We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Kate Johnston. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Kate below.
Alright, Kate thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Can you talk to us about a risk you’ve taken – walk us through the story?
I started my career as a hairstylist when I was 18 and had just graduated from high school. I knew early on that I wanted to be the best hairstylist I could be, but was never sure if I’d ever want to open my own salon. After working in salons for 10 years at the time, I was very hesitant to open my own salon because I saw how hard my bosses worked and how stressful owning a salon could be. Finally after growing myself and having a full clientele, it was time for me to branch out on my own and take the plunge to booth renting! I was so nervous about how I was going to get everyone to my new location, setting up my own business, etc. Thankfully, one of my best friends had just opened up her own studio and she guided me through the whole process! One of the best things you can do when trying to navigate change is to ask for help. There are always people around you that are willing to help, or there are a ton of online resources that will guide you on whatever you want to do in life! I am so glad I took that risk and branched put on my own, because every year since that day I decided to leave my current salon where I was comfortable, I have grown tremendously. I now own my own full service salon and have several employees with plans to open a bigger salon by the end of this year or early next year. With that being said, I always tell people now to go for what you want in life. Don’t let small things that seem big get in your way because when you look back, those things that seem big and scary aren’t so scary after all!
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi! My name is Kate and I grew up in good ole Spring, Tx where I attended Klein high school. My whole life I have always LOVED anything beauty related. I grew up playing with my friends hair, doing crazy makeup looks, and begging my sister daily to let me do her hair (which she didn’t love). This led me to finishing the cosmetology program at Klein High. At the time, I knew I didn’t want to go to college and this was a really good option for me because once you graduate high school, you have all of your cosmetology hours to go and take your state board test to be a licensed cosmetologist in Texas. I immediately started working in a salon right after I got that license at 18 as an apprentice where I learned a ton. I quickly realized that doing hair was the right choice for me and continued working extremely hard to better myself as a stylist and to work my way up from being an apprentice to master stylist at a few different salons. I now own my own salon in Tomball, Tx and I absolutely love every minute of it. I have now gotten to the point in my career where I focus only on extensions and color to create custom makeovers on my gorgeous clients. I pride myself on being able to talk to someone and create an amazing look that is special and tailored to them specifically, and it turns out so beautiful every time!
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
I have had social media for a while now, and it can definitely be tricky to navigate. I have recently grown my TikTok by 8k + followers by so telling out of my comfort zone and doing tutorials and lives on how to style hair. It can be nerve wracking at first because you think people are going to make fun of me (and they will because social media is brutal) but you just have to let go of that fear and go for it. For every one mean person, there’s a thousand amazing ones and I think that if you truly want to help people, it shows and people definitely appreciate that. So my best advice is to just go for it, don’t worry about what other people think because you never know what could happen, and social media is a necessary evil when it comes to owning a business!
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
About midway into my career, I decided I wanted a change. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and go and work in, what I thought, was a very upscale, modern salon in Houston. This particular salon had pretty well known stylists working in it, and I was so excited to learn new things and work amongst them. I started working in this salon and quickly realized that no all that glitters is gold. The mentality of the salon was to break stylists down before they were built back up. The work environment was toxic. Employees were being manipulated, and I went from having my own clientele to being told I wasn’t good enough to take any clients of my own and was forced to scrub toilets. Thinking back on this, it’s so shocking to think I let people make me feel the way they did. I was there for about 6 months until I realized this is not right. People should not be treated this way and I got myself out of there and started working at a new salon wipers I thrived!
- Website: Lesugarsalon.com
- Instagram: Hairbykate_houston
- Other: TikTok hairbykate_houston