We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Tipps and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking was always something that I really struggled with. As a child I was very shy and I still struggle with social anxiety to this day. However, I have come to accept the fact that this is both part of my personality and also the thing that makes me a stronger person. Breaking out of my comfort zone is something that I have to do daily in order to work, doing hair after all is a social job, but by flexing this “uncomfortable muscle” it makes it easier to take other necessary risks in my life. The more risks we take the more comfortable we get with risks in general.
The thing that truly broke me of my fear of risk, however, was attending a Living Funeral Ceremony in 2018. A Living Funeral Ceremony is a contemplative experience in which one comes face to face with one’s own mortality through mediation and death visualization. It sounds extreme, but by really sitting with the knowledge of my own mortality and knowing that in fact one day I will die I realized that living in fear is meaningless. We all have limited time and there is no point in waiting for “perfect” opportunities to arrive before we try something new or scary. And I’m not talking about “risky behavior”, but stepping out of our comfort zones in order to grow as a person. The Living Funeral Ceremony made such an impact on my life that I later trained to be a practitioner in order to provide this service for others. Virtual Living Funeral Ceremonies can now be booked with Salon Ritual and experienced over Zoom.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
At the beginning of 2020 I went on maternity leave and had my baby girl at the end of January. My maternity leave then extended into Covid lockdown and then I made the difficult decision that it would be safest for my family if I took a break from my career to see how the pandemic would play out.
I spent the rest of the year really examining the hair industry and my place within it. I also devoted a lot of time to researching various color lines, products, and hair care practices. Salon toxicity was on the forefront of my mind, after working throughout my pregnancy, and I decided that if I was to ever make a change in my business, regarding salon safety, ecological impact and antiquated salon practices, there was no better time than the present.
In May of 2021 I opened Salon Ritual in hopes that these new changes would have a positive impact on my clients, the industry, and the ecosystem. All products used and sold at Salon Ritual are cruelty free, phthalate free, paraben free, PPD free, ammonia free, and free of synthetic fragrance.
Salon Ritual also offers a quarterly donation haircut day with all proceeds benefiting a local non profit or charity. It’s a pay what you want/can way of looking good while doing good.
The more uncomfortable changes that were made were the ones that went against industry standards. Salon Ritual is a gratuity-free, hourly salon, meaning all services are booked and charged by the hour and not by the type of service. This creates a more inclusive, transparent environment in which time is the true value. It’s hard to believe that most salons this day still book haircuts based off of gender alone.
Another thing that makes Salon Ritual a little different is that we now offer virtual Living Funeral Ceremonies. A Living Funeral Ceremony is a meditative experience prompting serious reflection on one’s life and priorities through contemplation of one’s mortality. These intense, yet liberating, offerings are performed over zoom in the comfort of your own home. You have the freedom of a one-on-one experience or sharing the experience with a small group of your choosing.
There are so many amazing things in store for Salon Ritual. First off, Salon Ritual
Is HIRING! I am looking for stylists who value freedom and creativity and who aren’t afraid of taking risks and doing things a little differently. My main goal is to have my own brick and mortar in the near future in order to bring these new salon concepts to a bigger community. But for now Salon Ritual will be run as a micro-salon so please reach out if you would like to know more!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is so hard for me to answer because the combo of having a baby and experiencing the pandemic has drastically changed the way that I experience the city and most of my favorite places have closed since the pandemic began.
The one thing that hasn’t changed for me is the love of the outdoors. My family has a membership to the Dallas Arboretum and we frequent it year round. I also can’t recommend using the trails at White Rock Lake enough. I skate regularly at the lake, but it’s also just wonderful for walking, biking, and picnicking. When we get the chance my family also really enjoys hiking at Cedar Ridge Preserve.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have found mentorship and inspiration through several outlets in my life. My earliest being my grandpa, who after WWII worked his way up from shoe salesman to company VP through charisma, humor, and hard work. Amie Adelman, head of the fibers department at the University of North Texas, for teaching me the difference between critique and criticism. Death doula and artist Emily Cross who developed Living Funeral Ceremonies and literally changed my life. Kaylan Murphy, coach with Destroy the Hairdresser, who has been both holding my hand and pushing me head first through opening my own business. And also the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
Kim Jaye Creative