*Please forgive any spelling or typographical errors.  Episodes listed in the order they were recorded.

McKenzie Wilson, Fun Frames Photo Booth

[00:09] Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. My name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington and I am joined today by one of my longtime friends and I'm so glad she's finally coming on the podcast, McKenzie Wilson, owner, of Fun Frames Photo Booth. I wanted to thank you so much for coming on and why don't you introduce yourself, tell us who you are and a little bit about your company.

[00:33] Yeah, definitely. Thank you so much for having me and I'm glad we finally got a chance to do this. I'm McKenzie Wilson and I own and operate Fun Frames Photo Booth and we're based out of Mukilteo Washington, but we service all over the Seattle area.

[00:45] And how long have you guys been in business? I know it's a long time now.

[00:49] I believe it was 2010 or 2011 when we first started, but I've only owned the business since 2014.

[00:56] And so what were you doing before you got involved in fun frames?

[01:01] I was doing a lot of restaurant work. I was also modeling back in the day, uh, and then also working in coffee stands and kind of just all over the place where I felt like doing.

[01:11] Um, did you kind of always want to be entrepreneur or was that something in your family? Was that something that came naturally to you or was that kind of a big jump for you?

[01:20] It was something I've always really wanted to do. I just didn't know in what aspect. So business has always been at the top of my list.

[01:28] And now what was it specifically about weddings and other live events in, in photo booths in general, kind of how did you, how did you get involved in all that?

[01:36] So it was actually pretty random. I was a different situation than most. I didn't found my company but I bought it back in 2014 from two women that owned it and ran it. Uh, so it kind of fell into my lap and I looked at the business aspect of it and what exactly it did and I kind of just got to know more of the industry and went from there.

[01:54] Was it, had you done a lot of like, I mean had you been a lot of weddings and you got into a lot of stuff like that. I mean like I had never really done weddings at all before I started shooting, so it was all pretty foreign to me.

[02:06] Yeah. I actually didn't attend many weddings before this and I truthfully have no idea what photo booths were before I got involved. So it was something I had to look up and when my mom first called me when she found out about this, she was like, Oh yeah, photo booth. And I'm thinking, why am I thinking like a vending machine? I have no idea what it was.

[02:24] And uh, yeah, even so I. and I know that, you know, even when people go on today and they look like there's a bunch of different types and kinds and so why don't you talk specifically about what you guys offer and the type and kind of the different options in that regard.

[02:38] Yeah. So we offer luxary photo with services with a lot of customizable options. Our, they're very modern and sleek and we just of try to keep saying every, keep everything very simple and pretty.

[02:51] And is that something you guys, you find like you attract them like that there are certain people that kind of look forward to those kinds of boots. I mean, like I said, this isn't your normal like kinda throw up a flash in the corner with an ipad kind of experience. Right?

[03:06] Definitely not. We try to keep our quality of images really high so we're constantly updating our education. I'm trying to keep up with the latest trends and also it's very different from the very fun like feather boas thrown up in the air and just all the, you know, kind of cheesy or side of things but some people really love. But we want to give people the option to have a, a higher end option for photo booth.

[03:27] Do you think, uh, and I know the answer to this, but do you think that doing that kind of allows you guys then to do obviously more like corporate events and kind of high scale events in that regard to kind of having that overall or a for weddings and kind of that pertains to everything then?

[03:43] I do, yeah. I think that it gives us a lot of opportunity to branch out and not just do one thing. So everything's customizable. We can brand for corporate but we can also customize everything to hell. The couple wants day to go.

[03:56] So it's interesting to me where you, like you said you kind of came in and bought the company. Um, I, did you have like a vision for this? Was this something that you knew or you kind of got it under your feet as you got going or I mean that just seems like it can be a really daunting task. I mean obviously you kind of had a game plan and figured it out, but how has that kind of initial process?

[04:18] It was definitely intimidating. I didn't know what to expect and I didn't have a lot of times decide on what I was going to do, so I just weighed the good and the bad of it. And you do it. It's, it's definitely a risk. I think I'm going to like it. And then when I met up with Michelle and Julie, they had a great connection and that really is what showed me that their passion for this will be something that I could love.

[04:40] Um, why do you think that you guys have been able to find the success that you have in the time that you've taken over? I know that's probably a hard question,

[04:50] but also I think I got very lucky with the reputation we already had, so I give a lot of that success to them, but also we've upgraded our equipment since then really have focused on that education side of things because I had no knowledge of cameras or photography and I've continued to learn over the years.

[05:08] Yeah, it's funny. I think because we had met initially it like an open house I think back in the ID. So though, and you know, and I know, I mean I knew flow boost and I kind of knew whatever, but then I can't remember, it was something I think I was looking to refer you guys are something I looked at your site and I was like, Oh wow, you know, I mean it is like a marketed bowl, like a market difference between looking at Eno even like what I use for my wedding and you guys. Um, so obviously that was a really intentional thing, right? To brand that. I mean how did that kind of, the overall vision of that come about?

[05:42] I went to the photo booth expo for the first time and I got to kind of see the different options out there. The booth that we had before was a five by five pop up canopy tent, which you still see some of, but it wasn't really the appearance I was trying to go for. So as soon as I saw that it's really clean, white, modern version of the photo booth, I was like wow. So we can actually do something. It has dslr photo quality as well as a bunch of options to do stuff beyond just regular photos that you might not be able to print at a later point.

[06:12] So did you. And then obviously you know, starting off and then do you know, obviously you guys are a lot bigger now in the handle, lots of different events, dean, to kind of know about how many they were doing when you took over and how many now or I mean you have to be like super specific, but I mean it's kind of the growth potential of that.

[06:30] Yeah, I think when we started it was anywhere from 80 to maybe a little over $100, but it was also a different price point then. So now we do between 100 and 150 are in that range. Um, but everything has changed so much but it's a very different scale I think.

[06:48] Do you enjoy that managerial kind of overall view of that sort of thing? Is that where you, what you enjoy or what it, what is your favorite kind of aspect about running the business and doing that?

[06:59] My favorite aspect, I would say that business side, I love that part. I love trying to come up with new ideas and trying to see how far I can go with, with this business and how it can grow, but I also really enjoy when I make connections with either other vendors or couples that I have and it's not very often that I get to make those genuine connections with, you know, I have a bride that I've been texting this week and that's really what makes me happy when I get to see how happy they've been at their photos and they continued talking about it and continue reaching out to me.

[07:28] Yeah. It gives me and yeah, and even from our wedding, you know, that was, we didn't do a lot of like customization. I mean we did like some invites and stuff, but you know, having their photo booth was like a big. That was a big thing that I know that Dorothy and I want it and it's so funny because I remember we did a, this was even years ago and open house and I'm the guy that was doing the photo booth, we, you know, we had talked during the day and then afterward they did like this vendor open house, just all the people that had been on the tour and people went absolutely ape for kind of doing the, you know, and these are like photography and video. I mean this is all the vendors and I mean they acted like they had never seen the photo booth before and you like couldn't get anybody out. Like it is really funny just how much it draws people in and how much it helps kind of elevate and add excitement to kind of the whatever. I mean, do you, do you notice that? Do you like obviously you kind of sell that feeling and stuff as well. What do you think about that?

[08:25] I definitely think it's something exciting, but I also think it depends on the group of people get very shy and maybe a little bit nervous about taking their photos, but they also really enjoy it once they get to that point and a lot of people also are very surprised by what the pictures look like because they're so used to that older style photo booth that isn't going to produce the same quality images. So we get a lot of those comments like, oh, make me make me look skinny or make me look pretty. And I'm like, okay, well you're gonna look right. Either way. But yeah, it definitely takes some time for certain people warm up, but then there's the people that I can see you're running from the other side of the room and I wonder if I have to duck.

[09:01] That's awesome. How do you kind of continue to get new ideas and continue to grow and how do you kind of keep things fresh and new now?

[09:10] Stuff like this? Actually I think it's easy to get really stuck in the same pattern of doing things and then when I get something going like the podcast we're doing, it's great because I get to come up with new ideas and kind of gets me motivated to start thinking again and then I also just keep up to date in the forums and different educational experiences and stuff like that.

[09:31] Yeah. I know that you and you and others kind of help moderate some of the facebook groups and said, do you, do you enjoy kind of like does that help you keep tabs with everything or is that Kinda like a lot of a lot of work?

[09:43] It's definitely a lot of work. When I first volunteered to do it, I was on vacation and I thought it was a good idea, so I figured I'd help and then I very quickly realized that we were pretty much the bad guys. We were the ones that are having to enforce those rules and out of all of it, I think that it's probably not great for my business. I think that if anything that would give people a different impression of me because we're trying to enforce those rules versus being the actual fun than a friendly person.

[10:16] What do you think of A. I've heard a lot of people talking about coming to Seattle and there is a lot of like community over competition and there is a lot of talking and I do think one of the benefits like of the facebook groups is, you know, getting, you know, all the communication, getting people to know everybody and like, you know, we met online before we ever met him personally. What do you just think of Seattle? Like kind of in general as like um, you know, community just have like weddings and other events like that.

[10:42] I think there's some amazing people in this industry and I've met some of my best friends through it, so that's an upside to it all. But I also think that as good as the community can be, they're still going to be those people that will come in and try to copy your work or plagiarize stuff like that. But other than that, I think we do a pretty good job of staying connected.

[11:03] Um, how do you, how do you go about having to kind of like manage different teams and vendors and a kind of makes sure that there's like a, like a consistent quality kind of across the matter. What is that hard to do?

[11:17] You mean at each different event or with just with the people that we work with?

[11:21] Uh, yeah. I mean with the people you work with and different events.

[11:26] I think when there's a good team definitely shows the difference when you have a good relationship with the vendors that are super helpful and friendly. It really shows and kind of the energy of the event. So I've been pretty fortunate to have some great teams and you know, we had that wedding in new capital off your, um, I believe it was last year. So stuff like that I think definitely improves it. But we always maintained that a professional atmosphere while still to have a good time and make sure everything is consistent.

[11:56] Yeah. It's crazy to think like, yeah, October Elizabeth William, that seems like five years ago.

[12:02] Is it actually last year, was it?

[12:05] Yeah, it's definitely funny to kind of look back and see. Oh yeah. That was like, I get the one year anniversary, like reminders and I'm like, Oh wow, that was, that's crazy that, that just because it seems like there's so much, you know, kind of before you got into, you know, doing the further buoyed and may we can get a little more into that, you know, it seems like there was a lot of hustling going on. I mean, were there some lessons and things that you learned from that, that you've kind of helped carry over now into being like a business owner?

[12:31] It taught me a lot about myself and about other people, so they experience is just continuing with know as time goes on. Um, I think that getting into this I knew that I wanted to be in business, but I had absolutely no clue what all it entailed at the time I was in business school while doing my prerequisites to get a business degree. And then I ended up discontinuing my college because I didn't thoroughly enjoy it and I think I've learned a lot more from actually doing the business side of things. So I think that has really changed my outlook on things and taught me how to work even harder than I already was.

[13:11] That's interesting. Yeah. I always kind of lament I, I am like a broadcast degree, which is kind of great to get into news, but I think like I would have been better off having the least a cursory level of kind of business and things. I mean, were there some lessons you took away from that or was there some quality education that you took from that that you're kind of continue on? Or are you said it was just better off kind of learning stuff as you go?

[13:35] I personally wish I had never gone to college because I don't think I had a chancellor and the thing that was going for, I was basically paying for, you know, the basic math class that you have to take before you can save all the business classes. So I never really got to learn anything about business, it was all very basic and stuff that I'd already learned from my family or from other friends that are in business. So I think those, that insight has been a lot more beneficial to me in the long run.

[14:01] So yeah. So I mean it just must have been like a tremendous kind of learning curve then coming in, you know, was that scary? Was that. I mean, what was that feeling like kind of coming in and knowing that this was all kind of on your shoulders and trying to figure it out.

[14:15] It was intimidating, but I really did have a lot of help. Um, I know that when some people buy companies, they ended up just kind of wiping their hands on it and leaving. And I was lucky to have the help throughout the process and I'm still not as Michelle and after for advice or any questions from the past. So I've been very, very fortunate having people help me along the way, but I could never have anticipated what all this entails about waves. And it's made me a lot more passionate about others running their businesses legally. And I think that's a big part of it. Also. I have a lot of respect for people to do this the right way.

[14:50] Yeah. I do think that that's

[14:52] an interesting thing and something that I think you encounter with wedding vendors of any type, you know, kind of having the, the, the business licenses. And there was just um, a story on the news last night in my neighbor who's retired like senate and it was something about a wedding photographer, Jesse Jones. Is that. Yeah, because she scammed a bunch of people and you know, he just couldn't, like, it's funny because we kind of deal with this every day, but he was like, I could not believe that anybody would, you know, because he's like 65 easier retired. Like he couldn't believe that anybody would like scam anybody or not delivering, not whatever. And I said, well, you know, for 50 bucks or whatever, like you can get a business license. But even then, it's so funny like how many people don't or you know, don't go through even like the nest, like the base necessary things, but then even do that and then ended up, I don't know if she was running away with people's money or just not fulfilling the orders or whatever. But it is an interest in all of the above.

[15:51] Yeah. How do you. I know that that's something that I, that's a good question. I know there's something that I kind of struggled with constantly is kinda making sure that I know couples view us is reputable and like doing things like this podcast who, whatever, like how do you try to build that integrity that you have with your clients and kind of foster that relationship with other businesses and things that we are someone that you want to be in business with.

[16:15] I think just being honest about everything, there's a lot of ways that vendors can lie to people if there were to be an issue or you know, if they ask for something and they kind of run around the outside with no real answer. So I think my honesty is definitely helped in that, whether it be a good or a bad thing and you know, if there were to be a tech issue, I would be forthcoming about that and not try to tell them that it never happened. So I'm always open to those conversations to make sure that people are happy on both sides and figure out solutions.

[16:47] Yeah. Because I mean with like further boosted anything. I mean there's things that can go wrong and some things are in your control and some things aren't. And you know, at the end of the day, the best you can do is provide, you know, what you think is going to be, you know, a good working experience. Uh, what was like a big lesson that you learned like that first year that you. Like? I looked at stuff that I got not got away with, but then I kind of lucked out that it worked out in my favor. Um, whether there's some lessons that you learned kind of starting off that you look back and kind of think, yeah, that was a good learning experience. Now you're happy to kind of move past that.

