Saturday, 14 January 2017
How are those New Years resolutions going?
I'm going to be totally honest here when I tell you that I gave up making New Years resolutions about 5 years ago! I never stuck to them and it always ended up making me feel down in the dumps when I either fell off the diet wagon or broke one of my resolutions.
No one needs that amount of extra pressure placed on their shoulders right!? I mean, life can be hard enough without placing even more expectations on ourselves.
I converted my 'resolutions' into tiny teeny mini goals instead (what I like to call my baby steps!) and I only set myself 2 main goals for the year. One main goal in my personal life and one main goal for my business. Anything else I want to do or achieve goes on my 100 things to do list for the year.
OK - So why am i even sharing this with you you say!?
Well, over the past 7 years since I started Aspire I've noticed a pattern with the lovely ladies I see and I was just the same when I was in my dark place immediately following losing my hair. One day (when I'm brave enough) I'll share my whole story but right now I'm not that brave. We all have something that scares us would you agree?
Back to this pattern I noticed ..... Women come and see us and one of the first things they say is "I've been putting this off for so long, I'm so scared and nervous I feel so weak!".
And then the tears start rolling and do you know what the next thing the lovely lady sat across from me says? She says "I'm sorry".
It breaks my heart a little more every time I hear such wonderful women say that to me because you don't have anything to be sorry for. You're not weak because you cry. You're not a failure because you've 'allowed' yourself to feel sad due to your hair loss. YOU'RE HUMAN. YOU'RE A WOMEN. Our hair is kind of a big deal to us and that's OK. It's not 'just hair' it is a HUGE part of who we are an how we see ourselves. It's our crowning glory.
It's OK to cry and feel sad because it's changing, going or gone. It's more than OK. It's necessary.
You might wonder and think to yourself 'I bet Emma's business goal this year is to make X amount of money but actually I've never been much of a money orientated kinda girl. It doesn't really have any impact on my happiness and I know there will be people out there who can totally relate with me on that! It took me a while to figure it out but I realised that what makes me happy is when I make other people feel happy.
Such a simple thing, who knew! :D
My business goal this year is to make sure that I do my absolute best to help every single person that I cross paths with this year due to Aspire Hair walk away from me feeling more positive and more confident (even if just a little!).
I think it's the best goal I've ever set myself <3
My big personal goal this year involves eating healthier food more often but I'm not gonna hold my breath on this one. I'm a foodie and I'm curvy .... maybe I should just make my peace with that and wear the bloody body-con dress anyway!!
I genuinely want to hear your experiences and I know that other readers will take great comfort from hearing them too.
PS - You'll notice the blog theme being updated over the next few weeks. Don't panic, It's just one of the things on my 100 things to do list ;)
Sunday, 30 October 2016
When you are experiencing hair loss your world can feel like it's been turned upside down and inside out.
It's not a 'One size fit's all' type of experience though as many sufferers know all too well.
For starters, there are so many different reasons as to why a person would be experiencing hair loss in the first place.
- Cancer treatments
- Burns sufferers
- Anxiety reasons such as hair pulling/twisting
- Trans gender
- Occasional dressers
- Models, actresses, singers etc.
A necessary learning curve for sure.
I knew very early on that our consultations needed to be different to the ones I had attended myself over the years as a wig wearer. I had always loathed being rushed when it came to trying on wigs and I never felt that I could ask questions in case I came across as being a bit of a pain in the bottom.
It's ridiculous really because what else is a consultation for if not to ask questions, try on alternative hair, chat and get some support.
My own personal experiences over the years put me in the perfect mind set for how I wanted my company to care for our clients and I'm pretty sure that this is exactly why we get such amazingly positive feedback and reviews from clients when it comes to our consultations.
And what's the most emailed / texts comment the day before a customers consultation?
" I'm going to apologize in advance if I cry tomorrow!"
No need to apologize. Coming along to a consultation can be like bearing your soul to a stranger although I can promise you we won't be strangers for very long :)
So today's blog post is just a little reminder to you that you are always welcome, we are always here and you are not the only one who has that 'first consultation anxiety'.
Sunday, 23 October 2016
Here's to the start of what I am sure will be a wonderful week for you lovely lady :)
I have to say I really am enjoying getting back into the swing of things "Aspire style"!
This week on the blog I wanted to share with you the new Jon Renau Fall 2016 collection. As you may already know (or perhaps you will have guessed!) Jon Renau are one of my absolute most fave brands and I love, not only their wonderful products, but also their attitude in business and their wonderful customer service.
Jon Renau listen to what us wearers are saying and they never fail to deliver when it comes to beautiful styles, colours and cap constructions.
So, let's jump right in and take a little look at Jon Renau's latest collection ...
This is my absolute most fave style from this collection. Super long and glam the Ciara comes on a lace front / Mono top / Wefted back base and comes ready to wear right out of the box. I personally like to take a wide tooth comb and fluff out the curls on Ciara a little and shape it around my face.
I've popped a picture of myself wearing Ciara at the end of this blog post to show you how she looked on me.
This is a great, easy to wear everyday style that comes on a open cap base with a Smartlace front for the most natural look. Kaley comes in at a great price too for those of us who are on a tighter budget! It's easy to wear this style sleek and straight or with a bit of volume to create a more rounded look.
All of Jon Renau's wigs can be adjusted in the circumference size using the Velcro straps at the nape of the neck. This ensures that you get the most snug and comfortable fit possible and that you feel nice and secure throughout the day :)
My second favourite style has to be this one. The Miranda has a Smartlace front, Mono parting that's placed on the left hand side as you wear her and an open wefted back and sides. This type of cap really helps keep costs down without compromising on quality. The lovely waves can be brushed out for a more relaxed look or scrunch the hair for a tighter almost curled look. Perfect!
