We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia Takahashi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Julia, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
Yes! It’s a Japanese proverb and it says “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” I actually have it tattooed On my right forearm. I first heard it in high school when I was taking Japanese. I don’t give up easily and I learned that from my mom. She has gone through hard times and not only doesn’t give up, but is an amazing mom and supports me. I love the quote because it reminds me to never give up and keep pushing, even if you stumble along the way.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what sets me apart from others is my honesty. If I don’t think a style or color will work for a client I will tell them, nicely of course! I’ve had to learn through my career that if I don’t believe in it the end result will never be good.

I would say I’m most proud of being able to cultivate a steady enough clientele in just under 3 years so that I could start my own business. I moved to San Diego from the Bay Area in late June 2018 and in April of 2021 I decided to make the move from being a commission stylist, to renting my own chair. It definitely wasn’t easy and I couldn’t have built such a great clientele without working at Belle Sirene, in La Jolla for almost 3 years. Belle Sirene was a great place to call home when I first moved here. I met some of my best friends working there and by working at a salon with such a great reputation it allowed clients to trust me more easily with the support of the salon.

It was hard starting over completely in 2018 and I even did Door Dash when I was slow and didn’t have enough clients! Through all of that I learned that the only person who will keep me from succeeding is myself. I have the talent and I have the drive to be successful but I just have to trust myself. What I want the world to know about me and my story is that I truly care. Whether that be about getting a client to their hair goals or a clients personal life. I really do care about every client who sits in my chair and I want them to leave our appointment felling happy and more confident then when they walked in.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d for sure take them to Torrey Pines and do the beach hike so they get to see some great views! Then go for brunch at Fig Tree Cafe and definitely get some of their “man candy” bacon. Probably go to PB and walk along the beach on the board walk and end with a slushy at Shore Club.

If we’re feeling adventurous then I’ll book us a couple jet skis to zip around near downtown and get to see downtown and the Coronado bridge from a different view. Then head to Gaslamp and probably grab a drink at The Nolen on their rooftop. I would definitely take them to Coin-op and have a friendly competition with all the arcade games.

Some bars I would take them to for a night out would be Moonshine Flats or Beach, BarleyMash, Trailer Park After Dark, Tavern in Pb, or Mavericks!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside amazing stylists my whole career, especially in San Diego, and I am still close to old coworkers who keep me inspired, remind me of my worth, and give me advice(in business and life.)

I would say the most influential though, is my former boss, Mariela Valenzuela. I assisted her for 2 years. In that time I not only grew my strong foundation in color and cutting, but also watched her go out on her own and create her own salon. When I started with her she was employed by someone else and by the time I was done assisting her she had become her own boss, and had employees working for her!

She took me under her wing for 2 years and was an open book. She answered any and all questions I had, taught me how to professionally communicate with clients, gave me tips on how to successfully run my own business one day, and more than that believed in me. She always pushed me to be my best self and not take anything from anyone. I still call her or text her for advice to this day. She’s the boss you dream of. She supports you, pushes you, but you can still relax and grab a drink after work.

Instagram: JTalksHair

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