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Life and Work with Baeleigh Rodriguez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Baeleigh Rodriguez.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Baeleigh. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my career in 2010, while I was working as a bartender. I was living life with the cliche “in the moment” kind of attitude, and it never occurred to me that my creative energy could be used in a professional way to earn a living.

The first time I was ever inside of a luxury beauty store, I received an interview on the spot. with no make-up while wearing flip-flops and jeans. (Living in North Alabama, the nearest store was over an hour away, and was only 4 years old at the time.) I had no idea what I was doing. I applied on a whim. Two years later, I am auditioning for a chance to be a part of the Professional Team. A national team made up of the most qualified make-up artists from the company. Two years after that, I am a licensed cosmetologist from The Aveda Institute Birmingham, all while working three official jobs and multiple freelance jobs. Make-up is my first passion, but I wanted to be able to offer a complete look. Before all of this, I had never done any one’s hair or make-up. But I discovered my passion for making people feel beautiful, and I am forever grateful for the four years I was with the company.

I was able to establish my make-up artistry with local industry leaders, from notable salon owners, to popular magazine editors. I spent the first 6 years of my career perfecting my hair and make-up skills, while building strong connections and focusing all of my energy on every facet of my craft. Within that time, I completed hair and make-up looks for music videos, runway shows, weddings, and editorials. After becoming a part of one of the most prestigious salons in the area, my business was catapulted to the next level. I built up a clientele, and I loved every minute of my time there. That salon became my home, and the employees my family. But something inside me was always pushing me to step out of my comfort zone. I wanted to expand my experience and career to something bigger. Somewhere bigger. In March of 2016, I arrived in Hollywood with only a Nissan Altima full of belongings. Since then, I have continued to build my career from the ground up by pursuing freelance jobs with production companies, photographers, actors, musicians, models, etc. I am now in the wonderful city of Long Beach running my own business with a local salon that has been in the area for more than 20 years.

Great, 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?
My biggest challenge was providing a financially stable environment. In the beginning, affording the necessary tools, supplies, marketing materials, etc. was hard to come by. I did my best to follow the plan of action I created for myself with little to no financial backing. I knew what I wanted and I worked two and three part-time jobs at a time to get it. I had to rely on my determination and ingenuity to figure out different ways to reach a goal. Whether it be a professional or a personal one. Thankfully, my mother is a business owner, and I was able to rely on her knowledge and creativity as well. My advice is to be prepared to work, and sometimes that means all day, every day. Make a budget. Set goals. Rely on your strengths and be prepared to discover new opportunities that will challenge you in every way. Stay motivated and surround yourself with like-minded people. Love yourself and remember that you will get back what you give.

Building connections would be my second biggest challenge. When I started out, I did not have the confidence to go out and introduce myself. I believe that changed as soon as I realized I wanted to pursue a freelance career. I had to get over the uncomfortable feelings that came along with putting yourself out there. I still struggle with this today and I believe most people do. But now, I am more confident than ever. I moved across the country to pursue my career dreams, but I would have never gained the confidence to do so without the support from the connections I made at the start of my business. My advice to young women starting out would be to not compare yourselves to each other. With social media, it’s gotten harder to not do that. I still struggle with this too. But we cannot be critical of ourselves or each other. Be supportive, share ideas, and be open. It’s great to have a competitive nature, that will help your business. But, it’s important to remember that, especially as women, every one you meet is an individual. You are an individual. And we may not all be the same, but that is what makes meeting new people so much fun. Consistency is a vital part of reaching a goal. Whether it is the beauty industry or otherwise, you have to make sure you are bringing your best to each and every aspect of running your business.

Please tell us about Baeleigh Lane Artistry.
I am a hair and make-up artist with a chair at Stars Salon in Long Beach. I specialize in hair coloring/cutting, bridal hair styling, all forms of make-up artistry, brow shaping, and hair extensions, including lashes. I have recently started specializing in vibrant hair coloring. (Unnatural hair colors i.e. blue, purple, gray, pink, etc.) It is a lot of fun mixing colors and figuring out the best way to make it happen, the same way when I am doing make-up. It feels rewarding to be able to complete any dramatic transformation for someone.

I am most proud of the things that set me apart from others. My editorial and film accomplishments, all while maintaining a clientele of all kinds. I specialize in making people of all genders, races, and ages feel beautiful inside and out. I can see beyond the aesthetic with my clients. I am there to provide the ultimate cosmetic pampering for anyone that sits in my chair. I can offer more than one or two services. I love traveling with my clients as well. I love being able to express myself artistically while making people feel good about themselves. As a brand, I am proud that I have made the leap from one side of the country to another. I basically started my career all over again in Southern California. I took a risk that could have broken my spirit to continue my business. I am thankful for being able to continue to live my dreams every day.

Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
I have to give all the credit of my success to my mother. Growing up I can remember watching her do her hair and make-up and being fascinated by the whole process. As a pre-teen, she let me make my own decisions when it came to my hair and make-up, which gave me a freedom most kids my age didn’t have. For example, she took me to a salon at age 13 and let me get pink highlights.

She raised two children by herself, all while building her own real estate business from the ground up. She empowered me to be a strong female and business owner. She taught me everything I needed to know to get started on this incredible journey, and I don’t know where I would be without her. Thank you, Mom! I love you the most.
I also have to give credit to Sanctuary Salon in Birmingham, Alabama. No, this isn’t a childhood experience, but it is still a part of my heart and helped shaped my business. The people that worked there are like family, and they are a bunch of the most talented stylists I have ever met. I learned so much from them, and the owner was more than just a boss to us. Todd Cargo was an amazing salon owner that supported my career dreams. His talent built a successful salon, and his charm and wit made it a home for many of us. He will always be the voice in my head when I stand behind the chair.
“I like your hair, I hope you win.”
 Thank you, Todd.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
@montefotography, Blair Davis Images, MannyLLanura Photography (hair only), Gabbie Hanna for AwesomenessTV (hair only), @purpledarkqueen, The Christians (TV pilot-Meek Entertainment & PR), Alabama Outdoors for Hunter Boots Ad, @jadeboxmusic

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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