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Conversations with Vania Gamez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vania Gamez.

Hi Vania, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Since a small child, I was always fascinated with all things beauty, hair, makeup, and nails. I was always the one that was in charge of the makeup and hair at sleepovers. During my senior year of high school, I wasn’t quite sure what to study, I already knew college wasn’t something I wanted to do, and since I am a very hands-on person and there was no way I could sit in a classroom for any longer.

My best friend’s mom was a cosmetologist and a successful one at that, she seemed to really enjoy her career. She had a Salon in her home where my best friend and I would spend some time trying new hair colors and cuts on ourselves. One day, we were talking about what our next step would be after high school and her mom asked “would you ever think about doing cosmetology? It’s a great career and school isn’t long!” I never thought about cosmetology school, I really enjoyed doing hair, why not look into going to school for it.

That thought stayed in my mind until after graduation. Coming from an immigrant family where my parents didn’t get the chance to go to college and I wanted to do something that would make them proud. At the time, I felt like college was the only option. I brought up the idea to my parents and they supported me 100% and believed in me, they would’ve rather seen me happy doing what I enjoy than miserable doing something I didn’t want to. I looked into schools in my area and signed up to tour a school. Once I toured it I became so excited about it and decided to go. I wanted to really challenge myself and learn the haircuts/colors that some stylists were afraid to do, that way I would be able to help anyone achieve their dream hair! The school was so much fun, It was like hanging out with friends, doing each other’s hair and make-up all the time.

I eventually went My first salon job where I learned even more about Hairstyling from talented stylists. Eventually, I decided to be on my own and started my own business as an independent stylist in 2018 in my own private studio. Being one on one with my clients meant they had my undivided attention during their appointment. This allowed them to feel more comfortable, unwind and relax. My motivation was to help my clients gain confidence and enhance their beauty. It’s incredible how a simple haircut can completely uplift someone and give them so much confidence. Self-care is very important and to me, Life can get pretty hectic sometimes. We never know what people are going through in life and It’s important to make time for yourself and be kind.

The time that I have with my clients is very important because it’s time dedicated to self-care and I’m grateful to be able to share that with them. I’ve shared some pretty amazing moments with them, I have seen them get married, have kids, I’ve even cut their kids’ hair. I’ve been there through their hard times and good times. There is a beautiful bond between a stylist and their clients that some people don’t understand until you experience it. It sort of resembles that sleepover vibe where just us girls having our talks and bonding.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Unfortunately, it hasn’t been a smooth road, because hairstyling requires me to be on my feet and use a lot of my body I had some issues with my back and shoulder. Aside from that, I was also diagnosed with PCOS shortly after establishing my business which took a lot of my energy because I would feel sick a lot of the time.

At some point, I couldn’t work as much as I used to and had to take some time off. It was challenging taking that time off because all I wanted to do was be behind the chair and see my clients. That time off helped me heal, taught me to slow down and take care of myself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Slowing down and Taking care of myself helped me regain my energy so that I am able to give my business 100%.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a licensed cosmetologist. I own The Blonde Studio in silver Spring, MD. I specialize and I am known for Hair coloring, balayage, and color corrections, I really enjoy taking those challenging hairstyles and giving my clients their dream hair, and transforming them in a matter of hours. I will spend hours on my clients’ hair and do whatever it takes to achieve what they want.

What sets me apart from others is that I really enjoy a challenge and I like to make it fun! I also really enjoy tedious work, figuring out how I will be tackling the hair project of the day. It’s almost relaxing to me and the outcome is always so rewarding.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
I like how everyone is very creative in their own way. There is so much art surrounding the city, people use art to express themselves and share their culture with one another in a beautiful way.

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