One day, you too will be like Who is Kristyl Rodriguez? When you find out who she is, like her inner self of where she is headed, and where she came from... you'd be mind blown too.
Mentoring other artists in the beauty industry is something I've always been passionate about. I came from a place where nothing was given to me. I worked my ass off day in and day out, and today where I am currently is why I am where I am. Staying hungry is where it all starts, being open minded; never close that mind of yours..
Beginning of April, I got the opportunity to head back to Bellus Academy. Inspiring students, is honestly on my top 5 of the list. Let me just tell you, I was nervous to teach this class. I've never taught a color correction class in a school setting. You have to almost switch your entire brain. Make sure you change your vocabulary so it is understanding to their level in education. The class was specifically customized to cover all aspects of color. I know my knowledge and what I am capable of as an educator, but there's always that tiny bit of anxiety, ya feel me? Both classes were a success, I always say if you stayed engaged, asked questions, or participated I promise you i'll remember you.
Kristyl was that one out of the class i'll always remember. It's the students who want to learn, who stop the class to be like wait but like why? repeat what you just explained. In the moment, you feel like man I'm stopping the class, but you also want to be hungry. People are intimidated to ask questions, sometimes they feel like it's a dumb question... well not one question is dumb.
When you don't have a voice it's not being heard. We chatted a little after class, before my next classes started. Just her speaking of her goals, I can't even explain what me and Mary my Field Education Manager seen within her. I kept in contact with her through Instagram- yo the power of instagram and asked her if she was available one weekend to assist me on a color client. When I tell you she drove 2 hours- from San diego to meet me at 9 am, that means she left around 6:30 am ish. That is PASSION, when you are willing to just get up and drive how many hours it takes you to spend a while day learning to drive back in traffic. That alone just shows how much she lives for education. Having her assist me it felt like she been assisting someone for a minute. I strongly believe it has a lot to do with her coming from a military background adapting to things so quickly.
Kristyl is so dope; I'm writing this for you to now know... Who is Kristyl Rodriguez? Everyone's story gets heard somewhere, and that one person may help it go viral. I took the time to interview Kristyl after watching her Beauty Changes Lives Winning Video. A competition I always tell myself I am going to enter, because I myself want to impact peoples lives.
The next time you second guess your story, or feel like it's not good enough give yourself more credit. You never know who is watching you or who will see something in you.
1. Who is Kristyl Rodriguez?
I'm a 24 year old Barber/ Stylist born and raised in Queens, New York now residing in Southern California. I enlisted in the Marines at 19 years old from 2014-2018 and achieved the rank of Sergeant. I’ve always considered myself of having a heart of a servant because my willingness to serve others is boundless. Currently, my time and attention is dedicated to the Barber and Beauty industry 100%. I absolutely love to travel, and to live in my kid spirit of high energy and fun. Overall, I’m heavily immersed in self education, sharpening my art and creativity, and maintaining my physical fitness on a daily basis.
2. You said you once struggled with Identity—
Describe identity; when you found your identity as an individual that first cut how did that make you feel?
Personally, I believe our identity will always be under construction because we’re constantly evolving. Identity in my terms is what encompasses our uniqueness all around. It’s the distinguishing character of an individual. Ranging from our temperaments, qualities, and charisma, to our beliefs, self-esteem, and habits. I struggled the most with my identity from the age of 12 to 18 because I was in such a vulnerable state. I followed the crowd, I was gullible and believed everything everyone told me I was and wasn’t, and adopted everyone’s opinion and perspective of me as my truth. For years I'd force myself on to substances, the opposite sex, and ultimately the image of me my family desired. It was such a struggle, but eventually I broke from that cycle being able to differentiate fact from opinion, and substitute outside love with SELF-LOVE. Accepting my truth and what chose me - that I wasn’t like everyone around me, and can't please everyone and that was okay.
Any advice you can give to your LGBTQ+ community or anyone struggling with the same?
