A Woman’s Power Through Independence began with my first job at the age of twelve, and it all started at a hair salon back in the sixties!
Independence – A Woman – A Beauty Salon
I was 12 years of age, and ‘La Donna’ (the woman), was its name. My mom owned it back in 1964; Curlers, Hooded Hair Dryers, False Lashes, Hairpieces, Teasing and lots of Hairspray was simply, everyday life.
The price, back in the day when I first started to work in a hair salon was $4.50 for a wash and set, there were no blow dryers.
My job? Helper to all the ‘beauticians’ and receptionist that worked in my mother’s beauty shop. I took rollers out, swept floors, answered phones, sometimes washed hair, and oftentimes put rollers in the hairpieces.
I didn’t get paid, but I did receive tips, $.25, a quarter, imagine that, but they did add up!
Raised To Be Independent
My parents entertained often at home, had a full size bar (like, almost professional), in our home. On their huge bar were numerous 5 gallon whiskey bottles; Seagram’s VO, Johnnie Walker, Old Crow and a few others. I asked if I could have an empty one to put my tips in.
Quarters fit perfectly in the wide opening of these 5 gallon bottles, and so I asked for an empty one, and began putting all my quarters in it.
I spent nearly all of my after-school hours, and weekends in this salon where woman became beautiful, shared their worries of life, solved everyday problems and created powerful bonds with other women.
Money Is Power For A Woman – When You’re 18-Years Old
From age twelve, right through high school, I worked. This meant that I didn’t go to football games with classmates, didn’t hang around the school parking lot getting into mischief along with many of my classmates, didn’t do drugs (the beginning of a huge problem back in the late 60’s) AND I was making money!
I learned at a very early age in life that money offered a sense of power, and for me at that age, the power I discovered, was my independence. I bought my first car at 16.
Sewing Gave My Independence To Wear What I Created
Since I was earning money, it meant I could wear whatever I wanted, since I paid for the clothes I wanted to buy.
Often, though, I bought the fabric to make the clothes I wanted to wear. Yes, I made many of the outfits I wore to school, because what I wanted to wear, just wasn’t sold in the stores.
You see, while the girls in my school had each other to set clothing styles and trends, I had access to French, Italian and British Vogue magazines in the salon.
Back then, what fast become fashionable, was Twiggy, Cher and the Beatles! I wanted English Mode clothes, and they were nowhere to be found in Maryland. So, I made them; my first real taste of independence!
Independence Is Power
By age 16, I had my apprentice license, and by 18, I had a full book of clients and making darn good money!
My graduating classmates were all looking for colleges, totally dependent on their parents, and poor! I took a different path in life.
I had very few friends, all through my high school years, because I found little in common with classmates from school, and a wealth of possibilities at work.
That 5 gallon whiskey bottle? By the time I graduated from high school, I had filled it completely up!
I had collected enough quarters to pay for myself and one of my sisters to take a trip to the Bahamas!
I paid for it all. One week, hotel, meals, and airfare; freedom, power and independence is what I earned from my first job.
A Woman’s Power In Being A Hairdresser
I remained in that field of work for 40 years. Raised 4 children as a single mom with the money I earned in my own salon.
When I chose to end that career, I wrote and published my first book, a gossip book gleaned from many of the fabulous people that crossed my path: CONFESSIONS OF A HAIRDRESSER.
My First Job Continued To Offer Independence Many Years Later
When the pandemic first hit, in March of 2020, life seemed to stop, globally. Two months into that pandemic, it seemed that the social media photos, of people I had become friends with, stopped.
I surmised that many of the personal maintenance women often go to a salon to have done for them, stopped also, which meant that ‘selfie’ photos also stopped.
I knew I had something to offer, and so I pulled out all the resources I could share with my friends to explain how they could do a basic root touch-up themselves.
Purchasing a few brands through Amazon, a few simple steps, and at least one problem could be resolved for a little while.
I was grateful to have the knowledge and years of experience to share with anyone who was willing to try.
Power and Independence Leads To A New Adventure
When you spend much of your life, being your own boss, doing what you know how to do and realize you can make an independent living from it, you are not fearful to try something new.
And that, my friends, is exactly what I did nearly ten years ago. I stepped away from the hair salon and into the kitchen, where an entirely new set of adventures have unfolded in my life.
But that, my friends, is a story for another time, because it is one I am still living to this day! W