Beauty From the Inside Out
Alison Farfan of Hair By Alison is a true artist. Her medium of choice is the luscious locks on your head. Having built our businesses alongside each other, Alison Farfan was in fact the first ever client here at gpalcreative. It was a pleasure to chat with Alison about how she started "playing with hair" and showcasing her work at just 16, to styling celebrities and working with some of the biggest brands out there, like Maybelline and Amazon. Read on to learn more about Alison and her #womanowedbusiness!
featuring Alison Farfan, owner of Hair By Alison Farfan
What's your craft?
Bridal Editorial Event - Hairstylist
How did you get your start?
My love for hair started from growing up in the dance world. The whole behind the scenes rush and glam caught my attention at a very young age. I had a strong feeling that I was going to make all my dreams come true one day, my dreams were big and still are today!
From the age of 16, I started showcasing my work on almost everyone I knew. I would style and photograph as many girls as I could until I had enough to promote myself on Facebook. The first bride I ever styled was actually a dance teacher of mine! From there, my love for styling brides started growing and I continued to seek out more opportunities within the wedding industry. With each client, I was leaving my signature in their locks, let my craft do the talking, and hoped people liked it. Looking back, this was one of the scariest times and still scares me to this day. Putting all your love and hard work out there for the world to see and then having to be judged by it (if you are good enough) is super tough!
After high school my parents put me into a cosmetology school in NYC. I am where I am today because of them, they believed in me. Quickly I learned I wanted to be my own boss and lead my own path in the beauty industry. It was the best decision I have made so far!
What has been the largest obstacle you've encountered so far?
Truthfully, when you have a business, every single day is an obstacle and a challenge, but overall it is so rewarding. I am a one-woman-show, juggling all ends and learning as I go. Most of the time, I'm just hoping that I'm doing ok. Looking back on the times I've failed, I realize they were were my biggest blessings and when I learned the most! Without failing you won't get better. We are all a work in progress until the end.
If I had to identify the biggest challenge I've come across so far, it would be right now during this terrible time with COVID-19. I have been challenged in ways I could have never imagined. If I were warned about this obstacle, I would never believe that I would be able to overcome it and survive. I've gained so much perspective recently. I will never take anything for granted again, and I am walking out of this challenging time as a much better person than who I was before it. On a positive note, this pandemic has united and brought my beauty community a lot closer together. We are all in this together and will be coming out stronger than ever!
What has been the 'best day ever' for you and your business so far?
This past Holiday Season. I was given a huge opportunity by an incredible celebrity hairstylist who I aspire to be and look up to so much. She had taken me under her wing and given me a chance. She sent me in her place to style one of her biggest clients in the fashion industry. Long story short, the day came and I never got to style the client due to a miscommunication.. I'm sharing this story because it was the "best day ever" for me. I was at Macy's in Herald Square, totally cool until security brought me to her greenroom. I pulled myself together real quick!!!! As I started to realize that I was not going to be styling her as planned, it hit me that this was the beginning of what I've wished and prayed for- for so long. The fact that I was in a room with the rest of her team waiting for her, was the moment that I knew I was on the right path and so close to getting where I wanted to be in my career. I will forever be grateful for that day and experience! Dream big because dreams do come true...
What types of marketing have been key to your success?
Social Media is EVERYTHING! The more networks you have displaying what you do the better. By staying active on various social media platforms, you are attracting multiple different markets. I'd call out Instagram as such a hot spot for growing your business as well. It's my online portfolio outside of my website.
Word-of-mouth is so important and we need that to grow. Your audience wants to hear why people are choosing YOU, and what makes YOU stand out.
My website was designed by gpalcreative and it's a must have! They took my brand and what I do to the next level!
Who inspires you?
SO MANY people Inspire me! I can't name them all, but here are a few: Audrey Bello, Jen Atkin, Jennifer Lopez and Walt Disney.
Any words of wisdom to leave us with?
Always go after what you want and never give up. Once you find what you're passionate about focus on it. The rest will all fall into place.
Not everyone is going to like you, and that's perfectly fine because there are going to be a whole lot of people that love you.
Don't be afraid of making mistakes, you want mistakes to happen. You can say "Ok, I tried. I'm good here." OR you can keep going, keep evolving and continue to challenge yourself.
We are the writers to our own story, we need to write a great one!
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