[17:20] Uh, I think the two main things would be networking and also taxes. I was not aware of it. You can pay taxes quarterly in my first year, so at the end of the year they were like, oh, you got to pay x amount. And I was like, oh, okay, well this is probably something I should have known sooner. But now that I have my bookkeeper and accountant and my old business partner and stuff like that, that's been a huge help. But also the networking side of things, I think it's so important, but it's also very hard with groups that are already so well connected. So I got to keep out of the mindset that it's like high school all over again, unless you got to be with this crowd is pregnant, still maintains a little bit cliquey. But I've made some great friendships and relationships along the way and I think that's probably the most valuable thing that I've been able to learn to do.

[18:07] Yeah, I mean it is weird. Yeah. Nowadays like with even [inaudible] like the facebook groups in several and like even really kind of just starting and when I felt like when I got to it, like craigslist with a soul just kind of like the place to go. And so yeah, it is like kind of weird now that people grow up, you grow into this business and then you know, Oh yeah, I get it out into like a group and I can talk to $1,500 or 2000 people or whatever and it's, it's crazy. I'm like, man, you know, I feel like I'm like the old Geezer now on the front lawn, like, you know, you guys don't even know like five, six years ago and like we didn't have any of the staff and my guy had to do stuff on craigslist and I had to like meet people at parking lots to get checks and stuff. Like you guys don't even know. What do you mean?

[18:54] I'm meeting someone in the parking lot. It was just always weird.

[18:57] Oh yeah. Uh, no, but I mean was that like, was that intimidating to kind of like enter this like wedding community kind of thing? Like I said, I had no clue any of this stuff before I got into it.

[19:12] I went and was very confused. Expectations. I didn't know what to expect. I kind of just thought that it would be a bunch of people that did weddings and then I actually got a chance to know these people on it. Definitely changed my view on it, but I had no, no idea what to expect.

[19:29] Yeah. The uh, the other thing, the note when you were talking about it's like having your taxes in order I remember. And that would be my advice for anybody who's starting businesses, making sure that like everything is separate that I went, you know, when we started, I have like my credit card and said call wall, just separate out like the best made video staff, my personal staff. And then when it came time to like do my first quarterly, whatever, I was like how a panic attack and like hold up. I remember I went on the West Seattle Chamber because we're members and I like found the first accountant on there, and bless his heart it was this guy named Brett and he said, I was just crying and I said, hey man, I said, so my taxes are due like next week and I have no idea what to do. And he was like, well, you know, you can come down right now, we'll take care of it. So I was, uh, I would strongly advocate kind of having a professional, always kind of look at that stuff. That's a hard thing for you too.

[20:25] Now that I've found people that know what they're doing and then I have a connection with, I think it's made it a lot easier. When I first started out I was doing, my task was with someone who was a little bit old school. Uh, nothing, nothing wrong with him. He was great. It was just not my style of communication. So I found someone that actually understands the business better and that's made a lot easier for me to explain, to make sure that everything is in the right order.

[20:50] Yeah. Because you're obviously even dealing with like, you know, not only like the income but then like, you know, employees in step two. Right? Or do you guys deal with subcontractors? Stuff? How did you know

[21:00] that's a. people try to do the contract with saying photo, but it's not, they're not contractors making get a lot of trouble if you don't do it the right way. So I definitely recommend talking to an accountant was seeing which was the correct way to go about it.

[21:16] Yeah, absolutely. It's a, yeah, that's one of the things that you can get a, you can go to them a lot of trouble for something that's good. Uh, do you find a, you know, as like a female running the business, is it easier in the wedding community because there is a lot of like, you know, women smart people, only businesses or is that challenging because you're dealing with like corporate events and stuff or how do you kind of see that you're kind of placing them that is it easy or hard or. I don't know.

[21:44] I think I have a slight disadvantage when I got into this just because I was pretty young and I was also a female. There's a lot of women in this industry though. I just feel like they had been what felt to me like they'd been doing it longer, so I kind of felt like I was just little fish trying to come in and learn stuff from them. Uh, but I think now it's a mostly even playing ground. Um, but I think there will always be some confusion because when I work in events, every once in a while someone will be like, Oh, do you own this business? And I'm like, oh, I can see that. You're assuming. I don't know.

[22:23] Yeah, it is funny because I do, I think I have to remind myself to like, you know, some extent with the people you included, idea where they're like, oh yeah, like I am actually like significantly older than a lot of people. But I do also find all my podcasts I ended up with, that'd be like 10, like female business owners in a row. And I'm like, I needed to get like a dude on here, just kind of balanced it out just a little bit because it's really easy when I'm like trying to find people that I look up to and respect. Like it really is easy just to kind of find somebody like that that has a business. So I mean, I guess that's something to be said for that. Um, what, what's kind of the hardest stuff you deal with? Like nowadays? Is it just like managing, managing employees? Is it Kinda like adding new accounts? Like where do you find the circles that you deal with kind of day to day

[23:07] employees have probably been the most difficult, difficult aspect over the past almost five years. Uh, finding good people. It's just so hard as I'm sure, you know, I've found a couple great ones and some that, you know, if they lost I would be completely heartbroken and not know what to do with myself. So they've helped me tremendously and I've recently hired an assistant which is going to be a good thing for me. Um, but I think employees are always going to be difficult for anyone in this industry because there could always be something different and it's not guaranteed work all the time. So that's, that makes it hard.

[23:42] Yeah, it is a, that's something that I struggle with too. Even just trying to fill a certain dates and yeah, finding someone that's available but you know, that's responsible but then also like maybe has some other stuff to do or is it tough, Kinda balanced I think in 2018, 20, 19 with like freelance work and trying to, you know, give people enough work and I don't know, it's just kind of a tough balance. Right.

[24:04] Very tough.

[24:06] Um, how do you kinda see yourself kind of growing here in the next couple of years? I mean obviously from 2014 and you know, till now, how do you, is it just kind of like landing those bigger corporate clients? Uh, is it continuing to do more Weddington shows? Where do you kind of see that going?

[24:22] I love doing weddings and private events, but the reality of it is most of the time they don't come back. You know, I've never had a, a couple that's come back into their adult divorce. We want to hire you again. That's the thing. So corporate definitely is the returning clientele but we rely on your two year aside from the weddings and other events, but corporate is definitely something that we enjoy focusing on. I don't think that we're ever going to stop doing weddings because they're most of the time really awesome to do and we have a lot of fun. Uh, but we definitely want to expand our options with bigger clientele that can have reoccurring events that we can maintain those relationships with. Over the years.

[25:01] Are there any, and this could be for like kind of any photo booth or video footage, I mean are certain like different kinds of struggles that you guys have, you know, with like corporate stuff that maybe you do or don't deal with with weddings. Like you know, I know a lot of like myself with corporate is like maybe a little more cut and dry, kind of not cold, but just kind of, you know, maybe you're dealing with a point of contact and you don't. I mean, what are some things, maybe some people that don't do as many corporates are kind of balanced it, but how, how do you kind of see the difference between the two?

[25:33] I think there's a common misconception with zillow or doing weddings. It's horrible. One some people's eyes, but I think that a lot of the time my couples are very easy to deal with. You know, they're kind of know what they want. They're happy with the insight you give and then you can make adjustments based on that. But with corporate there tends to be three, four or five people that I'm talking with via email and having different decision makers is hard to keep up with. I also think the corporate clients have higher expectations and um, are, you know, they expect you to be working around the clock, which I mostly do, but you know, sometimes emails are coming in at 1:00 in the morning asking for something and that's something I just kind of either have to continue doing, which I have been or set some sort of office offers, but I don't see that happening in the near future.

[26:23] Yeah, I then that's kind of my feeling too and I know that even there's some videographers is they're like, oh, like I'll, I want to do is corporate now or that's kind of what we do. And I always Kinda, I mean I say of good luck. I mean I do corporate sap but I just had um, we have an internal video. I mean it wasn't even anything for publication. They needed to do an internal thing for some awards ceremony or something. And I was dealing with a team before, like you said, kind of multiple heads and they, you know, it was under a deadline and we needed to have it done. And so I was getting ready to, like I had sent him the first draft and then I made changes and I was like updating the second draft and I could see that like they had viewed the video like 60, nine times within like just, you know, the 24 hours, wherever, you know, the review period.

[27:12] And then I was like, I was, Dorothy I think was coming in and I was like, I cannot believe how many times they've watched this two minute video in the last, you know, 12 hours just to try to figure this out. We're like, you know, a wedding, couple of Phi, send it to the bride and groom and they're on their honeymoon and they were like, this is awesome. Like we're not, you know, share it or that. And then. So yeah, it's totally like, you know, it might be like a higher contract where there is a lot more work and kind of scrutiny that goes into that.

[27:39] Right? Absolutely. I think the work is very different. They have their expectations and they don't always portray them to their vendors and we do our best and try to make sure that they're completely satisfied. But we, there's a lot more communication that goes on when you start getting up to 50 emails before the event.

[27:59] Yeah, absolutely. Uh, so what do you, what do you kind of focus on? I know I'm running the business and I would be the first to have it tested. It's kind of a 24 slash seven, three 65, but what do you kind of do when you're not running the business? I know you just got a dog. I was going to actually lead without them, so mad that I was gonna bag it. I have this whole segue I was going to go into and then I forgot to do it, but I'm talk to me about your dog and kind of what else do you do when you're not running the photo booth company?

[28:27] Yeah. So, uh, Charlie that we just adopted. He is adorable. Kind of a little monster though. So starting to get to know his personality and that's brought me a whole lot of joy. I've been wanting a dog for a long time, but I wanted to make sure that I could commit the time to take care of them. So that's mostly what I spend my time doing now. Otherwise I like to sit down with a glass of wine, catch up on a TV show and just try to turn my brain offer a second. But, uh, still mostly working 24 slash seven.

[28:58] Yeah. I have to imagine it's a lot, you know, and not only with like the facebook groups and then with like corporate emails and stuff. Do you find that's hard to kind of dedicate enough personal time? You mean I'm the worst workaholic in the world. So how do you kind of struggle with that?

[29:13] I'm still struggling with the balance of thing, um, and setting boundaries with clients because when I'm responding at one in the morning, you know, that that's not necessarily something I want to do for the rest of my life, but I'm still working on figuring out a way to still enjoy time to myself will not being glued to my phone because that's definitely an issue with, you know, friendships and everything else because I am constantly focused on something else.

[29:39] Oh, absolutely. No, that's like if know you're on couch and you're watching snl or whatever, and then there's still something going on in the background. Uh, how do you find it? I know we just kinda got down with like the wedding shows and staff. Um, you know, the Seattle wedding show and I know there's some other tours and things, do you, how do you continue to market? Do you find the wedding shows is kind of a worthwhile way to grow your business or what do you kinda think about? How do you market it? Is it just kind of referrals now or how do you work on that?

[30:07] I think word of mouth will always be a very valuable tool or you know, other vendor referrals and very helpful to us. Uh, the wedding show, their thinking depends on the wedding show, like we did the Seattle wedding show recently, which was a high number of people, but it's always about how qualified those people are. So if they're the right type of clientele that you're looking for or if they're people that are going on for the free swag, you never know. Um, so I think this last year it was a lot more qualified people for this current year I would say

[30:38] as a Clo of the show.

[30:39] Yes.

[30:40] Yeah, I would, I would concur with that too. I would say that a lot of the conversations we had, yeah, I think you get kind of in downtown Seattle either paid entrance. I think you get a little more, you know, people that are ready to kind of book and ask questions. Um, you guys, and I know that the hard thing with the heart at one of the hardest things to, with you guys is like you have to do like all these, like open houses for like venues and stuff to ride. You mean the second taxi and on are you, are you, do you have to staff in place? You can kind of put those people out?

[31:10] Well I, I have been sending certain members of my team to do open houses or wedding showcases and stuff like that. But the issue for us is a lot of times for the events we do, so we try to get as many details as possible about guest count, about what kind of people are coming. And then every once in a while, as I'm sure you know, you end up going and it's a bunch of vendors. There's no one there getting married or anything else, which is totally fine, but then there's also the people that are just there to eat because the food's awesome. So I definitely have had to be more selective about the events I do because I am spending money to be there and I don't think a lot of people realize that, especially when I have the higher staff and I have other events going on in those days. So it's hard for me to say no, but I just want to do the events that are going to be beneficial to all parties.

[32:00] Well, no, that's the thing too is, I mean not only are you paying for the entry but then it's also like the product in terms of the paper and the staff, but like people don't, you know, like I might print a batch of flyers for the year and kind of be, be done with that except for just showing up and kind of handed them out. But yeah, there's like this cost like a, you know, like a baker or somebody would have. Right. Kind of handing those things out.

[32:20] Yeah, it definitely has costs associated with it and uh, I don't mind doing it when it's something that's going to be a really great event and someone that we've worked with for a long time, but I've been getting a lot of the requests for free of employee just in these past couple of weeks. I'm like, Oh, here we go again. [inaudible] the season of everyone asking for something for free because they want, they want something but it's never someone that you've worked with before or that you've been in contact with. So that, that's a little bit hard to manage.

[32:48] Yeah, I saw that, uh, that posts too about kind of the, it was like the nonprofit and, and I did laugh because I think it was like a day or two before I had gotten an email about doing an auction, a fundraising video, and I do a auction fundraising video every year for a little bit a therapeutic riding center out in Redmond. And they're awesome. And they budget, you know, uh, a good portion of their budget every year. The pain has to do this video and then in return they raised, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars and it all works out well for them and you know, I'm currently editing that right now and then yeah, I got an email, hey, you know, we need this video and you know, we really kind of gotten it for free the last couple of years and it's, it's tough because you know, like, you know, I mean we're self employed and you can't, you know, your time and energy and trying to do these events and then you know, especially like you got to pay out of pocket for people to go do it if you aren't going to be there.

[33:42] Right.

[33:43] Yeah. I mean even if I do the event myself or so, a lot of costs and then I have to factor in that that's taking me away from my office and sending emails and doing that kind of client communication. But it's just really difficult personally and business wise to be saying no to events that are for such a great cause. But a lot of people don't realize that. We can't write that off either, I mean, other than having a good heart, there is no benefit to us for doing these events because we just throw money away. Sometimes it's for a great cause. Sometimes it's just because someone wants a photo booth for some sort of event when it's not going towards a charity or something like that.

