Hairbrained Q & A: Stephanie Von Meijer

Stephanie Von Meijer, founder of Las Vegas based ‘No Rest to Success,’ believes in the future of the craft hairdressing industry. In her time behind the chair, she’s gone from being aimless and uninspired, to on fire with passion and possibility. She credits this shift to education, which she hopes to make accessible to a broad range of hairdressers. 

Read on to discover how education helped to shift Stephanie’s awareness, plus pushed her to elevate her craft – and learn about how she wants to change the face of the industry using free and low cost education as her medium.         

Q. You’re relatively new to the industry – but you’re devoted to education. How did you become passionate about pursuing knowledge?

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A. I think that, for me, becoming involved in education was a ‘happy accident.’

Early on, I faced a lot of hardships. School was tough for me; I have ADD and dyslexia, and as a highly creative person, I have to push myself hard when it comes to analytical thinking. Academically, I was conditioned to believe that I wouldn’t amount to much. I got married when I was quite young, to a man that I would later discover was abusive. When our son was just two years old, I left him. I wanted to create something better for myself, and for my son. But we had shared custody, and I found myself feeling depressed when my son spent time away from me.

Ultimately I decided that I deserved a happy and healthy life. Hairdressing is my second greatest source of joy (my son being in first place, always), and because of this I was intrinsically drawn to advanced education. These opportunities allowed me to have small and consistent successes, which were confidence building; I was able to learn to believe and trust in myself, fully. Plus, I met some really great friends (who I now think of as family) that continue to push me, and help me to grow.    

Q. Can you describe your most impactful educational moment?

A. That’s hard – I’ve had so many! I think the one that really sticks out in my mind, is the very first class I took, after spending five (uninspiring) years behind the chair. It was the ARROJO’s 3-day Razor cutting and Hair Painting seminar. I already had a little bit of experience with razor cutting (thanks to two very well-meaning instructors at my cosmetology school), but this particular class that I took with industry veterans Nick Arrojo, Gerard Scarpaci and Tim Duenas really catapulted me in the right direction. It inspired me to go out and to find more (quality) education.  

Q. Your passion for education has prompted you to create ‘No Rest to Success.’ What are you hoping to accomplish with this craft-centric endeavor? 

A. ‘No Rest to Success’ is a passion project of mine – and it’s like an onion, it has so many layers! In essence, though, it’s a platform that I created to help to uplift the craft hairdressing culture and to redirect the course of our industry. I created it to help people who are like me: stylists struggling behind the chair, and those who were never given the tools to succeed. Some stylists simply don’t have the resources to invest in their education, and ‘No Rest to Success’ aims to make it accessible. When it comes right down to it, I’m trying to create awareness through this project.  

Q. Technology is a big part of the world today. How do you use technology to boost your career?

A. It’s projected that 90% of our communications will be via video by 2019. Whether we like it or not, technology is aways going to be exploring new frontiers and pushing boundaries. To me, there’s no grey area: we can either adapt with it, or get left behind. I want our industry to be the best that it can be – the best possible version of itself. So I try to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. ‘No Rest to Success’ documents our sessions with recorded and live-stream video, plus we keep a presence on social media. Plus, I try to keep things exciting with podcasts.

I’m currently trying to build up the Las Vegas hairdressing culture – and technology is playing a huge role in this. We’re filming and editing our own videos to give stylists a greater sense of what the ‘City of Lights’ is really like, and so far, it’s been an epic experience.    

Q. You’ve created a series of podcasts with some of the industries most notable stylists. What was the inspiration for this – and how have you been personally impacted by these conversations? 

A. There’s no substitute for a spontaneous and genuine conversation; they’re stimulating, eye opening – and frankly – life giving. Whenever I take a class, or meet up with a group of like-minded professionals, there’s always amazing stories being shared! Other people’s perspectives can be so refreshing. I just think that there’s so much valuable information that isn’t getting put out into the universe. 

On a personal level, I really enjoy sitting down and getting to delve into someone’s story, having the opportunity to really pick their brain. But also, I like knowing that I might be helping to inspire and empower other stylists. The process of learning from other people’s journeys has really helped me on my own personal journey: discovering what worked and what didn’t, learning what drives them to succeed, and what fuels their passion. It’s all valuable information, and I wouldn’t dare keep it to myself! I wanted to help light the creative fire; that’s how the podcasts started.     

Q. What’s next for you?

A.  I’m a big believer in visualization and creation. Right now, I want to create more structure within ‘No Rest to Success,’ so I can help to create real change within the industry. I have finally found and built a great core team, whom I’d love to give credit to: Britt DuBose, Amanda Fuller and Blythe Bennett. These three women are like the ultimate trifecta, donating and dedicating their time to this project. We don’t get paid; we do what we do because we see the need for it, and because we’re excited for the future – for the potential of the future. We work tirelessly so we can be at the forefront of this change.   

Q. If you could give one piece of advice to the next generation, what would it be?  

A. I recommend a mantra, which is a statement or positive affirmation that you repeat to yourself, often; find one that resonates with you. I keep mine pretty simple: “It’s only a moment in time.” When things get tough – or when I want to freeze a beautiful moment in time – I repeat this simple phrase to myself. You can surmount any obstacle, plus soak up all of the joy that life has to offer, if you just remember to live in the present moment.

My quick tips are: Never stop learning (it will be the death of your passion). Be uncomfortable! These are the moments when you will experience the most amount of growth. Lastly – and this is a big one – find a vetted mentor, and learn everything you can from them.  

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