Congratulations on 25 Years!

Today, Ivy Salons’ own Dreama Kees celebrates 25 years as a licensed cosmetologist. We took the occasion to ask Ivy’s fearless leader a few questions about her career and journey the last 25 years.

What do you love most about your profession?
The people! The people that I work with – I truly believe this industry is full of the smartest and most creative people around!  And, of course, the guests – to be able to be the best part of someone’s day, week, or month is an incredible blessing.

What words of advice would you offer to a new stylist starting his or her career?
For the longevity of your career – never stop learning! Education not only makes you better at your craft, it keeps you inspired, which is equally important as being technically skilled.

So many stylists burn out in this industry but, by feeding your mind with new ideas, you can still love what you do.

For over a decade now, I’ve attended Serious Business, a conference held in New Orleans that focuses on raising the bar for the industry, and that has provided invaluable inspiration and advice. That annual commitment, combined with the quarterly education Ivy provides our staff, keeps me focused and engaged.

Whether in a state board CE class, AVEDA class, or business conference, I’ve never been to a class where I didn’t learn something. I strongly believe that as long as you come ready to learn, the take away will be there!

What has surprised you most about your career?
That I am still as excited about my career as when I started. Twenty five years is a long time to continue to do the same thing!

How is it different being being a “salon owner” than being an employee?
I don’t view myself as an “owner” – I still see myself as a team member, just with the added responsibility to make sure we stay in business. Thinking of all the major life events – home purchases, marriages, babies, vacations – that have been fostered by Ivy’s existence is a humbling thing that gives me great gratitude.

Who inspires you?
I always joke that when I grow up, I want to be either Jeanine O’Neill Blackwell or Debra Neill Baker! They are not themselves stylists but are people who LOVE the industry and understand that, while we can be odd ducks, the creative energy and mind is truly special. They are brilliant and help to foster and guide us toward a higher level of professionalism and success.

What is a common misconception you hear about stylists?
That we are glamorous all the time! When we’re on, we’re on, and off when we’re off! We are not judging your hair when we’re out for our grocery run on the weekend. We’re trying to wrangle the kids and the dogs just like you!