coparenting, single parent, or dual parent household… Being the parent of a child is a demand like no other I’ve ever experienced before.

As soon as my feet touched the beautiful sand, I knew that this was much needed. We stayed in an amazing villa with an incredible infinity pool view out into the ocean. The Villa came staffed and we were waited on pretty much hand and foot…
It sounds a little extra, until you actually get to experience it. Now I feel like I am spoiled for life😳

There were 14 of us who traveled across the country to go and celebrate and boyyyyyy, we did everything together… Went on a yacht exploration, broke bread together, and honestly just hung out and had lazy days together. I got to find out about everybody’s story, where they were from, and I feel like I have made some new friends for life.

Sometimes being in that close of quarters with people that you don’t know can be a little intimidating, I’m telling you right now to get over it! It could be one of the most amazing experiences of your life. Keep yourself open and meet new people in your adult life like you would when you were in elementary school. <—- hard to do, I know.

Here are some highlights from my trip and a villa information if you are interested…

For a five day vacation I only spent $480.. yes.. you heard right. The only other additional fee that we had to pay was for the actual food itself which only came to about $100 per person.

www.villasofdistinction.com

I’m refreshed, rejuvenated, and now on my way to California to train with in the BMS/NBR network… I’ll tell you all about it next week..

C A N D I C E G R A M

Owner of @GarnishExtensionStudio | Transformations are my Specialty | Fashion is a hobby | Fun is a Necessity
So you need a revamp huh? Garnish Hair Extensions - Garnish Studio + Extension Bar