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Life & Work with Alyssa Dotson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyssa Dotson. 

Hi Alyssa, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
From as young as I can remember, I loved styling hair! I would do different styles on my hair every day for school and as I got into middle school was really when I started doing makeup. I would do different makeup looks every day, watch different YouTube videos and just learn as much as I could. So, when I got the opportunity to go to cosmetology school, I had just turned 16, and I was very excited to join cosmetology school and to learn more about the beauty industry. From there, I met a celebrity makeup artist who had been working for many years in New York City and traveling all over, working with different movies and magazines and working in television. I started to assist her, clean her brushes, ask her questions, watch and learn from her and then I started taking my own clients. I started to work in salons doing hair and makeup as well as taking classes all over the US and online. I signed up for all the different workshops and education classes I could to really grow my skills. I started my bridal business in 2016, and I started taking weddings all over northeast Ohio. I now manage a thriving and growing team of beauty professionals who travel on location with me as well as run my hair and makeup studio! I teach at salons and have some online courses in the works now. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I believe making it in this industry does not come without a lot of obstacles. Dealing with mean customers, learning to say no to impossible situations, pleasing the pickiest of clients, being a servant to all who sits in your chair, dealing with all the chronic pain that comes from being on your feet, bending in weird positions, and using your upper body muscles repetitively day in and day out. Building a clientele is also a huge challenge in the beginning. Many salons you will not receive a penny unless you have a client you bring in that day. I remember the frustration of sitting at salons for 8-hour long days having only 1 client, making maybe $20 that day after commission, and tip if nobody else walked in. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am the owner and lead artist for hairandmakeupcleveland. Having the opportunity to work on some cool sets on television, for commercials, magazines, and down countless wedding aisles is such an honor. I am a hair stylist, makeup artist, and educator specializing in on-location bridal hair and makeup, color, balayage, and customized, modern haircuts. As a licensed cosmetologist, we go through extensive training in sanitization, time management, knowledge of face shape and color theory. I have experience catering to all skin tones, ethnicities, and hair types. I have trained nationally under many top hairstylists and makeup artists has allowed her to have a wide variety of skills, pulling tips and tricks from some of the best in the industry. 

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
Growing up I was shy, introverted, scared of people and their opinions, and insecure at times. I was always interested in creating, reading, and growing!!! From as young as I remember, I was doing different hairstyles for myself every day. 

As I became a teenager, I fell more and more in love with all things beauty and fashion. I loved watching all my favorite YouTubers and recreating their looks on myself! I believe everything I went through in my younger years prepared me for this! 

I know God had a plan for me from the beginning. One of the amazing things about this industry is the opportunity to be one on one with clients all day. 

I pray God uses me to be a blessing and a light to every person I encounter! 

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