When I first started my business, I felt like I was totally alone. I didn't know many others who were doing freelance bridal work, and I felt somewhat isolated. After leaving the salon, I didn't have the everyday friendship of coworkers anymore, the opportunities to encourage or be encouraged, and just be able to vent sometimes. I didn't have the same access to advanced education, or knowing what the latest products were. Entering the bridal world was a whole new game too-from knowing how to advertise to working with other vendors-all so different from salon life! I definitely experienced some loneliness in those first few years!
Can you relate? Ever feel like you're on an island? I want to share with you what changed everything for me: community. I started to not only connect with other hair and makeup artists in my area, but also with other vendors in the wedding industry. I found networking groups specifically for small businesses and like-minded people in the event industry. I went out for coffee regularly with 3 other gals who worked in weddings (a photographer, a makeup artist, and a florist). I joined a small group of entrepreneurs who met monthly to discuss things like SEO, Instagram, and marketing strategies.
Becoming a part of these small communities has been a game changer for me. Here are some of the ways I've been impacted:
referrals for my business
opportunities to collaborate in styled shoots
support when I've needed help
people to help me grow my business
encouragement from my peers
finding other stylists to help me out with big weddings
knowing I'm not alone in my fears and struggles
These are just a few! So here's my challenge to you-seek out communities to be a part of in your area! This can be as small as a coffee date with another freelance hairstylist, or as big as attending a large professional networking meeting.
Now, I know some of you live in small towns that don't have groups like this. If that is the case I offer you two suggestions: My first one is to start your own! Reach out to other wedding vendors or freelance stylists and host in informal meeting where you just connect and learn about your businesses. The second suggestion to is utilize the internet to find online communities, whether that be a facebook group or an influencer on instagram-just somewhere that you can connect.
I started the Updo Collective in the hopes that I'm providing you with an online community that can be supportive to your business and to yourself personally. I encourage you to be active in our facebook group and always reach out when you have questions or resources to share. As always, please email me so I can be the support you need!
Thanks for being here!