Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Bowden.  

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I started working in hair salons in high school as a front desk receptionist. Little did I know that I would fall in love with the industry. I registered for Cosmetology school as soon as I graduated high school. Fast forward 20 years and I’m the Creative Director and Salon Director for Avalon Salon and Spa in the West Village in Uptown. I started at Avalon when I was 19 years old and I credit Ric Bowden and Lawrence Bonanno for helping me navigate my hair journey. I consider myself lucky to get to work every day beside the mentors that taught me everything I know, Tammi Elson and Kaylyn Wilson. I now utilize my skills and experience to mentor and teach others at Avalon to become successful and talented hair colorists. I consider it my way of giving back to my fellow artists what I received when I was starting out. 

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?
No journey is ever smooth sailing. There are winding and bumpy roads in anything. 

I, like other artists, struggle with confidence. We all tend to get in our heads and overthink or second guess ourselves when the answer is often so simple. Having support from my coworkers and peers helps me to stay confident. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a master hair colorist. I specialize in all things hair color-related. I love doing blondes and redheads. I’m known for my perfect foils. I’m most proud of being able to grow others to be successful hair colorists. 

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
Yes, we took Covid very seriously. We took temperatures, wore masks, and face shields, and put-up partitions. The close proximity that we have to work on other people made me hyper-aware of things that I never would think about. For example, clients coughing or sneezing while you are working on them. Hairdressers are exposed to all sorts of things, and it’s important to always come to your appointment symptom-free. I didn’t mind the masks at all either. Especially when a client would come in wearing a mask and she would say she is getting over a cold. To me it made me feel more comfortable, and if the client coughed or sneezed their mask would protect me and others around them. 

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