Welcome to another edition of “People Pulse.” Always hoping to bring you interesting folks doing even more interesting things in the Orlando and Central Florida area, here is Yoey. She’s pretty rad, if I do say so. In full disclosure, Yoey’s been cutting my hair for well over five years now (probably seven to eight), and I thought she’d be fun to feature because in addition to being rad she’s uber-talented. So here we go….
Q. What brought you to Orlando, and how long have you lived here?
A. My family brought me here from Puerto Rico to Kissimmee when I was 14 years old (so 19 years ago…yikes!), and I moved to Orlando in my early twenties because I loved the community so much. It had a lot more to offer than Kissimmee did for me. It has allowed me to expand my wings and do what I love to do.
Q. What’s one of your favorite things about living in Central Florida?
A. One of my favorite things about living in Central Florida is the diversity in the people and cultures that permeate everything from art to food.
Q. What originally inspired you or led you to pursue a career in the hair industry. Tell us a little about your journey to where you are today.
A. I have always been obsessed with hair. It has definitely been a form of self-expression for me my entire life. I started experimenting in my bathroom when I was 18 years old and I wanted to go to a good cosmetology school, so I waited close to a year for the Aveda Institute Orlando in Winter Park to be finished, and I was the first student to enroll (I might add that I also had perfect attendance). I was so afraid of not being able to find a good salon to work in so I started working at an Aveda salon before I even graduated, just to get my foot in the door.
That was my first salon experience, and it was so awful I almost quit doing hair. They fired me! They told me I didn’t follow direction well. I know I have always done things my way, their feedback discouraged me for a little while but then I decided to give it a second chance. I haven’t stopped since, this coming March will be my 10-year anniversary of graduating from Aveda. I love what I do, and my passion for it grows more and more each day. I try to learn as much as I can and stay as motivated as possible.
Q. If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you be doing?
A. I don’t ever see myself doing anything different, but I was always interested in forensics so I probably would have tried to become a police officer and eventually a detective. My all time dream was to be in a rock band though, if only I could overcome my stage fright!
Q. What’s one thing that keeps you inspired or motivated as a creative person?
A. Being allowed the space and freedom to express my creativity, there is nothing better to me than that. The more freedom I have, the more inspired I am and the
more inspired I am, the more freedom to express it I have. It’s a beautiful cycle.
Q. How do you keep up with trends or the latest styles in hair?
A. I keep up with all the new trends by going out of my way to find education online, at Premier Orlando (Our Hair Show) and in the salon with Bumble & Bumble and Oribe. I also look at photos for inspiration. A lot of the times I look at photos from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s because a lot of the styles you see are variations or inspired by more retro looks. I LOVE a good throwback.
Q. Do you have a specific type of client? What do you think helps strengthen your relationship with them?
A. My clients are a lot like me. They are easy going, they like to laugh, they are positive people, they are kind people, they love art in many forms and they understand my vision.
I try to be as genuine as possible when I build my relationships with my clients. When I consult with a client for the first time, I do a very thorough consultation and I explain the process every step of the way because I think communication is the most important part of my job. I strengthen my relationships by delivering the same quality service every time they come to see me, even if I’m having a bad day. I also try to remember important things, like how many cats or kids they have, their hobbies and things like that. Sometimes I do forget important dates but I make up for it by being my true self and being honest with them.
Q. I love your “before and after” client pics on your Instagram. Are most folks open to being featured?
A. You know, I should probably ask more bluntly if they’re ok with me posting their pictures. I’ve never had anyone say no, and I can usually tell if they don’t want to have their picture taken. Some people ask that I don’t show their face. For the most part, everyone likes to see their own before and after photos.
Q. If someone wants a dramatic change with their hair is it typically something you initiative, or is it the request of the client?
A. It depends. I think that most of the time, it is the client who wants the drastic change and I am all for it! I definitely influence the outcome, a lot of times people aren’t exactly sure of what they want or maybe they have the wrong hair type for a particular style and I just need to guide them. I have made some pretty bold suggestions to some of my clients and most of them have been coming to me for many years so they trust me.
Q. What’s one thing that’s happened or changed in Orlando over the past few years you’ve really taken note of?
A. Orlando has grown so much. There have been lots of local businesses opening up over the last few years and it’s so exciting that the majority of these new business owners are young people. We are also having a lot of new young business professionals moving into our neighborhoods from all over the country. I always send them home with shampoo and restaurant/bar recommendations. They love that and sometimes text me to let me know they checked out that one place I told them about.
Q. What are some of your favorite places in Orlando to be inspired by creativity, or just to be motivated?
A. I like to hang out in the Mills 50 area, lots of murals and cute houses around. I also love going to the Central Florida Veg Fest in the park every year and it’s so nice just to be outside eating delicious food.
Q. Completely unrelated to your profession, but what are some of your places to grab food in the Central Florida area, and why?
A. I love this question because I love to eat! My favorite Vegan places in Central Florida are: Ethos, Dandelion, Loving Hut, The Sanctum, Market on South, and I love to grab a quick bite to go at District at Mills (I’m here more often than not). I also like other places that aren’t exclusively vegan like Kiko for sushi, they have a huge veggie menu that is unbelievable! Austin’s Coffee, my old stomping grounds, I used to drive all the way from Kissimmee to Austin’s by myself just to have a cool coffee shop to sit in and relax. Stardust Coffee, Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar, Black Bean Deli, Poke Hana, King Bao, Hawkers, Hummus House, Purple Ocean Superfood Bar, and ice cream from The Greenery Creamery.
Q. What is one thing you personally hope to achieve in the coming year of 2019?
A. 2019 is going to be big year for me. Lots of changes in my career and also in my personal life, but the one thing driving it all is my passion to become a more positive person. I am working on it every day and it’s affecting all aspects of my life. Changing your mindset can truly change your life for the better and I am here to spread to everyone I come into contact with!
✂️ So Yoey is currently at the Dolce Vita salon in downtown Orlando (North Quarter district) if you’re interested in looking at having a visit with her. Or we can put you in touch with her. ✂️