For starters, I would say it’s VITAL that you understand and evaluate what tribe you’re currently in, and assess if THEIR qualities, values, beliefs, and ambitions align with yours. The sooner you can face your truth and CHOOSE for yourself who you would like to be, the easier your journey to discovering your identity will be. Listen to your intuition, their your guides and answers to what should be.
3.I love that you are a woman in both male dominant industries. You have a voice, that is being heard— how is the support coming back from the military and you bringing that back into the hair industry make you feel?
The support from both industries is overwhelming and surreal. I always tell people that the Marine Corps enhanced some of my strongest qualities which are; being a leader and a team player. I’m a huge advocate for mentorship and building people up. To be able to translate those strengths over to the Barber/ Beauty industry and disseminate that to every individual I encounter is a blessing.
4. You’re young... tell us the experience being away from home at such a young age, how do you keep it pushing being alone in Cali?
Distance has always been one of my hardest battles because I’m so family oriented. Being away from home was a tough decision to make when enlisting into the Marines, but I knew that if I wanted them to see the best version of myself I’d have to do something different and re-invent myself. Overtime, I’ve learned to cope and control my emotions. What helps me so much is I constantly remind myself why I do what I do. Remaining active in my purpose is huge too, it doesn't allow me to dwell on my emotions as much because I'm always in execution mode.
Let’s piggy back— what are your next 5 year goals?
My 5 year goals are:
To have two Barber/ Salons open, one in California and one in New York.
Either donate funds toward scholarships for students and professionals, or establish my own fundraising for the same purpose.
Become a top platform artist for a company I believe in and align with.
Become an international educator for both barber's & stylists.
Build a successful brand / culture.
5. Barber VS Stylist— this generation recently started this cross over. What made you instantly make the decision you were going to do both? What difference do you plan to make in both industries combined?
I was encouraged to go for my dual license the same day of signing my contract to begin classes at Bellus Academy. The thought of having a competitive advantage compared to 80% of people in the industry was a no brainer. I'm a firm believer in doing the things that make you uncomfortable to grow.
For the Barber/Beauty industry as a whole I aim to assist thousands of salon / shop owners, and independent / freelance stylist and barber's toward financial freedom. I see how difficult it can be to put food on the table working the hours we do for the avg. wage thats given. In addition to that, I aspire to be one of the fore-front leaders to merge both arts of Barbering and Cosmetology into one as a skill and business.
6. Careers all come from inspiration—
what keeps you living? Who do you look up to?
The idea of "what more can I do?" Always pushes me.
The more equipped I become, the more I have to give to others.
I look up to Kevin Luchmun, Sofia Pok and DL Master Barber -
they have the skill set, the business mindset to succeed at a high level in this industry and they all educate and speak motivationally.
Kevin Luchmun Sofie Pok DL Master Barber
7. Winner of Beauty Changes Lives....
That’s a big deal, who brought you to this competition— what was your vision behind it?
I was introduced to the opportunity during one of our weekly school huddles - where we talk about upcoming events, run down weekly numbers, and promotions.
I had two visions entering this project.
First, to display how beautiful diversity is, but to also shine light on the existing concerns of America. Concerns like the discrimination against African Americans, Latin Americans, and our LGBTQ+ communities. So what I did was have 3 models, each of which represented their culture/ community. Using my platform of Haircutting, I wanted to express that we all desire the same things in life - thus making us ONE; H U M A N.Second, to share my story in its entirety. I can't imagine how many other young ambitious people who are just like me, that come from where I come from and are completely lost on their venture. Testimonies are very powerful, and I'd be revered to see if my story impacts even one person to make something out of themselves.
8. Last but not least... one month till you graduate—
WHAT'S N E X T?
I'll be working extensively to establish my first Barber/ Salon by May of 2020. I want to employ at least 12-15 veterans and give back to the military community because we're always given the short end of the stick.
Don't stop here, take the time to follow Kristyl; find her on instagram & follow her journey