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Daily Inspiration: Meet Kristen Floyd

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Floyd.

Kristen, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
It’s kind of a funny story. I was going to school for economics and finance. I was working several jobs to put myself through college, and one of those was working in the spa industry as a salon manager/receptionist/shampoo assistant. I had been doing makeup for friends and family since high school and was always into skincare, beauty, etc, but I never thought about it as a career possibility. I wanted to be a stockbroker. I was stuck on needing a certain “type” of job to be viewed as “successful”. It never occurred to me to do what I loved… or to even put that as a priority.

I really did not like what I was doing in school, I was miserable. But I found myself really looking forward to going to work, to one of the industries I was working in, to out myself through school. The tech stocks fell, the people around me didn’t seem to be happy, I got a flash of what my future might look like, and I knew… this isn’t going to make me happy. What is going to make me feel fulfilled and happy to show up to, every day? I knew it was being in the spa industry, taking care of people. Helping them feel as beautiful as I knew they were. So I switched gears and went to aesthetician school… the rest is history. I decided to follow my passion.

I’ve been an Esthetician for 20 years now and in the industry for even longer. I’ve learned so much. About people, about myself, about what I want and what mark I want to leave on people. I’ve been in big spas, hair salons, managed huge day spas… and truly feel like the best place for me is in a small more intimate spa setting. When working for others, I was often criticized for seeking perfection or focusing too much on the details. I’ve always been a workaholic and thrown myself into work. There came a time when I was tired of doing that for someone else, feeling underappreciated and not fully able to have the warm, welcoming all-inclusive environment I wanted for my clients. So I decided it was time to create that. To stop trying to find it, and make it. So I used those criticisms… and created OCB Spa… Obsessive-Compulsive Beauty. I truly believe the beauty is in the details. That’s why my clients come to me. I’m obsessed with the details, obsessed with making people feel better about themselves and providing a safe, welcome space. That’s what I’m most proud of, really. Clients always feel better after they leave than when they came in the door always. That’s how it should be.

The pandemic has taken its toll on my business, like so many, especially in the service industry. When I opened OCB Spa, I had a vision of more of a wellness center. A no judgement zone, a respite from the outside world with spa services, mental health, acupuncture, massage therapy, integrative nutrition, etc. It had a large open space that I planned to use for classes, demos, makeup parties and to house events/forums for my non-profit, Global Beauty Project. Its very important that I use my tools, I saw it all happening there. I spent over a year fixing up the building and working towards my vision… then as soon as the building was done and ready… COVID hit. Shut everything down. Being a new business and solopreneur, I didn’t qualify for any of the assistance. I spent everything trying to stay in that space, but to no avail. I couldn’t find anyone to share the space once we could reopen. Everyone was suffering, and no one was looking to take that risk. So I had to leave that building and downsize. It was down to the wire and didn’t even have enough money to be there one more month. I had been searching for a smaller space, for just myself, and I was finding everything was too large. I went to look at an empty storefront space in Dulaney Plaza, and it was the same thing, just too big for me. And I knew I couldn’t move and have the same problem, get a space that was too big and not find anyone else to join me. Dulaney Plaza offered a solution… office space.

Literally, the permits and everything came through just before I had to be out of my previous space. Everyone really pulled together, especially Dulaney Plaza, to help me pull it off and make the transition smooth. I still have my vision for a wellness center someday… but right now, I am very happy in the space that is my own, it still has the same warm welcoming energy, and I have the support of the small businesses around me, many women-owned, and the support of the great team at Dulaney Plaza. So I’m in a really great place to recover from the financial devastation of the pandemic, regroup, and possibly springboard into something else in the years to come.

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?
The pandemic has taken its toll on my business, like so many, especially in the service industry. It’s also take it’s toll on me physically, as I am a COVID survivor but currently still suffering with post-acute COVID, or a “long hauler”. Which continues to make work and daily life difficult, as I run the business completely solo.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
As an Esthetician and Makeup Artist, I like to say my zip code is anything from the eyebrows down. Facials, chemical peels, waxing (yes, all waxing), tinting, henna, eyelash extensions, lash lifts, brow lamination, spray tans, body treatments. I am also an Eyelash Extension Educator, training and certifying other Estheticians. I’m also a Resident Beauty Expert for WBFF Fox 45 and do segments for them on the weekends every 2-3 weeks. I also provide Bridal Makeup, either in the spa or on location with my on-site Kristen Floyd Bridal business.

Taking care of the entire bridal party, including the Moms, it’s always so much fun to be a part of such a special day. I feel like I’m most known for my makeup, ability to change people’s skin… and being the waxing queen. I’m always learning, getting certified in something new, taking any class I can. I am a walking house of knowledge of all things skin and beauty. I get excited to talk about it, to help people. My clients would tell you I’m most known for making everyone feel good. That’s truly what I love the most. They let me be a part of their lives, through some of their most important and memorable events. Some lifelong connections and friendships have been created within the four walls of the spa room. They trust me because they know how deeply I care. That’s what I’m most proud of.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
It’s very important that I use my tools and my business to further social justice and amplify voices that are leading the movement. To not just have a business that’s zero tolerance for racism, homophobia, xenophobia, that’s LGBTQ+ welcoming and supportive… but to actively affect change. To not just be an ally, be active, donate, amplify, volunteer, do the work that must be done by white people to dismantle these institutions that uphold and maintain the social injustices. To educate and gather other white people to do the same. This matters to me the most, the mark we make in the world we’re in and how it affects others.

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