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Conversations with the Inspiring April Markley

Today we’d like to introduce you to April Markley.

Thanks for sharing your story with us April. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Always artistic, I graduated with a degree in Fine Art majoring in Graphic Design. I quickly realized the office + computer life was not for me. I craved movement, freedom, and human interaction in my day to day atmosphere. I was searching for a career I would enjoy and finally decided to take seriously something I had only daydreamed about; becoming a hairstylist. At age 27 and being my second career, it was not easy. I spent years “starting over’ focusing on learning the craft, understanding how to build a clientele, and living very meagerly. Discouraged by feeling that I wasn’t gaining traction year after year, in all honesty, there were many times I thought about giving up on the dream. But I’m so glad I didn’t. I kept going into the salon day after day, knowing that the stylists around me who had a fully booked schedule was inspiration and fuel to keep going. If they could do it, I knew I could.

It was about year five when things really turned a corner and it started feeling like living comfortably was easy, In this industry, you do not graduate school and magically have a full book of business. Slow and steady wins the race. I focused on education and always knew I could be better and better. Twelve years in I still love learning and feel so fortunate to be doing something I love, and I am so glad I didn’t give up. Now, I work for myself and this career gives an awesome opportunity to work flexible hours and venture into my new long-term pursuits into Art Therapy.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When I first decided to go to hair school, I didn’t know how I would pay for it. I had already done four years in college so my parents had given their share of help. Also having made some naive financial decisions my credit score wasn’t in great shape. I felt so stuck. I had finally figured out what I really wanted to do but was hitting roadblocks everywhere I turned. Even though I didn’t know how I would pay for school, I did whatever I could to get myself involved in the industry. I applied to work at the front desk of a salon. The owner of that salon had a friend who had started a hair school who was willing to help me figure out financing options to begin school. In the end, applying for that front desk position is what got me an opportunity to start school.

My advice is even if you can’t see a way to get to where you want to be, envision yourself doing it anyway. If you know it feels right from the bottom of your heart, don’t give up and explore any avenue you find to get you closer to where you want to be. Also, if it’s taking you some time to figure out what your “thing” is… don’t sweat it! Keep trying new things, and putting yourself in new environments. Eventually, it will click, just don’t give up.

What should we know about April Markley Hair? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
With advanced training in many areas of hair cutting and coloring, these days, I am more focused on color. I love giving soft, natural looks that grow out easily with little maintenance. I enjoy doing highlights or lowlights with a super soft blend and melty look. It’s super important to me to really take my time and talk with each client about their hair goals and figure out a short and long term plan together. I really take my time on each color application and hold a high standard for my work.

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Social media has become a huge resource for this. I have joined several Facebook groups for female entrepreneurs as well as Instagram groups of other hairstylists. Taking classes given to your specific industry is a great way to meet others. If you know someone whose work you admire, do whatever you can to learn from them. And if you can’t find a community specific to your needs, you can always start one!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Happy Confetti Photography-Melissa

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Peggy Sue Schmoldt

    April 30, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    This is a grat article!

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