Wednesday, August 10, 2016

living your true purpose// part 1: Katelyn Gravel

I wrote a few weeks ago about how Florence Welch and Brittany Howard are women living their true purpose. I realized after seeing them I am surrounded by people in my own life that are doing the same.

You can see it in their smile and you can feel it in their energy. 
They are eager for every new day and delighted to do what they love.
Without even asking them if they love what they do, you can just tell by the way they express their art, in whatever form they may be.

I felt so inspired that I decided to do an interview series of people I know that are living their passion every single day. This series is to show you that it is possible to live your passion, and to inspire you to find what ignites your soul.

Because life is too short to not do what you are meant to do.

Katelyn Gravel is my dear friend, hair stylist, and long lost sister (basically). When I first met Katelyn I noticed how she brightens a room with her smile and cheerful energy. She has this sense of calmness mixed with drive and compassion. You can spill your whole life story to her and she attentively listens because she truly cares. She is an extraordinary woman who balances being a
hair artist, business owner, actress, singer and loving wife.. For a lady who wears so many hats she handles everything gracefully and with a contagious giggle.

What do you do?
I am a hair artist. I recently opened my own salon that follows a more environmentally friendly and low toxicity mission. I also get to talk to people, hear their stories and connect with them. Being a hair artist is so much more than I ever thought it could be. It is also so much more intimate than you would realize.
When someone sits in your chair, they feel a sense of comfort, and confidentiality. Many people refer to it as therapy, which is tends to be for both parties. They don’t just sit in the chair and vent. Someone sits in my chair and we can have any kid of discussion. They leave feeling refreshed not just appearance but also mind.

"Beauty comes from within. It should be a whole experience, because your internal self reflects on your external self."

I also do theater. Which I would say is my number one passion. Theater is my outlet for everything I can’t do here. Everything I learn through hair styling and talking to people here I put towards theater, they go together.
What was your childhood like? Do you feel like it led you to your dream now?
I am very fortunate and blessed to grow up the way I have. I had two very supportive and wonderful parents, who always cultivated whatever creativity I wanted to follow.

"They just let me be me."

Which is the best gift you could ever be given. I feel like when you are older that allows you to have confidence to be you, to continue on.
I did theater since I was a kid. My mom always took us to Broadway Palm plays. I remember one time I went to the Annie Christmas show and I was sitting up front and they picked me to come up on stage. I got to be in the cast for a minute.  I was overwhelmed they chose me! I had done theater before, but that was my first time in a professional theater on stage. I was nervous as hell, I had hives when I got off the stage. I remember thinking “Oh my god, this is what I want to do. This is SO cool”.  I felt totally scared but I loved the feeling. That feeling that you are so excited that you are frozen. That feeling is what made me realize I really love this. This is something that ignites me and excites me.
I guarantee they did that every night with some kid in the audience and they had no idea that it would impact someone like that.
For hair, my grandma was a hairdresser and my uncle in Manhattan was as well.
My grandma would always let me do her hair when I was little. I have pictures of her with 50 bows in her hair because I got my bow bin out and just put them all in her hair. She would just let me do whatever I wanted and was such a sport about it. She would just be like “lets play hair”.

How did you know this was your passion?
I went to hair school when I was in high school. At first I went because the state pays for it when you go then. So I thought I will start with that and then I’ll have a career.
When I was in hair school and started doing hair, it all came so easily to me and all made sense. It was very intuitive and very artistic. Then when I realized I was good at it, I thought I can do this for a while and I enjoy it. The more people I connected with while doing their hair, the more I got into it. I want to do this for a long time. I also want to do it as least toxic as possible. After a few years of doing hair I realized if I am going to be doing this for years I cant expose myself to the chemicals in this industry. So I started going more natural and then opened my own salon.
The industry needs to grow in that, as we do as well. Options are limited but I am continually looking for better processes. My mission is to find a better way to do it for as long as I am doing it.

"When things happen naturally and come really easily, that’s how you know you are on the right path. Because when you keep hitting roadblocks and difficult moments, you should revaluate where you are at and maybe you need to decide if this is the right path."

What advice could you give to someone to help them find their passion?
It’s the little moments of every day.
The choices you make every day that guide you to your passion.
You can flourish and thrive in your passion anywhere, you just have to make the connections with the right people and be guided to start to find it.

"Follow your heart. Follow your intuition. We all are intuitive. We just don’t always listen to what our intuition is telling us."

We have doubt in our own intuition, and then we question and we make other choices because we are afraid. We are afraid we will not succeed, but success is being able to fail and learn from your failure. It’s not about being perfect every time, it’s about failing.
You learn every time you fail. It’s just a process and a step in the right direction.

"Keep moving and going forward."