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

Hi Ella, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
I have found myself stuck at a crossroads with this issue a few times in life. On one occasion after very suddenly being asked to leave the salon I had called home I was scrambling to do damage control for the whole situation. I cried uncle, applying for any good ole 9-5 desk job I could find. In the sadness of that moment I thought it was just time to throw in the towel. Maybe I needed to just suck it up and attain what I thought was a big kid job. Applications and resumes were sent out followed by a few sad emails thanking me for my efforts, but letting me know that no offers would be extended. Although the path seemed very unclear, I knew in my heart me and hair were not finished just yet. After my car accident a few years back, I was left with unresolved back pain. Although most days I can push myself through, In general My body’s capabilities just feel so limited. There’s nothing more frustrating than the war that goes on most days between my head and body. The long days take a toll on me for sure but I know I wouldn’t want to change it for the world. If you are lucky enough to find a job you love, you have to stick with it and push through. Its takes continued confidence in myself and in my craft to get me through the rough times.

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 am a full service Hairstylist, with a special attention to styling. Although I do a little bit of it all and love all aspects of my job title, my happy place has always been within the creativity of styling. More specifically with special occasion and bridal hair. My niche is specifically in intricate braided and twisted updos and styles. I started off midway through hair school donating my time and talent to collaborate with other vendors and photographers in trade for phots and the hope of possible exposure. For the better part of a year I spent my free time seeking any and all opportunities to better my craft and get myself out there. I slowly built up my portfolio and reputation among others in the wedding community and watched as my little business came to life. I never would have imagined it would have grown to what it is now. I love looking back on all the different amazing and beautiful women I’ve spent the day getting ready for the happiest day. My biggest mission is to ensure that my clients always leave me feeling like a million bucks. At the end of the day it’s not just about hair, it’s about how it makes you feel.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In general I’m definitely more of a homebody for sure, but I do have some of my favorite places to visit in Arizona. I love the feel of Tempe, especially being an ASU fan. I grew up on musicals, so going to Gammage to see some of our favorites is always a treat. And if it’s football season? we’re definitely catching a game. Another favorite of mine would have to be popping into Zia records or Bookman’s to browse. I have an appreciation for such a broad variety of music and love going in to look at their vinyl to see what I can bring home to add to my collection. I’m also a big reader so I’ll likely be found browsing the bookshelves to find something new that peaks my interest. I could walk the isles of fun shops like those for hours. It’s a safe assumption to say I would always be down to grab a drink from one of the many soda shops to choose from in the valley, my favorite being the Freedom Drinks truck. My drink of choice is Dr. Pepper with coconut and fresh lime. Food wise there would definitely need to be a stop at Cheba Hut for a sub. My favorite is the White Widow with Chipotle mayo. If we’re finding something sweet later it would have to be either a trip to Bahama Bucks for a shaved Ice, or to Sauce for a Pizza cookie topped with Gelato. A day trip to sedona is always a must. I’ve done many brides here and it is hands down my favorite place to work a wedding. Walking down the downtown stretch with the storefronts and window shopping is the best way to spend an afternoon. Of course with stops inside any shops that I could find turquoise jewelry. I have a big thing for turquoise jewelry. It’s not uncommon for me to come home from working a wedding in small towns such a Prescott or Sedona with a new ring in hand. Growing up my dad would take us fishing on Black River. I’m thoroughly convinced there’s not a more peaceful sound than the quiet movement of the river. It’s easy to waste a day with a fishing pole and backpack hiking down and back up just in time for the sun to slowly fade. The stringer full of fish as a trophy doesn’t hurt either. Lastly, I would say a drive across the state to end off in Alpine. Alpine is my roots and has always felt like home. There’s nothing like a stay at the Sportsman Lodge and trip to the fudge shop, but we can’t forget to stop and say hello to the ancestors for whom I received my name.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I really want to take a second to bring attention to and thank my sweet parents. My mother taught me how truly important it is to love others. She exemplifies what it means to selflessly love everyone. She made sure to instill in me how far validating others feelings, and listening before reacting can get you in interactions of any kind. Especially in moments of conflict. My Dad taught me the value of hard work. He lead by example as I grew up watching his long, hard days of work to provide for his girls and make sure we never went without. Although unsure of my career choice at first, He has always been a consistent supporter of me and any of my endeavors in life. The principals taught in our home contributed greatly to who I am today. I am proud to say I share some of my best qualities with these two.

Instagram: @ellaclarehair
Facebook: EllaClare Hair

Image Credits
Emina Omeragic Photography Amethyst Image Jen Colony Photography Chelsea Delgato photography

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