I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO// Start and Run My Own Successful (Hair) Business
I'm Not Supposed to... is a feature on SoloSeule showcasing interviews with ladies that are going against the grain and doing exactly what society says they shouldn't.
Amanda (@amandarileyhairstylist) is tall, stylish, and has a smile that makes you feel like she's been waiting to see you all day. She's also incredibly driven and organized. She has money management books next to #Girlboss next to beautifully designed vegan hotel guides (yes, that's a thing) on bookshelves in her Los Feliz living room. Whenever she's doing your hair, she gives you the honesty of an older sister mixed with the ease of a California girl who knows what's cool. Read on to learn more about what it takes to succeed (and survive!) as a hairstylist in Los Angeles.
Who are you?
I'm Amanda Riley. Wife, mother (to a pup), and hair stylist. I successfully started an independent hair styling business in Los Angeles by using social media, marketing, and my coloring skills. I am certified as a Wella Master Color Expert. That means I can decipher your hair's heritage by looking at your hair strand, asking a few leading questions, and feeling your hair--thus, making the best decision on how to color your hair. My interests include coffee, hiking with my puppy, exploring LA, and eating good vegan food with my husband (or a day at Disneyland!). I live my life by to-do lists. Not living by the seat of my pants has helped to establish myself in a city overrun with hair stylists. It has also helped me to start working for myself!
What’s your background?
I was born in San Diego and grew up in Denver. Colorado is where I was homeschooled through high school. I graduated a year early to pursue a career in the hair industry. I got my cosmetology license at the ripe age of 18 and have continued in the industry since then. Moving to Los Angeles has completely changed my skill set and the way I approach hair. Most people would think "a hair stylist can't make money long-term" or "a hair stylist can't be THAT successful" but, I am doing both. Last November, I started working as an independent hair stylist meaning, I'm not attached to a salon. I've successfully built my clientele by building relationships and friendships with the women whose hair I do.
What do you wish more women were doing?
I wish more women had more balance. I find that my personality is that of a "mothering nature" so, I have to have all my chores done before the fun can begin. What I've learned most from this method is the ability to say no to people. Sometimes, you just need to. No, I don't want to work until 10 PM on a Saturday night. No, I don't want to change your hair from black to purple. No, I'm not going to change your hair simply because you changed your mind. Saying no is important because you need that time to yourself and to rest.
What’s a common misconception about you?
Because I am such a go-getter and live in my own world/thoughts, people can mistake this for being "bitchy". I'm just out here trying to hustle! I don't want to watch your cheesy Instagram video with the sound on WAY too loud. I just don't have time to mess around, I got plans!
What’s your favorite city in the world and why?
Anywhere in the Mexican Riveria Maya! It's long been a place of vacations for me and where I can truly unwind and relax. No cell phone reception, just me, a margarita, and the clear blue ocean
What’s a song you could listen to a thousand times on repeat?
I hate that my answer is this..."How Far I'll Go" by Alessia Cara on the FREAKIN Moana soundtrack. It was my Most Listened to Song of 2017 on Spotify. But come onnnnn, how can you not hear the words "I've been staring at the edge of the water" and not want to bust out, get some sails, and go exploring!
(Photos by Morgan Newton)