What Would You Do: Should I Booth Rent After Having A Baby?
Advice From The BTC Community For Hairstylists Who Are New Moms
Learning you’re going to be a first-time mom is an exciting yet nerve-wracking time, but when you’re a hairstylist, too, it comes with its own slew of anxieties. Can you still do hair after having a baby? How will you afford expensive af child care? What will happen to your clients? Between financing a maternity leave and paying for daycare, one momma-to-be is struggling to figure out how she’ll afford it all and is wondering if she should stick to booth renting OR if corporate is the way to go. Keep scrolling to see what advice other hairdresser moms in the BTC community had to offer!
“I have been doing hair for over nine years and worked in ‘small shops’ for the first six of my career. The last few I have been in an amazing salon renting my own space, building a clientele slowly but surely. I am now pregnant which wasn’t planned. I am struggling to finance a maternity leave and I’m afraid child care costs will wipe out any profit I would earn. The child care I have found that I can afford will only allow me a few days a week in the salon. Should I give up all my hard work as a booth renter and return to corporate hair? Or does anyone have other suggestions?”
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Don’t Give Up The Flexibility Of Booth Renting
“I condensed to three days a week in the salon (booth rent) when my son was 4. Best decision I ever made! Being a single mom, it made our life flexible and profitable! He’s now almost 14 and I never miss a school function or a sporting event. Perfect job for moms! Good luck to you!” – Ariel Orrison
“…This same situation happened to me but all worked out for the best. I rent a booth in a smaller salon and would bring my baby to work with me when he was small enough to relax in his stroller, and the ladies loved it. Clients and stylists would all help me with him and basically fight over holding the baby. Now that my son is 3, I still continue to make my own schedule and it is a blessing to be able to spend most of my time with my baby! It all depends on the salon. I luckily work with the most amazing women who are all mothers as well.” – Reanna Vigil
“I was able to work two 10-hour days doing booth rental and have the rest of the time off with my son. That is the great thing about our industry—we have flexibility.” – Donyelle Valdes-Richards
“The majority of hairdressers have children. This has been the best job for me having two boys. Flexibility. I’ve picked them up at three everyday from school their whole lives. Make it work. That’s what the rest of us do.” – Julie Schwartz Biggs
“I have four kids and my boyfriend can only watch them Saturday and Sunday. Daycare is too expensive! The salon owner I work for is the best and works with me. She has even offered later hours so I can work when my boyfriend gets out. The flexibility of this career is what saves me. I just wish I could be there more to build but I just have to improvise for now. It is stressful. Sometimes I want to give up, but when I’m in the salon it just puts me at ease. It’s my escape and my passion, so I keep going. Good luck to all the mommas out there.” – @luminous.beauty.bykim
“Yes! Single momma booth renting. During my pregnancy I would auto-draft $150 a week into my savings and used a credit card for any emergency expenses after birth. I went back to work after five weeks, would bring the baby to work with me three days a week and have a family member or friend babysit so I can work Saturdays. She is now 17 months and in daycare three days a week while I work and I still find a sitter for Saturdays. I pay all my bills and make it work! So glad I have the flexibility in my career to make my own schedule, hours and prices along with getting to have a social life at work! You got this.” – Jessica Nicole Myers
“You’ll love having the flexibility to make your own schedule as your child grows up. Don’t lose all the hard work you’ve put in. I only took two weeks off for maternity leave, which was a little difficult in the beginning but totally worth it to keep my flexible schedule….I brought my boys with me to work during the day for the first year of their lives. In the evenings and on weekends I had help from family members. I didn’t double book and spaced my clients out some but it was wonderful….Because I’m in a private room, I could take care of them without disturbing the other stylists and my clients were usually willing to hold them if I wasn’t able to. I would set up an area for them to play once they could sit up on their own. Once they started walking I enrolled them in a Mother’s Day Out program which is usually just a few days a week and fairly inexpensive. Through each phase of their lives you will be able to adjust your schedule to fit theirs. Being a stylist and renting is probably the best career you can have being a mother. You have the best of both worlds—a career and being able to be involved like a stay-at-home mother can.” – @mandi9500
Keep Your Options Open!
