We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Toillion and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Personal relationships with my clients. I always make it a point to take notes on each of my clients after their visit. Whether they are new or existing. Write down little bits of info about their life. Their kids names, ages, schools they go to. If they are married, know their husbands name also. If they started a new job, take note of it. Ask about it the next time you see them. Personal details about your clients that you can touch on and discuss, next time they are in your chair; makes a world of difference. Let them know that you genuinely care about their life and what’s going on at the time. Make them feel special and important. Any small details that you bring up during their next appt, will make them feel that you are truly invested in their life; and that you’ve developed a personal relationship with them. Do this for each and every client!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My artistic and creative talent comes out in my work doing hair! Becoming a hairstylist I believe was inevitable, and always in my blood. I was the girl in school braiding everyone’s hair, doing their makeup for special occasions, and even coloring all my dolls hair; before I ever considered becoming a cosmetologist. I feel my absolute best, when my client leaves my chair, and can barely contain their excitement with how they look and feel. When I do a transformation on someone (which can sometimes take up to 6-8 hours), and compare my before & after photos; I feel incredibly proud of the work that I do. But the greatest feeling about this job in particular, is when a client texts you after they’ve left the salon, and tells you how amazing they feel and how much they love their hair. Being able to give another person confidence and make them see the beauty within themselves, is the most rewarding part of my job. And that’s what I live for. I love making my clients feel incredible and beautiful. Knowing that I have the ability to help someone see the beauty that I already see in them, is honestly the greatest feeling there is for me in my profession. And I truly hope that my form of art continues to bring that happiness to people. Patience is key! Cosmetology school might make you feel like a fish out of water. Especially if you haven’t had much experience doing hair or make up at all, in the past. But just put in the work and time! Listen to your teachers and mentors. Take in all the knowledge and advice from your superiors as much as you can. Focus on your education in school first, and then never stop learning after that either! Continuing my cosmo education with classes and seminars, has made me 100x more confident in my work and myself. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself outside of school, when you enter the salon world. Never stop learning! Stay ahead of the curve and the trends. Know the lingo and own your profession! People come to the professionals for a reason. So make it known that that’s what you are. Confidence!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a San Diego native, so of course I LOVE my city! On my days off, you can catch me with my dog Bear, at the dog beach in Ocean Beach, at the taco bar at the Hotel Del in Coronado, or sitting along Mission Bay in front of the Catamaran. When family or friends come to visit, I always love to take them to Belmont Park in Mission Beach! Ride the roller coaster, play mini golf at the arcade, and get ice cream on the boardwalk. Another awesome experience to do with your family and friends, is renting a kayak or paddle board to take out on Mission Bay. They even have paddle boarding/kayaking on the bay after dark! Balboa Park is another place I frequent often. The walking trails and greenery there are beautiful, as well as all the museums you can walk into. One thing I’ve made a tradition of every year, is going to the San Diego County Fair! (Formerly the Del Mar fairgrounds). Amazing greasy fried food, amusement park rides, galleries galore, and even farm animals too! (Only in the summer for the month of June) Another beautiful place I will take my dog, is Del Mar dog beach, and Swamis in Encinitas! What do you know, I’m a beach person! Can’t you tell? Not to mention the countless hikes and trails all over San Diego. Like Torrey Pines, Potato Chip Rock, and Sunset Cliffs. Whatever you’re into, San Diego will be sure to not disappoint!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To be completely honest. I would have to give the biggest shoutout to my mother. She has always pushed me to follow my dreams, and supported me in any endeavor I set my mind to. She is the strongest, most independent woman I know. Has supported me on her own as a single mom, my entire life. She always made sure I had everything I ever needed growing up. And always reassured me that I was intelligent and talented. I always felt so special and capable because of her encouraging words. And I hold onto those memories to this day. I wouldn’t be where I am in my life today, without her backing me to pursue my goals. Another person I would have to thank and acknowledge, would be my mentor; Christina Selkamo. She was the first hairstylist I worked for and assisted, after beauty school. She taught me all the ins and outs of the salon life. Not only with techniques, but as a woman running her own business. I still practice many things she taught me, back when I first started doing hair. She is an incredible hair artist, as well as an entrepreneur. And I will always have so much respect for her and her work ethic.
Other: I wasn’t sure if I copied my Instagram page the correct way. So if you need to find me manually, my handle is @beautybynatalietoillion Also the website is for the salon I currently work at. Belli Capelli. It’s not my own personal website. So if you don’t need to use it, no worries!