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

Hi Kate, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I think in the beginning most creatives out on their own fearlessly pursue what we try to accomplish. We know the odds are stacked against us so we don’t believe in time off or giving ourselves breaks or creating healthy boundaries with our clients or patrons until we reach a certain level of success. We can feel “burnout” start to creep in and not want to create or the quality of our product tanks and it isn’t until then we ask for some work life balance. I think the special dance of work life balance is ever changing for us and we just have to listen to our bodies and minds for cues to change up our schedule every once in awhile.

I think this is one of the biggest beauties of being a business owner or sole proprietor though because we’re in charge of the controls. Its a deciding factor in why I chose this lifestyle because I knew as my life changed, my career could change with it. Before I found my passion in hair, all I knew that I wanted to be was a mom so that held high importance with me. When my first son was born I knew I made the best choice because all I had to do was play with the controls to balance my work and still be the best mom I can be. Expecting another boy in May and as they grow, my work life balance will morph to support my family and I’m so lucky that my creative passion can fuel such an incredible life for us.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After struggling to find a career path in college, I found my passion in hair and makeup! The thought of helping people feel beautiful became my purpose and knowing that I get to evolve and create different things for the entirety of my career in the beauty industry would keep me entertained! After speaking with a girl I graduated with that I saw becoming increasingly successful behind the chair, I decided to attend the cosmetology school she did and begged for a job as a receptionist at the salon she was opening. I wanted so badly to succeed in the beauty industry and I knew it wouldn’t be easy so I dove head first. After completing my schooling I took a huge risk and decided to plunge into business ownership and be a booth rental stylist. The lessons I learned happened very quickly and can luckily say I was taught most of them by my fellow hair artists that owned my salon. I learned to set immediate boundaries with clients and coworkers which helped provide the work life balance I needed to protect myself from getting burnt out. The road was a fearless pursuit and I just told myself to keep saying yes to the opportunities that presented themselves and now I run a successful bridal beauty brand under the roof of my home salon and work behind the chair only as much as I desire so i can also be the best mother I can be for my family! It’s all a beautiful balance and I wouldn’t change my career for the world. I always have said ,with bias, that the beauty industry is the best industry to be in but I think everyone can have a perfect fit in an industry if their passion lives there as well.

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?
Columbus is such a fun town with never ending places to go and see! I would say I’m more of a morning bird than a night owl so my favorite places to take people would be amazing coffee and breakfast spots. Some of my favorites include; Fox in the Snow, Stauffs, Hangover Easy, Roosevelt Coffee house and Kittie’s Cakes! There’s incredible historic districts to visit with there own unique shops like German Village, Italian Village, Short North, and other great suburbs like Clintonville and Grandview! During the week is a great time to hit up our museums like CMOA and cosi or Franklin Park Conservatory with breaks for lunch at some of the best delis around like Brown Bag, Block’s Bagels and Katzingers or hitting one of my favorite spots, North Market, if you aren’t sure what to eat because there’s foods from every background here! I love keeping my eye out on the weekends for vendor fairs because we have some incredible makers and artists here in our city! My favorite market to attend every first Friday of the month is Franklinton Fridays with the Friendship Flea. There are limitless options for dinner! Some restaurants that have been around for years like German Village’s Schmidt’s Sausage house and new ones popping up frequently like or Budd Dairy Food Hall! We have incredible music venues that host awesome talent my personal favorite being the Bluestone which is an old church converted to a venue! I never doubt that I can throw together a fun week for anyone that visits and if they visit again the list would be different! I’m very fortunate to live in such a fun city

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
If there’s anyone you can lean on as a creative, it’s another creative. I’m lucky enough for mine to be my best friend, Julie Jackson of Julie Jackson Photography. The same incredible woman who is featured here too and nominated me. From a very young age, we both were placed in a gifted class but we always knew traditional schooling just wasn’t where we fit in. Even though both of us landed in universities, we were always pushing each other to “fearlessly pursue our passion” because we knew we couldn’t sacrifice the happiness that would come from making it. Where we are now, we both text each other every once in awhile just to say “look at us” as we boast about how busy and successful our businesses have grown along side each other. We’re even lucky enough for our industries to cross over a bit and work together on some projects! I would hate to say that either of us would have given up on our dreams if we didn’t have each other but I know having her made the pursuit a lot easier and much more fun.

Instagram: @kate.at.westoak

Image Credits
Natalie Days Photography @nataliedaysphotography

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