Today we’d like to introduce you to Keisa Stewart-Rucker.
Keisa, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Becoming a professional hairstylist wasn’t my first career choice. Although I loved doing hair in high school, I didn’t see myself as a hairstylist, and I always said that it would be my plan b. I initially had dreams of becoming a professional track athlete, but after I got pregnant with my first child, I decided to put that career on hold and pursue a career in cosmetology. I worked at several salons before I decided to open my own salon in Mobile, AL, in 2006 and that’s when I came up with Head2Toe Magazine and Entertainment LLC. I wanted to celebrate and acknowledge the talent of beauty industry professionals after noticing how people viewed the industry. Before social media being a hairstylist or barber wasn’t respected how it is today and I wanted to change that. I was tired of people acting as if being a hairstylist was my hobby and not my career.
Whenever award shows are aired on television, I noticed how the red carpet interview questions were always focused on what they were wearing and who designed it. What about the hair and makeup or even the fashion stylist behind the look? The beauty industry professionals are always the muscle behind the overall look. A person can wear a $10,000 dress or suit, but if a woman’s hair isn’t done and a man isn’t groomed, the entire look is thrown off. The entertainment industry needs the beauty industry, but the beauty industry doesn’t need the entertainment industry. People will always need their hair done, and that’s a fact.
I also have a degree in Marketing and I wanted to try my hand in the corporate world. After closing my salon in 2012, I moved to Atlanta because the hair product company that I worked for presented a reality show opportunity to me that seemed to be locked in but after a content and network dispute the production company pulled the plug on the project. After that ended, I put my focus back on my own business.
When social media exploded on the scene, I wanted to help beauty industry professionals grow and build their brand, and yes, I said brand because a lot of beauty industry professionals don’t know that they are a brand! I went from behind the chair, to helping others build their brand from behind the chair.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It definitely has not been a smooth journey! My Instagram page was hacked in 2018 at nearly 40,000 followers! That was very damaging financially to my business because I sell ads on my page and when it was hacked, the income cut off instantly! The hacker actually tried selling my page back to me! I even filed a police report, but I was told that hackers are hard to track down, so at that point, I knew that I had to start my page all over again. After starting the page from scratch, there were days when I wanted to give up because building an organic following takes a lot of time and patience. Luckily, I have some faithful followers that helped spread the word about my page being hacked and my following began to grow again. The only difference is Instagram changed the algorithm, so it’s much harder for business pages post to be seen and now it’s much harder to build a large following. Another challenge is having to work a 9-5 while trying to grow your own brand at the same time. You have to do what you have to do in order to build a successful business.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Head2Toe Magazine and Entertainment?
Head2Toe Magazine and Entertainment LLC is an online beauty and entertainment magazine. The goal is for Head2Toe to be the go-to site for the latest trends in the beauty industry. I’m striving to have beauty professionals listed in the directory from every state in the US. It will soon be a place for people to find their next beauty industry professional when they are looking to be serviced. When people move, one of the first things that they look for is a new hairstylist, barber and nail technician and I want my website to be the place where they can find good professional industry people.
I promote beauty industry professionals and small businesses on Instagram, while offering one on one and group social media marketing/branding classes to business owners who are serious about growing their brand. I offer a complete branding service that includes building social media accounts from scratch, social media management, logo design, website development and management, business card design, marketing flyers, custom-made business t-shirts, event planning such as grand openings and pop-up shops. I’m a retired hairstylist/makeup artist with a B.S. Marketing degree who loves the beauty industry. I know the industry, and that sets me apart from other blogs and websites that were developed by people who have never worked in the beauty industry.
- Email: Head2toemag@gmail.com
- Website: Head2toemag.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/head2toemag
- Facebook: Facebook.com/Head2toemag
- Twitter: Twitter.com/head2toemag
Terrence Smith of TS Photography @ts_photography_mobile_al