“…Pros for corporate are benefits, pay when you are not booked, products provided and flexibility if you have a great boss. A con is you don’t make the most money when you have commission to split. Booth rent is great once you have a full book. You can get three days if needed and still manage time with your little one, and childcare at this point is good because you make more prior. I would try evenings and weekends in a corporate salon that has a support system and if possible, swap with other moms. They can watch your little one in the evenings and you can help them during the day—it’s an option. I think it’s about the leadership, not whether it’s corporate or booth rent. I have an awesome corporate boss who works with me because she’s a caring person. Build with the corporate until you can get to booth rent. Find that culture first and you will be fine.” – Sarah Joy Brown
“Keep looking for options! You could work when your significant other is home a few nights a week. Clients that love you will adjust to your schedule, always!” – @andievs
“After having my daughter, I went freelance. It was the best thing I ever did. I do a few clients a day while she is at school. There are not many jobs that work around kids but with hairdressing, you can make it work!” – Kirsty Hutchins
“I’ve worked in corporate for 26 years, raised three awesome kids with help from a husband and I’m now a divorcing grandma! My company has been amazing! I’ve made plenty to survive, awesome clients and a great work atmosphere! I believe it’s all up to the individual! I never missed anything my kids needed me for! Being a mom always came first!” – Bobbi Jo Cogshall
“I was able to station share with another stylist who also just had a baby. We also came up with the great idea to watch each other’s baby. The girls grew up together in loving homes and us moms were able to work two days a week and every other Saturday. They are 22 now and still like sisters.” – Krista McNeel Kiehl
“A home-based salon if you can—it’s the best thing I ever did. People 20 years ago said I would not make it! Well, I can retire now! I am working because I want to. And if you already have a good base clientele, you can get new people from them and free social media.” – Margie Billian
“I took my kids to work with me while they were babies. I could nurse them and my customers loved seeing my babies. As they got moving, I had family members to help. But they still came to the shop with me, just on smaller stretches.” – Jessica Cox-Pearce
Never Forget, You Totally Got This
“Never give up on what you worked so hard to build. As a mother of a 4½-year-old (and planning to have another child), you make it work. And clients absolutely 100 percent get it and understand and even commend you for juggling it all. Not to mention that you’re showing your child at a young age that you can do whatever you set your mind to and you can work AND be a parent…I look forward to going to work every day and have been at the same salon for the last 7½ years of my 15-year career…My manager/co-worker has been nothing but amazing since my daughter was born. I’m able to work MY LIFE around my work schedule and my clients are more than understanding when something comes up and I need to reschedule stuff. You’re amazing and you’ve got this mama-to-be.” – @jtack2010
“Don’t you give up. Just take it one day at a time and do what’s right for your family, but try your best to keep your foot in the door somehow. Hairdressers have babies everyday!” – Keri Lynn Callihan
“Just another side to the pancake…Feel blessed and know it will all work out. Some people try for many years to have children to no avail. Just know it will all work out. Congratulations!” – Tateum H. Chatfield
“You can have a child and still do anything! 💪Your life is not over because you’re a parent! Just make sure you create a strong support system around you and life will be wonderful for both of you.” – Christal Holmes
“Of course. Find an unapologetic balance to your schedule and stick to it. Oh, and work for yourself! Life happens, you’ll need flexibility. Bosses often want you to work all the late and weekend hours (No offense but y’all do!). Understand that during the infant years, care is expensive and you will get through it, but you won’t necessarily get wealthy. Just survive those years. Our expectations have to be realistic with ‘littles’! Then poof, you move them to college, so soak it up and love your life.” – @lucia_zafar