Meet Heidi Kenny, she has been in our industry for over 35 years. She is a two-time award-winning stylist, Matrix Ambassador and salon owner. Heidi is a small-town girl with big city dreams. We say, she falls in the category of Fifty and Fabulous.
Here’s her story.
“I live in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, a super small town in a very remote part of Canada where very few stylists compete. So many don’t realize the amount of hurdles you jump when you’re in a small town and you don’t have access to a lot of things like the perfect model, or seasoned photographers. But, geography and talent don’t have anything in common.”
“I got caught up having limiting beliefs for so many reasons. I thought, ‘I can’t do this,’ ‘I’m not young enough,’ ‘I’m not pretty enough.’ I had to fight with myself to overcome these false fears. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that it doesn’t matter where you are, when you have talent and passion you can do whatever you want.”
“I’m a Matrix ambassador, and the only woman on the ambassador team – I’ve always felt like it is a man’s world at that level. For years, the most elite hairdressers were men. You would think differently in an industry that’s so full of women, but when looking at the upper echelon of who is, and has always been on stage teaching – it’s mostly men. I’m proud to be here, this was certainly a hurdle at one point in my life. I feel like now that I’m here, I must set an example for younger women, to show that this position is obtainable. I feel I have to be a good role model because of my gender – it’s just something I keep at the top of mind.”
DO YOU THINK YOUR AREA IS BEHIND?
“It definitely took a couple years for trends to make it to our market but we’re not behind anymore because the internet changed everything. Being on trend is far easier than it has been before. We’ve really caught up with the rest of the world. Hair has caught up in rural areas – if anyone is interested, they can get on the internet to find what they need to know.”
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS WITH THE CORONAVIRUS?
“As a business owner it is terrifying, but personally, I’ve been trying to enjoy my free time. At first it was overwhelming, for the first time in life I was unemployed. I have a feeling I’ll be out of work until at least June. I’m worried about my clients, they’re already asking if this ‘e-colour’ is okay for them to order and they’re only 2 weeks out.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO STYLISTS OUT THERE?
“Spend a lot of your time doing some of your favourite things. I paint, and I’ve been teaching online for matrix; it keeps me thinking about hair. It’s a scary time, if anyone would have told me 6 months ago it would be like this I would have said ‘no way.’ But I’ve read 2 novels, and I’ve got a painting on the way, I’ve been doing a lot more face-timing with my friends and my children. It’s a great time to be creative. Use this time wisely. If you don’t know how to braid, learn how to braid! I’m going to practice braiding and learn some up-styling. There’s so much great free education online, it’s just unbelievable. Everything will be okay, look for the bright lights and the silver linings!”