If you’re reading this as a student or professional I most likely don’t have to explain how meaningful it is to get to work with Ted Gibson. He is an incredibly successful celebrity stylist who has a lot of knowledge and personal technique to share with us. Needless to say, he is also a very busy man, so him personally inviting you to come to New York City and learn from him and his crew at Ted Gibson Salon is something few people are lucky enough experience. Thanks to Junior Style Stars, I have been one of those people!
I cannot possibly say enough good things about Ted Gibson Salon. Unfortunately, I know that no matter how hard I try, my description here won’t do it justice, but I’m going to try to paint the best picture I can of how wonderful it is. Perhaps my favorite things about the salon are its undeniable warmth and its beautiful simplicity. Its enough that they produce some of the most beautiful, healthy hair you will ever see, but there’s so much more to it than that.
From the moment you walk through the elevator door into the salon, you can feel that you’re in good hands. You know those people that you meet who you can immediately tell love their jobs? This is a crew of people just like that. Passionate, motivated, kind, humble, talented, friendly, and inspirational. They love hair, they love making clients happy, and it was apparent to me that they love each other --which I think is essential for a successful team. They are committed to giving 100% to every thing they do in the salon, and the energy throughout the day is nothing but positive and infectious. They aren’t just a team of talented professionals; they are a family. And when you come through that door, you become a part of it. There’s something very special and indescribable that happens in that salon, and if you haven’t had your Ted Gibson experience… YOU NEED TO!
Now, even if you know Ted, I can almost guarantee that you don’t know me. So I hope you’ll bear with me as I share why this trip was exceptionally incredible for me, personally. I have moderate to severe obsessive compulsive disorder accompanied at times by an anxiety related panic disorder. It is something that I have dealt with since I was very young, and although I have learned many ways to cope with it and lead a relatively normal daily life with it, there are certain things that I just don’t do (willingly) – one of which is fly in airplanes. So if you can picture this… as I was awarded the Junior Style Stars People’s Pick Award for my bridal updo, within a few seconds my tears of joy turned into tears of complete and utter devastation. I thought, me?… flying to New York?… ALONE?! Never gonna happen! But who could possibly turn down this opportunity?
An all expense paid trip to NYC to work for a day at the Ted Gibson Salon! I would have literally been disowned by my friends and family, and shunned by my school. (Okay maybe that’s a bit extreme, but they would have at least called me a fool, right?!) To make a long story short... As I write this I am on a flight from New York to Chicago. And after that I will be on a flight home from Chicago to California. I DID IT. I flew to New York by myself. I stayed in a hotel by myself. I dined in New York City by myself. I took elevators by myself (another fear of mine). And now I’m flying home by myself. And do you know what I’ve learned? I am able! I conquered so many fears this week it is truly unbelievable to me. So you may be asking yourself, why is this girl telling us this? Here’s the thing. I pulled a flyer out of a garbage can at my school, saved my change for the entry fee, entered a competition that I was told I wasn’t talented enough to win, and look what happened! More than I could’ve ever imagined. My life was completely changed by this experience. As cliché as that may sound, it is the truth. If you asked me 3 months ago if I thought I’d ever get on a plane, excuse my language but I would have said “hell no”. Yet, I’m looking at clouds from 32,000 feet above ground and I’ve never felt better. So the point (because I do have one), is that stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to things you never thought possible.
The hard part is taking the initial step, but after that, God provides. He places people in front of you who believe in you more than you believe in yourself. He puts challenges in your path that are not too difficult that you can’t beat them, but just difficult enough to make you work so that you are stronger for the next one that comes along. And most importantly, He goes with you… just in case.
As a recent graduate who has a new sense of hope for my future and new found confidence in my mental, physical, and emotional capabilities, let me say this to the students or recent grads out there: Seek out challenges. Look for opportunities to be inspired. Never doubt yourself. You are exactly where you are meant to be. This is what you are supposed to be doing. Even when met with adversity, stay your course. And most of all, let life happen and try things you never thought possible—you will surprise yourself!
-Jenny Kohlenberger, People's Pick Award Winner 2011