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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.

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.

I’ve shared with you all before about the transition of my business from Garnish Hair Studio to Garnish Extension Studio, and talked a little bit about the why. Recently, Niko and I sat down with a videographer to chat about the transition of Garnish and really dive deep into the behind the scenes of every facet. We told ALLL the dirty deets. We shared about the very first conversations when I made the decision to transition to extensions only. I shared my thought process, the steps we took, and how it all went down. Niko shared about her decision to leave… and then how it evolved into her decision to stay.

It was honesty hour all around!

I wanted to take some time to be completely open and transparent about the process and that includes all of the doubt and uncertainty that I experienced, the intense training involved, and ultimately how the evolution took place. At the end of the day, it was my faith in the process, and trust in my vision that led me through the experience, but man, was it challenging. Despite the challenges, beginning in January, Garnish officially became my dream salon—exclusively catering to extension guests. With that came a lot of changes, including our entire process, the way we think about hair (from an extensions mindset), and the focus of all of our training.

As Niko and I shared our sides of the story, and I talked about what an impact she has had on my business, I even got a little emotional. When you have someone who believes wholeheartedly in your vision and comes along with you for the ride no matter what—it’s an incredible feeling. Talking about Niko’s role in Garnish led me to sharing her growth as a stylist evolving into our Lead Stylist and Floor Manager and sometimes Academy Trainer as well. It also gave me the opportunity to share her part in allowing me to really go full force into MY new role as NBR platform artist and BMS Trainer. Having Niko as a leader in my space has given me the freedom to pour into these new opportunities, including flying out to California for training as needed.

NBR Hair Extensions Garnish Studio

I would love to invite you to watch our video, hear our story, and get to know the new Garnish. I am so grateful to the women who entrust my studio with their extensions transformation experience, and we wouldn’t exist as an extension-exclusive salon without each and every one of our guests. Everything it took to get here may have brought difficulty and sometimes painful growth, but where we are now is so beautiful to be a part of that it was far and beyond worth the entire experience. I can’t wait to continue to share my studio’s growth with all of you.

Thank you for being a part of the journey.

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet someone who is a huge influence within the hair industry. If you’ve never heard of Chris Appleton, you’ve definitely seen his work. He works with everyone from the Kardashians to Rita Ora to JLo to Katy Perry.

He’s created signature looks that have become celebrity staples—like the 35” ponytail, the glass hair trend, and he’s known for his hair extensions looks. You may know Garnish’s numbers guru, Sahar, but what you may not know is that she is also hair obsessed and loves everything about the industry. When she found this event, we decided to venture up to DC together to attend.

The event combined education with styling demonstrations by Chris, him sharing his story within the industry, and then a VIP after party, which you know we definitely attended. During the education portion he talked to us about the styles he had created, and showed us some different signature looks.

My favorite part, however, was when he started sharing his story about how he came to be the influence he is today. He was living in the UK, but knew in order to achieve the goals he had set for himself that he really needed to be in LA. So without a contract or anything, he moved to LA on a whim. He talked about how everything about living here was different, but he just knew he needed to be here. This whole story resonated with the same things I talk about all the time—faith over fear and taking risks when you see your vision even if no one else does.

He also shared about how important resilience is, particularly in an ever-changing, highly competitive industry such as ours. This also struck a chord with how much change my business has gone through over the past couple of years. This idea of staying true to your vision, and being able to roll with the punches. He emphasized how important that is as you become more successful as well. It’s that do whatever it takes to make it happen mindset that I love so much.

Listening to Chris’s journey in the industry and some of the advice he offered allowed me to reflect on my own journey and how Garnish has evolved. I love that we share the same mentality towards vision and growth, and it’s always refreshing to hear someone who’s made it give the same advice that I share with my team and BMS students all the time.

I’m a huge believer in continuing to connect with other visionaries within the industry, and as you all know, I’m all about some continuing education. And of course, it’s always better when attending with bae.

I wanted to let you all in on something that’s been happening behind the scenes and why it’s so important to me as an extension artist and leader within the company I work for. Over the past couple of years I’ve delved deeper into the company that is Natural Beaded Rows Extensions alongside their business program, BMS.

At the end of last year they invited me to be one of just four platform artists within their company and I have been a part of their top tier trainings ever since. Most recently, I’ve been working undercover on weekly live trainings. These trainings are an opportunity to connect with, mentor, and guide the 180 extension artists within BMS. As one of the platform artists, I wanted to share a little bit about what that entails.

