Welcome to my new interview series featuring some of the brightest and most hard-working women I know. My goal for this series is to collect stories from women in all levels of their career. The hope is that their journey and their advice will trigger something in you, and help you take the jump you need to achieve your personal level of success. Whether they are freelancers, founders of their own business, corporate employees, or students, this #LadiesWhoHustle series will showcase their unique talents and help you unveil yours.
First up, one of the most badass and multi-talented women I know, Aga Dondzik. Aga is a celebrity hairstylist and makeup artist (and incredible home chef!) from Chicago, Illinois, who has toured with the Backstreet Boys, and done hair for celebrities such as Britney Spears, The Wanted, Yelawolf, Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, and so many more. To top it all off, she's currently the personal hairstylist and makeup artist for Canada's very own Carly Rae Jepsen. Now, that's quite the list!
If that's not enough, Aga is also the owner of Rock Razor Scissors salon in Chicago. If you couldn't tell by the rocking list of artists and bands, they are a professional Rock and Roll hair salon, and are available to work on tours.
Want to know more? Read on to see what drives this badass babe.
Hairstylist and makeup artist
Think back to when you were 10 years old. What did you wish to
be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a plastic surgeon. I know, super weird, but
also relevant to what I ended up doing which is making people feel like their most beautiful self.
Let’s talk goals! Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I honestly never know. I’m always up to something new and
exciting. I most definitely could never stop doing hair, so no
matter what I’m doing, hair would be on that list.
Have you experienced any career struggles so far?
I’ve been EXTREMELY lucky. The biggest struggle for me was saying “no” to going on some pretty big tours. I would have too many gigs at once that didn’t line up, and deciding which ones to pick was extremely hard for me.
You’ve done so many great things in your career! Is there one thing you would consider your biggest career win?
Being able to travel the world with the greatest people doing what I love the most. I would say travelling enough for work that you have to add pages to your passport is a major win!
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received?
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, even if it’s selling shoes, you are the one doing it and you should be the best at anything you do. For yourself and not for anyone else.
Sometimes advice can be unsolicited. What’s the worst piece of career advice you’ve received?
I’m a bit of a dreamer and I would always have someone trying to bring me back down to earth. I’d always have someone trying to give me advice by saying something isn’t realistic. If I hadn’t shot above and beyond my dreams, I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I got. Dream big, don’t be realistic. Reality will sort itself out no matter what, just shoot for the stars.
Has anyone really inspired you in your career?
My inspiration from the beginning of my career was Cazzie Mayorga. She just loves doing hair and she is a fun, incredible and hardworking person. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for her.
I believe having a mentor (and being a mentor when the time is right) is such an important addition to a successful career. Do you have a mentor?
I don’t, but I should. I’m always trying to take classes, so hopefully someday I will stumble onto someone that would love to take me under their wing.
When do you feel the most confident?
I’m the most confident when I get a new idea, believe it or not. It can be a new business idea or a new cut/color. I’m very much of a “jump two feet in” kind of person. That could be a bad thing, but it’s surely been how I’ve gotten ahead. I feel a fire and I’m ready and confident to move forward.
Currently coveting: A new business adventure.
Favourite way to sweat: When the day is so busy and you don’t have a moment to even stop. In the end, it’s over and you sit down and just say “whoa”.
Book you just can’t put down: Shantram by Gregory David Roberts – longest book ever!
Morning person or night owl? Morning person and night owl. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
What gets your taste buds roaring? Spicy.
City you can’t stop dreaming about: Osaka, Japan
Get in touch with Aga!
Know anyone that would be great to feature in the #LadiesWhoHustle series? Connect with me on Instagram to nominate them - or yourself!