We had the good fortune of connecting with Mikayla Stephens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mikayla, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
I would say making the decision to even sign up for esthetics school in the first place was a very big deal to me. I knew going to college wasn’t exactly for me and I had no idea what I wanted to do after high school, so for about 3 years I was a server at a few different restaurants. It was a very fun time in my life and I am grateful for all the people I met and memories I made, but I knew I didn’t want to do it forever. I remember I felt pretty discouraged since I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and it seemed like everyone else already figured it out. My mom is actually the one who first brought up the idea of me going to esthetics school! After brushing the idea off multiple times, I literally woke up one morning and made an appointment at the first school I looked at to go take a tour and then ended up signing up the same day. I figured I had no other career ideas so I might as well try it out, and I am so happy I did!
Unlike many other people who get into this. Career I didn’t always have a passion for beauty. Sure, I liked getting ready and doing my makeup on occasion, but I wasn’t ever super interested in it growing up. I would say the main thing that made me fall in love with esthetics was just seeing the looks on people’s faces when you were done with the service and seeing that instant confidence boost. It is the most rewarding feeling knowing you are truly helping other’s and making an impact on their lives. I strongly believe that has also helped me get to where I am today, just thoroughly enjoying what I do and that satisfaction of helping other’s.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Licensed Esthetician, I specialize in skin care and also do lash lifts, brow laminations and facial waxing. As a self-proclaimed empath, I would say the main thing that sets me apart from others would be my genuine love and compassion for all people. I can honestly say I have been blessed with the best clients and have felt a true connection with everyone that has stepped foot in my treatment room. I am most proud of having the opportunity to really make a difference in peoples lives and help them love the skin they’re in. It truly is the greatest gift to be able to help people everyday!
My journey thus far has been the farthest thing from easy and I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about giving up more than once. The #1 thing that has helped me get to where I am now has been the simple act of changing my mindset. I had a victim mentality and was constantly looking at the successes of others and just yearning to live a life like that one day. I came to the realization that if I couldn’t even believe in myself then I probably wouldn’t be able to get other people to believe in me either. Anything that I wanted in life I knew I had to earn for myself because nobody was going to hand it to me. So I started to grind and remind myself every day that I can do this and I can absolutely be successful in this industry.
I have learned many lessons over these past few years, but a couple of my favorites are: nothing worth having comes easy and with hard work and dedication anything is possible. If there is one thing that readers take away from this, I hope it would be to always, always follow your dreams and to never settle! As cliche as that sounds, its true. Never in a million years did I imagine I would get this opportunity and be where I’m at today. Believe in yourself and you will accomplish the unthinkable.
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.
So to be honest I’m not too in to the whole clubbing scene or anything like that, but if I am going out it’s usually to a music show of some sort! A couple of my favorite places here in Phoenix to go watch live music is Rawhide for their festivals and also The Van Buren for smaller shows, so that would definitely be a must! As far as restaurants I pretty much am a fan of any food, but sushi and ramen definitely have my heart. There is an amazing pho place around the corner from my house called Pho Cao that we would go to and as basic as it sounds RA is probably one of my favorite sushi places so that would have to be added to our itinerary as well!
Depending on what time of year it is I would love to go hiking and explore the beautiful mountains or even go camping by a lake somewhere! Since it is a week long trip it would also be fun to head up north and explore different cities like Flagstaff or Sedona which are both amazing as well.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow where do I even begin! To say that I have a tremendous amount of love and support from my family and friends would be an understatement. I have amazing parents who have always been there for me and have pushed me to be the very best I can be! I’m not quite sure where I would be without their guidance and encouragement. I have the best husband who has supported my vision from the beginning and is constantly reminding me that I am capable of anything. He has helped me build my business from the ground up and I truly could not ask for a better support system. And of course, my sweet son is my biggest motivation in life. Like many parents my whole world changed when he entered our lives almost 2 years ago and everything I do is for him and to make sure he has the best life possible.
As far as other groups I would like to shout out, I would like to say how grateful I am for the entire community of esthetician’s and just beauty professionals in general! To watch all these women have very successful businesses and be killing it in life doing exactly what I dream of doing, it just reminds me that it is absolutely possible and I can achieve anything with dedication and hard work.
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