[34:21] Yeah. I've had the same conversations with my accounts every year. I'm like, really? Like I really can't like really? And they're like, no, you're really. And every year I keep asking them and they say, no, this is not a. yeah, it's just you do it from the goodness of your heart. Um, what, what advice do you have? I, you know, as someone is young age, I'm kind of coming into the business, you know, growing this, taking over like do you have advice for new entrepreneurs and new business owners and what are some things that you've learned that you would impart on other people to kind of help follow in your footsteps?

[34:56] I think the main piece of advice I would give someone coming into this at a young age is to really think about if you want us to consume your life because this business is my entire life and there was no, there's no separation between personal and business. So I think that if someone doesn't want to be 100 percent committed to something at all times of the day and throughout the night, then this isn't the business for them. But I also think it can be really rewarding to be able to see some sort of happiness when people on the special days, but luckily their corporate events. So, um, I just think it's a huge investment and a huge commitment and it's not something that you're going to get eight hours of sleep a night for.

[35:35] Yeah. It's funny. I've, one of my Viagra first now we're booking a lot more and I think he is. Yeah. Learning now. Like, um, you know, we, I've been telling them about the podcast and we've introducing him to like new wedding planners and things and yeah, I like, I don't think he gets, it's like all, like all I do is try to book weddings like all day 24 slash seven either, you know, booking weddings or maintaining weddings that we have or trying to figure out a way to market to book more events or things. I'm like, yeah, if you're not in that mindset, I do think it is a little overwhelming kind of some of the work that goes into that.

[36:11] Yeah. I also think for the season for a different time. So it's hard to always maintain that 100 percent, you know, dedication to the business and sometimes you just need a day or you're not responding to emails or talking to anyone because it is a lot. I'm on 100 percent of the time talking to people and they're just, sometimes you need, you need to take a day.

[36:31] Um, what is one thing that, and I'd be the, you want more people to know about you. I think, you know, obviously like, you know, with facebook groups and with the business owner and Kinda like, you know, it's mackenzie from birds, like what do you, if you could have anybody know more about you and in you personally and kind of what makes you tick, what would you, what would you want people to know?

[36:51] Oh, that is probably the hardest question you've asked me. Um, I think that it's easy to portray someone different way than they are, so I can completely understand that question and see how it would be difficult to imagine. I think that I really care about what I do and regardless of if it's business or people, I truthfully get so invested in these type of thing. So if something were to go wrong at an event, it would be on my mind for probably the rest of my life. Like I can think about something that happened four years ago and I'm still thinking about, oh no, I wish that one photo would have been better. So I'm very passionate about how other people feel. So I think that's a little bit more about me and I'm a lot nicer than I look for.

[37:37] Yeah, you do a yes and I think, and I would as someone that's sitting next to you many a wedding show and, and seeing you at the, in a mini van, I would say that yes, there is a kind, very kind and hard working passionate business owner and someone that, yes, does take good pride in what they do. I want to thank you so much for coming on today. I know the, uh, this was, you know, it's a big ass. Not everybody wants to be like Blah Blah Blah about them and their business and stuff. So I really do appreciate you kinda taking the time to, to come on. And I think it is a fascinating kind of, like I said, it's such a young age. You take this over, kind of grow it, maintain it with kind of. The point is that you do and I think it's good and I'm so happy that I could have you on in terms of kind of bet the roster of, of, you know, smart people that we have, uh, for people to listen to on here and people want to learn more about you and your business and what you do and more about your company.

[38:34] What would you have them check out?

[38:36] Also we have our website We're also on Instagram and Facebook, but if anyone is interested in getting to know me on a business or a business level and actually have conversations about business or life or anything on my facebook page is probably the best way to go, Fun Frames Photo Booth.

[38:59] And then personally I have my personal facebook for other vendors that I've previously connected with, just McKenzie Wilson.

[39:06] Perfect. Well thank you so much again and I hope that you get dug out of the snow here at some point. I know we're getting through it here slowly but surely.

[39:15] Yeah. Well, thank you so much for having me, I really appreciate it and that was a little bit nervous to come on here, but you made this a great experience, so thank you.

[39:23] Awesome. Well thank you. This has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another wedding vendor interview. Thanks so much.

Matt Clements Jr., Best Made Videos®

[00:09] Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro, my name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington and today I'm joined by what I think is going to be pretty exciting. And uh, and the new fun thing I have with me, Matt Clements Jr who is actually one of my employees, I guess a Co-videographer, partner in crime kind of however you would want to phrase it. But, uh, I thought it was great to kind of get Matt on the podcast and get his, you know, his voice and his personality and kind of get a, his history and backstory since he's going to be working with a lot of our clients this year and kind of hopefully moving forward. So, Matt, why don't you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and just a little bit about what you do.

[00:57] Hey, thanks again for having me. I'm Matt Clements Jr. I am a video editor and producer and I just happened to do some videography on the side as well. Um, so I, I've been doing weddings for about three, four years now. Uh, working with reading and a lot of their weddings for friends and stuff. Um, but yeah, I've been doing videos since pretty much high school. I kind of fell in love with it and it was just something I was doing in my spare time. Ended up going to college for it out of a really good niche of people, which took me down to Los Angeles for a short stint at a short film and now I'm back. I'm ready to do some more production and, and film some weddings. Yeah.

[01:35] That's awesome. Yeah. And I definitely want to get into all that because I do think it's interesting to talk with someone like I, you know, I went to school not for film that for kind of like production, you know, news and just to kind of get that take as well as you know, because then people kind of fall into it and then some people choose to go to school for it. So, uh, I think that's awesome. Well thank you so much for coming in or a coming on, I should say. Um, we're talking off camera or off Mike. The snow has seemingly kind of damp and everybody's enthusiasm and I will tell you, wedding vendors, if you are listening to this, you know, it is very easy to make worthwhile of your time when being stuck inside in the snow, when you can come on a remote podcast recording session and talk about your business and who you are. So uh, Matt, uh, they used to come in. And so talking about Kinda when you were, like you said, when you were growing up and it's something you've always wanted to do, when did that love star? Were you one of those ones that had a camcorder corridor running around with super eight or what was going on

[02:34] in a way? I would say the, the actual realization that I wanted to make movies and stuff kind of came later. But I think back to I had a, an extra credit science project that could have just been an essay, but I decided I wanted to make like a bill Nye inspired episode with a family camcorder. And at the time I didn't. I didn't know how to edit anything. I didn't know how to shoot anything. I was just like, I've got this camera and I'll make this cool little like Bill Nye episode and I ended up using our vhs recorder to edit it just by running, rewinding, stopping, and just getting into the right spots here and there. So that was my way. It was like kind of cutting on video essentially with a vhs recorder. Um, but that was, that was early on. I think that was like fourth or fifth grade. Um, but, but since then, you know, I started getting my own cameras and really teaching myself how to do things. Um, started with final cut and all that. And uh, you know, you find the right people to kind of help you learn the craft and, and that's, I think really when, when you figure out where your place is, when you find the people that work with.

[03:42] Yeah. And I think I will say, and it kind of relates to that vhs story, uh, one thing that's always struck me about you as kind of your, um, a handy kind of macgyver kind of, you know, being able to, in a good way of figuring out kind of how to make things work that you came up for a wedding. We did a, I guess it was last summer and we were doing a same day edit. And so I knew, okay, I need somebody that can come up that, you know, I can trust and you were working in La at the time and we can get into that too. And um, you know, we've been editing all day and shooting and editing and dumping all this stuff. And like we got to the reception and uh, the, the projector, the setup that they had set up to play the same day.

[04:24] Either it wasn't hooked up and the thing wasn't working and they didn't have the right chords and it was on the wrong side of the room and nothing would reach. And like I was freaking out because, you know, we're, you know, they've paid all this money and you follow them up from La and we're kind of doing all this work to get this going and like, you know, I didn't think it was going to happen and luckily, I mean, you were there and I do mean that, but you kind of help and get all that figured out, you know, I'm freaking out. And he said, well no, I used to do a v and I used to do production and I kind of knew all this stuff. So I do think that, uh, obviously that's kind of transcended even from a young age. Right. You always kind of feel like you're able to figure things out like that.

[05:00] Yeah, I've, I've always liked tinkering with stuff. I mean the computer that's right underneath me as I built this thing by hand a I. and I've been doing that forever. Um, and I, I think that translates a lot to some of the work I've been doing too. It's also why like edit, I like to put pieces together like a puzzle solving and stuff like that. So.

[05:20] So how did, how did the bill Nye self edit workout

[05:25] that go? Well, I got some extra credit. It was maybe not my best work. I think that was literally the first video thing I've ever edited and I'm sure the tape is somewhere at my mom's house so if I find it I will absolutely transferred and it online.

[05:40] Yeah, that would be awesome. Is My nowadays yeah, they'll be able to find something like that insurance. Uh, so what was it just wanting to kind of think outside the box? I mean, did you grow up watching movies and stuff or where did that love of kind of everything come from?

[05:55] Yeah. My Dad always was taking me to the movie theater and seeing movies I probably shouldn't have, but it was a big deal to me. It was like, it was an event to go to the movie theater and, and you know, I wasn't necessarily told go dress up, but I definitely was like, oh, I'm going to dress up because I'm going into the movie theater. And they got the Big Red curtains around the screen and everything. It was, it was a cool, extravagant event for me. Every time I'm, I've always seen it that way. And whether it's a film or a corporate project or whatever, her wedding video to, um, you know, I, I want to bring my most professional and my best appearance to it. Um, yeah,

[06:35] that's awesome. I love the idea of dressing up and going to the movie. That's like people back in the fifties when they use to fly, like when they would go flying and they would, uh, if they dress up, uh, they go to the airport. I want to talk about, um, I mean that was pulling up your bio on the website that I have and it's something that I don't think we've ever talked about. Uh, you, you were born overseas in, grew up in spokane and can you kind of give us a little bit of your origin story of where that all came about?

[07:03] Yeah. Uh, so my dad was in the air force. My mom was living in Izmir, Turkey where she's from and he was stationed over there and that's how they met and then a out a year or two after they knew each other. I came along and he brought both of us back to the states. So you're living around Tacoma at the time and that's where my dad's side of the family's all based. And then shortly after that we moved over to spokane and I've Kinda just. Spokane is really what I've known to be home. Um, but I love Seattle. I moved here when I was 16 and um, you know, even though I did that recent in La, I was very happy to come back home to Seattle. This is Kinda, this is my old stomping ground.

[07:43] I said, you, you're probably too young. You don't have a lot of memories of being over there.

[07:49] Not so much A. I did visit a couple times, I'm reluctantly, I was a kind of a rebellious kid. I didn't really want to go and see the world and stuff. Now I can't get enough of it. I just, I did a trip to Japan last year and it was fantastic. But, um, yeah, I did a couple of trips to go see my mom's side of the family and it's, I, I remember being very pretty, very warm. Um, but I didn't speak the language so it was Kinda, it was a lot of barriers for me to kind of reached back and figure out my family roots there.

[08:20] Um, so, so you're growing up in school and soaking and you went to high school over there.

[08:26] Okay.

[08:26] And then so talk about being kind of like progressing then making the decision to go to school for film and kind of how that came about. And where did you go? Again,

[08:35] I should know all these things as your, as your official employer. But uh, I went to central Washington University, um, but before that, technically I went to another college because I was doing running start in high school. Um, so if running starts not in your area, it's a, you take college classes as a high school student on actual college campus. Um, so my junior and senior year I was actually going to Bellevue College at the time, Bellevue Community College. Um, they're now an accredited university and I think I, for some reason I took like a film as literature class as an elective. I just like, oh, this is cool. I get to watch movies and write about them. And I think that was when the gears started turning. It's like, oh, this is kind of a career path if I want it to be, um, you know, analyzing at the time.

[09:24] My very first film that I had to analyze was Donnie Darko and I was like, oh, this is weird, this is like a really cool movie and they want me to dissect like the sound effects in the introduction scene. It's like, okay. Um, and then from there it's like I just started taking more and more film related classes that weren't necessarily working in that industry. Um, I did like dogs and film as Literature Class, did a film music appreciation because I am terrible at music. Um, and then finally was like, you know what, I'm going to take a video editing class. So it was my first time actually doing anything with video. Um, aside from the one vhs project, a vhs tape project, um, I kind of lost.

[10:11] Uh, so yeah, because like for me, you know, my high school didn't really offer, you know, I always like my brother Scott went to bellevue high and you know, they have like radio classes and like, you know, whether it was film or like production and you know, I went to see all the prep but like we didn't have anything. Like we had a free period everyday which was like awesome for you when you're in high school and then when you go to college and you're like, wow, that would have been really cool if I could actually take them like a radio class as opposed to like hanging out on the quad for an hour and a half every day. Uh, so is that like, that was exciting then that you kind of got to like tinker around with all that stuff for real. So like what were you editing on and what was that kind of like, that experience of being able to do that?

[10:54] I never got to edit actual film. Um, so I, I dove straight into digital editing and final cuts set and I'm actually six at the time. I'm on just Max. Um, and I, I actually was required to kind of learn some videography and the process. Um, I, I didn't necessarily need to go buy my own camera, but I felt the need to. I had to have my own Mac book for editing at home and I had to have my own camera so I could fill them whatever I want to do. All of these things could have been checked out from the college, but I was stubborn and I wanted to do it in my own my own way and not have any limitations.

[11:34] Yeah, I remember the same thing, trying to justify, um, I have uh, like a, I guess it was like a gaming pc laptop that I can edit on a and take home. Yeah. Even though like I easily could have edited, like at the computer lab and stuff, but the idea of kind of being able to work from home. Uh, and do you know, we were doing like short films and stuff. Uh, we did like a TV show a, that's a, that's a story for another day. Well actually I, it was called the God couple. It was a spinoff of the odd couple and it was because we were at Gonzaga was a jesuit university. It was um, be uh, what was it? It was the son of the devil and it was an angel and they were roommates at Gonzaga University and that it was actually really funny. It was kind of like a Sitcom, but we blew up a, one of the dorms, uh, with CGI, like we could buy, you know, like you can go online and buy like the fire effects for like 28, $29 and like overlay it over.

