anyone ever have this problem? [Micheline Pitt's advice would be GREAT]

I am a hairstylist and have been for 4 years and a freelance MUA. I live in a extremely small town and it's very hard to put myself out there which means I don't have a big clientele at ALL. I have to drive at least 45 min to where there is actual booming business, and when I get an interview I always get turned down cause of my distance and it makes me undependable and because I hardly have a clientele [how in the WORLD am I suppose to get 1 when I can't work anywhere??] I do have a small job doing hair in a nursing home, but it's only 3 days a week and somedays i'm not even needed, the nurses always give me attitude when I need them cause I can't help the patients move place to place and this job isn't cutting it =[ I just got married [no i'm not having a pity party] and we are struggling to make it. My husband is the only 1 working right now and I feel like such a low life cause I can't land a job for something I went to school for and i'm certified in. I'm always told how creative and unique I am in my work but yet no one will hire me. I'm terribly shy and can't seem to break this shell =\ I have no idea what to do. I post on facebook and twitter, and I have my own business cards that I hand out and put at local stores and restaurants. I'm at the end of the line and feel like giving up =/ how can I fix this cause all my husband is worried about is money and when he thinks about it, he gets sad =\ I hate seeing him sad and I hate the feeling of knowing I can't help =\

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me and my husband are very supportive of one another. But on days i'm not doing hair, i'm literally stuck at the house [no gas] and I can only clean so much

I just want to have a booming business and promote myself with no problem. My family supports me and will help me with cuts and color and whatever, but on my husbands side...only 1 person ever asks me to do their hair, and my husband will be like "ya know...my wife can do it for ya for a reasonable price!" and they just brush it off =\ I just want to be as sucessful as Micheline! lol 

yeah...it's just so hard right now...ugh

So you HAVE to stay in that small town? Sometimes you have to move to get where you want to.

Here are some suggestions off the top of my head (I used to be a contracts and Project manager and I did a degree in commerce)

  1. I dont know how it works in the US but I know in Aus there are hairdressers that come to your house to cut hair (you could try that).
  2. Also may be host a hair styling party where you style women's hair (this will def give you publicity). Start off small by inviting your friends (and their friends) tell them that for a small fee you could do this for them in their home
  3. You could even hire yourself out as a beauty party expert (as in say that if people hire you you can have parties with women who want to be papered) I know a lot of hens and bachelorette parties like starting off this way
  4. Put a sign up in front of your house advertising hair cuts, beauty etc (i.e. with the prices etc)
  5. Start off cheap, remember small town attitudes, the more they like you the more people will pay. Mix some town pride into your business.
  6. Mix cooking and home style comforts with your beauty i.e. give your customers cupcakes and home made coffee etc.
  7. If your working in a nursing home ask your clients there about their daughters/grand daughters. Kill the nurses with kindness and may be they will start coming to you as well?

Good luck, do not give up.

I second what all the girls above me have said... That being said, maybe this will give you an idea of how unalone you are:

I had to move back from Fresno to LA (after 15yrs) to live with my mother, because - in spite of being a County Social Worker - I was homeless with my son and could not make enough money to support us. When I moved back, I didn't qualify for unemployment because I had "willingly" given up my job (although, in my mind, it wasn't a choice - I was homeless with a child and had no choice but to move back home in order to keep us off the street). I had to apply for welfare. Yep, welfare, that dirty little word. It was no more than $584/month (seriously, in LA... like that would help us get anywhere). I tried to start my own business selling homemade & all-natural animal treats & personalized dog sweaters, but could not afford any kind of marketing or promotion to get anywhere. I had been unemployed for 2 years when there was a federal program "interning" the jobless to increase their resume & skills. The goal was to get hired at the end of the "internship" (they didn't hire me, despite me doing an insane amount of work for them). I was unemployed again for another year, when I finally "lied" on my resume (hiding my MBAs (2 of them), and my work experience), and was hired at the store I am finally at. I can run circles around all of my bosses (except the general store manager), and do my boss's job on a regular basis, but only get paid minimum wage. I took it because I could not stand being unemployed any longer. It's also going to be a good job for me to have when I finally go back to school (which is solely a financial aid issue right now).

You are definitely NOT ALONE. This economy is horrid for anyone that is not in white collar, middle class or upper class. It's killing us down here in the "poor" category. So I can truly sympathize with your financial position and the frustration/depression/sadness that comes with it. I do agree with Denise's suggestion. I would also add a couple more: check the retail stores that do MUAH - I know Sears does, and we have girls in the cosmetics dept that will do make-overs and hair, help customers to pick out what's best for them, etc that have the experience you have. They all do the same outside the store as well. I know it's not your own business, but it's a source of income for a time being, and you may be able to pick up clients this way as well. Also, check out the beauty schools - they may have a need for teaching positions, which would bring in an income as well. I think the goal of bringing in an income while you're trying to build up your clientele and business may be first and foremost. Check in the most unusual places ... and if you have to, take something that doesn't necessarily meet your MUAH needs, but something that will help pay the bills. You never know - it may network into a good thing for your business. And if needbe, seek therapy for you and your husband if there becomes a divide so that you can work through them and make your relationship stronger. Kudos to him for supporting you with his family! Oh, and one last shot: I work with an organization that does a one-stop event for homeless persons; we include hair cuts/style as part of the services provided. See if you can find something similar to volunteer for - you will meet other hairstylists that may lead to something good for you.

I wish you all the best... and again, know you are not alone!!! =)

teaching is most def something i'm not interested in cause I would have to go back to Beauty school to get certified...and I didn't have a great experience at beauty school [my nickname there was 'Silence']

I've heard [some people in my area too] who aren't doing too good here and decide to move to LA to boost their career and make something of theirselves...and they do. That idea has been popping in my head lately...but the hubby isn't too keen on the idea of moving [our families live in SC and I wanted to move to NC when we got married but he wanted to stay close to home =\]

Wow, ladies...I hope you don't mind me saying this but as someone living in a country with a booming economy with 'relatively' good support systems for struggling people (anyone can go to a hospital at any time if they need a dr and not get a bill where I live for eg), I get really sad (and angry) when I read stories like this. I also get angry when Australians whinge about 'tough times' here because currently that means 'my wide screen tv isn't wide enough'. We hear about the US economy on the news but I don't get to see the real stories until I read stuff like this.

Without getting too off track here, I reckon the myths perpetuated about the system are as much to blame as the economy (but I'll shut up about that now before I rant and get myself in to trouble lol).

I guess I just wanted to say that reading your stories has had an impact on me because it puts a human face to what I hear about in the news. Good luck to everyone and I hope you all have success with achieving your goals. You seem to have great attitudes about it all. I'm optimistic that change is just around the corner. A situation letting so many people down can't go on forever. Morgan, you don't sound like a pity party. You sound like a talented woman in a difficult situation trying her best to do what we all want to do- work and pay our bills and care for our loved ones. Good luck, I'm sure your talent will be spotted by the right person soon :)

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