Today we’d like to introduce you to Raquel Noriko.
Raquel, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started my passion as a career 11 years ago right after graduating high school. I went to Western Beauty Institute in Van Nuys and immediately began working at a salon after I finished and got my cosmetology license. I loved getting my hair done growing up but never would get it done with a stylist who knew how to style my curls. At that time, I had been straightening my curls and no one even know I had curly hair. It wasn’t until I was 21 and new to being my own stylist after assisting at the salon I worked at that I began wearing my hair natural.
Part of the drive that has carried me as a stylist in this industry was the fact that no one could do my hair and make it look not only good curly, but how I liked it. I was determined to change that while being in this industry. I enrolled in Deva Curl Academy and took their classes to learn their way of dry cutting curly hair. After I got advanced deva training and seeing the magic it brought to my clientele I decided to become a curly hair stylist mostly doing curly hair.
At 25, I moved to Maui and brought my dry curly cutting skills to the island where I build a Solid clientele. I fell in love not only with the island but even more with my career as it sustained me and my dreams to live in Hawaii. I am grateful and humbled by it all. Consistent hard work and major drive and determination really takes you far. This passion of hair is something I am so happy to be doing and, in a place, that I am happy at.
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?
Life has most definitely not been the smoothest for me. I can confidently say that working in the salon starting at 18 years old is what guided me through life. I like to say that the women and stylists in the salon are who really helped me get through the toughest times. At 15 my dad took over and raised my sister and I after my parents got a divorce. He was a fire captain for la city fire department and was gone working a lot. It was challenging on top of it all, when my mother became an alcoholic around that time as well. She was not fully present the majority of those teen years and working in the salon really helped me cope with that from 18 -23 when I was there working in thr salon. It truly helped being surrounded by all the women in the salon and the clients. I got to hear their stories and relate and that is what helped me face the hardships and made things even more motivating for me in my career. Going through the ups and downs with not having a consistent mother figure as a teenager really taught me so many valuable and worthwhile gems to take away while working in the salon.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Raquel Noriko Curl Studio – what should we know?
I specialize in natural curly hair. Dry cutting curls, coloring, styling, and bridal hair. I’m most proud of my business in that I have been able to travel around with it and take it to the # 1 place I have always wanted to be ..Hawaii!
I’ve been living on Maui 5 years this year. I moved off island for a year beginning of 2019 and I returned to live March 2020. I would pinch myself damn near every day when living here and I do it a bit more frequently now that I get to call it home for a second time around. Haha!
What sets me apart from others is my uniqueness and versatility in my clientele that is simply effortless. When I do hair, I see my family. I see my african ancestors as well as my japanese asian ancestors in my clientele while styling or cutting . Even when washing their hair, its just a feeling. That goes deep for me to be able to see that in my clientele and business. It keeps me grounded and going.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Gratitude. Staying grateful through the process of building to your success. When gratefulness happens, humility happens and Those two things make for the best success!
- Website: www.raquelnorikocurlstudio.com
- Instagram: @raquelnorikocurlstudio