Name: Anabelle Ruiz Sweat
Job Title: Hair Stylist
Years In The Industry: 15 years
Home City: Pasadena, CA
Rose: What is it about the beauty industry that first captured you?
Anabelle: I wanted to be in an industry that could make people feel better about themselves in a couple of hours and somewhere where I had the freedom to grow as fast as possible. Having flexible working hours was also a priority.
Rose: What was the first step you took in pursuing a career in the beauty industry?
Anabelle: I went to beauty school and put in overtime hours to be done as soon as possible. I had my license by the time I was 19.
Rose: How many gigs did it take before you had your “aha” moment? Tell me about that.
Anabelle: I was about 26 years old, working at my second salon and someone said to me “YOU NEVER work and you’re always on vacation.”(Haha!) I sat and thought, “Oh my gosh. Wow, I’m working when I want, I’m taking vacation days when I want without asking permission, I have my own place, and I’m in the midst of all these great things, my clients have turned into friends I look forward to seeing every day.” I get to hang out with people and make them feel great and at the same time fully taking care of myself and my family. I always knew this would be my lifetime career.
Rose: What steps did you take from that first job to land where you’re at now?
Anabelle: My first job wasn’t a dream, it consisted of very long hours assisting at a corporate salon, playing the cleaning lady (part-time), and low pay. Despite blow drying client’s hair all day, I learned a lot and it was a great step into becoming my own boss for the future and treating all of my future assistants well and with the respect that I didn’t receive when I first started in the industry.
Rose: If you could go back, is there anything you would tell your younger self to do differently?
Anabelle: I had a strong and intelligent group of people around me, so I felt lucky to have learned from all of them. Stay humble and allow yourself to learn from every single person in your salon.
Rose: What advice do you have for younger people who are considering a career as a hairstylist?
Anabelle: It’s such a fun industry and people don’t think jobs are supposed to be fun, but this industry is! You can express yourself artistically in so many ways, but you gotta put in the work! I always ask my assistants, “Do you wanna be poor all your life?!” (Haha!) Meaning don’t say “no” to walk-ins, don’t say “no” to learning, just don’t say “no” to improving. There’s always something to learn and being rich, financially, isn’t the only thing to be rich in. Offer help even if you’re about to be off, if there’s a client never say “NO!” That next walk-in could be a loyal client for your entire career.
Rose: Anything else you’d like to add?
Never stop learning. Hairstyles are constantly evolving, grow with the times because there are millions of hairstyles out there.Anabelle Ruiz Sweat