[12:35] And so we fake blew up one of the dorms for one of the episodes. Like because they all, everyone had like super powers and stuff and we actually got heat from the dean, uh, because they, they found out that we were like, it felt like we were threatening. I mean we, you know, we were not doing anything but it ended up getting like a, a huge amount of eyeballs on our, um, college, like the program because it would air like every week for our, we would do like a weekly show. And I remember Dan, my professor being like, because I think I was directing the show as well and he was like, there are more eyeballs on this program today. Then there's ever been in the last like three years of this thing because they wanted to make sure that we weren't like, you know, crazy here. Uh, anyway, that was a long tangent. So I'm talk about more about you here, doing the editing in college and then kind of like what ended up being, I guess your degree from now there. What was your kind of focused a field of studies from that?

[13:29] So I was in the communications department at Central Washington University and I got my bachelor's of arts in film and video studies. So the production specialization. Um, so a lot of that, it wasn't necessarily just video editing, it was a lot of um, you know, there was about six or seven of us that were like a really tight knit group and we would pass hat around. I'm depending on, you know, every single time we do a class project I would direct and then the next one I would shoot it next time when I would record the audio and I'm. So we all kind of got experience in every department throughout the program. Um, I just definitely, I felt I was gravitating towards editing. I also really thought that I was gonna be a director, I won't it, but you know, it's, it's a lot to handle a group of 10 people on a crew plus actors and then you get up to like a 50 percent crew and then a 100 percent Korean. It's crazy. Um, whereas video editing, it's just me and a computer and I have the footage, I know what I want to do with it. I've got notes from producers and directors and I can help kind of get those into the final product. Then it's a much more intimate process I think. Um, and I, I enjoy kind of being able to be the person that puts it all together and you know, it takes torch across the finish line.

[14:53] That's a great way of putting that, taking the church across the finish line. I like that. I do like to, it sounds like you kind of had a similar as I did, where know we doing, like you said, you know, one week you're shooting in one week you're editing and one week you're doing the audio because it lets you kind of see that whole picture which is really important for me is someone that sends you out to get footage for me to edit and having someone that knows both sides. I can't tell you how many guys I worked with when I was a news who had been shooting video for like, you know, 20, 25 years and did not know how to edit. Like on the new anything, you know, maybe they had done some tape to tape, you know, you know before they made the transition with ever.

[15:37] But like they didn't know how to edit. And so when you go out and shoot, if you don't know what that process looks like, it, it really dictates how you're shooting or what you're doing or not because you don't know what that person back at the station and back in the studio or like you're editing, you don't know kind of what you're looking at compared to someone that's done both sides and you're like, oh yeah, well I know how I want my footage to look and to, you know, be 10 seconds long and have, you know, two seconds of path on each side or whatever. The edit. I think it's incredibly important to that. It's funny to me like how many guys don't edit their own staff and so it's crazy. Like you just don't see the whole picture that way. Do you have any thoughts on that, done that statement?

[16:19] No, absolutely. I mean, I cannot tell you the number of times people have told me like, oh, make those blues pop or make those screens pop. It's like, well you didn't really captured in a way that I can do that or you know, it's. They would want me to reframe the shot in post. It's like, I'll do it if that's what you want me to do, but really at that point I'm then stepping on the cinematographers skills. Um, so it's you really want to capture it correctly the first time. And from my perspective, I just have to acknowledge like if, if it was shot a certain way and in my world of like scripted television shows, movies or whatever, if it was shot a certain way for multiple takes, that's the way they wanted it and I have to respect that. Um, but also knowing like coverage, um, and it's something that directors really need to acknowledge, acknowledges.

[17:11] Um, when you're going out there with a shot list in mind, you need to know what kind of angles you're going to be showing this from in post. You can't just do a single shot for the whole thing. Same thing applies to weddings. If we just filmed the ceremony with a single camera, it's gonna be a pretty boring 30 minute ceremony of just one angle. So you got to get those detail shots of the rings and the bouquets. And, and happy faces in the crowd that you can kind of cut around the room as if you were just standing in the center of the room during that moment and you're just kind of looking around and you're, you're just noticing nice little as the ceremonies happening. So it's, you know, from my perspective as an editor, I know when I'm on the floor with a camera that I can't just be looking at one thing. I've got to be looking all over the place for good moments.

[18:03] Yeah. I think that's incredibly important. It's funny to just as we talk about this, I saw this morning that the uh, the academy awards this year in, in an effort to kind of shorten the ceremony. I don't know if you've even seen this yet. They're a, they're going to air a bunch of the awards during commercial breaks in order to like speed up the process. And so it was like a cinematography film editing a show. I think it's like short action and then hair and makeup they have all deemed were worthy of a, of only area during the commercial break. Which is awesome because you know that working in a let alone the cinematographer, the editor that was going through and like you said, that there's, if there's multiple takes and like clarity that, you know, which is the best one in which way it looks the best. And which way does it. I mean, you know, the film editor has incredible power with all that stuff, right?

[18:53] I think we need to give more recognition to our camera operators, to our, our cinematographers and in dps, our sound guys even, um, especially hair and makeup and our editors too. I think there's a lot of faces that just kind of go unrecognized in this industry, whether it's scripted corporate, wedding, commercial. Um, now those guys are doing a lot of hard work. Guys and gals are doing a lot of hard work. Um, and you know, I, I hope that the award ceremonies maybe reverse for next year and, and look to, to give them a little bit more time in the spotlight.

[19:30] Yeah. I just thought that was funny because it was one of those things I think like a lot of people just, you know, you just glance over and you're like, oh, whatever, but you know, you're, you're not, you know, because like obviously like the screen writers still gets accepted in the war, then the director, but not the, you know, the cinematographer that's like actually capturing everything. It's uh, that's funny. So, uh, when you Kinda, so back to your origin story kind of getting out of the central Washington and then what was the next step from that and where were you looking to go?

[19:57] Uh, from there I came back to Seattle just because that was kind of home base for me. Um, and I was really just trying to figure out where I could fit in and um, and that took some time. It's actually pretty difficult to find like a, a studio position in the Seattle area. Um, most people that are doing this for a living are doing it freelance. I'm working from home. They're dealing with the GIG economy route. Um, so, and, and that's actually when I took a brief stint into the art world and now setting up screens and projectors and a lot of Leer mics and stuff for corporate events and speeches and whatnot. Um, and then I just Kinda got lucky. I got an opportunity to uh, edit videos for an online school. Um, and one those schools happen to be based in Los Angeles. I'm not too far from the airport.

[20:52] And so I flew down there a couple times and, and hung out with them and then I kinda just decided. It's like, well, if I've got this position, maybe I should get down there and see what else I can get. 'Em It's pretty cutthroat. If you're not pushing it every day and trying to find more work, then chances are you're probably not going to make it. But, um, and that's kind of what ended up happening is I got to the end of the road and I didn't have another gig lined up. So, you know, I heard you were looking for a primary videographer again was like, you know what I should do kind of Miss Washington, this heat is getting a little bit overbearing. The traffic is kind of nuts. Um, so my girlfriend and I, we packed up and we came home,

[21:34] I'd say it staff and even, you know, when I was in news and in Bakersfield and trying to find anything in Seattle when you email and then like, I mean I think you could, you know, count on two hands, the number of studios in town. I mean I know like La has got more but it is tough and like, you know, I got to the point where I was just like, like you said, you just kind of freelance it yourself because if you can't find something that kind of fits your mold or what you, you know, you kinda got to make the mold, you know, I'm talking about doing that in la. Working on that was obviously very different environment than Seattle. Like you said, a lot more cutthroat, but like did you learn some lessons down there? Were those some good takeaways that you know?

[22:16] Oh yeah, um, budget things out well in advance. Um, I know you think your project is going to be manageable when a weekend there will be some hidden costs. You're not expecting a no matter what the position always make sure you're paying them. Um, you know, I, I did a couple of short film projects and stuff and they'd toss 100 bucks here and there and that's nice of you. But la is really expensive and we're working really hard and we went to school for this and all that. So I think one of the things that people always overlook, you know, as his budget for sure. Um, and kind of along the same lines, I'm, I'm starting to see people hiring what they're calling a junior video editors instead of interns and they're paying well below like union rates. And I think the unions union is super important.

[23:08] La does have a really good community. Um, you are absolutely going to run into someone that you can collaborate down there. So, you know, it was rough and I certainly had some issues with just the traffic and overgrowth of the city, but I'm pretty much everyone I talked to was working on something. They were directing something. They're writing something there, you know, they wanted to start shooting maybe. So the nice thing about La is you're going to find a place to be um, so long as you go into it prepared to uh, you know, it's gonna be tough. So

[23:45] yeah, I tell you when I, uh, when I was in these up here and my buddy Paul, you know, he had taken the job at Kta lay down in La and I just thought, man, like, you know, it's just a totally different world. I mean I know Seattle and you know, they talk about photographers and video and weddings and all sorts of different, you know, saturation, appearance. It's like you go to La and it's like you times that by 100, you know, I mean it's just crazy the amount of. But like you said, then there is a lot of like, you know, I think creative energy and if yeah, maybe if you are somebody looking for like a variety of different things, like you said, they're not all going to pay or paid equitably as well.

[24:20] What I did like about talking to folks down there is nobody's from La, so you always start your conversation of like, oh where'd you come from? So everybody is very social and happy to talk about about where they came from and where they plan on going. Yeah.

[24:37] So you moved back up here and you're kind of, you know, besides working for us and you know, you were taking it from other freelance stuff. I know that you're working on a cool documentary kind of editing the trailer, talking about some things here you're working on right now and, and maybe something you're especially proud of and kind of why.

[24:53] Sure. Right now I am doing the final touches on a short film called little treasures. Um, I don't know how much I can spoil. Well, I won't spoil anything. I'll just say it's a story about a couple of them widths that are trying to rob a house and things go horribly wrong. So I'm actually the trailers up on my website, a Um, and yeah, you can check that out there. We will probably be doing some kickstarter funding of some sort in the near future to, to kind of get the finishing touches done. Um, other than that, I'm also editing a trailer for a documentary, um, about the, the families that have lost loved ones in nine slash 11. The 20th anniversary is coming up. So, um, it's kind of focusing on, not necessarily the events but how they are coping with a loss. I'm almost 20 years later. Um, and we're going to start editing the feature length version of that film pretty soon actually in about a month or so.

[25:54] Yeah. What's that been like, because obviously like you're, you and we talked about this the other day to day, you know, she, the woman that's kind of directing this, right? I guess it's been going out, uh, you know, with the cinematographer to kind of capture that. But you still have to kind of go through and experience all this stuff yourself, right? I mean, what's that process been like, kind of hearing these stories and going through that.

[26:15] It's tough. There's, you know, you're, you're looking for really important moments of the story, but you're reliving those moments with them and, and they're, they're painful memories, um, for some of these folks that are just now the, uh, one of the main characters in the, you know, not character, but individuals in the film, um, they lost their husband that they were just married to like three months prior, um, and they've remarried and they've had kids and they moved on, but it's still a major piece of their life. Um, and, and that's what we're trying to show is that nobody's forgotten what happened. So they've just had to evolve and figure out how to live with those memories. Um, and I think it's, I think at the core of the story is that everyone in New York who was alive at the time and not even alive at the time, we still have kids who are growing up and learning that their parents were lost in this tragic event and everyone in New York has the story of some kind and it, it, it varies from house to house.

[27:27] But, um, you know, there's, there's a lot of material that I have to go through a week's footage. I'm the producer and director actually has been doing audio recordings a cents a month after the event. So I have a box full of audio cds from the last 18 years. There's a lot of material as an editor that's a little daunting. Um, and it definitely requires a certain mindset to be able to organize all of that. I think, uh, one of the, one of the signs of a good editor is what their organization system is. Um, just being able to, to bend everything correctly, have everything properly dated everything properly, like seemed out kind of. Um, and I think the biggest hurdle of that is just the sheer amount of time it takes to watch and listen. Two weeks of, of content.

[28:30] No, I think it's, I have a lot of respect for, for editors and especially someone like you, like that meticulousness where I'm kinda like go, go, go, you know, I like kind of editing, you know, my own staff or at least that, you know, the weddings that we shoot, it's, it's at least it kind of follows in somewhat of a formula, you know, a little bit you can kind of go through because like I could imagine having to wade through all that and, and like you said, the attention to detail and kind of being able to like, okay, wait, where is this going to go? And we're okay with WHO said this, who said that? And kind of. I mean it's got to be daunting, right?

[29:06] Oh absolutely. You know, if you were to look at my string outside, I'll put an entire interview on a timeline. There's probably like 100 markers on my timeline of just like, Ooh, that's a good bit. That's a good bid and I think actually these moments need to be swapped in time and you know, it's, it's a lot of notating and just kind of storing things up in your head, but also giving yourself a physical backup notes and um, yeah, it's just really key to have good organizational skills as an editor.

[29:37] Yeah. And especially like for documentary, it's like my buddy just did one a year and it took him like 18 months, you know, and he shot everything himself and so obviously like he, you know, lease you're, you kind of have firsthand and you're there, um, you know, kind of knowing, but especially like you were, you got to go through these 18 years of like stuff and plus all the interviews all over the country, over the, you know, the last 20 years. I mean, it's crazy. I just a, I think it's going to be a cool project when it's done. I'm definitely excited to see it.

[30:04] Yeah. I'm looking forward to getting it out there. I think, uh, I think people are gonna find that this is not just like another nine slash 11 documentary. I think this has a unique approach with the families involved,

[30:17] so uh, to transition a little bit more to, you know, a little more uplifting, talk a little bit more about kind of like shooting onsite. What do you like about that and especially kind of like weddings and kind of like your role in the day with that and kind of how you, if I would assume you enjoy it, but kind of why you enjoy it.

[30:36] I think that the aspect I love most about shooting a wedding is getting that moment and nobody knows that I got it. I like to be that. Like I always tell clients like, Hey, I'm just going to be a fly on the wall. You're not even going to notice me there. Um, and I like just being kind of in the corner and I know like, oh, that's going to be the moment when they watch this video, they're going to, their mouth is gonna drop. It's, it's the detail shots. It's the smiles and the crowd. It's someone telling a joke to someone else next to him at a dinner table. It's those little moments that nobody else has really seeing happened as it's happening, but then I get to capture it and I get to remind them later.