NBR

More than anything I am able to be a resource and guide for fellow stylists. I answer questions throughout the day as people DM me, assist them with problems that need solving, and guide them on everything from the tools I use to the tricks I’ve learned. I also dedicate every Monday evening from 4 to 6 to be on a weekly live training. This training can consist of up to 180 people at one time.

The owner, Danielle, lead trainer, Ani, myself, and the other 3 platform artists all take turns contributing to the training. I get to share knowledge along with some of my experiences. I listen to what other artists are going through to get to the position where their business is more affluent and specializing in extensions, and I’m able to help them find their own answer to their problems.

Inside of our program, Mastermind, we have events quarterly that bring our whole group together to reset, assess, get out of our businesses and be able to work on them effectively. It’s a dedicated day every 3 months to come back in and get reinspired, talk to fellow BMS girls, other artists going through problems and challenges and get to reconnect with people. The first quarterly earlier this year was amazing, and I’m really looking forward to returning in June.

If you’ve read any of my past posts about conventions, the masterminds are a completely different experience. Convention is a lot of new people coming on board and getting acquainted with the method. With BMS intensives, it’s all artists who have been involved in the company and program, who have essentially jumped through hoops to be there. It’s a different caliber of artist, which helps elevate the experience.

I can’t wait to continue to share this journey with you as I feel so excited and honored to be one the four trainers chosen to lead and guide within this company and program. Stay tuned for an update following the June quarterly!

Around this time last year I was just beginning to take the first steps towards transitioning my business into our specialty niche of hair extensions. Along the way there have been so many steps and changes, and I am thrilled to announce our latest big step towards completing the Garnish rebrand. I have always loved our website, but as with all things, it had started to get a little outdated. Not to mention, we needed to completely rewrite it to match our new focus and goals. I also realized there was a lot more information we could provide to our guests and future guests and I wanted the Garnish website to be a resource.

When it comes to hair extensions, my passion began long ago and I’ve spent the last 12 years delving as deep as possible into becoming an absolute expert in my craft. I love being able to share the gift of beautiful hair and greater confidence with as many women as possible, and I realized that providing more information and transparency on the Garnish website was just one more way to contribute to that. My team and I worked to create a beautiful, seamless, easy to navigate site designed to best serve our guests.

It was important to me that our new site have a few key details that would really make it stand out. First, hair is a visual art, so I wanted to showcase it by having a beautiful gallery as well as adding video to the site. It was also important to me that all of the photos on our site were hair that was actually done by the artists in my space.

The images you see throughout the entire site were created by the hands that work in our studio. I also knew that I wanted our site to be a resource for hair extensions information. We detailed our process, the methods that we offer, and all of our services. Our stylists also updated their bios and we integrated their instagram feeds in order to bring fresh content to the site daily.

I wanted anyone who visited the Garnish site to know exactly what we were about, to be able to research whether hair extensions are right for them, and which method they are most interested in, and to really get to know our business and team before they ever walked in the door to the studio.

I would love for you to check out our new website and be sure to subscribe to the blog while you’re there. My team has also been tailoring the blog content to speak more to our expertise in hair extensions in order to provide more detailed information and transparency for our craft and process.

Don’t just check it out, really explore everything our new site has to offer… garnish-studio.com.

 

Hair Extension Investment: We’ve got all the deets!

 

There’s one question we get asked far more than any other questions when it comes to hair extensions. The number one thing everyone wants (and needs) to know is what exactly is the ACTUAL investment of hair extensions. We’ve found that there’s not a lot of information out there that really breaks down the cost of quality hair extensions, so we wanted to go ahead and lay it all out there for you. We never want anyone to feel like they don’t understand what’s involved or they aren’t prepared for both the time and cost commitment of hair extensions.

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From Blonde to Bronde: The subtle shift into deeper color

A couple of weeks ago I told you all about my favorite fall trends, and today I wanted to dive a little deeper into one of the color trends I mentioned. It’s been around for a couple of years now, but it’s become more and more popular and it’s easy to see why. BRONDE is the perfect blended goodness of brunette and blonde. It’s not dark enough to be considered brunette, but it’s also not light enough to still be considered blonde. It most often fades from a more brunette root into blonder ends.

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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