We are spotlighting the winners of Beauty Launchpad’s 25 Under 50K competition, sponsored by Truss Professional.
Today, you will get to know Taylor Wade (@taylorwade.beauty). She is a hair artist at Opal & Cove Salon in Ormond Beach, FL.
Beauty Launchpad (BLP): What is a fun fact about you?
Taylor Wade (TW): I am a sucker for a good conspiracy theory! It’s not that I actually believe in half of them; however, it’s so interesting to me to see how other people perceive the world. The thought process behind some theories really gets me hooked! Definitely stirs up some good conversation in the salon!
BLP: How did you get started in the industry?
TW: To be honest, I just didn’t want to go to college! When I was in high school, I used to braid everyone hair in my English class, and I had a good friend of mine tell me that I should look into going to cosmetology school. She had joined the school’s dual enrollment program, and I decided why the hell not! Everyone was starting to plan for life after high school. I had no idea what I was going to do and saw this as an easy way out of going to college. However, after completing all my hours, I thought I sucked at doing hair, never went and took the state board test. I fought the desire of doing hair for almost five years due to the fear of working in a salon. I even found myself planning a move to Georgia to work for corporate Chick-fil-a – Talk about denial! My boyfriend at the time (now fiancé) fortunately crossed paths with me just in time to help me realize where my true passion was. Through his loving encouragement, I decided to enroll in cosmetology school for a second time, and I haven’t looked back since!
BLP: What is your proudest accomplishment?
TW: Becoming a Masters of Balayage Educator is definitely at the top of the list, as well as winning my first ever hair award last year from the MOB Awards for Educational Post! I have such a strong passion for education so to be recognized for that means the world to me. I love being a part of such an amazing team where not only can I help other artists grow, but I am constantly growing and evolving myself as well!
BLP: What is your current favorite hairstyle trend?
TW: I have been loving the copper hair trend and the fact it’s been hanging around for a while too! I’m fully convinced everyone looks good with copper/red hair – It’s all about finding the perfect shade for you.
BLP: What is a tip you have for your fellow stylists who are looking to grow their following on socials?
TW: Get clear on the audience you are trying to reach. If you are looking to attract clients from your page, post content that is relatable or educational for clients. If you are wanting to turn your page into an educational platform, then curate content that speaks to stylists directly. Finally, just be you! I found my best performing videos or posts on both TikTok and Instagram are the posts that I didn’t put too much thought into. I’ve been stuck posting content that I think other people want to see and not what I want to create, and that’s a recipe for getting burnt out!
BLP: What is a piece of advice about styling/working with hair that you have for your fellow stylists?
TW: Don’t be afraid to say no when needed. I am such a people pleaser, and as much as I want to make everyone happy, I have learned that there are certain services that I just don’t enjoy doing or don’t have much experience with. Sometimes it’s best to simply say no and refer them to someone who may be a better fit for them.
BLP: What do you love about your work?
TW: My favorite thing about my work is how every color is unique to each client. Although I specialize in modern/lived in color and hair extensions, I truly feel that every client is getting a color unique to them. I never wanted to be a stylist where I only take a very specific clientele or you look at my page and every head of hair looks the same with just slightly different toners. I truly have a beautiful blend of all these different custom colors in all shades of blonde, brunette or redheads!
BLP: What inspires your work?
TW: I truly find the most inspiration from making my clients happy! When I get to do a huge transformation and capture a beauty reaction at the end of it all, it really just lights me up and gives me so much energy. I thrive off of those moments!
BLP: What motivates you about the industry?
TW: I am motivated by 18-year-old Taylor who didn’t think she had any talent in this industry and convinced herself this wasn’t her calling. I know that there’s so much growth ahead, and I’m not even close to reaching my pinnacle. In the past, I would always compare myself to others in the industry and question why I’m not as good as some of the artists I looked up to (maybe because they have been doing hair for 10+ years and I was only on year 2). With a mindset shift, I now realize it’s not about being better than anyone else but being just 1% better than I was yesterday. If you improve by just 1% everyday, those small gains will lead up to remarkable improvements.
BLP: What is a career goal you have for yourself?
TW: My dream is to open my own salon one day! Although it’s probably a few years out, I can’t wait to create a beautiful salon space where stylists can come as they are and have an environment where they feel accepted and inspired by everyone they work with. I would love to have a whole team of stylists who share the same passion for growth and education like I do and aim to reach their highest potential!
You can learn more about each of our winners in our September/October 2023 digital magazine.