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

Hi Sarai, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Without big risks are no big rewards! Now, before you stop reading and put this down, let me explain myself.

I’ve always lived a loud life. But not always for the right reasons. For years, when I was in my addiction, I lived “out loud” to distract from the fact that I was an addict, that I was depressed, I was sad, that I was afraid, that I hated myself.

I was the funny girl, the life of the party, the crazy one, the one who was up for anything at any time. But I was masking. Masking my trauma, insecurities, and addictions.

For more than 3 decades I lived with secrets. I was an alcoholic, drug addict, and anorexic and bulimic. I was constantly performing so that I didn’t have to deal with the mess that was my life.

March 6, 2016 my life completely changed for the better. That was the day I got clean & sober. I was confronted about my out of control drinking (especially my drinking at work, where I would get black out drunk).

My salon owner confronted me face-to-face and said “ what the hell is going on with you? Really.“

It was in that moment, that I decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, I was sick of all of the lies, and I was sick of hiding my secrets.

With tears streaming down my face, I took the biggest risk of my life, and said to her, “ I think I’m an alcoholic. I can’t stop drinking. I think I need help.“ I was so afraid of losing my career, my husband, my friends by telling the truth….But I was more afraid I was going to die if I kept on this path.

It’s been 5.5 years of sobriety and it has been full of risk taking in the most amazing way.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was an unknown in my industry until I got sober. When I got sober, I decided I was going to
“Stop talking about it and start being about it”.

When I got sober, I threw myself into work. I’ve invested over $100,000 of my own money into my education to further my career.

I started taking any and every class I can get my hands on. Pushing myself completely out of my comfort zone. I was DEATHLY afraid of Blonding prior to sobriety, so I decided “fuck it, I’m gonna learn how to make people platinum….while maintaining the integrity of their hair….and I’m gonna be known for my Blonding skills”. And I worked my ass off to make it happen!

It took 2-3 years of experimenting, learning from my MANY, MANY mistakes, integrating new info that I learned at classes, and developing my own technique.

I now teach my own independent Blonding and Color Correction classes all over the US, I work with multiple brands, I’ve gone viral numerous times, been published in Allure, Buzfeed, Cosmo, Harpers Bazaar, Good Morning America, and many other industry and non industry publications. I have brand sponsorships and am the creative director and lead educator for Trionics (a brand I truly believe in).

NONE of this came easy. I worked 80+ hours/week, screwed up a LOT, did free hair, missed dinners, birthday parties, didn’t take days off or vacations….. I sacrificed so much to get where I am.

I remember telling my husband when I got sober, “I’m gonna make a name for myself and do big things….. trust me” and he has never doubted me. Every goal I’ve made for myself, I have hit. Not because of luck, but because I have worked my ass off, stayed TRUE to myself, and said YES to opportunities that scared the fuck out of me.

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.
I LOVE KANSAS CITY. I don’t think people know how fun it is….but honestly that’s fine by me.

KC is a very artistic community. Supportive of the arts, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and most importantly, it’s such a down to earth, friendly community.

My favorite places to shop local:
*Whiskey & Bone boutique
*boutiques in Town Center, Zona Rosa & Brookside.
*ANY store in the (ALL locally owned) West Bottoms

My favorite places to be a tourist are:
*Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
*The Crossroads District
*Kauffman Performing Art Center
*Kauffman Memorial Rose Garden
*Loose Park/ country club Plaza

Favorite Restaurants:
*Tribe Street Kitchen in the River market
*Billie’s Grocery (Westport/midtown)
*Cafe Caphe (Vietnamese coffe)
*Easy As Pie (pop ups & online order)
*Char Bar (Westport)
*Garozzo’s (Downtown)

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband, David Lee, first and foremost. For NEVER giving up on me, for supporting me in the dark times, for being my strength when I had none, for calling me on my bullshit, and for showing me it’s ok to be vulnerable, and encouraging me to share my story. He has always been my biggest cheerleader, my number 1 fan, and truly a light in the darkness for me. I wouldn’t be here today without him.

My sober mentor, Jason McDonald, who lost is own battle with addiction Sept 2020. He was a HUGE part of my sober journey and encouraging me to stay on track. He was such a source of joy & inspiration in my life ?and many others). I would call or text him when I felt I needed a drink and he would listen to me cry and help me work through those tough moments.

Website: Www.platinumgiraffe.com

Instagram: ThePlatinumGiraffe

Image Credits
@ Phonwills_photo

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