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

Hi Sherylynn, how do you think about risk?
Aloha, my name is Sherylynn Strong and I own Deaf-Friendly Beauty Services business. As a Deaf Hair Stylist, it is challenging to interact with hearing Clients or Co-workers, but that motivates me to raise my game and change the rules to make things easier for me and my clients. When it comes to business, I am all about- GO BIG or GO HOME!! This could be a very risky way to approach a business, but when you have a high drive to succeed, the desire to follow your heart, and go after what you really believe in, then I say go for it! It also important to always expect the unexpected and anticipate hurdles. This is very true, because you never know what will happen, but only YOU know what you are capable of accomplishing when you are faced with these obstacles. You have to believe in yourself and know that you can deal with any situation; even if you are learning or dealing with something for the very first time. This might sound scary to some people, but to me, this is the fun part. The journey of climbing to the top is just as rewarding as getting to the top knowing all that you have gone through to accomplish your goals. Then, once you get to the top, it’s finally time to enjoy the ride.

I have so many stories to share, but I can only tell one. I used to teach American Sign Language for 10 years in Hawaii and that has taught me a lot with how we can build a bridge to connect the hearing world with the deaf world. Knowing the differences between those two worlds with communication, I am capable of bringing them together and walking across the bridge to the other world and being accepted by both sides. I love how impactful this is for anyone who is exposed to this or who went through this. Now that I am getting into a different career as a Deaf Hairstylist, it is still the same thing, but this time I’m on the bridge and everything goes directly to me. Is it easy? Yes and no because it is definitely easier to communicate when I have Deaf Clients because ASL is my first language and we are able to connect easily. With my hearing clients, it takes more work to communicate, but worth the effort with them because its my passion to be the best and most creative hairstyle and I love knowing that they’re getting a new experience working with a Deaf Hairstylist. I just be usual positive, happy self and everything else takes care of itself.

Being Deaf is sometimes very hard, but is also one of best things about me because I have the ability to block out the rest of the world and focus on things that need I need to get done without any interruptions. Sometimes I feel like I miss out on some things, but honestly its nice sometimes because I don’t have to listen to any drama or negative conversations. And I am in control of what’s going on in life and what’s on my mind.

For anyone out there that is reading this, 3 things I would love to share that are always on my mind :

1. Never Settle and Keep Seeking and Achieving the best version of yourself.
2. Expect the Unexpected.
3. Know your worth.

I always think these phrases every time I feel lost. I hope these can help any Deaf person who may need a confidence boost. If you want it bad enough and work hard, you can have great career and own your own business. And my hope for the hearing community is that they gain better understanding of the Deaf community to know its ok and deaf people are no different. Don’t be shy, say hi and you may even learn some sign language. Aloha.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Starting this business was actually easy because I knew what I had to do. Believing in myself has led me to where I feel confident and comfortable to go out on my own and starting my business. The key to overcoming all the challenges was to keep going and never let being deaf be my excuse no matter how hard it got. One of the lessons that I have learned is that there are people who would make it a little difficult to communicate with me because I am deaf which can be intimidating or awkward, so I learned to not allow any awkwardness to get in the way and just stay professional and positive regardless. I also motivate myself to just keep meeting people, to keep growing and to accept things the way they are which has all just made me better and stronger person. I definitely want the world to know that I am capable of doing things I love and that Deaf people are just as capable as hearing people. I also want the hearing people to know that there are a lot of talented Deaf Artists out there and I encourage them learn how to connect with deaf community better.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen in the US and I must say I am a very proud to be a San Diegan. The best places I always love to take my best friend to are La Jolla, Mission Bay, and Coronado. I am such a water and sunset person so I love riding my bikes on boardwalk from Mission Bay to Pacific Beach and even to La Jolla! La Jolla always provides a beautiful setting for picnics, seal watching, a lot of family fun activities, to include walking, shopping, and its the perfect place to eat while watching the sunset and the ocean waves. My other favorite spot would be meeting up in Downtown, San Diego near Pacific Highway where there is Ferry that goes back and forth from Downtown, San Diego to Coronado. It is a perfect meet up place where we can board for a 10 minute ferry ride allowing to enjoy the ocean and the view of Coronado bridge and then go to Coronado to enjoy the same setting as La Jolla- family fun activities, bike riding, picnic, beach, shopping and lots of good places to eat.

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 would love to shout out to my dear husband who has been a huge supporter of this journey and helping make my dream career and business a reality. Also, my mother, who lets me use her car to travel to school every day until I graduated. And last of all, my dear friend, Alex Low, who has always encouraged and “pushed’ me to pursue my dream. Without his little “push”, without my mom’s help with her car transportation, without the support and understanding my husband has given me, I would not be where I am today without them.

Website: www.sherylynnstyles.com and www.asllessons.com

Instagram: @sherylynnstyles

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sherylynnstyles

Yelp: sherylynn styles

Image Credits
Sherylynn in red dress signing a National Anthem in ASL- Photo Credit to Brian Jackson @Photojacko Sherylynn cutting hair on clients- Photo Credit to Amber Lord

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