Jerz Life: Ms. Lavette Slater USL May 10, 2016 Jerz's Life, USL Stories Welcome to a brand new edition of This month I am thrilled to introduce you to Ms. Lavette Slater, an Emmy-award winning celebrity stylist and trendsetter in the fashion and beauty industries. I interviewed Lavette recently, and she shared her story and experiences of becoming a celebrity stylist, as well as some of the keys to her success. Ayasha: Thank you, Lavette, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share some details about about the Lavette Slater brand with our audience. First, can you tell us how you got started? Lavette: I got started by being good at what I like to do. It all starts off with your craft and loving what you do. I worked in a few popular salons and in those salons we used to do different events such as hair shows. I used to be one of the best in the salon. I did hair, makeup, and styled clothes. We did a skit during the hair show and we won 1st place. Salt from Salt-N-Pepa was a judge at one of our shows. Salt had a salon and I ended up working in her salon. I was one of the best hair stylists so naturally they would send me to the celebrities who requested to be styled. Ayasha: Who was the first celebrity you styled? Lavette: It was Wanya Morris from the group Boyz II Men. Ayasha: Oh, wow…That’s great! Wanya Morris! I was a fan of Boyz II Men, but I’m surprised because I assumed the first client you styled would have been a woman, not a man. I am impressed! Lavette: Yes, I was very good at everything. I would do one thing and then start learning something else. For instance, I would do weaving, hair coloring, styling and cutting men’s hair. I got to the point that I wanted to be a barber. I was in the salons, I had all my clippers and I was doing it. Most stylists have one or two things they like to do. They like to stick that and that’s great because you are mastering your craft. But it is always good to know a lot of things because you can’t be turned down. For instance, if people ask if I know how to do something, I can respond, “Yes, I know how to do that!” It is really good to know a lot of things so you can always be working. Ayasha: Correct, I think it is a good marketing strategy to be as versatile as possible because you don’t want to limit yourself. Ms. Lavette Slater Lavette: Agree! Ayasha: Lavette, in my book, you are a heavy hitter. I am very impressed because I don’t come across stylists, especially African-American stylists, who have been so successful in this industry. Lavette: Awww…Thank you! Ayasha: You are so versatile – you style men, you can do women’s and men’s hair, and you do makeup as well. I think most newer stylists just getting in the field tend to stick to one thing, but don’t evolve in the industry. What would be your advice to an aspiring stylist trying to make it in the industry? Lavette: You have to have some sort of structure. You have to follow before you can lead. It is important to go through the growing pains of learning or going to classes. I have interacted with hairstylists who don’t have licenses and didn’t finish school. It is always important to go through some growing pains because when you finally get to “top notch” and the “big leagues” you have to be on your game. These people aren’t playing around. They want somebody who knows what they are doing and who is confident. The only way you will be confident in what you are doing is to go through the repetitive process of doing things over and over again. I spent many years in the salon, trying out different things, as I was learning along the way and I was happy doing it. This entire process made me confident, so when I got the opportunity to work for The View I was confident in what I was doing. When people were asking me if I could do this or that, my response was Yes, Yes, & Yes! Sometimes people want to skip over the process of learning something, which is not going to get you far in life. I sometimes log onto YouTube and I see these young girls doing makeup tutorials and it really looks good. They have a natural talent which is important too, but it’s also good to keep learning. Please do not skip over the process. If you are that good in what you do, then people are going to find out and find you anyway. Ayasha: That is so true! Lavette: I don’t understand why is everybody in such a rush to get things in life. Do you know how many times I’ve seen a person in a position who doesn’t know the correct way of doing things or know anything else? Celebrities want somebody who knows what they are doing and who are very quick. Goes back to what I stated before: You have to be confident in what you do and the only way to be confident is to be repetitive in what you are doing. Ayasha: I agree. The two key things aspiring stylists need to know is confidence and repetition. Becoming well-known in this industry is a process. I believe most people, especially young people, struggle to understand what they need to do to become successful in any industry. It takes time for you to develop confidence and through the repetition of building your craft. Ayasha: I want talk about the three Emmy Awards you won for Hairstyling. I just want to start off by saying I was unaware that you could win an Emmy for Hairstyling. However, I am glad that they’ve created a category for this because it allows hairstylists to gain notability and creditability in the beauty industry. Lavette: They are actually hairstylists who have won Oscars. Ayasha: WOW! Lavette: However, I also didn’t know that you could win Emmy awards for hairstyling. When I worked for The View, they told me that I won an Emmy for hairstyling. I didn’t know anything about this until I started to work in the TV world. It is amazing! Sometimes people will make it seem that the beauty world isn’t that important because it is hair. It is definitely important and people are looking at your image. You would not see Michelle Obama walking around with a certain hairstyle or look. The way you present yourself is important. People are looking and whatever way you present yourself, people judge you by that. It is unfortunate, but it is the world we live in today. Ayasha: Again, I am amazed by what you do and how to you do it! So tell me, what’s new on the horizon for the Lavette Slater brand? Lavette: I am happy to announce that I am the brand Ambassador for Perfect Locks. Ayasha: Congrats – that sounds awesome! I definitely have to check out their website. Ayasha: Where do you see Lavette Slater brand in the next 5 to 10 years? Lavette: I love styling people and love doing makeovers, which makes people feel good about themselves. People don’t know what kind of look will make them feel good about themselves. That’s what I like to do. But I have been behind the scene for a number of years. I don’t want to be behind the camera, I want to be in front. I am currently working on becoming a beauty correspondent. I am working on my series makeovers with meanings and creating a new you. Just basically a makeover series. Ayasha: I can definitely see you being a beauty correspondent on a show like Fashion Police. Or, actually being the host for the show. I think you would absolutely be the right fit for that show. Lavette: Thank you so much! You want to keep learning and evolving. This is what life is all about! Ayasha: I love what you said earlier – it is all about confidence and repetition. Lavette: Some people get into the business for the wrong reasons. If you love what you are doing, you can only excel. So I love it! I love doing makeovers and meeting people with changing their look. Most people want to get into the business because of money. Money is a great and all, but money takes everything out of it if you don’t love it! Ayasha: Lavette, thank you so much for your interview! Our readers are going to love all the knowledge, inspiration, and of course, the love that you shared about your brand. I am very empowered by this interview and I know that our readers will be too. To learn more about Lavette Slater visit her website at http://www.lavetteslater.com/ and you can also check out Perfect Locks and some of their products at http://www.perfectlocks.com . To connect with Lavette on social media, follow her here: Twitter: https://twitter.com/LavetteSlater FB: https://www.facebook.com/lavette.slater Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/LavetteSlater/ And make sure you continue to connect with us on social media to keep up with the latest news and posts. 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