[31:19] Um, and then do you enjoy, do you enjoy the actual, like, yeah. Are you happy kind of like doing that? Any sort of fill in or is it something more about like, weddings you kind of get caught up in all that emotion. I mean, I know you're dating, like do you, are you kind of a romantic at heart or are you more likely

[31:36] talking about that? Know I've been dating my girlfriend here for. Let's see, we're at 12 or 13 months now. A No, sorry, we're at like 13, 14 months. You should know that. Let me back that to the map properly here. I do consider myself to be a bit of a romantic. Uh, I do get caught up in some of the romantic moments of the wedding. Videography of. I've been dating my girlfriend for about a year and a half now. Um, and we're just a couple of nerds than we do everything together now. Um, we, we just went to Japan back in October for our one year anniversary and had a blast there and spent two weeks just kind of seeing all the culture together and every wedding has its moments that are similar, other weddings, but I think every wedding is also incredibly unique that the focal point is always there.

[32:29] They're always going to have these different qualities and quirks to them. That is really important for me to find and figure out in the moment these, these two people that are getting married, they've known each other for years. Um, and, and even before they were dating, they probably knew each other as friends or, or, you know, childhood friends or whatever. It depends from relationship to relationship. Um, but I got to find it in the moment. I got to figure it out on that day, how this couple is entangled with each other. Um, you know, and that it may not be incredibly apparent to even them, uh, how they interact with each other because it's just day to day. I, I can't tell you specifically how my girlfriend and I are, are joined at the hip. I just know that if she's gone for more than two hours, I start to get a little cranky. So, um, yeah, I think I, I do consider myself to be a little bit of a hopeless romantic and I, I, I liked the fine, um, those kind of mushy shots, but you know, they're, they're important moments to remember and look back on when you're looking at your wedding video in five, 10 years.

[33:43] Yeah. I think it's funny like you said, is they don't necessarily know how they lawyer. Some couples just have like rockstar chemistry and you know, it's nothing that you can do or not do and in some couples are madly in love and it's just a little more quiet and then some are madly in love and it's a little more loud and like you said, it really is like you got to walk in and like, you know, email or do a skype call or you know, like in person meeting and then you got to figure that out. Like you said, within about 30 seconds of walking in the door and kind of who's what and what's going on. And it is daunting, but it's also a, I think, is it exciting? Do you enjoy that?

[34:20] Absolutely. I think the first look is always the moment that you figure it out because before that it's, you have that skype meeting and it's Kinda hard to figure things out over that because everybody's looking at different documents and stuff on their screen. They're not necessarily looking at each other eye to, um, and then after that, uh, you don't see the bride and groom together until that first look, um, if they're doing the first look with a videographer. Um, in my experience, I've, I've filmed every first look at every wedding I've been to, but, um, that's always the moment where it's like, oh, now I finally get to see these, to just be together and, and not be worried about, you know, how much is this wedding and a cost and how many guests are we gonna have and how many different meal choices do we need to offer? And all that. It's like, no, it's just these two people love each other very much and they get to just spend this time together.

[35:16] Uh, yeah. And uh, like you said, kind of getting it, I always say I like doing the first look and kind of getting that time with them where a lot of the day, you know, and obviously I get the during the first lecture in the ceremony too, but kind of getting to see that couple as a unit kind of throughout the day as opposed to like segmented until the reception. I think it's nice and it just, you know, just someone that genuinely enjoys being around, you know, couples and hanging out in this kind of fun as opposed to like that I, you know, there's a little bit of excitement to like running back and forth like, okay, what's, you know, what's uh, what she doing? Okay, what's he doing? You kind of running. But then at some point it, this kind of Nice to get everybody together and just kind of like rock and roll through stuff. What's your favorite part of the wedding day? I know you talked about the first look, is it that or is it, you know, the food or the dancing or music or what do you like about it?

[36:06] I think host ceremony is when everyone completely opens up. It's, you know, the, the boulder is released off of the couple of shoulder because now it's like, okay, it's done. Now we're going to go eat, we're going to go party. We're gonna have fun. We're going to dance. Um, that's when you see everybody's at their, you know, they're, they're at ease, everybody's like ready to go and just have a good time for the rest of the night and there's really nothing else to worry about. Um, you got the rest of your lives together now. Um, you've, you've officially tied the knot, you put the rings on, you're good to go.

[36:40] Um, do you ever, uh, do you have any. Like I was just trying to think about like a generally during that time too, you have a lot of family members and stuff buggin, but like do you have any funny stories or any like happy memories from some of the weddings you've been a part of that. I'm like something that probably puts you on the spot, but anything that kind of stands out.

[36:58] There are so many moments that I've been, I've had someone turned to the camera and say, Hey, don't record this, you know, because it's, you get in that room and they forget like, oh, there's a camera here. We got to be like, are cleaned up, sells. And Yeah, there's a lot of moments, but I want us to put any, any past couples on the spot of, you know, I've been hanging out in, in bridal parties and groomsmen and, you know, they, they have fun there. It's, it's a full 24 hours that they're just kind of having a party. Um, it's a good time.

[37:34] Yeah. It's uh, it's, it, it is kind of, it's a weird experience for like every time you show up. Yeah. Like these people are like, you know, not on vacation, but you're kind of like in this concept, especially like during the summer when you're like constantly hanging out and like people are like day drinking and eating all day and hanging out and lounging and then you're kind of like, wow, this would be really easy to just kinda like get caught, you know. But then you got to go back to work, you know, it is just kind of in this constant state of like, it's weird. I don't know, it's weird to be like if you, did you like go to weddings, back tobacco three weddings or whatever. Like it's really weird that kind of like just be in that constant state for like extended periods of time. Talk about kind of, you know, when you're not filming and you're not editing your girlfriend. I want to talk about. Tell me about this trip back to Japan. What was out about? Uh, it sounds exciting.

[38:27] Yeah. I mean we're, we work because we are absolute nerds and we share all the same nerdy likes. So yeah, we're big gamers. We like our anime or Manga. I'm just a bunch of weeds. So yeah, when, when we went to Japan, we, uh, we, we went to the, uh, the electric town, a Akihabara and we, we saw all the sights and sounds there and I went to a couple different neighborhoods as well as Shinjuku and Harajuku and um, and I don't know, it's, it's, uh, it's something that we really click on. It is just the things that we're interested in. Um, I don't think I've named a movie or show that she doesn't like, um, I've certainly named a lot of movies that she's never seen, but that just comes from being a film student. You watch a lot of movies. Um, but yeah, I mean we, we, we met at a video game convention so naturally that's kind of one of our, our cornerstones. Um, we at one point had two tvs in our bedroom and we play video games side-by-side. Um, she is currently reading a Manga that is taking forever because it's over 2000 pages and as soon as she's done she's going to pass it off to me. Um, so, you know, all the things that we enjoy, we kind of go out of her way to enjoy it together. Uh, whether we can do that simultaneously or not. Um, yeah, I hope that.

[39:58] And uh, what is it about kind of those things and you know, like anime and all that, like what is it that draws it to you as it, is it back history of like, you know, studying film in different art forms? Is it like the creativity, is it, what is it about video games and those sorts of things that kind of draw your attention?

[40:17] I think what got my attention like Monga is that it's, it's kind of like reading a storyboard and I get to and, and graphic novels who were, uh, were picked DC comics fans. We like our marbles, but we're, we're, we're were DC household, um, comics and Manga to me is like reading a storyboard and I get to kind of visualize the action as it's happening, um, in it kind of figured out how would I shoot this, how would I edit this? How would I, you know, what sort of sound effects would I add? And, and all that sort of thing. Um, with video games, um, I think there's such a rich medium to be able to tell stories and allow the person who is ingesting that content to have their own presence in the world. Um, whether you're controlling another character has their own name and has their own dialogue or if you are creating a character from the start doesn't ever speak, maybe you never see their face, that person completely represents you in that world.

[41:17] Um, either way, I think it's much more engrossing than a feature film because you are physically putting yourself there or you're, you're mentally putting yourself there. Um, and, and with virtual reality games in, but it kind of blurs that line of like, am I actually in this world or am I just feeling that I'm there. Um, so I think that's what I really like about gaming is that I can, um, I can kind of disappear to another world. Whereas when I'm watching a movie, um, you know, get, don't get me wrong, I love movies, but you know, my phone rings and I have to check that or you know, I get a text notice or whatever and I have to pause the movie and um, it's much harder for me to break out of the trance of, of gaming.

[42:03] Well also the, you know, the thing too and I mean, I, I think when you your house sitting for us and when you came over inside, you know, we have an xbox and I said I haven't played it in a long time since I started the business, but I did use to be a pretty, pretty big Gamer and you know, when you put like 30, 40, 50 hours into like anything, you know, let alone like a, you know, an immersive like grand theft auto or whatever. And then versus like, Oh, I watched this movie for 90 minutes or whatever. I mean it is like, it just grips you more and more and yeah, maybe that, you know, to kind of a quarterly, uh, bring this guy. It's like weddings and stuff. I mean, there is a lot of time invested in that and so you have the more time and energy and like a video game, you know, like the, the payoff is going to be a lot better and like you're just going to feel those emotional kind of notes a lot more. Right?

[42:52] Yeah. You feel more ownership, I'd say. Yeah. Thank, you know, the more, more time commitment, the more you feel like, oh, this is mine, this is my story that I get to enjoy and I can show it to others. But at the end of the day, there's that little bit in your head. It's like, no, this is my, my little bit. Um, and that's true to an extent. Everybody plays games differently, so everybody's going to have a slightly different experience in slightly different stories to tell. Um, and you know, it's maybe it's not as heartfelt as certain stories and films, but you hear people plan a fortnight is a, is a big thing right now. And they're always telling me, oh, I got this cool story of my squad dropping on these people and blah, blah, blah. Um, you know, right now all these different games are coming out, apex legends is, is kind of taking a fortnight for a run and um, but at the end of the day it's, it's, it's about creating your own story and your own moments to share with other people. There you go,

[43:47] uh, moving forward now, you know, professionally, personally, you know, besides, you know, obviously filming like, you know, Buku weddings for you best made videos and things like how well see now, you know, now that you're back in Seattle, like how else do you want to grow professionally and, and, you know, where do you want to see yourself in the next couple of years?

[44:07] Uh, I want to finish the short film that I'm working on a and then I, uh, I actually do have another script that I'm ready to go on. I just got to get a funding lockdown and find a solid crew to work with. And um, I think, I think Seattle is probably the only city that I really could have done this script. I've been writing it since, uh, my first year of college. Um, and I think it's finally ready to come out, but yeah, I, you know, I, I'd like to get my company up and running an outlier media as something that is doing kind of gaming related content. I want to do gaming videos with my girlfriend and friends and I would really love to continue doing a short films, short narrative films.

[44:48] Uh, so you're writing this one, do you enjoy writing as well

[44:53] or is it more of a struggle? It's more of a struggle for me, I, I get really bogged down in the writing process. I know the story I want to tell. Um, but in terms of getting the words on the paper a lot more difficult for me. Um, and it's typically I'll, I'll hit like one week where I'm just like flying through pages and then the next week it's just like, oh, I can't even write a paragraph. It's just, it'll, it'll get bogged down at times like that. I definitely have a lot of respect for screenwriters.

[45:25] Oh, it's, uh, it's, it's, uh, I couldn't, I can't hardly write content for the website. Yeah,

[45:32] well they're right. Three or four feature films a year that just drives me like I can't even imagine.

[45:39] Uh, well no I'd seen, but it does seem like you have a lot of good outlets for your creativity and the somebody that, that obviously has a lot of the different juices flowing. I think it's kind of fascinating just to hear a little bit about each of these things and kind of keeping your, keeping your mind sharp and kind of your talents. Uh, Kinda tuned in, right?

[45:58] Yeah. Yeah. I think it's super important to figure out, you know, what, what sort of a creative output do you have and where can you put it? Um, and, and I've, you know, I think I've got plenty of things to work on. I can do graphic design, I can do editing, I can pull out my camera and shoot a little thing if I want to. And um, you know, even gaming to an extent has some areas where you can create, um, you know, dreams on the ps four is, is an interesting one right now where you can straight up just make a game if you want to do with, with a controller, you don't need to know how to code or anything like that. Oh God. If I at one point I wanted to be a computer programmer and that is not a field that I can.

[46:41] No, uh, no, they, they say that. But that's like the new thing they're trying to get everybody into, right is like computer before the robots figuring out how to do an intake. All right.

[46:52] I really am maybe stubborn in it, but I hope that automation is not something that we have to fear and filmmaking and video making.

[47:00] I would hope so. I've seen like the GoPro, you can have GoPro supposedly, like edit your footage now and you know, by finding like the highlights and then it's always. Yeah, it's always a little interesting. I don't think it'll ever that I stand firm that a robot will never know how to feel like a human, so long as a robot doesn't know, does not know how to feel. Then I still have a role in this industry. That's awesome. Last thing before we go, one thing, if there was one thing you wish a future clients of yours and mine and ours and everybody else I knew about you, what would that be? And that's a huge push on the spot.

[47:40] I may be quiet, but I'm always present. Uh, you know, I'm always thinking about what my next step is and I'm trying to figure out how to fix other people's problems in the moment. If you come to me with a problem, I'm going to come with you. Come back at you with a solution. I'm. Hey, I, I would say that I'm a fairly open book. If you want to talk to me about anything with your, your video and anything about your project, um, you know, I'll listen and I'll kind of digest that and analyze it and then I'll figure out something to get back to you. Even if it seems like I'm a little bit closed off, um, I'm, I'm, I'm a little bit more open than that

[48:21] I will say as, as a problem solver and probably the reason why you got this job is when we have a wedding last year and there were some transportation issues with getting one of the videographers back. Uh, the wedding was in Vancouver and getting back from Vancouver to Seattle and you were in La and coming up and you say, well, you know, I guess I could sleep at the train station or well, could I change my flight to Portland because we're going to be in Vancouver because I leave the wedding, you know, on time, be done with the wedding and make it to the fly or, you know, there were, there was quite a bit as I said. Yes. And so I very much appreciated that. And like you said, your willingness to problem solve and figure things out and, and uh, it goes a long way and I think their clients for years will appreciate that. So thank you.

