We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristin Rossi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristin, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Well, to be completely honest, risk taking and I go way back. There is something about it that gets your blood pumping. To have that consciously controlled behavior with a perceived uncertainty about its outcome can give you the edge you need to really set yourself apart from everyone else. Just peeking over the parapet isn’t enough for me. I’m going to look, lean over and jump! Continually putting yourself in uncomfortable and intimidating situations is what gives you courage, strength and the confidence to succeed in anything you do in life, especially business. Of course a good healthy dose of hard work and determination will get you everywhere, but risk taking will soar you to the top of your game. Everything I have today was ultimately from a risk I was willing to take. Whether it be experiences in life like skydiving, surfing abroad, bungee jumping, becoming a parent or opening up yet another business in my late forties, they are all risks. Ones I’m unquestionably willing to take time and time again. Risks are challenges you take with yourself. You have to keep moving forward and when you are the sole proprietor of a business you have to look to yourself for competition. If you want to set yourself apart from everyone else, then I strongly recommend taking that risk you’ve been contemplating over. Get that blood flowing and go for the gold! You’ve got one life, live it to the fullest extent. I promise you are worth it and you will have yourself to thank.
Let’s hear what sets you apart from others, what are you most proud of or excited about? How did you get to where you are today professionally? Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way? What do you want the world to know about your brand and story.
What sets me apart from others?… It’s such a tough question to answer. I’ve certainly had time to rethink this question over the years, and I’ve never answered it the same, simply because I am constantly evolving, leveling up and rebranding myself. I’m in competition with myself and myself alone. I set the bar high and have extremely high expectations of what I want to accomplish. I’m continually striving for that level of excellence that is only known to me. I believe that drive, and risk taking is what gives me the edge I need to set myself apart from everyone else. I’ve been doing nails for 28 years now so that has a lot to do with it. What am I most proud of? That changes throughout the years as well. I think to date being able to recognize myself as an International Nail Artist is on the top of my list. I’ve been honored to have been able to do nails for London and Milan Fashion Week. I’ve also been published in many magazines in different countries like the UK, Italy, France, and Lithuania. To be able to say that out loud with my head held high is quite something. To observe this within myself m, and to know that all of this was accomplished with extremely hard work, determination, and staying the course is awesome! It’s a great feeling to know, I did this, that’s my work in that magazine, those are my nails on that runway. It totally rocks! How did I get here? This story takes us back to 1992. I was 19 years old and had a little red convertible that my father bought me for my sweet 16th birthday. I was able to sell my car and use that money to open up, what was to be the first of many salon/spa businesses. I was a kid, I knew nothing about business. Heck, I couldn’t even buy wine yet!!! You want to talk about taking a risk? There you go, that was the ultimate risk in business. Opening up a salon at the tender age of 19. I didn’t think twice about it, I just instinctively went for it and it paid off. Here I am, almost 30 years later still slaying the game and more relevant now than ever. Easy?… Hold on a second so I can contain my laughter…. Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means pain, effort, difficulty and adversity. No matter what we do in life, to succeed means to sacrifice. If you are willing to take risks and make sacrifices then you will rise to the occasion. There are many unforeseen bumps in the road along the way, but if you learn from them then you can grow from them. I’ve endured many obstacles and challenges along the way. If you remember in my first interview with your magazine I shared a little about my journey with suffering from a brain injury stemming from a car accident. To be able to come back from almost complete memory loss, a speech impediment and multiple physical setbacks is certainly an obstacle or two. The doctors telling me to be prepared to spend the rest of my life like that was a diagnosis I couldn’t get behind. I pushed myself to limits I didn’t know existed. They used to tell me I was doing too much, and I was putting my recovery at risk. Well, in that moment I thought, what the heck does it matter then?! Screw it! I’m going for it and I’m going to prove you all wrong! Well, as we sit here today for a second interview I’d like to tell my neurologists to SUCK IT!!! Hard work, pain, suffering, many many many tears, a ton of determination, and a risk I was willing to take, got me to what I know to be the top of my game thus far. I’m certainly not the same Kristin Rossi I used to be. I’m a new and improved 2.0. I’ve learned that you are your only limitation. The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it. So don’t let later become never. Do it now is the lesson I learned from having my back against the wall. When you are faced with trauma and physical setbacks your brain goes into overdrive, like a train about to go off the tracks. You have seconds to make that split decision of do I let this train go off the cliff, or do I take control and steer it into the direction that will better improve my life? It’s scary and intimidating, but for me what’s even scarier is the fear of what if. I can say with all honesty I don’t ever have to look back and wonder what if, because I did it. It wasn’t easy and I fell flat on my face a lot, but at least I was still going forward. I learned what not to do, and from that it forced me to tap into my creativity, individuality, and thinking outside of the box. It’s a great way to explore unconventional ideas. And that is what dreams are made from. Don’t ever quit! But most importantly, don’t ever give up on yourself! You are so worth it! What I want the world to know is, buckle up buttercup! Nails By KR is just getting started. And I have big plans to make the world a better place one manicure at a time.
