We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amanda, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Ironically enough, I’ve been taking big risks since I graduated high school in 2009. When I was just 18, freshly out of high school, with no desire to go to college (with a photographic memory, school was always easy for me yet I had no desire to pursue it) I took a huge risk and moved across the country to New Jersey with $400 to my name. I had the opportunity to go with a high school friend whose father lived there so I thought, “why not!?” My thought process was always the worst thing that happens is i move right back home and am back right here again. That question has always been what has pushed me in every risk I’ve taken since then, “whats the worst thing that can realistically happen?” This move led me to my next risk, I was only in NJ for about 7 months when I became homesick and wanted to move back, of course! But being stuck in an apartment lease, I had 10 months to kill, so I searched around at trade schools (wanting to have something to show for my time on the east coast) and cosmetology school was only 8 months so i was sold. Turns out, I ended up loving it and was pretty good at it. Upon graduating, one of the owners of my school offered me a job at her salon as her assistant. I told her I was honored but was moving home to which she responded “Here, take one of my business cards and call me when you come back.” After being back in AZ for only 3 weeks, I called her inquiring about the job offer, she said she was guaranteeing me a job whenever i got back to NJ. So only 3 weeks after that, I took yet another risk and left home again at only 20 years old, took a job as an assistant in her salon while also working as a server to make ends meet. I worked about 70 hours a week with only 2 days off a month while in the assisting program. The following 6 years, I took every opportunity to continue my education taking countless classes at The Redken Exchange in NYC, traveling all over the country to attend advanced education courses, and going to The Redken Symposium in Las Vegas every other January to grow my skill set and stay up to date on all the newest trends in the industry. By the age of 27, I was extremely successful behind the chair, making more money than i knew what to do with, was running the assistant program at the salon, but was wildly unfulfilled. I felt as though I had pursued the American dream, busted my bum to be the best and make tons of money, but something was still missing. After months of depression, I finally humbled myself and took, yet again, another huge risk. I made the decision to give up my career i had spent years and countless dollars investing in, and moved back to my parents house in Arizona. Broken and burnt out, I dedicated the next year of my life to becoming the best version of myself. I began working out, journaling, practicing gratitude, feeding my body right, and exploring spirituality while also working at Ulta Beauty in North Scottsdale. Over the next 2 years, I grew as a person and professionally which led me to taking another big risk and deciding to go into business for myself and open up my own salon suite, talk about a leap of faith. With the support of my family, boyfriend, and clients, i opened up ManeKind Hair Studio in March of 2021 and it has been one of the best decisions i have made in my life. My emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health has never been so good and the work-life balance this move has provided for me has been amazing. I wanted to create a peaceful, private space for my clients to come and relax all while leaving feeling beautiful and I’m so grateful i took all those risks that led me here.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think one of the things that sets me apart from others is my heart and. my. morals. I don’t do this to just make money, yes it is important and how i survive but i have always had a heart for people and hearing/sharing in their stories. I love getting to meet new people through my career and building unbelievably close relationships over the months/ years. When you’re stuck with your hair stylist for 2+ hours you eventually become very personal and vulnerable, which goes both ways. It wasn’t easy getting to where I am today, but it was worth it. Ive fought feelings of doubt, unworthiness, comparison, and failure. Ive only been able to overcome these struggles with the love and support of my family, friends, clients, and fiance. They remind me who i am and what i’m capable of when i’m unable to see it myself. Success is nothing if there is no one to share it with and i learned that the hard way. The most important lesson I’ve learned along the way is what actually matters in life. I think we are programmed from a young age that the grind, money, success, and fame are the pinnacles of life so i spent most of my 20s chasing that lie. Life is actually about sharing it with loved ones, enjoying the outdoors, spending time doing things that bring and create joy for you and others, the other stuff is just a facade. I no longer inspire to be the best in my industry or to make the most money, i only inspire to spread kindness and speak light into the lives of those around me and those who sit in my chair.

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.
Arizona has so much to offer, where to even begin. of course, a hike, probably of camelback mountain, because its well known even by outsiders. I’d go kayaking at tempe town lake and end the day having drinks at the piano bar on mill ave, its always a good time. Id go out to eat at my favorite mexican restaurant in town, Los Dos Molinos ( my fiance and i drive 45 minutes just to have dinner there) Id take a road trip to Jerome, such a hidden gem with so much history and delicious food options. I would of course have to spend one day at the Botanical Gardens, its so peaceful and they always have a new exhibit to explore

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The most important person that i want to dedicate my shoutout to is my mom. She has always been my biggest cheerleader and support system. Over the years, i have made many decisions she has not been happy with but she has always, ALWAYS supported me.( like dismissing college and moving to the east coast at 18 for example.) She raised me with strong morals, always having a sense of what is right and wrong, and that the most important part of beauty is whats inside. When i was younger she used to always say to me “Pretty is as pretty does” and of course I’d roll my eyes and move on. As an adult i realized this statement could not be more true, its whats inside that matters, and I, like many things, had to learn that the hard way. One of my favorite things about my career is that i get to connect peoples outer beauty to their inner beauty, because thats whats been instilled in me since i was small and its just as important(if not more) than whats on the outside. Its also the inspiration for my salon name, kindness is just as important as your mane.

Website: www.ManeKindHairStudio.com

Instagram: @manekindhairstudio

Yelp: ManeKind Hair Studio

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