[49:12] Yeah. Thank you.

[49:13] Well, this has been such a fun talk. I want to thank you so much for coming on. Like I said, a just for me to kind of hear more about your story, uh, and, and be for everybody to kind of hear more about it. Um, obviously, uh, if people want to know more about you, uh, a, they can go to our website, but if people wanted to learn more kind of about your short films and all your other creative endeavors, where would you have them check out?

[49:40] Uh, they can go out to Um, I, I post a trailers and blog posts and stuff on, on current projects out there. I'm also on twitter at @mattclementsjr. Uh, I don't always filter myself on there, so, you know, I try, but uh, yeah, that's, I, I post a lot of what I'm working on out there as well as just a lot of stuff I'm enjoying in my personal life.

[50:05] Perfect. Well thank you so much. This has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another wedding vendor interview. Thank you so much.

Candi Lirette, Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist

[00:09] Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. My name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington and I am joined today by one of my longtime friends Candi Lirette who is a hairstylist and makeup artist here in West Seattle. And I was going to say that you're probably one of the most famous guests I've had on just because you are my own personal hairstylist, which has to account for something. Probably nothing but uh, why don't you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and what you do.

[00:38] Hi, Candi Lirette. I'm kind of just go buy candy in a sense like share when working out Ola for six years. Been doing here for almost seven. Been doing reads hair. I looked it up this morning. I think it's been since January 13th, 2016. But that's just when we got Vagaro. I mean you could have been seen me before that on like a different thing. It's been a long time. It's been while um, every three weeks y'all. Um, I kinda just started doing here actually in junior high for, during the lunch I would just break people's hair in corn rows. I would do my own. I cut color my own hair. In high school I did updos. Um, I had my fingers in a lot of artsy pies and decided to go to college for fashion because that's what I was like, oh, maybe that'll really take me somewhere.

[01:24] And I got my associates in arts and fashion design. Clearly I'm using it. That's my Zombie apocalypse survival skill right there. Uh, I just, I was almost finished with school and I was like, I'm just not really enjoying this. And I'm a year after that I was doing your friends up due for a gala. She's a Candi, why aren't you in school for this? I was like, Huh. And so the next couple of weeks I checked out a few schools and um, I found Aveda in Capitol Hill and they seem really legit and like they would keep me in order. I mean the place looked like a salon. And so the next month I moved up to Seattle and started school. And even at school and it was almost graduated, I'm still so excited to do it and it's still every day so excited to do it. Whether it's, I know everybody on my books or I have like five consultations or you know, five new people. Like I just, I'm really excited to do what I do and where I do it too. So that's something to be said for that.

[02:18] That was awesome. And so are you, are you from the area originally and where did you grow up and where, where did the origin story began?

[02:24] Yeah. Um, I'm from New Orleans. The oldest of three, uh, actually will kind of, we just found out like five or six years ago. I'm not just that I have an older half sister, but basically, yeah, I grew up the oldest of three and we moved to Washington when I was 12 in 1998. Why? Washington is because my mom's mom lived up here. I'm like, there's just wanted a better life for us. They're moderately liberal and it is just. If we didn't live in the ghetto or anything, it was just, they just wanted better opportunities for us. And even when I moved at 12, I was like, yes, let's do this. Like I'm not like you're taking me from my friends and um, you know, I've always been the artsy kind and you know, my grandpa was always like, Candi always got to be different, you know, and I just, I think that's why it brings me such joy just. But yeah, we um, we moved up to Graham Span only area and I've been living in Seattle since 2011 and I'm not moving anytime soon. I'll add all my roots are in Seattle.

[03:22] Uh, do you have any memories growing up in New Orleans? Did you. I get there,

[03:25] yeah. The biggest part, it wasn't like Mardi Gras, like actual New Orleans. I lived in New Orleans in a sense like someone says from the Sni adult area, but they're actually from Marion. I grew up in Avondale, but it's mostly like our friends or our family and our family were our friends and we're all like really tight knit and there was always room for more and it literally took a village to raise all these kids and um, we would always get together like every other weekend and it was very, like everybody pitched in, you know, the kids cleaned up and the guys, you know, cooked and uh, yeah, it just, it was all, all hands on deck, but it was just such a loving thing to do and I think that's why I dunno, I just, I love people and like I like to give that back to them and I love that exchange of energy. And so I think that that was really instilled in me just. Yeah. People.

[04:21] That's awesome. Yeah. So, uh, so transitioning back to Seattle or to Seattle, uh, at the age of 12 and then, so when you went to school for arts and where was that at and what was kind of the inspiration behind that?

[04:32] That was actually, um, I was 20 and it was like 2006 and I was ready to move out of my house, but I wasn't ready to just live on my own or with roommates. And I had um, my mom's good friend at the time, we'd been friends for like 10 years and she moved to Arizona and started her own trucking company. She, she's like the middle man between the commodity and the truckers and she's like, hey, why don't you come down and live with me, you know, I'll help put you through school. And so it actually loop, move. Moved Down to Glendale, Arizona, lived with her for about a year and then I kind of moved around Peoria downtown Phoenix. But uh, to me about three and a half years to get a two year degree as it does these days. But yeah, she, I didn't have any debt because she paid for it all and I'm eternally grateful for it and I still use that skill, you know, I know how to do alterations and you know, like I say I'm at a wedding and something goes awry. I'll know how to help kick that skill into gear.

[05:31] Ah, what was the particular motivation? We are kind of pursuing the as an issue associate's degree that you did?

[05:38] My parents, they're like, just go to college. I don't care if it's for underwater basket weaving, like just it looks good on paper kind of thing. And then it's. Nowadays it's more like, well maybe you don't need to go to college because they see how expensive it is and how in debt kids get. And it's like, is it worth it because we're not getting jobs. But back then that was the mindset. It's like, no, no, no, do it, do it, you know, even if you don't do anything with it. And it's like, well that's kind of lame, but it's better that our eyes are open now. But that was the drive. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have cared.

[06:10] Uh, no, I, I totally know because I think we're a similar age and like when I grew up, yeah, it was like, there was no question you had to figure out something. And luckily, you know, I kind of figured out along the way before I got out, because I know kids still in my brother went to school and still struggles to kind of find like, what is your purpose or what, you know, it's, it's in a really intense thing at the age of like 20, they'd be like, okay, this is what you need to figure out what you're going to do for the rest of your life.

[06:35] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, what pushed me to do this though, I think, I don't know why, that I never really thought of it as a career for me. Not that it's like, oh, I would never do that, you know, I just, it just wasn't, oh, you know, um, and my friend was like, why don't you do this? I looked more into it. I'm like, this is actually a legit career. And like, you really could go far with it. So then it's a, it is a form of art, you know, I mean the client has a say, but I was definitely,

[07:03] uh, so when you went to the, so then, uh, when you went to school to be a stylist and you, you know, you found the school on Capitol Hill, is that what you said? Talking about that, was that intimidating? Were you nervous? Did you, were you excited? What was that process like?

[07:16] I was super excited. I wanted to start as soon as possible. We moved in April and the next round of like when you could start was may and we started off with, usually nowadays I think there's like 20 to 30 kids in a class and I think on average there was about 15 to 20. There were eight people in my class when we graduated, by the time we graduated, there was only five, like three heads, like left for some reason or dropped out or um, so I felt like I got the attention I needed, but the school and the teachers weren't intimidating and like the students were new, just like me, you know, some were younger than me, some were older than me and it was really great to like take that all in at the same time kind of thing and how I learn is by doing and I got to do that.

[08:04] It was, wasn't a whole lot of book work, you know, and that's when I start to like judge out and it goes in one ear and out the other. But my hands are on it. I'm learning and if I'm able to teach, I learned too and it just drives it deeper into that. But it was such a beautiful experience as we went through the phases and learn the different things. They would let us out onto the floor and we would take clients and so that we got more comfortable with that. And as we went through the phases, we got more days on the floor and so I think I'm also the exposure we got for being where we were and then the name we had because salons, they'll do the same thing, but maybe they don't know about it or people like, oh, it's a school, I don't want my go to a chop shop, you know?

[08:45] Um, but I took it for all it's worth an I, I think it was definitely worth it. Oh. So we got exposed to a career fairs and got to do a salon tours and even mocked, kind of did the state board with us. And so I really felt fully prepared. Um, but I think two things, it takes his passion and skill. You can have the pageant, but honey, if you're not good at it, you're not good and you can have the skill. But if you don't have the passion, it's not going to take you anywhere, you know. And I could see the people who didn't have it, they were dropping out or just, they just weren't passing, you know. And then like that, my heart kind of broke for them, but you know, I'm here for me right now. So.

[09:28] Oh, it's so funny to hear you talk about kind of that odd that hands on learning because like I'm the exact same way. Like you know, when I can figure out like oh I could get behind the camera or whatever. And the like ultimately then instantly I was like okay, like I can do this where like anything that involves like reading books or whatever. Like even right now I've been pushing off because he like my drone license for like three years because I have to like sit and read this book and like I can fly a drone but I have to sit and read this book. So I just hire people that are, that are licensed and insured because I'm like the thought of having to read through this 100, page six. So it's just am like I haven't done schooling and so long I've just. It's really scary.

[10:06] No, I'd have to go through and like highlight. I'm like, is this really important? I'm just going to skim, like, what are the instructions? All right, got it. Let's do this.

[10:14] Dorothy gets mad because, uh, we'll talk sometimes about like she went to some fancy English class or whatever, like I was a big like cliff notes Kinda guy and in high school and that infuriates her that like somebody would actually like other guy. I didn't really like any of those books at all. Like it was a big, uh, whether, what are the, what are the key points I need to know. Um, when you kind of figured out, you know, doing the styling and really got behind it. So then did you just go like, wait, how long did it take you to be like, okay, this is really clicking for me or this is really what I wanted to do. Was it pretty immediate or was it kind of through the program?

[10:46] It was kind of immediate because I introduced myself to it early on anyway and I already had a likeness for it and I was like, this is fun. You know, when I was, I literally like, I wasn't just doing trims on my hair. Like I would chop my hair off and dye it all kinds of colors and multiple colors and um, I'd never done that to anyone else's hair until I went to school for it. But I just, I was very comfortable with hair because it grows back. It's fine. Nobody's, I'm literally not gonna kill anybody. So it's not as, you know, I'm not a fighter jet person or literally doing surgery, you know, so it wasn't intimidating and I just saw it as fun and sometimes it can be nerve wracking, you know, your first, my first client, we weren't allowed to take kids cuts.

[11:30] My first client was a six year old boy and his dad was like a hoverboard over me and I'm like, is this right for me? I'm freaking out, man. I did it. And I got through it and that was almost eight years ago. And so, and I do tons of kids cuts now and I love children, you know? And when they, you know, when they're older, I know how to handle up on them and be like, listen, little did you know. But, um, there's, there's any, even now you know, there's intimidating things and I'm like, challenge accepted, let's do this, you know, but it's a journey together and I think a big part of it is listening. I think it's like maybe 60 percent listening, 40 percent, like asking and talking and maybe even less. But that's kind of what I'm thinking for me. Um, and if you know what to ask for and you know, how to get that information, you can't really mess it up, you know, and you just build that trust.

[12:16] Well, I'd be like you saying where it grows back because like, even today, I think like every time I come in to get a haircut, it's like you've got a different look or a different style or different list. Like every time I'm like, oh wait, we're just here to keep you on your toes. But I know, I think it's good. I think it's a great way that, you know, obviously expressed. I mean, I all through high school and college, like I was very expressive with my hair and uh, I don't as much anymore just because directly tells me not to do it, but no, that was, that was kind of a good outlet for me to. And I think that a lot of people, I mean it is one of those things that like you can change on a daily basis to really reflects kind of who you are. And it's like that outward personality, right? That you're like showing like somebody walking down the street with a Mohawk versus someone that's walking down the street with like a Ponytail, you know, portrayed is like a very different kind of outlook.

[13:05] Yeah. Well, and then people come there to feel good, you know, even if they got their hair messed up somewhere else, like they come, they're like, please help me fix it. You know, they're not coming to the dentist office and they're dreading it every time, you know. Um, and this is like, and it's good touch, you know, and it's loving and we're here apis and some people literally like, they'll come in once a week for something just to be there and like feel that good vibe, you know, and someone to walk through and they'll get eight compliments. I'm like, you want to feel good about yourself, just walk through Ola and leave, like it's just all the way back. So they use the bathroom, go to the front, you'll feel good. You know, it's just a good energy place. But

[13:42] that's awesome. Uh, so, so you're, you're going through the program now you've graduated. Uh, so where did that, how did you progress from there? Where did you go after that?

[13:53] Um, I had just moved in with my boyfriend at the time and we were, we were living in west Seattle and I was like, well, let's just check out some salons where I want to work. I was, while I was going to school, actually I worked nights at cupcake royale is a baker and I work days at Teles. So I was burning the candle at lake six different ends and I was ready to just have one job, maybe two, you know, I'm, I'm a little workhorse. Uh, but I was, I was fine, you know, I wanted to find the right salon. I didn't want to settle. And so I was kind of interviewing them and I came upon all are actually. And I loved the vibe and I was like, I had checked out a few salons. I was like, okay, whatever. And um, sent in my resume and did the interview and the next I did an audition and actually the next week I did an interview at another salon.

[14:43] I won't say who, and they hired me that same day and I was like, okay, well universe, this is where I'm supposed to be. I worked there for two months and I dreaded going to work almost everyday and I'm like, challenge me, let's do this. And like there's grunt work you have to do. But I, I felt kind of attacked by the manager and like nothing ever did was right. And I was like, I should not be feeling this way, this is not good enough for me. So I emailed Rachel again. I was like, this isn't this experience I signed up for. What do you guys have? Can we meet again? We met again and then I told them, I was like, this is, this is. I wasn't very picky, you know, this is what doesn't work for me. I'm like, this is what does work for me.

