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Conversations with Kathia Checa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathia Checa.

Hi Kathia, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My interest for hair and makeup started early in life during my childhood years. It wasn’t until my teen years that I had an interest in pursuing it as my career. Following high school, my family relocated to West Virginia which is where I went to cosmetology school. After receiving my license and working as a hairdresser at a salon in WV for a couple of years, I moved to the San Fernando Valley. I had a goal of working creative jobs in both hair and makeup. My 1st job upon moving to LA was at Sephora. I met a lot of really cool people and learned a lot about makeup and skin by working there. I had a really challenging time passing the CA state board so that delayed my opportunity to work at a salon. In the meantime, I worked at multiple cannabis dispensaries while freelancing.

After I became CA licensed, I started working at a salon in Burbank in 2015 where I built up my clientele and doing makeup for more photoshoots. My creative goals were slowly becoming my reality. After a few years at the salon, I went back to school to get my barber license and started working at a barbershop. I only lasted a few months before I decided it was time to have my own private studio at Salon Republic that I shared with my hairstylist friend Dani. I was there for about three years. Within those three years I also worked at Pout Beauty Bar where I met some amazing people that really helped me get some fun opportunities that I had worked so hard to get. After my time at Salon Republic, I moved to My Day Beauty Studio, the salon I’m currently at in Sherman Oaks!

I’ve been doing hair and makeup professionally for going on 14 years. I’ve worked with several brands, and photographers, on music videos, with models, and so much more! This was kind of a quick story of the highlights in the timeline of it all. The journey has been made up of many trials, errors, tears, happy moments, proud moments, struggling moments..and HARD work! I wouldn’t change anything about how my journey has unfolded. I’m very happy of the opportunities I’ve had and what’s yet to come! This industry is ever-changing so it’s exciting to see where I still have yet to be and accomplish.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Some parts of the road were smooth, some were definitely a struggle. Honing in on my skill set, learning new color techniques that are here to stay such as ombre and vivid colors. Then there was the struggle of learning men’s haircutting and shaving working with tools I’ve never used before and working in a male-dominated part of the industry was a little intimidating at 1st. Trying new things always made me so nervous but challenging myself to do the damn thing definitely made me grow as an artist and a person.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I do a lot of different things. When it comes to hair, I specialize in cut and color. When it comes to makeup, I specialize in creative, editorial types of looks. I’m most known for the work I do behind the chair and for the makeup I do. I’m most proud of the versatility I have. I also feel that’s what sets me apart from others. My work days and work weeks never look the same. Some days I’m behind the chair, some days I’m on set, some days I’m working with a brand, and other days I’m working on creative projects with photographer friends. I’m never bored with what I do and that’s what keeps me fulfilled and in the glam game for this long

Who else deserves credit in your story?
Throughout the years I’ve had many people and places I’ve worked play a role in how my career has unfolded. My parents definitely helped me out. Always being my number one supporter and believing in me. My hair friends, especially Dani Van Buren for taking on the opening of a studio with me, bouncing ideas off each other and being there as a true friend when I needed a place to stay when I lived an hour away from work. My hair mentor Hector Rodriguez for being such a gem in sharing his knowledge and experiences from his 30+ years of doing hair. He gifted me my 1st solid pair of scissors and really showed me a lot about cutting and the industry. I was very blessed to cross paths with him and have him as a friend and mentor. Nicole Faulkner played a significant role as well by having me on her Pout team when she first opened her storefront. I learned soooo much about makeup and the beauty industry from her. Through an opportunity with her, I met beauty photographer Leyla Stefani. She became one of my best friends and we even became roommates for some time! She brought me on for several of her shoots and I’ve been blessed to have amazing opportunities by working with her. There’s so many people along my journey that have helped me get to where I’m at today. I’m so grateful for all the support and love I’ve received throughout the years from clients, friends, brands and fellow artists.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Leyla Stefani

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