For the last week of the Inspired series, I actually have 2 wonderful ladies to feature, so I’m sharing Hannah’s story today (since it’s also her birthday!) and Helena’s post will be up tomorrow to close out this series. I’m also hosting an awesome giveaway on IG stories beginning Thursday night and extending through this weekend in honor of International Women’s Day so be sure to head on over and enter that when you finish reading Hannah’s blog post (I’ll link it at the bottom!).

See @rachelparsonsphotography Instagram for giveaway details!

Today I’m excited to feature a woman and fellow boss babe who is so dear to my heart, Hannah Haynes! Hannah and I met in 2014 when I was teaching high school (I was actually one of her cheerleading coaches way back when, too). Well, fast-forward to 2017 and I had gone full time with photography just as Hannah was expecting her baby girl. Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the honor of walking with Hannah through maternity, newborn, engagement, wedding, and now family pictures with her husband Austin and little girl Aubrey. It’s been the greatest privilege to get to see this young family through so many big seasons of life. Here are a few favorite moments I’ve been able to capture for them over the years.

Last week I got to hang out with Hannah at Taylor Brooks Salon, where she works as a hairstylist, and get some fun pictures of her doing her thing. Special shout-out to Taylor Brooks Salon for allowing me to come take pictures in your space and the gorgeous emily_taite for being our model. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into Hannah’s life as a hairstylist and are encouraged by her story of pursuing her dream.

Just as with previous weeks of this series, my interview questions and comments are in bold.

Why don’t you start off my introducing yourself and telling us a little about what you do and how you got started with that.
My name is Hannah and my husband and I have a one year old daughter named Aubrey, and I’m a hair stylist at Taylor Brooks Salon in Hamilton Mill. I got started about 4 years ago when I attended the Keune Academy in Lawrenceville, and it’s just always something that I wanted to do and that I had a passion for. Even in high school I would kind of go back and forth between what I wanted to do when I graduated and I would always go back to a hair stylist, so I pursued my dreams of that when I attended the Keune Academy and I have loved it ever since.

So can you tell us a little bit more about the services you provide at Taylor Brooks and maybe what your favorite thing is to do as a hairstylist?
Yeah, so we do cut, color, curls, brides, makeup, we’re pretty much a full service salon. I really enjoy balayage and blondes. I don’t know if it’s because I’m blonde, but that’s just one of my passions. I joke and tell my clients that highlighting and doing balayage is, like, therapeutic for me (And you’re really good at it, too!) I love it…it’s just the movement and creating everything and seeing it all come together in the end. And it’s so cool because it’s customizable for each client. Like, each person has a different goal they’re wanting so it’s fun to see how you can achieve that goal and go different ways and how people can do different techniques and everything like that. So I love everything, but blondes and balayage and the hand-painting aspect of it is my favorite.

So I think it’s safe to say that you’re doing your dream job now, something you’ve wanted to do for years. But with any job, there are going to be days where you have to push a little harder, so what helps you stay motivated and keeps you going during those times?
I really enjoy getting to know my clients on a personal level. Obviously, I love doing their hair too. But I really enjoy talking with them and getting to know where they came from or what their family’s like or how they got to where they are now. So, just getting to have that personal connection with each of my clients and then when they come back, I get to ask them about how their daughter’s wedding was or how their new job is going or things like that. It brightens my day and puts into perspective why I’m doing what I’m doing. Obviously I love when I spin them around and they get to see their hair and make them feel more confident and everything. It’s like I’m making a new friend every day, just getting to catch up with my friends and talk with them and I feel like that helps me get through the long days.

I love hearing about what keeps you motivated! What encouragement would you offer to other women out there, young or old, who are pursuing a dream that’s on their heart?
Well, I think I’ve told you that starting out, it can be difficult when you’re first getting on the floor because you don’t have your clientele built, so the money’s not always guaranteed, and we’re paid commission, so you know, we have to be doing hair in order to make money. So that was kind of stressful because I knew I was passionate about it and this was where I was meant to be, but I also have to pay my bills. I just had to trust God that he was gonna provide and He did. I feel like that was just a waiting season. It was hard. I had to be patient, but I would just try to focus on my end goal, that I knew that this was where I wanted to be and what I wanted to be doing. And so I think for encouragement, even in the waiting season and in the difficult times, bring yourself back to why you’re doing what you’re doing and think about where you want to be and how you can get there. Like, I know I was just sitting around for a little while like, “Why don’t I have new clients?” and I realized I needed to promote myself more and get out there and get out of my comfort zone, even if it might be a little awkward at first. So I did that, and it definitely helped. So I think just reminding myself why I’m doing what I’m doing and who I’m doing it for and pushing myself out of my comfort zone because I feel like that’s where I grew the most.

Okay, last question! Give a shout-out to a woman or two who inspires you.
So I have two! My first one would have to be my mom because she’s always been my #1 supporter and she’s the one who pushed me to follow my dreams. You know, I told you I’d gone back and forth between what I really wanted to do, just because I wanted to be sure I chose the right path and so she was always like, “Well, I feel like this is your calling. This is what God wants you to do.” So she always pushed me to follow my dreams. She’s actually the one that watches Aubrey for us when I’m at work so I’m able to work, which is the biggest blessing because we wouldn’t be able to do what we do if it wasn’t for her. So she inspires me, as a grandma even. Just watching her with Aubrey and watching her keep Aubrey for us and everything she does for us. We wouldn’t be able to do it without her. And then, my second one would be Aubrey, even though she’s a toddler (laughs). Just seeing the world through her eyes. That’s made me appreciate the little things so much more. And she’s the reason why I do everything I do. I mean, obviously I was passionate about it before but it gives me a whole new appreciation of it because I have someone that I’m working for. And I want to inspire her when she gets older, to follow her dreams and to be able to do what she wants to do. And I want to be able to give her the best life possible, so I’m able to do that and enjoy what I do. And even though I love my title as “hair stylist,” being Aubrey’s mom is the biggest blessing.

I may or may not have gotten choked up in Starbucks when Hannah said that last sentence. I just loved hearing her share more about her passion for her work as a hairstylist and her “why” behind it. And who knew that balayage and blondes were such a niche in the hair color world!?

If you want to keep in touch with Hannah, follow her hair Instagram @hairbyhannah9 and go wish her a Happy Birthday! As an exclusive special, Hannah is offering $20 off a service booked with her at Taylor Brooks Salon between now and April 1st when you mention this blog post. (She did my last balayage a month or so back, and I’m obsessed! I get compliments on my hair all the time.)

Thanks for reading Hannah’s story and be sure to go enter the International Women’s Day Giveaway (hosted on my business Instagram account) and check back here tomorrow for the last feature of this series with the lovely Helena Dale of H+H Homestead!

Inspired Series Week 4: Hannah

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