[15:23] What does your program offer basically? And I was kind of interviewing them and they liked that initiative I guess, and they wanted to hire. You're like, okay, well what about, you know, in two weeks would have been thanksgiving. So we did it in three and I waited a week and then I gave my two weeks in an email and on the end of my shift on the last day I'm the manager and the owner came up to me and they said, are you sure you want to go? We really like you. And I'm thinking funny way of showing it and you're talking to me now. And I was like, no, bye bye. We're done. But I just feel like I wanted and I, I feel I'm appreciated and that's like a big thing for me. Like you don't always have to say thank you, but I need to see it because thank you. Just so easy to do sometimes, but I definitely do feel appreciated, you know, all. And I definitely have found a home there

[16:14] that was awesome. It also doesn't surprise me that you would be the kind of person that would be interviewing your future quarter versus the other way around just having known you for years now that does not surprise me at all. Um, and so yeah, well I think what's great too is like obviously you get to work at a lot and then you get to kind of handle, you know, events and things on the side too if you want. So I want to kind of transitioned into some of that as well. I'm kind of, how did you start entering, you know, doing some other events and, and what were your thoughts kind of entering that kind of outside, outside just the salon working.

[16:44] Yeah. Um, well another person you interviewed, Don at the time, she's done Padgett, I don't remember what, Boylston complaintant yeah, she's someone I looked up to because she did a lot of weddings and away and when she left, you know, not a lot of people did that and I wanted to be an integral part of that and I was like, send me places. Like I've been into Bremerton. I've been to veshawn a bunch of times, you know, I've been downtown or a lot of times they'll come to us and like it's such a beautiful, exciting day and I love being a part of that. Um, whether I haven't met you before or I've known you for years. Um, and then I expanded. I just taught myself how to do makeup and I'd practice on people and I was like, that's gonna help, you know, so they don't have to reach out.

[17:28] Oh I have to get here from this person, but I have to contact the salon, you know, it's, I, I would rather be more of like a one stop shop. And right now we have another girl, Michelle. She does fantastic makeup. I'm like, go, like, get on this train, you know, and she's doing updates to, and I want, I want to have a team of people and I've just kind of just headstrong in head strong in that was like, and we just went to Rachel, I'm like, this is what I want to do, you know, if, if you show initiative she'll just. So she's like, yeah, take the reins, may go for it and do it. And I, I love to just travel around and just bring all my stuff and make people feel good and then just get out and let them do their thing.

[18:05] Uh, was it, was it. I'm like, when I come to entered weddings, I didn't really have any clue of why that was even like, was that a foreign world to you? Were you, did you, were you nervous going into that? You know, as someone like, you're pretty like liberal, like me, you know, like tattoos and stuff ever. I mean, was that like before? I mean, when I thought, I mean nowadays I think Seattle is a little more, like, pretty easy going into it, but like from the outside when I started I'm like, oh, this is like really like buttoned up, tight lace, whatever, and like were you scared at all or did you.

[18:36] No, based off appearance. I where all black and I have a lot more tattoos now than I did when I started off. Um, but I usually, I don't try to cover up. I'm not, I'm more behind the scenes and so it's a little safer there, you know, they may have a photographer take some pictures of the bride getting her hair set or something. But other than that, like I'm not, I'm in behind the curtain and so it's a safe place for me. It's like, you know, the room's not there. Most of the family is not there. It's her and the bridesmaids maybe mother of the bride and it was just girlfriends and they're most likely drinking mimosas and it's, it's a, it's a very calming, awesome vibe. So now, I mean I get nervous or makeup because people can be very particular on makeup and you know, I love it when they have photos and they're ready and they know what they want.

[19:23] It's really hard and I think it takes time in, you know, in another interview of yours who are wedding coordinator to like what you've said. So winning behind his hair and makeup, I'm like, I totally get that. I think a lot of it has to do with they don't know what they want. So there were cutting into active time by like, well let's search on Pinterest when this probably should've been done weeks ago, you know, and they're like, oh, just something subtle. Like I don't know, you, I don't know what your subtle is. I don't know what your dramatic is. So I'm like, and I don't have time to Redo your makeup if you don't like it, you know, I want to get it right the first time. And so that can be a little little stressful. Um, but I've, I've done so many I can like, all right, who knows what they want. Okay. You don't. All right, you still looking pictures. I'm gonna work on this girl. I'm all set her at, you know, like I can do that on the fly and set like a quick schedule. Most of the time they're really good at sticking to a schedule and most of the time I know them and so they know what to expect from me so I know what to expect from them.

[20:14] Do you like, I mean, and I've talked with other, you know, hair and makeup people have to wear like um, you know, the hair and makeup like really does kind of set that tone for the day and it's like that first kind of, you know, building block for everything. I mean do you enjoy like being part of weddings as a whole? Do you enjoy like your piece of that or is it just the connections you're making with people and it could be a wedding or it could be anything else?

[20:34] Um, I liked that piece of it and I liked the connections. I don't like the whole because I'm, I like to kind of get in and get out unless I'm a guest, you can get wrangled into other things like, oh, can you just, you know, can you help with this? I'm like, no, I want this is know. Most of the time I'm like, this is my Sunday or you know, like I, I like to do this and I love my energy and my time with you guys. But when it's done it's done. Um, but I like, you know, like I've been seeing, you know, this person for years and I finally get to meet their mom that we've been talking, talking so much about or their knees or, you know, and like that's really special. Like I feel like I already know them because I've heard so much about them and I love to enter it in a calming sense. You know, when people show up late, it's like, okay, you know, that's good. This started like I'm not super as I don't come up as militant as I seem like I'm coming off now. That's all going on in my head. But like, I do like to keep it like calm, but in order so the bride doesn't stress, you know, that's the main concern. We don't want her. Gino emotions do go, why can you.

[21:40] And so is it, are you going to continue expanding on this wedding side and, and kind of building this together mean do you see that something you're going to work towards during the next couple of years?

[21:48] Um, you know, I don't want it to take away from what I do at the salon, like the other things I do. And so I don't want to expand on it too. I'm pretty comfy where I'm at right now. Um, I am also an educator at the advanced training program that we have and so I'd actually like to expand more on that. And so maybe like a third of my time is education. A third of my time is what I do at the salon and another third is, you know, maybe spending a few days doing wedding stuff, you know. And so I don't want to put my fingers in too many pies just because I like to really give it a lot and I have a lot to give, but only like in three piles, three prior and current events, you know, talk more about this education and where does that passion come from?

[22:35] Um, you know, I had a really good experience when I went through the education and there's things I'm like, oh, I love the way they did this or you know, what, I would change this. And each time, you know, we bring in a new student or each lesson we do, I'm like, you know what, I feel like I could've done that better. But I also like to get their feedback because I've been a student for so long, you know, for so many different things. Um, I, I want to make sure I'm giving them what they need to succeed. Uh, but again, you know, I learned, I learned more when I teach. And so I'm thinking, you know, when I'm teaching a haircut, I'm like, why is it I do that? And maybe I can explain to them why you do that and why you wouldn't do that.

[23:14] Um, and I just kind of geek out about it. I love hair, you know, and I love learning about, you know, why here comes back curly when you know, you it falls out from radiation chemotherapy, you know, and to Cotilla mania and all kinds of like those quirky things. And I think that's part of the passion and like the why and the when and where, and you know, giving people information. I think that's, that kind of helps build that trust when they're in the chair and we talk about hair and they're like, wow, she really knows a lot about this stuff. You know. I mean I'm not the best hairstylist out there, but I think it builds that trust and that connection.

[23:49] Yeah. Well, so it's where it's not like a one size fits all in terms of like how people learn or how people teaching me. I would just have to think that that would be difficult to kind of like challenging I guess is, is, you know, like learned very differently than somebody else. And so you're on that other side, you know, you kind of have to figure out, you know, and I think that probably relates to just how you handle working with different clients have to, where it's a lot of different like personalities and stuff when you find that, like you're pretty good at like getting the people are different than kind of teaching those lessons.

[24:17] I read energies. Yeah. Um, and besides just asking, I can tell when someone's getting frustrated with something, I'm like, okay, let's take a break, you know, and I think working with so many different personalities, hairstylist and then having so many people in my chair just in one day let alone a year, you know, I think I can enter like a go with the flow and like just change how I need to, but it's, it's reading energy and personalities and so, and a physical kind of cues or whatever that's called a physical cues. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, I'm just going based off of that, I think I'm asking them like, is this working? You know, because I like to after class I like to meet and be like, okay, what do you need from me? What was working? Are you getting at, you know, like I'm not just here to teach and get a paycheck. I want to make sure you're getting everything you need and you're comfortable and comfortable with me, you know, if like if I'm teaching in a way or if I'm a little too soft and a little too hard, you know, or put too pushy, like let me know or I was, I'm to keep doing it. Thinking it's working.

[25:24] Do you enjoy kind of. I, I mean I think of like, oh on like this line like west Seattle and like, you know, it's like right there, you know, kind of as you come and go and, and you've been there so long now. Do you enjoy kind of like being a part of this? Obviously like the west side community and kind of making that mark and all the different people and stuff. Seven. Talk about like you know as like a hair stylist has been there for so long, like all the different people. And stories and things that you've kind of gotten to be a part of?

[25:47] Yeah. Um, we're, I mean we're kind of hidden place, but people know Ola and I mean I cut the hair of Tracy who owns virago and I see joey and Alaska street tattoo parlor awake. We're kind of like all intertwine and the best way possible. Like it's not very small town feeling but it is in a good way. Um, you know, it's a lot of shop local kind of stuff and it's all, what's the handles? Kind of like a big family, but there's always room for more. But there's still like that base of like we care about each other and we cared about each other's businesses and we support each other. And I love that, you know, I'll come in to Ola and I'm never sick of walking through that door and smelling that smell and seeing these people, you know, and it's, it's always just like a comforting feeling. I get all my packages shipped to Ola because I'm there more than I am anywhere else. That's, that's home. I'm just going to ship here. Thank you. Um, but it's so funny, I love and I this, I'm like, well that does that someone will be in my chair and I'll someone walk in and be like, oh my God Susan. I'm like, yeah, she's Susan comes here. You didn't know she comes to, you know, it's just so funny or you know, six degrees of separation and it's crazy small freaking world.

[26:59] Uh, one day I want to come and get your opinion on just because where I hear silence and you do weddings, beer, you know, kind of like, I think you're very opinionated and kind of, you know, you're, you look, you're not like in, in, in the wedding industry where you interact with it. Like what are some like common like you're talking about like people, you know, having their makeup and stuff ready to go or know what they want. Like what are some things you wish she has someone that's like in and out kinda like the things would make it easier for you or easier for the brides are easier. Like I always say like what are common misconceptions with like, you know, your whoever's industry and are there things that you notice about that kind of like, this is like you're a soap box to get onto a.

[27:40] I think there can be a misconception, which I used to do this when I was a kid. When I go to a hair salon or something and I see the most trendiest person, they're like, I want them to do my hair when really they just started and they don't know what they hell they're doing, you know? Uh, I think when people see my look, you know, if I have my sharpie eyebrows on in my big winged eyeliner and they're like, I want subtle. And sometimes they're like, I don't want that. Like that's okay. I know I'm going to be an extreme look. You know? And when I had my lime green hair and I think I love proving myself and then letting them know and I love showing pictures of like, I can do this, you know, I'm a blonde but I can do brunettes.

[28:20] I work crazy makeup but I can do soft. And Pretty, and I liked that challenge, uh, and sometimes I, you know, I think it's, you need the proof is in the pudding. So, I mean people can believe, okay, you know, I believe her when she says that, but I liked doing it and then them, they're really being amazed and that makes me excited when they feel good and they feel that I feel that little bit of trust, you know, grow even more. Um, but yeah, I mean, don't judge, don't judge a book by how people look. Um, you know, just because someone has punky hair doesn't mean they know how to do punky hair, you know, just because someone was a button in their hair doesn't mean they don't know how to rock a mullet on somebody else. You know, I encourage people to look at reviews.

[29:02] I always look at reviews when I buy stuff online. I'm like, well, what is, what's really going on here? A lot of my, I have a lot of reviews on forgot for A. I haven't told anybody to do it, but the main thing they say is that I listened and I love that. And that just makes my heart smile so much because I do want people to feel like they're heard and I'm not just here to do what I think they should have, you know, um, I could put my opinion out there but, or my professional suggestion, but I want to make them happy what they, you know, I'm like, okay girl, you want to try it. Okay. And if you want to keep rocking it, that's cool too, you know? Um, but yeah, I think the misconception is don't judge on people, help people look, just look at the reviews and they're credited that ability.

[29:45] Yeah. Kinda defining expectations. I think that's good. I'm talking about. So when you're not cutting it in silent and do makeup. I know tattoos are a big part of your life. Talk about kind of that and the inspiration over the years. And I know because I saw you and you've been going through this big recent piece and kind of talking about the passion behind that and why you kind of continued to, to check that out.

[30:06] Even when I was young, I loved to pretend put piercings. I'm a self and a John Myself and tattoos and I think it's just a fun thing, but as I was getting more tattoos, I feel it's almost, yeah, it's an expression of like, you know, a lot of my tattoos mean something. Some of them don't mean anything and I just liked and I think they're pretty and I'm okay with having them for the rest of my life and it's almost like maybe not, I don't want to say armor, but like a protection for me. Um, you know, like this piece on my chest, you know, I just, it feels close to my heart or, and I'm fine with people asking about them. Like, why did you get that, you know, if, if it comes from a good place of actual questioning, not condescending, like why did you get that?

[30:53] You know, I'm, I'm always down to ask questions or did that hurt or, you know? Um, but I think it's just, I think it helps make me stand out in a way, but I'm not looking to look flashy. Um, and I've always just loved the look. I just, I, I like to look different. Um, I'm not, I don't like to be a star of a show, you know, I don't need to like come in and be like, Hey, look at me. But you know, just like walking by like, oh, that's an interesting piece. She pulls it off or you know, I've seen it done that on other people. The big recent piece I'm talking about this thing hurt. It's a big Ole death moth on my throat when I actually, this is the only piece I'll get pieces and I won't say anything and people just, Oh, you got a new tattoo.

[31:36] Okay. You know, and they're usually pretty big. This one I felt like I think I need to tell my parents before not ask their permission, but I'm like, I'm probably just going to let them know. I let my dad knows is a couple of days before Christmas and I said, Dad, I have a thing this coming Saturday. And he's like, how much is it? Gonna cost me. I said nothing. He was like, all right, can you do what you want? And I told her it was. He's like, okay. And then Christmas Eve at my sister's or kind of all in the kitchen, my mom and my making someone else was in the living room and we can, it's like a straight shot you could see. And she's like, did you tell mom? And I was like, not yet. She's like, you need to do it now.