Velvet lined ear tabs and a velvet lined nape area made all of the Jon Renau Smartlace wigs more comfortable to wear.
I LOVE a good hand tied cap and the Sandra is just that! 100% hand-tied and enclosed with a little stretch that will accommodate a slighter larger than average head size. Style wise think Rachel from friends with all those fantastic layers and volume.
Selecting the right alternative hair for you can be tricky, especially when you;re trying to do so over the Internet!
If you need any help or advise at all then please give us a shout :)
Top Wave is available in 2 lengths. 12" and 18" and attaches easily into your existing hair. The Top wave is great for women who are at the beginning stages of androgenetic alopecia as it offers you coverage right where it's needed at the top of the head and the crown.
The Top wave is available in the Aspire shop and also via our website. If you need help or advise on colour choices and base sizing etc just give us a shout and we'd be more than happy to help!
Of course as always I can never resist a good old try on of some of the styles :D
Sunday, 16 October 2016
This year has flown by so far.
I always seem to say that but this year has flown by faster than ever before and I know that the main reason for that (for me at least!) is due to the fact I found out we were expecting baby Jones mid way through January of this year.
It was a MASSIVE shock for us! The word shock has now been substituted for "Surprise" as baby Alfie Jones is now almost 2 months old and in typical mummy fashion I really can't remember what life was like before he arrived :)
I had my plan in place regarding work / Aspire Hair ....
- Carry on working through the morning sickness (I was so lucky that I never got sick!)
- Carry on working up until the "bitter end" - IE, until my waters break or my contractions become so painful Mr Gary Jones and my staff are required to carry me out of the shop as I can no longer work.
- Have the baby and get right back to work after a week or at a push two
- Be super women / mummy
Oh gosh how unrealistic I was!
I blame that on not being pregnant / giving birth for 8 years and I had totally forgot (blocked out??) what going through labour and birth is REALLY like.
I believe it's definitely one of the most, if not the most, difficult things a women will ever do in her life! It's physically, emotionally and mentally hard.
So here I am, almost 7 weeks after giving birth and I am finally starting to feel like a human being again. Not 100% but I'm getting there.
I have been blessed with what I can only describe as the most relaxed, chilled and easy baby I have ever known. I didn't even think babies like Alfie could exist! He hardly ever cries and he sleeps through the night most nights already. Maybe he took one look at me after he was born and thought 'OK, so maybe I should cut mum a little slack. She looks a big old mess!'.
I can't believe how much has changed in the baby world in the 8 years since I had my Daughter, Mya. The amount of products and devices you can buy that make life that little bit easier is crazy and I will be forever grateful to my Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine. Money VERY well spent there I'd say :D
OK - so I'm babbling on now with my baby talk and steering away from the main purpose of this post which is that I am returning to work running consultations part time from November 1st. Our lovely Georgia will still be running her consultations along side me and the shop will be open full time as usual.
I'm looking forward to getting back into a work routine as I had a niggling worry that I maybe wouldn't have the time or energy to give it 110% like I did before Alfie was born but I needn't have worried.
Aspire Hair is not a fad or faze to me. It's a big part of who I am. We go hand in hand now.
Thursday, 2 June 2016
OK, a serious one for you today lovely,
Hair loss can and does effect everyone in different ways but if there is one thing that I've learned in my 22 years of living with hair loss and my 7 years of running Aspire Hair it is this ...
No matter how it effects an individual it does have SOME kind of effect and not just in the obvious physical way. It effects a person emotionally and that my lovely lady is a fact.
Another fact (and a pretty sad one at best) is that so many women experiencing medical hair loss take themselves off to their GP's looking for help and advice and, sadly, they leave with neither. The emotional side of hair loss seems to be swept to one side and many of us then go on to beat ourselves up about things.
I realised very quickly that my job at Aspire Hair was going to be so much more than simply "selling wigs" to women that needed alternative hair.
I didn't want a job that was purely down to selling anyway. I'm not a trained saleswomen and when Aspire Hair was created I had no background experience in sales but what I did have a wealth of experience in was wigs and wearing them.
I also had a good many years of experience with actually living with hair loss and living on a day to day basis with the feelings and emotions that came along with having alopecia.
The bottom line was that I wanted to help people if I could and help them feel confident again. Help them to feel more like themselves again.
As luck would have it this little introvert that I am through and through had always had a bit of a nack when it came to listening to people and empathising with how they felt.
I can't even tell you how many times complete strangers have started randomly chatting away to me when I'm out and about doing my daily things and 20 minutes later they'd still be chatting away about things that are happening in their lives and thanking me for the chat.
" Well it's been wonderful talking with you and thanks so much for the advice!"
This always left me a little bemused because during almost all of the conversation I had usually said (and done) very little!.
I'd have said the ocasional "ah" and nodded my head in a sympathetic manner, offered a kind smile and (on the odd occasion) even a re-assuring shoulder squeeze but that was it.
I very rarely actually had given any advice!
I'm an introvert remember?
I'm quiet. I'm the girl seen walking with my eyes to the floor. Not because I'm rude. Not because I'm scared but just because ..... well, I'm me and that's me being me.
Never-the-less it was lovely to watch people walk away smiling.
During consultations at Aspire Hair we do a lot of chatting whilst trying on alternative hair and styling. It's almost like therapy and the difference now is that I feel qualified to give advice when it comes to wigs after all the years of wearing and craing for them. I understand those feelings so very well and can relate. I realised by accident that my purpose is to help others in the same situation I was in all those years ago.
It's just such a shame that some kind of emotional support Isn't always offered right at that first GP visit as I'm sure it would save a lot of heartache and anxiety for women with hair loss in the long run.
What was your experience at your Dr's like when you first started losing your hair?