Celebrating six months of Natural Beaded Rows pre-training and certification with my fellow classmates, trainers, and the founder of NBR was a thrill I will never forget!
I got to Laguna Beach a day early to get settled in and take in a little beach time and of course, take some pictures in front of the DKW Styling Salon! I met up with my accountability partner and walked around the beach, window shopped, and ate lunch on the patio at Oak. And even got a little tan. The food was delicious!
The next day we headed to the convention center, and all 300 of us checked in. It was crazy being in a sea of all black and long hair! I loved it! BMS (Big Money Stylist) does this thing where they close off the classroom until the minute the event is to begin and have you go through a huddle with bumping music and the trainers cheering you on.
It's a great way to start the day! It gets your blood pumping, gets you motivated, and puts a big smile on your face! Once you're seated, phones get turned off and put away, and the day begins!
It was so refreshing to get to meet all the trainers in person! These are people I've been following on social media, watching them kill it; it was like meeting a movie star. People you never thought you'd actually meet in person. I was star-struck. Not to mention seeing Ani and Danielle in person was so weird/crazy. These are ladies I follow on social media, too, but not only that, I was watching them every day on my online pre-training modules! So it was just very cool!
One of the best parts about celebrating this huge accomplishment with all these people I've developed relationships with online and now in-person was meeting my accountability partners face to face. I chatted with these ladies every day for six months, supporting each other through every bit of challenging steps of learning NBR.
Day one, we got straight to it (after the let's get pumped up dancing and waving our arms in the air like we just don't care - dancing ;) ) We worked on bead placement and getting the correct amount of cushion on the bead, based on hair type and density. Then we worked on string tension and having the right nubbin size. It's these little details that make a big difference. All the trainers, Ani and Danielle included, walked around, answering questions, and critiquing our work. It was terrific to have personal feedback. I learned so much and was able to fine-tune some of the things I've been doing! I can't wait to start implementing them!
The second half of our day was spent on business practices from everything on knowing our numbers, analyzing them, to honing in our confidence on social media. We heard personal stories from veteran NBR artists that gave us insight and motivation, and we broke out in one on one meetings with each other several times to share our ideas with each other. It was beneficial to share with like-minded people. Sharing what we were hearing and taking away from each topic was valuable. It helped me see multiple perspectives, and I was able to ask myself, "how can this be helpful to me"? We also did a walk and talk, which was really fun and too hard to do. We had to concentrate on the subject given to us and even walk… lol, that can be difficult! Throughout the day, we were given several opportunities to ask questions as one large group so that everyone could participate at the same time, and we celebrated that person's courage to share with a two clap BOOM! #bmstribe
Day two, we worked on stitching, weft placement, and more business training. With the new and advanced weft placement, I now have a few tricks up my sleeve to get you even more fullness around your face! Yasss, who doesn't want that? Stitching is a critical element in comfort with your grown out. As your track grows out, you want to have your wefts tightly secured so that there isn't any shifting and bubbling. A tight sewn in weft is also vital for brushing and washing to help stabilize and keep it in place. This helps to keep your luxury lock clean and tangle-free. Again we had all the trainers critiquing us and giving us feedback. It was invaluable! (Am I the only one singing to myself right now… "can I offer you some feedback?" Wine Country. I Love that movie! Anyhow, I now stitch much more tightly! Again, we worked on the business. We dove into what makes or breaks a consultation and who is the right candidate for NBR. We also worked on some mindset shifts to help us think more clearly. I love this part of the training because it helps all the pieces fall together with the artistic side and the business side of things. It's like the right side of your brain partying with the left side of your brain. Or, like Neil DeGrasse Tyson says, "mind blown!" I almost forgot to mention the incredible delicious lunches they provided! Every day there were tasty meal options. I have to admit I was kind of dreading lunch because I'm dairy-free and gluten-free, and that's hard to do for a big group. Every day my plate was full, and it was so good! In our second half of the day, we had two guest speakers who were both successful hairstylists. One shared her experience of being successful while also being a mom, and the other shared her expertise on how she uses Instagram and what has helped her to be successful.
Day three, we worked on our start and end beads. We learned how to remove them, re-do them, and jig them for comfort. Each day during our NBR learning, there was platform artist doing models showing us how they do installs and focusing in on specific details. On our last day, Danielle used the models to show us how she does her photoshoots. She gave us some key points to focus on and showed us how she styles the client's hair to get the picture just right. I, for sure, have a lot to learn here. This is a whole other level of artistry! Not only does your client have to be comfortable taking a picture, but all the factors and details that go into the lighting are so complicated. After lunch, we had one more surprise guest speaker, Danielle's husband! If you haven't heard Garrett J. White speak, he is captivating, to say the least. This man is a born speaker. Motivational, to say the least! He set us up for post-graduation and helped us think about taking the next steps in our career to be successful. After lunch, we practiced our start and end beads with new ways to ensure comfort and proper grow out.
Then it was graduation time! We broke off into groups of 20 and a trainer. Upon accepting our certificates, we were asked to speak on two topics for a minute and a half. Although it was hard to be vulnerable, we'd become more comfortable sharing the last two days, that it was somehow rewarding.
We shared, and it was really memorable and meaningful. I'm so happy I decided to take this journey. This experience will be with me forever. We left with a Big Bang - a hype mannequin head dance! So Much Fun!
Later that night, we came back for a celebratory cocktail party, and we got to take pictures with the DKW family!
Moving forward, I joined the BMS Academy, which starts on January 1st, because I want to continue to strengthen my NBR skills. It's an eighteen-month academy that is going to take me to the next level! It is going to be full of online modules, live critiques, live questions, hot seats, and one on one shadowing. Continuing education is essential to me, and I am committed to becoming an expert at NBR.
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Here's to a new year and a new journey! Cheers!