Deanna is the Founder of Ginger & Maude® and Lead Stylist. Lead Stylists are experienced hairstylists who are continually in high demand.
Have you ever walked into a place and felt like you weren’t supposed to be there? Like you didn’t belong?
Let me tell you a story.
I went to a private Catholic school. It was, as you can imagine, a slightly stifling, slightly othering environment, especially for someone who wasn’t religious, like me. To cope, I would often find myself sneaking out of class, signaling for a classmate to follow me to the bathroom.
Oh… Did you think we were going there to smoke? NOPE. As soon as we were through the door, I’d be pulling a pair of scissors out of my pocket and cutting their hair.
You see, I wanted to help them see themselves in a new light, to allow them to break out of their structured lives, to show them that they were beautiful. Even more so, in those 15 minutes, I wanted them to know there was someone else who saw them, that they belonged. Afterward, as we ran back to class pretending nothing had happened, piles of hair still heaped on the bathroom floor, I was always struck by how they’d glow.
Twenty-five years later, and while I don’t cut class to give bathroom haircuts anymore, my mission is the same. So is the method I use to further it—hair.
About a month ago, Max walked into the salon. Their shoulders were slumped, their curly hair covering their face as they looked down to the ground, an oversized, long jacket covering the towering frame of this 7th grader. They barely spoke to me, let alone looked up at me.
I stood for a minute, taking in their whole person. I told them I wanted to create a look that accentuated their height to make them appear taller, because who they were was beautiful, and I wanted to make sure everyone else saw it. I picked up my shears and began cutting, large chunks of curly hair falling to the salon floor. I sculpted their hair into a majestic, curly pompadour.
When I finished, the teen stared at the mirror in disbelief for a moment before leaping out of the chair and jumping around the salon in excitement. It was beautiful. They were beautiful. And more importantly, feeling seen and accepted, they knew they were beautiful too. As they left, just like in school, I was struck by how they glowed.
I’m in the business of making people feel like they belong, of giving them a voice, and creating a safe, inclusive salon space for everyone—from clients to staff—to be seen, to be heard, to be beautiful. I built Ginger & Maude around this mantra, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Favorite Drink: Regular 12oz Hot Latte