A Conversation with Mikel Slate
We love to see the success stories. We love this one even more because we have known Mikel since his first days of cosmetology school. We watched him grow and spread his wings – and let us tell you; it has been a fantastic journey.
Mikel Slate (@mikelstyled) graduated from the Eric Fisher Academy. He promptly went to work at a prestigious Wichita salon as an assistant. Hungry for knowledge and eager to advance in his field, he worked hard and earned his place behind the chair. Mikel has a gift for both hair and gab – and his clients LOVED him! But Mikel wanted to pursue another dream. New York City. Mikel left the comfort of a successful salon business in Wichita, Kansas for the Big Apple.
We want to share his journey with you.
What is the best business advice you ever got?
“Show up 10 minutes early and stay 10 minutes late.” Coming to work early gives you time to mentally prepare for your day. You can see which clients will be coming in and think about new services or products to offer. You can be sure your station is clean and organized and that you have all the tools you need for each client’s cut and blowout. Nothing is worse than flying into the salon late – and your client is already there!
You worked as an assistant/apprentice first. Why did you choose that route and what did you gain from that experience?
“I would say I gained knowledge in all aspects of the salon. It made me appreciate the little things while also appreciating the bigger things. And, it humbled me.” Many times we graduate from cosmetology thinking we know everything. Working as an assistant humbles you. You have learned the basics and during an assistantship, you can refine your skills and add to your tool box. Because you are shadowing an experienced stylist, you learn tips and tricks you might never learn otherwise. I chose a salon that I thought would be a good fit and I worked my butt off.
how did you get from the midwest to new york city?
“Manifestation. This means that whatever you focus on is what you are bringing into your reality. I would also say consistency.” You just take the leap and stay consistent with your goals. Setting goals and writing them down directs you toward success. If you write your goals down, they become tangible and you become accountable.
What is the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?
“Swallowing my pride and letting this city chew me up and spit me out. I jumped right back in that mouth!”
What helped you to build a clientele in a new city?
“Showing your most authentic self. Stick to your own true self. People appreciate that.”
what is a fun fact about you?
“I’m a nerd at heart! Also – I have this weird memory – I can listen to a song and remember all of the lyrics!”
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