[32:13] Sounds like go do it. Um, so I go over there, I sit next to her and they're all staring at me and I was like, you can't stare at me, like, just let me do this. Mom was like, Oh God, what is it? So I avoided aggressive words like throat. And I was like, you know, I'm going to get a tattoo. She's like, oh my God were. And she had me promise her years ago not to get any on my face, so I'm going to hold true to that promise. Um, but he told her, I was like, I'm going to get them off butterfly, you know, looking thing. She's like, where I'm like, oh my neck, you know, and I didn't, I wasn't going to answer any teller. Give her any information that she didn't ask for so she didn't ask where she didn't ask how big.

[32:49] I was like, okay, I'm in the clear this is happening. It was going to happen regardless. But I felt bad. I just, I, the weight was lifted, you know, because I'm like, that's kind of an intense place to get. Well not just pain wise, you know, like that's. I felt like the hand tattoo in the knuckle tattoos were sealing my fate. Like this really is like, this is my life now. Like there's no corporate for me. There never was, but this kind of guarantees it. But I just, I love that because you know, you can get 16 people all covered in tattoos, but they're all different styles, all different colors, all different things. You know, it's so funny how you can look all the same but totally different. And I love that. And that's kind of the same about hair. You know? Right now what's really in error shags and people are scared of that word, but I think it's, it's catered in so many different ways.

[33:34] Mine's more of like a seventies rubber plant kind of Shag and today it's kind of more of like an eighties, you know, David Lee Roth one. Um, but I think it could be like a fun thing, like Shag is kind of a general cookie cutter, but it's a thing, just lots of layers around the face but like maybe a little longer in the back. I'm bangs or no bangs, but you know, we kind of mold it to make it their own and sometimes I avoid the void, the word Shag until I tell them like, okay, so this is what you with this, we want you. And I was like, well cool because shags are really in right now, you know, and people want to be hip and in and I'm and it, if I put the word to it after they already like it, it's not so scary.

[34:15] Shag carpet. Right. I think people maybe think I'm like Dorothy Hamill or, or, you know, some super 60. He's like, I don't think I want that in my, you cut my hair and I cut dorothy's here on the shower. We're not, we're probably not to people to ask about. That's why I asked you, is it tough to keep up on those things? Is it tough to kind of figure out what's going to be popular? Not really because I've, I'm on instagram a lot. I look at funny memes. I look at political stuff, you know, that's where I get my news, feed a, you know, if I just turn on the news, it's just, it's a lot of fluff and just nothing but bad news. I want to get like really what's going on politically, but, you know, in the world, but I follow a lot of hair stuff.

[35:05] Um, and I don't want to do what's just in trend, but what's in trend that I like. And it's like, well, I'm like, I think that that's really going somewhere. I think this could be really cool and fit on a lot of my clients, you know, not just, Oh, I'm going to do this on you because it's a trend. I don't think this really goes with your hair but, but you know, you can get information so fast and I'm a little like add on like I can take it super fast too and I'll save videos. I'm like, I'm going to come back to that and I'm looking at it and like I break it down each time I see it I'm like, okay, that's pretty cool. Or even in color, you know, just different ways of doing things, different ways of Bali and like 32nd video can teach me so much more than sometimes going, you know, paying $300 and going to a seminar because it's just fast, quick. I like just, you know, like cliff notes, like we were talking earlier, you know, I'm like just give me the dates. I don't need all this fluff. So I mean I, I think it's not hard if it's fun for you and you want to learn and you know, but people can be stuck in their ways and just stuck in doing the same thing over it. But if it works for them, you know, and obviously they're still successful age today, you know,

[36:08] it's tough because we're, I think like you guys in like if you're, you know, maybe like a design, you know, there's certain jobs like vendor types in terms like weddings and events that you could more or less kind of have to know like what's on trend. Even if you're deciding I'm going to do that or not. And like, I mean I guess it's that way in video a little bit. Like there's certain like styles right now that are like really popular. We're like a little more not come on that. But like I just film whatever. So if I get a bride that's like got the coolest hair dude, that's like most on trend or not, like that doesn't affect like what I do, I just captured like you guys really have to know what to do and like what's coming up and kind of how. I don't know, I just think it's a lot more challenging I guess. Um, just because like you, my videos are data. They're not just because of like, what's going on, but you really have to like, no, I don't know, I just think it's a lot more challenging to kind like have to be up on it on the other.

[37:03] Yeah, I can see that. And on your shoes for me, I think like fashion would be that because that's like ever so changing, you know, every season even. And sometimes a can be. I mean, should I started somewhere and it's still here, you know, it's like, it's a good little logo back to when, you know, we're not coming out with many new things, you know, everything's regurgitation, even fashion I guess. But yeah, like that just seems so intimidating and I have my associates in the stuff. So I never thought we were talking about shag haircut so much. Freaking the Shag.

[37:38] Uh, so how do you, you said that, you know, every time you go in, you know, it's always exciting. How do you stay motivated and how do you stay? Always kind of like, you know, approaching like every new day and like what do you look forward to and how do you help you grow in the next couple?

[37:51] Yeah, well I don't treat everyday the same. I don't treat every client the same and each same client. I don't treat the St. you know, like you, you come in every few weeks, you're not going to change, you're going to let me know if you want to change it up. I haven't, you know, if I see someone once every couple months, I don't assume they want the same thing, you know, like what are you thinking, what are you liking you and how can we change it up? And that kind of helps. Even if they don't want to change it up. That's my responsibility to myself tonight. Get into like a mundane seems he seems ease and they'll. So that's what makes me excited, you know, even just looking at my books, this, this person's new, you know, they look for a color, what do they really want? You know, like they're wonderful, highlight, guarantee it, you know.

[38:29] Um, but even st people, I'm like, okay, you know, they change up their here. I'm like, what are you, is your hair going to look like even just catching up with them because I connect with these people and I know about their breakups and weddings and deaths and babies and animals. And so that makes me excited to come to work. And the people we work with, we don't just see each other at work, we go to events together together. We go to concerts and picnics, sleepovers. So you know, and so it's, it doesn't really feel like work and sometimes I step back and like I get paid to, to this fun and like it's, it's not, sometimes it's not about what you do but who you do it with and where you do it in the environment. And it just makes me so happy about life, you know, because I feel like it domino effects and other things where it's like, well, you know, it's not so bad, you know, we can, it's just today or that's just that moment, you know, and we can reflect on it later. You know, I got to do here right now.

[39:27] Uh, I wouldn't forgive myself if I didn't talk about your love of Tvs, movies, uh, holidays, Halloween. I'll talking about some of the other passions that you have. You kind of interspersed between doing, you know, hair, makeup events, and

[39:42] yeah, my whole thing with. I have a big heart for Halloween and horror and I'm not an adrenaline junky in a sense where I don't rock climb or skydive. I keep my two feet on the ground, you know, I don't want to do that stuff. I'm lazy, but, and I'll keep my button, the living room watching horror movies. This morning I was scrolling through looking at tons of conspiracy theory stuff and aliens and ghosts. And I like to be challenged intellectually like that, you know, I'm always asking why or where, but how, you know. And um, I, I think I, it started, I mean, even when I was really young, I was watching from the dark side and tales from the crypt and I, sister and brother were watching Barney, you know, and I didn't want to have anything to do with that stuff. Uh, and growing up, you know, nightmare on elm street was my Freddy Cougar's, my favorite boogey man.

[40:32] I mean that's such a cool concept, like kill you and your dreams and you're kind of helpless. Like that's crazy. Um, and it, can, it grow into, you know, my love for Halloween. Obviously the two kind of go hand in hand. I even have a whole Halloween Tattoo on my arm, you know, and um, my Christmas bins, I have like two or three. My Halloween bins I have four and growing. I get stuff every year. One year for Christmas I just asked for Halloween decorations. It's just such a happy, creepy place to be a and it doesn't have to be long lasting, scary. Like it's a fun little jump of scare and like that's my adrenaline and you know, if there is a serial killer on the loose, I know what to do. You don't run upstairs, you pick up your feet when you're running, you don't trip, you know, you grabbed that knife for the guidance when the gun runs out of bullets, you throw the gun at the person, you know, like I think, you know, Zombie apocalypse. I would know how to survive. So stick with me, you. And

[41:29] that's awesome. One of the other podcasts I listened to, they do sample every week and this week they did a all about conspiracies and they had this guy come on and I'm not like big guy, but in about 15 minutes on there I was like, you know, I really buy into this stuff really was, it really was scary and it was talking about a Michael Jordan retiring when you went to go play baseball, but it was like a cover for his gambling addiction and it was like this whole thing. But it was really fascinating and I've thought on man, like if I'm not careful, like I could totally be a. wasn't totally on the conspiracy thing. So I, I enjoy that. We have that in common.

[42:08] Not a bad place to be. I think. I think it's a very eyeopening place to be and you don't have to be fully enthralled enthralled in it or be like, drink the Koolaid on it, just just keep it in your back pocket even and, and keep that information handy and you're like, hmm. It could be, you know, and like just like aliens. Like I know they exist. I know the government knows they exist, but can the general public handle that information? Heck no, but you guys can tell me because I already know they exist. So that's included Candi and on that head, k, k big brother. But it's just, it's not just fun knowledge, but it's very interesting stuff, you know. And how deep down that rabbit hole do you want to go? Because I go pretty deep. I don't, you know, the ghost stuff and I'll see videos and stuff. Even I don't read that stuff before bed. I'll do it in the morning when I'm just being lazy with my kitty cats and I'm like okay, let's watch this video. Or I watched that. I read a feet about how to properly use a Ouija board. You don't get a real board, you get a piece of paper so you can destroy it later and like had a asked spirits, everything. And

[43:11] so what is this though about using the reg board?

[43:15] Yeah, well it's the paper so you can dispose of it. Uh, you should be able to just kind of get rid of it easily because I guess spirits can bring it back and manipulate the board and, and maybe even hunt the board, you know, there's the whole little piece with the eye that they can mr with. Uh, she even said things like if it scrolls across the numbers, it's trying to escape. I mean, I don't mess with that stuff. I'll never use a Ouija board. I do believe in spooks and I'm not trying to poke my finger and that's, I'll watch videos. I'll watch other people mess around with. I love ghost adventures. Um, and goes to investors on another thing is my favorite show because other ghost hunting shows, they'll hear a noise and then they'll start talking to you. You hear that? Did you get.

[43:57] I'm like, shut up so you can hear it again. And there'll be, and they'll actually listen for it. They use the infrared, they have all the cool stuff and like I've actually seen stuff on their infrared and like heard the voices. Um, I think sometimes stretching with the voices. Oh, he said this model on it, but it's super fun to be an audience for that and not a player. And I keep my safe distance. But yeah, the paper we do board so you can just straight later. It was a whole thing. I mean, I, it was like one of the first ones I scroll through this morning. And so it's been like 80 pages deep in their fascinating stuff.

[44:35] Uh, lastly, before we go, one thing you wish more people knew about you or asked about or that you wanted to tell people, this is your last chance forever.

[44:44] I'm actually kind of an introvert. I'm as rambunctious and charismatic as I am. Um, I socialize a lot and I'll talk to strangers, you know, and I'll take myself out to dinner and just talk to everybody. But I really find my energy and comfort when I'm just home, you know, um, whether it's, you know, my brother lives with me, what it was hanging out with him or literally like just me and my cats or just staying in bed literally all day. Like that's, that's kind of my happier. I'm recharging place, uh, also playing magic, the gathering. Super Fun. Um, and it's, it's a game of chance as well as skill.

[45:25] I have a shoe box downstairs in our storage. You have magic cards from years ago and I don't know what to do. And I did. Oh, here's. No. So we took him into, um, what was that meatballs a, it's like a game store by. I'm like Bob The junction and I took it in and they said, well we buy like magic the gathering cards here. And dorothy and I were there for something else. I said, Oh, do you guys, can I like bring in a bunch of these cards and can you guys. Yeah. I don't know if they're worth a dollar $10,000 for you. Then he said, oh, we'll give them to you for store credit because we don't know. We don't know if they're still under, not, so we don't want. I was like, I want a bunch of, like, I don't want $10,000 or the store credit to meatballs. I want money, I don't care if it's $100.

[46:10] It's a lot of work to kind of go through all of them and look online, but it could be worth it. I know we did that with my brothers, Pokemon cards. I mean, I think the, the most valued one was like $3, but it was like, it was fun. I did that with coins before and I'm like, oh, this is a quarter. Is it messed up? Like, let's Google this thing, you know? Um, and it's, I like the hunt, I love to hunt. I'm like, is it, you know, and it's, it's. And even if it's not, it's like, okay, well that was fun. You know, or even when you know goodwill, you know, I shop there a lot and I love the hunt, you know. And um, so I'd sometimes I cross my fingers, I'm like, Lord, I don't want to find any, I hope I find nothing, but I like just kind of looking at stuff, you know, and just taking my time so it could be fun.

[46:55] Thank you so much for coming in today. I know I see you every couple of weeks, uh, at the salon, but it's so nice to Kinda just get to hear a little bit about your background and growing up and everything else is Rosie here. Is making noise on the floor. Um, if people want to learn more about you, I know you have your instagram, you work at a salon, what would you have people check out and look at it?

[47:14] Um, there's my instagram, I have a lot of before and afters pages of my cats and a lot of political stuff, but it's Candizzle12 there's a picture of me and my scrunchy face and my neck tattoo there. And it's open, you know, like you don't have to follow you, you just come creep on my page if you want. But uh, yeah, he can just come check out the salon, just come in and visit. It's a super welcoming place. We'll give you a cup of tea and just check it out and hang out in the lobby and we'll give you a little tour and it's just, it's a beautiful happy place. Ola on Avalon way next to Luna Park cafe.

[47:49] Yes, I'm right, that's right where I used to live. That's why I started going to the Salon. So as this has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro if you want. I've been talking to people recently about liking, subscribing, leaving reviews on the podcast. You can actually just go to the I have a really nice link set up. If you want to leave us a review, that would be awesome and it would just kind of help more people find the podcast. I don't want to do any advertising on here, but that would be great for more people to do that. This has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another wedding vendor interview. Thanks so much.