Conversations with Kelsea Miller

Sep 02 2022

This article originally appeared on voyagemichigan.com

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelsea Miller.

Hi Kelsea, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I went to cosmetology school in 2011 in a very small town in the middle of nowhere in Missouri. I knew what I wanted to do and was determined to finish it as quickly as possible. While I was in cosmetology school, I got a job working for Estee Lauder selling makeup and skincare and soaking in all of the knowledge that I possibly could. I also had a very good friend that was a stylist, and I would help assist her when she would do weddings. I learned SO much during this time and it truly brought out my love and interest in bridal work.

Shortly after graduating cosmetology school, I became an independent stylist owning my own business. While trying to build up my clientele, I worked various jobs just trying to make money and make a name for myself (I got really good at doing a lot of different things). Knowing the journey that I was on, my cosmetology school reached out to me offering me a job as the front desk manager, which then eventually led me to me beginning my journey into teaching, all while still running and building the salon. To say I worked a lot would be an understatement.

After having my youngest daughter, I made the tough decision to take a step back from teaching and work full time in the salon, giving me a bit more time at home with my kids. At this time, my business was really steady and building. I had made a name for myself in the local bridal world and was pretty consistently doing bridal/special occasion work and makeup.

In 2019, after a lot of thought, life changes, and hard decisions, I decided it was time for me to come back home to MI. I was offered a teaching position at Douglas J Aveda Institute in Ann Arbor and immediately started teaching cosmetology full-time to get back on my feet. While I LOVE teaching, I was really missing being behind the chair. After the height of COVID, I started working very part-time at the Douglas J Salon, building up my clientele.

Over the last few years, after completely starting over with a brand new clientele, I am continuing to build my freelance bridal clientele and absolutely loving it. I am also still splitting my time between teaching and working in the salon.

I am so incredibly thankful for the crazy journey that I have been on and where it has taken me today!

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Building a business is HARD! I had to get really good at a lot of different things. In this industry, you have to work incredibly hard marketing yourself and making a name for yourself. Good things don’t come without putting in the work and effort for them.

Starting over back home in Michigan after so many years and having to rebuild myself has been incredibly difficult, but my business has grown very quickly, and I am so thankful for that.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I specialize in bridal work, makeup, and color. I have such a strong passion for the things that I do and love making my clients feel their best on their most special days. I have extensive training in all of these areas and am constantly furthering my education and experience.

I am most proud of the relationships that I have built with my clients over the years. Making them feel comfortable and confident is always my main priority. I will always take the time to truly get to know a bride before her big day and build that personal relationship with her. I feel like taking the time to build that bond and really getting to know one another helps to set me apart from others, Not everyone does that, and it really makes the day feel extra special to the client. Creating the experience for the client to feel like they’re just spending the morning getting ready with a friend instead of the formality of a stylist they don’t really know is so important to me!

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
My mom would throw me the most epic, over-the-top birthday parties when I was a kid. I was allowed to invite as many friends as I wanted, and she would always pick a theme. I had a dunk tank one year, and a magician, and all sorts of crazy stuff. To this day, birthdays are still super special to me.

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