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Life & Work with Mandy Pulse

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mandy Pulse.

Hi Mandy, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in a hair salon and barbershop. From the time I was a little girl, my mom managed a large salon as well as was a hairstylist in the salon. She is still doing hair part-time to this day! My grandpa was a barber and I spent a lot of time in the barbershop as well. Ironically, as a kid and teen, hair was the last thing I wanted to do. But after graduation, something changed. I grew to love the idea of serving people and since doing hair was a way of being with and serving people, I decided to give it a try. I felt right at home in the salon and quickly grew a clientele!

I started in a corporate salon and worked there for 12 years. I enjoyed that but felt drawn to grow and do more. I partnered with two friends to open a nine chair booth rental salon. That’s where I really learned what kind of environment I wanted to grow my business in and what kind I did not. This is also where I was introduced to a co-worker that changed my life. A few years into this part of my journey, a co-worker shared an opportunity to go with a group of hairstylists to Cambodia to teach in a human trafficking prevention program. I applied to go on the trip with little hope I would be accepted but ten months later, I joined ten other stylists for an 18-day adventure in Cambodia!

Since then, I started a non-profit organization leading trips like the one I joined back in 2016. Global Stylist Scholarship teaches haircutting classes in developing countries. We collect and distribute tools and supplies necessary for those seeking an opportunity to start a business in this industry. We have done two trips to Guatemala since starting and currently have two more scheduled. We are planning to expand our efforts to other parts of the world as well as help stylists in the US with tools, education and other support.

I now own and operate a salon company with a partner; that is a dream come true! We employ around 20 people and have a culture that is rooted in serving our community. We do monthly haircuts for the homeless and many fundraising efforts to support our local community as well as our peers all over the world in the cosmetology industry! One of my favorite things about our salon is the mentorship program we now offer to newly graduated stylists. We hire and mentor around ten new stylists per year. It feels as if I’m passing the baton on to the next generation of stylists and it truly fills me with joy and purpose!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wouldn’t be who I am today or where I am today without bumps in the road and sometimes hard lessons learned. Some of the early struggles were financial. I can remember when my youngest son, who is now 15, was born- I prayed some days to make enough tips to be able to buy his formula. I scraped and borrowed my way to be able to partner for my first salon owner partnership and that was a huge lesson for me.

I also learned the value of a good partnership and being clear with each other about your hopes and dreams for your business. I had a bad ending to my first partnership and lost friends over it. Hard lesson!

I am still learning to trust others. I am a recovering perfectionist (can’t help some of it, I’m a Virgo)! With the help of mentorship and coaching, I get a little better every day! My mentors and coaches at High-Performance Salon Academy have helped me see the value of a hard lesson or failure. They are only a bad thing if you don’t learn from them. That attitude is life-changing!

My biggest lesson, though was to find my passion or purpose! Everything I do for my non-profit and to mentor new stylists does not feel like work. It’s a joy to be able to do something you love!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
At the core, I am a hairstylist! I specialize in color, mostly highlighting. I love blonding and am probably most known for my beautiful blonde clients who represent my work well. I am most proud of the relationships I have made in my career! I have so many friends and peers that I have met through my work. They brought me joy on the tough days! What sets me apart from others is my passion for this industry! I want to change the way the rest of the world views the salon and spa industry! We work hard and I feel sometimes people don’t respect our industry. I have been embarrassed to say what I do for a living in conversations with high-level professionals and that has to change. My work sharing this industry with those in need, whether it’s by teaching a trade or performing a service for them, is something else I am extremely proud of!

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
I feel my passion for people is probably been the most important quality to my success! It makes the long, hard days worth it! And I’m pretty driven naturally. I’ve been accused of going all in too fast. But, why wait? I have big dreams and I’m ready!

Contact Info:

  • Email: mandypulse@gmail.com
  • Website: SalonInspireKC.com
  • Instagram: @mandy_saloninspire
  • Facebook: Salon Inspire KC, Global Stylist Scholarship

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