We had the good fortune of connecting with Maschera “Shera” Loose and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Maschera “Shera”, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?

For me, balance is being able to take care of yourself outside of the salon so that you can be the best version of yourself as a stylist. These past 2 years I’ve learned a lot about what I need to do in order to keep my mind and body healthy.

When I first started working as a stylist in the salon setting, I was at work about 5 days a week but quickly was promoted up through the ranks to Product Manager, Shift Lead, Manager on Duty, Manager in Training, and then Store Manager. By this point, I was working 6.5 days a week and responsible for the DFW market (interviewing, hiring, placement of stylists, pre-training) in addition to managing 2 salons.

The tipping point of realizing I had no personal life was that I was working 9am to 9pm almost every day and I was proud of the fact that at my home salon we were bringing in about 21-thousand dollars a month with myself and two other stylists. We were rocking and rolling. And then, due to the market being short-staffed, upper management came back and said that no vacation time was going to be approved for my location.

I had sacrificed so much of my time and life to build up the salon I’d been working for, and realized they were not wiling to respect and value my personal time. And I had let them. As a new stylist, you’re so eager to jump in and make a name for yourself— I had excelled professionally, but lost myself personally. Add to that my body was breaking down and I was getting the worst migraines I’d ever had. (I got to be good friends with the staff at the local hospital since I was there with them so often.)

I started making changes and moved to a salon where I could focus solely on my clients and just be behind the chair. I was able to rebuild my social life, visit with family, not have to go to the ER as much with migraines. All of these were indicators that I did the best thing I could have done for myself.

That salon I left to was a haven for many years and I learned a lot from my time there. When it was time for me to branch out on my own, I took all the lessons of what to do and what not to do, and I feel that’s been a big part of my success today.

Two years into working for myself, I find my work life balance to be the best it’s ever been. I’ve been able to take vacations and spend time with my loved ones. I’ve learned to set boundaries and set aside time for myself. iPhone has this cool feature where you can set focus hours or locations. When I’m at work, my phone goes into Work Mode and when I’m home it’s in Personal Mode. This helps me stay in the right mindset for where I am at that part of my day.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I worked at 3 salons before setting out on my own. The hardest thing to do in starting my own salon was having faith in myself that I could do this. I know I can handle behind the chair, but here’s the thing: could I handle the business aspect? It’s definitely been a learning process and I’m still learning things everyday. My time at the first salon (7 years) really taught me a lot about the business side of things, ordering supplies, employee management, back office, money handling, etc… all the things that come with managing a salon. This has helped me create and manage a budget that works with growing my business.

Also, my friends and clients will tell you: I’m constantly researching and learning new techniques and ways to stay relevant in this industry so that I can provide the best possible quality of work for my clients. Really I feel this sets me apart from other stylists in my area. We all have to do continuing education for our license renewal, but I take this as a personal challenge and am always looking online, on the forums, and social medias of my favorite educators.

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.

I live in Denton, TX and grew up in the Denton County area overall. It’s a fun little college-town (you definitely learn when to stay indoors and avoid move-in or graduation weekend) with so many things to do every week.

If someone was coming to town, we’d take them to Loco Cafe or 7 Mile Cafe for breakfast with lunch at Royal Yum or VietBites. (We love to eat at local businesses!) Depending on the time of year, there’s some type of music festivals on our town square, or some type of car or art show event. Walking the downtown square could be a day event in and of itself! There’s plenty of stores and places to eat and relax.

If you want to take a walk, Denton has some lovely parks with walking trails which are dog friendly. (Aurora loves these.) There are running and bicycle clubs too that take routes around town and have social time afterwards.

You could end the evening at Eastside with a drink and food truck yard. (Try the tacos, they’re the best!)

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

These 3 people are the ones I credit for inspiring me, teaching me, and giving me an opportunity to become a stylist.
Cathi is the initial reason I got into hair. She’s a family friend from back when my parents were in high school and she’s the one who got me initially interested in this as a career field. As a kid, I remember going in and seeing her color bowls. She would engage with me as a child and we would play at naming them different types of pudding.

Quite literally the woman responsible for my education: Brenda Buster, or Mama B, was my cosmetology instructor in high school. She gave me the best possible start I could have had and I feel we genuinely learned everything we could have needed to know to get started.

And my grandfather. This man made it possible for me to pursue my dreams. He told me “you go to that hair bendin’ school and get your license. Pass your test. And I’ll pay for all of it.” He also bought me my first pair of scissors, which I still have and use to this day.

Website: https://login.meevo.com/LooseLocsLLC/ob?locationId=501390

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/looselocs_llc/

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Image Credits
Frace Media Co.; Skylar Eisenmann Photography

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