We had the good fortune of connecting with Victoria Parus and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Victoria, how do you think about risk?
Everyone perceives risk taking differently in their lives. For myself, I see the word risk and I think opportunity; opportunity to grow. I believe nobody would be where they are without risk. Knowing I needed more out of my life and my career, I packed up and left everything behind. Driving from a small town in Wisconsin to Arizona was a big risk. Risk is something I pride myself on every single day inside and outside of the salon and I love it. Within 4 years of living in a new state I opened up my own salon suite which is also a huge “risk” to some but I say it as an opportunity for my business, for me to expand and grow my knowledge of the industry how I wanted to. Risk is something I do every single day inside and outside of my salon and I love it. If everyone and everything was perfect we wouldn’t have risk in our lives and because we do, people have flaws which are beautiful because those flaws are the very thing that makes you, YOU. I love owning my salon and I will keep taking risks with a smile on my face because I know it’s leading to something beautiful.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My journey started when I knew college wasn’t for me and I actually dropped out of college my second year and the same day signed up for Cosmetology School. Was it easy? Absolutely not. People perceived my career as “playing with hair” and just having “girl time”. It is by far one of the most exhausting, rewarding and long-houred career I could’ve ever chosen. Working my way up from assistant, to a few clients a day, it is hard work to get a clientele and seriously maintain them and have them be loyal to not just your salon but to yourself. Salons can come and go but your talent will always be there and the bond between you and the clients will always be there. I have learned that everyone has a story in my chair and the easiest way to be good at your job, besides the obvious, is to really connect with your clients and actually make a relationship with them. I want people to know that our career is not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle of creative artwork that people get to wear as their “Identity”. Your hair shows a lot of your identity and that is why I named my salon Identity Salon.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My itinerary would be all over the place because Tucson and Arizona, in general, are places you can’t see enough of! The desert museum is something I grew up going to as well as the botanical gardens! Now that I’m older I love sight seeing up Mt. Lemmon while going on hikes up there, Catalina State Park, and Sabino Canyon. If you go hiking at a certain time of year you can get waterfalls/rivers on almost any hike you go on which is absolutely magical to see in the desert! Speaking of water, I love bringing guests that visit tubing down the salt river! That can be an activity for the whole family or just a few people! Food in Arizona you can’t beat. I have been to so many restaurants with amazing authentic Mexican dishes with mariachi bands playing all around you! I would also bring them down 4th Avenue for the vibe itself and see everyone in the element of shopping/drinking and all of the small businesses you can think of. The Boxyard is my personal favorite because I’ve never been to anything like it and I can bring my dogs with me!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family and friends that have supported me on my entire journey. They were there during the hard times and good times which showed me they were there until the end. I absolutely love them all for that. My significant other gave me the push to open up my salon when I hesitated and I will forever be grateful for him and all that he does to keep me motivated and looking forward!
2 photos by Annie Zielinski Photography