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Hattori Hanzo Shears

Celebrating Women’s History Month With Hanzo Nation Featuring : Lauren Curl

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Lauren Curl is the owner of Good Brand Marketing. She grew up in a hair salon from a young age and worked behind the chair for many years before starting her own graphic design company. Lauren is incredibly creative and passionate. Her business that started as a side gig has now turned into a successful and still growing business that she loves. Lauren is a mom of 2 children, who she describes as the “best kids in the entire world.”. Lauren is an excellent example of the limitless opportunity the beauty industry offers. She went to hair school, worked behind the chair, was an educator, and now an entrepreneur who serves the beauty community and beyond.

Who are your favorite women in history, women who inspire/empower you?

Frida Kahlo – an artist who was brutally honest about being a woman. She painted about many feminine issues that were taboo to even speak upon in her era. Birth, breastfeeding, miscarriage, etc were all at the heart of her works of art. She defied what the art world wanted as an artist and painted symbolic works that were and still are inspiring.

Oprah Winfrey – Oprah’s entire existence and aura screams that people should take responsibility for their actions and to improve the world by being a better human. Actress, producer, host: an ICON. She was a victim of child abuse and helped with the lobbying of the National Child Protection Act. She inspires me because she uses her voice to help make good changes for the world.

Brenda Howard – an activist who campaigned for LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, national healthcare, AIDS victims, and treatment for people of color. She was the “Mother of Pride.” Brenda helped me feel good about my sexuality and proud to be who I am. She was a tiredless advocate of bisexual rights and without her, Pride wouldn’t exist for me. She endlessly fought for people like me and I hope to do the same.

Can you tell us a little bit about your professional journey?

I grew up in a hair salon. My dad and grandma were both hairstylists. It wasn’t a surprise when after high school, I pursued the same path. After getting my cosmetology license, and practicing hair for a while, I knew that I could do more in the beauty industry. I became an educator with the Paul Mitchell Schools and worked as a Learning Leader, Color Specialist, Cutting Specialist, and Core Specialist for about 8 years. At some point during my years of teaching with Paul Mitchell, I also tought for Hattori Hanzo Shears.

During my time teaching, I decided to go to college where I learned the art of Graphic Design. After finishing school, I took a good leap of faith and began creating graphics and social media content for anyone that asked. I gained a lot of business initially because I knew what worked. My graphic design concepts focused on the beauty and wellness industry. With a steady clientele in design, I created my own company. I started doing social media and content creation for Hattori Hanzo Shears and a few other brands. I absolutely fell in love with the social aspect of things because it allows me to have fun and create art for social platforms that I personally use.

When I started my own company, I wasn’t expecting it to turn into what it has. I discovered that there were a lot of artists out there who didn’t really know where to go when it came to places for work. So, we came together and formed a coalition. We support one another and work as a unit. My company now offers website design, social media support, creative direction, photography, PR, and we even have a chief of philanthropy so that we can give back.

I’m proud of the growth of my brand, but even more proud of the growth of myself. Starting my own business was exhausting but I’m so glad I took the leap. Doing what I love for a living, for an industry that I love has given me so much serotonin and satisfaction. The combination of my two professional loves has made my world complete.

What is one obstacle you have experienced during your career journey and how did you overcome it?

One obstacle that I have experienced in my career has been my own inability to “power down.” Initially, when I started my own company, I was glued to my laptop, phone, and anything else that had a WiFi connection. I thought that I had to work 24 hours a day to be successful because that is what so many entrepreneurs say they do. I learned quickly that that is simply not true. It destroyed my mental health and caused a lot of problems with my own personal relationships. If anyone ever tells you that in order to be successful you have to work until you die, they’re wrong. I’m the proof that you don’t. I overcame it by telling myself that I was worthy enough and good enough to put my phone down and turn it off. I had to create a boundary with myself. Social media management is a true 24 hour job. Just because it’s on 24 hours a day, didn’t mean that I had to be. I found programs that could help me organize and post my content, I hired an assistant to help keep me on my grind during the hours I wanted to be, and I learned how to say “no.”

What has been your biggest career and/or personal achievement?

My biggest professional achievement has been being able to share my information with others. Everytime that I get to teach a beauty school student, or salon owner, etc, about social media techniques that will work best for them – I feel on cloud 9. I’m so thankful that they’re even asking me to do that but, to me, that just solidifies that I must be doing something right. For a while I had imposter’s syndrome and hearing the feedback and seeing the results from a client doing what they’ve learned from me has completely crushed that.

What advice would you give young women today?

My best advice to give is to find what your core values are and build a clientele, business, and foundation around those values. Oh and also that careers and businesses have ebbs and flows and you can’t give up at the first sign of hard times.

How do you balance your work and personal life?

I have set boundaries in my work and personal life. I always try my best to be present whether I’m in family mode or work mode. When I’m on my deathbed, I doubt I’ll be saying “oh wow, I wish I could’ve done more social media reports,” I’ll probably be asking for more time with the people who matter the most to me. It’s easy to engulf yourself into work, but the boundaries help. I also make it very clear to my clients that my boundaries exist and turn off communication with them once my business hours are closed. They can email me after hours and I’ll open their email when I’m “open for business” next. Boundaries are key.

What advice would you give to working moms?

My best advice to working moms is to live your life, do what YOU love, and tell your children that you’re doing just that. I think a lot of people have this assumption about children where when you have a child you must sacrifice the things that you love because the kids are here now. That just, simply, isn’t true. If you do that, you’re doing your children a disservice because you’re letting that cycle happen. You’re showing them that cycle. I want my kids to feel like they can do or be anything and the best way for me to do that is to lead by example. Just because I’m a working parent doesn’t mean I still can’t be “Lauren”. So live your best life, because if you want your children to live their best life, you have to lead by example.

Can you tell us about starting your own business and how you have been so successful in entrepreneurship?

I started my own business because I had many people who were asking me to create graphics for them that I was like “I should probably do this legally.” I reached out to an attorney to help me set my business plan and gain appropriate tax information and then I began to hustle. I set goals for myself each month and anytime I would hit those goals, I would find a way to celebrate that. I’m a firm believer in relying on family and friends to support us so I told my circle of people to hold me accountable, to be real with me, and to refer me to everyone they knew. Another reason I became successful was because I joined a few local facebook pages and I promoted myself regularly. As an entrepreneur, nobody is going to work harder for you than yourself. So, I got to work. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, but without the support from family and friends and the belief in myself, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.

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