A WORD FROM OUR STYLISTS: JESSICA "RUBY" GARDNER

As a mother of two daughters, it is often difficult to balance the demands of family life and a career.  In fact, it is sometimes a daily personal battle to divide loyalties between my personal career goals, and those of motherhood.  However, I am fortunate to work for a company that understands that.  Although I am one of few stylists to be a parent, no love is lost on my humorous anecdotes of family life that occur outside of Beauty.  In fact, I think my "Adventures in Motherland" can be appreciated by my fellow colleagues, with or without children, as well as my clients.  Who doesn't love a good story about a charming four-year-old or a brazen twelve-year-old? 

Actually, I owe a lot of my professional success to my personal life.  I believe that my drive and passion to succeed in my career are inspired by my daughters.  I began my journey at Beauty in 2006 shortly after my second daughter was born.  I applied as a part time employee (at the urging of my sister, then an employee of Beauty as well).  As a previous client of Beauty, I knew of the salon and felt this would be a good opportunity to try something new.  I had graduated from UWM in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education.  Feeling a change of pace (and possibly of career) were in order, I applied to Beauty and was hired.  From that point, I entertained various titles: Front Desk Coordinator, Assistant Front Desk Manager, Wedding Coordinator.  Then, in late 2007, I took my next and best move: a barber/cosmetology apprenticeship with Beauty.  Although Beauty does not typically pursue apprenticeship programs, I was allowed to be "grandfathered" in due to the experience I already had under my belt with the company.  This program, which requires 3,712 practical hours in a salon, as well as 288 theory hours in a classroom was completed in December 2009.  Essentially, I learned all of my background and basics at MATC downtown, and all of my skills and sassiness at Beauty! Over the course of roughly two years, I was indoctrinated into the world of beauty.  Pun intended.

So, I guess you could say I've come full circle:  client, front desk coordinator, assistant, stylist.  Although my innate creativity, as well as my interest in cosmetology, are two driving forces behind my desire to succeed at Beauty, I know being a mom makes me that much more motivated.  And, coming full circle is that much more fulfilling.

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