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

Hi Michelle, what makes you happy? Why?
What makes me happy? It may seem like a simple question but it has a loaded answer for me. Well the answer is, independence. I made the decision to become an independent contractor or more commonly known as a free lance hair stylist about 3 years ago and let me just tell you that was a life changer! I was almost instantly “Happier”. Quite simply I had regained my independence. Not only in work but in my home life. I only had to answer to myself or follow the schedule I set. It took time to find the right balance and give myself goals so I could still be productive but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. If I want to say no, I do. If I want to push myself and stay longer at work I do, because I know ultimately it will help me in the long run. If I want to take a day off to spend it with my family, I don’t even think twice!. Making the choice to become my own boss and being independent changed my life for the better and makes me happy every day!

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am the proud owner of Michelle Robek Hair design a small studio hair salon and online wig shop. Studio hair salons are poping up everywhere, quite simply because the concept is great. But with that being said when you operate one of these small studios you are one of many. I’ve spent a lot of time carefully curating a space that not only my clients enjoy being in but that I feel at home in while I am working. Imagine a wall of everything pink mixed with vintage dyi furniture with a touch of Hollywood glamour. Its a comforting and relaxing environment that in my opinion that is unlike any other studio I have ever seen. Working for your self can be hard. You have no one to answer to. And in the beginning I found myself not being as productive as I could have been. I learned to set goals and to make lists. When I finished something I would cross it off, it oddly was satisfying. But ill be honest, I got things DONE and my business improved. Since opening my salon I have also opened and online wig shop. I’ve expanded my business beyond what a regular hair salon generally does and I feel that that sets my brand apart.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Alright, you caught me! I am a huge Tiki nerd. And you are probably asking whats that? Well I enjoy exploring the amazing Tiki bars that are all around the LA area. There is something about the escapism that happens when you take the first sip of a properly mixed tropical rum cocktail in a crowded historic tiki bar. My favorite being Tiki-Ti in Los Angeles. Full of local regulars you can get lost in the immersion and end up sending hours there talking to new friends. Still curious? I have a whole “highlight” on my Instagram devoted to my Tiki-time adventures, check it out. If I’m not sipping on a delicious drink I’m probably chilling at Disneyland, I mean how much more of an OC girl can I be? I’ve always been Disney fan and since I have a pass me and the fiance are there most nights we are free. Now as for food you have to go to Joe Schmoes in Cypress. I originally got turned onto this place for their killer loaded hot dogs. However, they recently added Nashville Hot Chicken to their menu and I’m hooked. I probably go at least every other week.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When I made the decision to leave my full-time job I wasn’t making the decision alone. My fiance Billy was my “bearded cheer leader” encouraging me to take the step to focusing on my business. He supported me even though stepping away from security was a hard thing to do. I know without him I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.

Website: etsy.com/shop/MichelleRobekHD
Instagram: michelle.e.robek
Facebook: @MichelleRobekHairDesign