Well you guys, I survived convention!

Last week we had our first BMSCon, where I did models from start to finish on stage (for the first time). Did I mention I had to do it alongside the Queen of NBR herself, Danielle?? Yeah, no pressure there.

Leading up to our event, I’ve been terrified. Literally every night, I would wake up at least every 45 minutes in a full on panic, stressing about being in front of a crowd of 170 stylists. I’m positive I developed multiple ulcers from my self induced freak outs. I was not born for the spotlight.

But the good news is, I overcame it. And not only did I not die, I had the best few days.

I grew a ton, learned so much about myself and what I am capable of, was re-inspired by our team (as I am daily), and was in total AWE of the amazing stylists who attended and shone so bright in their own talents and truths.

The night before day one began, I was informed that I would need to share a 10-15 minute blurb of my story and my why, for everyone.

I don’t even know what my story is, so how can I share it? But after some reflecting, I got clear on my why, why I am doing what I am doing. What my purpose here is at BMS and with NBR. Now it makes total sense why I’ve been grinding and hustling.

It’s for a bigger cause. And it strikes an emotional chord with me.

I’ve worked my entire life. Non stop, since I was 15.

I’ve had my cosmetology license since I was 19, and have been working in salons ever since.

My water broke with my first baby, while I was standing in heels behind my chair, doing highlights on a client. Not only did I not leave for the hospital immediately, I straight up changed my clothes and went back to work.

I intended on staying there, until my co worker said “That’s NOT how this works. Here is where you stop working, and go have that baby of yours!”

Less than two weeks later, I returned to work, doing clients. Working nights and weekends to accommodate everyone else’s work schedules.

I had my second baby, and had complications with the pregnancy and was put on bed rest.

Guess who worked anyways?

This gal.

Baby number two came, and in less than two weeks, I was back at the salon.

Two emergency surgeries came up for my newborn, so I balanced my time between the hospital and the salon. We needed my income, so not working wasn’t an option. (But holy fuck how I envied all my mom friends who were now SAHM. I loved them, but was sups jelly!)

Time passed. I worked.

Soccer games, dance recitals, family events, all missed by me, while I worked.

Now, I was not unhappy during this time. I was just doing what I needed to do for my family.

and with a little humor.

Cut to NOW where I have had some space, distance, and clarity, and I look back on young mom Val and cry. I was in so much pain and didn’t even know it. If you knew me as new mom Val, you would have seen a happy girl who was obsessed with her kids and loved doing hair. But as it turns out, I was in a super painful place. Sometimes it takes being on the other side of things to gain some perspective and insight.

So THAT is why I love teaching NBR + Business to other stylists. It changes lives if you follow the curriculum. And I do not want one mom to be STUCK in the grind I was in, missing out on so many monumental moments with their families.

A new mom with a baby in the hospital should be there, caring for her baby, not worried about texting clients back and rebooking them. Or worse, going to the salon to make a few extra bucks to pay for said hospital bills.

Moms should have maternity leaves.

Moms should be able to say NO to working Saturdays.

Moms should be able to be off work at a normal hour, not taking an 8:30pm client, being done at 11, and driving home after that.

But that’s not really what Mom’s, or women in general, are doing in our industry.

So I’m here, alongside Danielle, Garrett, the DKW Styling team, and our beautiful NBR tribe, as a stylist who had once done the hustle and grind thing, but with no direct path or direction. And now I’m living my dream life with such focus and strategic gameplans on how to achieve my next goals.

I want every woman to feel that freedom. To find balance in life. Work hard, yes. But on YOUR terms. Then to still have enough space to enjoy your family, or whatever your WHY is, that keeps you pushing.

My why is my family. They are why I do everything.
My purpose in my career currently though, is protecting women from what I went through and showing them an easier way. I want every woman to be the highest version of themselves. Superwoman, Supermom, Superwife, SuperHAPPY.

And on that note here’s a rare sighting of my WHY….these crazies. They’re the best <3

Hope this wasn’t too sappy for you, but all the feels have been out since our event.

Happy Wednesday, guys! I’ll be back next week with a festive Christmas drink recipe!