Have you ever been stuck on auto-pilot? Where it just feels like life is happening all around you and you’re just trying to keep up with the pace of it all?
That's how life was feeling for me in 2017 and early 2018. My hamster wheel was moving way too fast and I was along for what felt like a pointless ride. Now don't get me wrong. I’m a grateful person, and I had a lot to be grateful for- a thriving salon business, supportive hunky husband, happy toddler and another baby on the way- a solid catalog for life happiness. I wasn’t unhappy, but something was missing and I couldn't put my finger on it.
After an entire year of leaning into myself and facing some hard truths, I had that moment where I realized what was missing. PURPOSE. When I finally came up for air with that realization it was like I could breathe again. In the midst of toddler tantrums, new baby diaper changes and miscellaneous traumas and dramas, I started to lean into myself again and what bubbled up was something that had been percolating inside of me for years!
Lifting Women Up
I knew that I loved connecting with women, which is what drew me into the beauty business 20 years ago. I love sharing stories and providing services that help women feel better. And I learned early on that a manicure is not JUST a manicure, and the same can be said for every single service listed on my salon’s menu. It’s touch. It’s connection. And it’s giving and receiving in a personal way that helps us hold our heads a little higher. But most importantly, it’s an affirmation that every single one of us deserves self-care.
I also knew that I loved teaching, so I decided to open a beauty school. This role was never on my radar 20 years ago, but over time I’ve morphed into someone who enjoys sharing my love and knowledge of the beauty business with other women who are just starting out. If I can share my mistakes and the things I’ve learned to help someone else on their path, then my heart is full.
One day it finally dawned on me. My purpose is to lift other women up.
The connections I’ve made with women in my business have been powerful, but there is one constant theme that has left me sad over the years. As women, we apologize too much for our imperfections.
We seem to be trying to keep up with an unrealistic beauty standard set by our culture that’s been modeled since our early days of reading Teen and Seventeen magazines. And today it’s playing out in swipes and likes on social media.
I get it. I’ve sat across from many strong, beautiful women as they apologized for the flaws that make them human and relatable and full of loving empathy, and I’ve watched them mirror the same self-doubt that has also resided in me over the years. From the outside, people may think I’m strong and outgoing, but on the inside lives a little voice that periodically tells me I’m not ENOUGH. That inner critic has often told me I’m not pretty enough to be the “face” of my salon and that my mom body isn’t skinny enough to buy and wear the season’s latest trends. Writing this feels ridiculous because IT IS ridiculous!
Helping Every BODY Feel Beautiful
Over the past few months I’ve been dreaming about a space where women around the world can shop online for apparel and clean beauty products, and walk away feeling inspired, encouraged and empowered rather than imperfect and defeated. So I created Dame + Heart.
The clothing: modern yet basic designs, with a fresh approach that allows us to see the beauty in the details. These will be thoughtfully selected and treasured pieces that will be the fashion backdrop to our lives. These are the garments that will hug our beautiful (curvy, skinny, powerful, healthy, amazing) bodies as we chase our children and our dreams.
Following my purpose, dreaming big, and the journey ahead have all set my heart on fire and remind me that I have to be the change I want to see in this world. I’m thrilled to launch Dame + Heart and to take She She Beauty Lounge to new levels. I’m excited to serve our clients and team in a different way- a way that creates conversations about lifting each other up, prioritizing self-care, redefining beauty standards, empowering one another and believing from the heart that WE ARE ENOUGH.