Meet Your Stylist: Monika Knotts
Updated: Dec 13, 2019
"Bigger dummies than you."
I read this quote recently in a book, and though I'd never heard it phrased that way before, I realized that that has sort of been my silent mantra as I've navigated through these early stages of my career. Bigger dummies than me have found success in the beauty industry, bigger dummies than me have found success in writing and marketing, so why not me?
A little background; I've always been obsessed with glamorous women who weren't afraid to be assertive and authentically themselves - I saw Barbra Streisand's "Funny Girl" when I was fourteen, which I assume is where this comes from - and I've striven to be one, despite my inherent self-doubt.
I grew up in a family of musicians and hairdressers, and was adamant that I would be neither of those things; but instead, would become a pastry chef like the ones on the Food Network, and would make towering cakes to amaze the masses. So, when I graduated high school with no real college plans, I decided to get a job somewhere in proximity to such pastry masterpieces: the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World, whose bakery produces all of the wedding cakes for across Disney property. It didn't take me long to realize that not only was this line of work physically exhausting, and rather sweaty, but that it was extremely isolated; Barbra wouldn't have lasted a day. I realized that I NEEDED to be in a career that allowed me to communicate with people AND be creative; so it wasn't long before I was enrolled in cosmetology school.
I graduated from the Aveda Institute of Orlando in January of 2016, by which time I had already been employed at J. Bauman Salon for a couple of months, as an assistant. I continued personally assisting Tanya Conner, to whom I owe my affinity for blondes and color formulating, for about a year, while building my own clientele simultaneously. It was in this time that I learned the most, not only about my craft, but also about salon culture and the beauty industry overall. I soaked it all up like a sponge, and was enamored with how everyone who sat in one of the salon's chairs was seeking the same thing; to feel beautiful.
It was around this time that the salon team was becoming dissatisfied with how the salon was represented online; for a salon that had been an Orlando staple for over a decade, we didn't have much of a social media presence. During one particularly heated discussion at a meeting, I finally volunteered to take on the responsibility; after all, I'm a millennial, social media should be second nature to me, right? Little did I know how much more learning I had ahead of me, and after working with a marketing team to learn not only about Instagram and Facebook, but also about the importance of blogging and SEO for modern small businesses, I eventually - don't ask me how - became the manager of all digital marketing for J. Bauman Salon.
I honestly couldn't be luckier, I have an audience in my chair at the salon, with whom I love skipping the small talk and diving into what makes them tick, and I get to explore and expand my writing abilities and knowledge of how digital marketing really works. I get to create works of art that travel all over the world, and to make people feel beautiful. Not only that, but I get to be in a salon environment of insanely talented, funny, and interesting people who have shaped me and encouraged me to strive for more in my career. I attribute much of my personal growth to the support of my boss, Jes Bauman, who has trusted me to rise to every challenge, and who I would never dream of letting down. I still have so much to learn, but I know that in the environment I'm in, I'm bound to grow into exactly who I'm supposed to be; after all, bigger dummies than me, right?
See my work on Instagram: @tanglesandknotts