Today we’d like to introduce you to Bianka Rocio Saavedra Ortiz.
Hi Bianka Rocio, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born in a beautiful small town in Michoacán, Mexico and at the age of five, my family moved to California seeking the American dream. It was no easy task to start kindergarten in a new country with a language barrier, thankfully I met Mrs. Traber and Mrs. Augustine who helped me overcome the fear of not fitting in and welcomed me with open arms. When I attended Glendale High School I saw that they offered a four year program to be a part of the Cosmetology Academy, I joined and discovered my love for hair and makeup.
After graduating, life took a different route and I left my first job as a cashier. I dove into the construction industry which helped influence my drive to better myself. I started out as a part-time assistant then became an onsite manager from 2015-2021.
During this time I knew in my heart that there was more out there for me. The passion that came with doing hair and makeup inspired me to follow my dreams. I decided to do something about it and in May of 2018 I signed up and attended My Beauty Mark Makeup Academy in Pasadena. I got my first client for a Quinceañera that same year, I decided to create a professional Instagram where I would later grow my clientele and kick start my dream career.
I slowly got hired to do hair and makeup for brides, prom, and photoshoots. The joy of bringing out a smile after I did their glam filled my soul. I knew then that my goal would be to someday own a salon. Summer of 2019 I researched local cosmetology academies in Los Angeles and found Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy. I decided to enroll and started school in February of 2020. The pandemic hit, and it hit hard, we were given a choice to either continue our course online via Zoom or wait until in-person classes were available. I decided to have faith that I could still complete my hours and embarked on that journey.
2021 was a big year for me, I came out as a lesbian to my family and friends in early Spring, and that was a challenge all on its own. Luckily, I met great friends at Toni & Guy who until this day have been a great support system. The opportunities that were offered at the academy such as being a part of the hair team for the OC Fashion Show 2021 was amazing. In May of 2021 I graduated and got my license in July. Along the way, I was able to assist my good friend in a music video and it sparked my interest in accepting new opportunities. I decided to take a leap of faith and finally left my construction job in November of 2021 and started assisting my current boss and amazing hairstylist.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There were some challenges along the way, when I started Toni & Guy I had to request less hours at work. I was a construction on-site manager and a part-time student. I had to redirect my time to fully invest in both my careers and that took a toll on the time I spent with my family and friends. When the pandemic started, we got the opportunity to use that time to really focus on completing our hours without any outside distractions. And with hard work and dedication I was able to complete my schooling despite contracting covid half way through. The struggles over the past few years have helped establish who I am, a strong, hardworking, queer Latina.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a licensed hairstylist and makeup artist in Los Angeles. I love being a part of a bride’s special day and having my work live on though photos and memories. Giving my clients a new look for their first day of school, interview, or special event and the bright smile on their face is always rewarding. When you take your time to get to know your client in their consultation and provide them with an amazing experience that is unique to them is what really sets you apart.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
As a little girl I was a part of plays and recited poetry in school. I was shy but would find creative outlets to express myself. I loved cutting my own hair and experimented with makeup even though I was not allowed to wear any until I was 15. I had a big imagination and would always think outside the box. All in all, unique.
- Instagram: @styledby.biankarocio