Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road especially in my adolescent years. I suffered through a lot of mental health issues and really had to discover on my own what it would take to care for myself resulting in moving out at the age of 16. Attending Art school, Fashion school and Cosmetology school saved my life. I discovered my tribe and other creative misunderstood creatures as myself. I felt accepted and then learned to accept myself. It was then, that I began to thrive. I have to say my family, my husband and my dogs have been an integral part in my growth both personally and professionally. Collectively they are my therapy. They are my biggest fans and support who continue to push me to be a better artist and human being. Because of them, I am currently working on a book that will showcase my art and express my mental health journey.
Andrew Velázquez Salon – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We Pledge to Glam and to Groom, Build Confidence and Style, to Enhance In and Out – Across, All Genders. All Cultures. All Entrepreneurs.
We believe that everyone has the magic inside of them to unlock the power of self-confidence. We want to help every individual overcome any obstacles that keep them from unleashing full self-awareness. Our hope is for every individual to eliminate any confusion about what makes them unique and instead accept their one of a kind beauty with the power of hair and makeup artistry in an all is love type of environment.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
One of my proudest moments is having the opportunity to share my story on television on Lifetime’s show “American Beauty Star” while showcasing what I adore – my craft and talents. Having had experience working behind the scenes of Reality TV Shows such as America’s Next Top Model and Ru Pauls Drag Race as a hair and makeup stylist did give me a leg up in the competition. Having to keep professional demeanor and composure under the most pressure in a high-stress environment came natural to me because of that very experience. Throughout the series, I made it a point to put my focus on executing editorial inspired work since we were challenged to be Beauty Directors in charge of designing the entire shoot based on the given theme for each episode challenge. The overall experience forced me to become vulnerable and emphasized for me how important it was to remain true to myself, allowing my work to speak for itself. Then I made it to the finals. Although I did not get the winning title, the way I see it – I won in so many other ways. I highly recommend every artist to experience something like this. Something that will push your limits, challenge your comfort zones, bring upon growth and provide an opportunity to gain more confidence and experience as an artist.