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?
A week long trip?! Looks like we’re heading up into the mountains for a couple days! Day 1: We’re heading up to Vail! You need to start your day with a Bloody Mary, and some brunch at West Side Cafe. Afterwards head on over to Vail Village and walk off some of those drinks, and bacon. After that you should be hungry again so definitely recommend some sushi at Matsuhisa Sushi. Day 2: Leave early and head over to Breckenridge which is only a little under an hour way. Have cinnamon rolls at Blue Moose Cafe for breakfast. Next up is do an an old time photo and shopping at the outlets. After buying a sick new outfit it’s time to head to Black Hawk for the night for some crab leg buffets and gambling! Day 3: On our way back to Denver needing some fresh air after a night in the casino a nice stroll through the Botanical Gardens is just what the doctor ordered! Afterwards we’ll head to Wise Choice Tattoo Removal for a rejuvenating laser hand treatment. We’ll follow it up with some night life in Larimer Square, where we’ll make a pit stop at Corridor 44 for some Champagne spirits. Day 4: Needing some down time we’ll get a massage from the best in Denver @lmt_elliot in his private studio. Then we’ll head to Hydrate IV Bar for replenishment after a few days of ALL the Bloody Marys. After that off to the Salt Caves for an ion foot bath, and some chill time. After all that relaxation we fill ourselves with sugar steak from Bastien’s. Being there will make you feel like one of the Rat Pack with their old school bar, and decor. Day 5: After a good nights rest were going head to The Noshery in north Denver for some brunch, and the best donuts in town. We’ll be taking a dozen to go for the best team at Matthew Morris Salon, where we will get our hair done by the queen of blondes Molly Akinbanjo. From there we will get our brows touched up at High Brow Designs, and pop in to Mi Cocina in Littleton for some tacos! After that we’ll head on over to Denver’s iconic tattoo shop Thick as Thieves for some traditional ink. Day 6: We’ll be spending the day at the famous 16th Street Mall for some tourist attractions and gifts. After that we’ll be making a pit stop at Spa Denver. Co for a little botox touch up before we head to dinner. On South Broadway you’ll find the original Adelitas Cocina Y Cantina. Miss Sylvia is the owner and chef. She makes the best chipotle mushroom cream sauce this side of the Mississippi. There are no words just mmmmmmmmm! Day 7: Now y’all know I wouldn’t leave out my favorite past time Drag Queen Brunch at Hamburger Mary’s to see Denver’s most famous drag queen Jessica L’Whor. Great food, and tons of fun. This is a must see, and do in Denver. Having to go walk off all the mimosas we’ll walk the stairs, and check out some breath taking views at Red Rocks. We’ll then end the night with a show at The Summit Music Hall. Miss Emma, the GM puts on the best shows in Denver. It’s always a fun time and a great iconic spot. I assuming after that week, my friend will need a vacation from this vacation.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I know most people will probably thank their mother, father or God. Had this question been asked to me several years ago, heck, even a year ago, I would have said my father, but not today. Don’t get me wrong, I am eternally grateful for my father and the instrumental role he played in my life and businesses. However, who really deserves all of the credit and recognition is my younger, former self. She was a strong, fearless warrior who exuded confidence and took risks in every aspect of her life. All of those years of both failures and successes made her who I am today. For the first time in forty seven years, I can honestly say without hesitation, I am beyond proud of myself, my accomplishments and the woman I have become. And I look forward to the woman I have yet to meet.
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Hair by: Molly Akinbanjo at Matthew Morris Salon and Skin Care Nails by: Nails By KR