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Meet Pearl Acevedo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pearl Acevedo.

Hi Pearl, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I wish I could say I always knew I wanted to be a hairdresser and one day own my own business but that was not the case. Growing up, I loved the arts, for example I loved to paint, to read and to write. But, I was encouraged to pursue a teaching career. Both my parents being immigrants and I, being the first grandchild from my dad’s side, they really had high hopes that I would go to a university, get my bachelors in Liberal Studies and become a teacher and for a moment, I thought that’s what I wanted too. When I realized it wasn’t what I truly wanted for my future, I decided to take a break from college and go to beauty school. Why beauty school? In high school, I was obsessed with 90s hair colors and styles. I would try to recreate them. My mom would take me to the swap meet and buy hair accessories and my friends would let me practice on their hair which later led me to coloring their hair and styling them for shoots. So when I took a break from Cal State Fullerton, I asked myself what’s something that I like to do? After a tough conversation with my parents, I told them I wanted to go to Beauty School. They were not happy with my decision and thought I wasn’t serious. My father told me there was no career in doing hair. I enrolled to Montebello Beauty College anyway and I completed it within a year, took my state board test and got my license.

I worked at a salon for a bit and had the worst experience which discouraged me. I ended up doubting myself and rethinking my career path and I got into retail. It wasn’t my passion but it paid the bills. I knew deep down I really wanted to do hair. Few years passed and I have a conversation with my cousin who now owned her own hair salon and was successful. I asked her how do you do it? And she said I love it. When you do something you love it’s not work. Right then and there, I knew I needed to do hair again and I started working with my cousin. My cousin became such a mentor. I respected her hustle but also her ability to bond with her clients and team. I started assisting her and shortly after I got my station and taking walk-ins. She really pushed me to not give up on my passion. She would tell me this field can be ruthless but you are talented don’t give up. She always made herself available to teach me and for that, I’m forever grateful. In time my parents saw my passion for hair and became more supportive and saw that Hairstyling wasn’t just a hobby and in fact a thriving career. So during the pandemic, my sister who is an esthetician found a local space available and asked me if I wanted to partner up and here I am now owning my very own business doing what I love!

Along with my sister we will be opening up at a bigger location coming this summer July 2022. Same city of Baldwin Park.  Updates of opening will be posted on the salons Ig @thebeautyloungebp

I’ve also started a TikTok @pearlloveshair

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
This career has definitely had its ups and downs. It takes a lot of energy, sacrifice and hustle. It’s not an easy business especially if you want to become successful at it. I’ve always been known as the nice girl and a people pleaser so it was very challenging for me to say no to clients. I got taken advantage of a lot in the beginning because of my lack of confidence in my art. I put a lot of pressure on myself to prove myself to my parents and to my clients. At times I really wanted to say no when it came down to pricing or doing a service I felt was unrealistic, I focused a lot on client retention but I did it the wrong way which meant working long hours for very little pay. I think that’s why a lot of people give up in the hair business. You have to develop a somewhat tough skin. So I had to invest in myself emotionally and artistically. Which was challenging financially especially as a beginner. But once I got motivated again, I started attending hair shows, started networking, got my social media running and took classes, which weren’t cheap. I remember in one of my classes, the artist mentioned that we are artists, look at Picasso people did not like his art at first now he’s worth millions same for us, some like our art and others will not but that doesn’t mean we are going to stop painting. I regained my confidence and that helped me elevate my craft and my clientele relationships. I became more knowledgeable and gained so much insight about this business. When my clients noticed my confidence, I gained their full trust then I began to thrive. I learned to work with my clientele and earned a lot of respect for it. I realized that you’re not always going to be the right fit for everyone and that’s ok.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Being a hair artist, I have the liberty to be creative which I love! Before, I was so scared to turn down work that I would do it all but didn’t find joy in some services. I wanted to focus on color. So I took my creativity on my own terms and started to elevate and perfect the services I love. I now specialize in blonding and VIVID hair colors. About 90 percent of my clientele are Hispanic/Latino that want that Pinterest blonde or vivid colors such as the blues, greens and etc. So I work with dark, coarse, thick hair pretty much all the time and I’m proud of that. I’ve had clients that have been turned down at other salons because of their dark thick hair. So when they come to me, they know they have a place in my chair and it becomes their home. Many of my clients see me more than their hairdresser but their friend, their words not mine. That is something I value so much. When my clients sit in my chair they know I will be there 100 percent mentally, emotionally, and artistically. They know I truly care about their hair and care about them. And they’ve told me it’s very rare to have that especially with their hairdresser so I keep that very close to my heart and it gives me purpose in my career.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
One thing for sure is that to not give up on what you love especially as obstacles get thrown at you. Every obstacle you overcome makes you strong enough to endure the next so you have to keep going. One of my favorite quotes says, “what if I fall? Oh, my darling, what if you fly?” I always keep it in mind. I’ve also learned that the beauty industry is so vast and there is room for everyone so I don’t worry anymore about what other people think or about competition. My happiness is my success not the money I make or the amount of followers I have. I’m doing what I love and own my own business and to me that’s being successful. I want to help people and make them feel good about themselves and just be positive. There’s too much negativity already. One more thing I’ve learned is that trends are always evolving so I’ve had to continue my education on trends and techniques to keep up and not stay stuck. I’ve seen that in others and they get burnt out because it’s so repetitive. I never want to burn out in my art.

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