We had the good fortune of connecting with Danielle Nelson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danielle, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
In 2018, I was going through a transitional period in my life where I needed change. My grandmother, Mary Lillie had passed away and it really affected me and my family. I needed an outlet and I felt a need to begin something new. I decided to enroll into cosmetology school to pursue my passion has a hairdresser. While attending Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy in Colorado Springs, I discovered that I was pregnant. The moment I found out, I knew that I needed to work incredibly hard to complete the program and get my cosmetology license.
I dove right in to the program head on. I enjoyed learning so much about the beauty industry, techniques and I truly loved my peers around me. I felt as though this was my calling and I want my own business. I came up with the Lillie’s Cutz & Stylez because I wanted to carry on my Grandmother’s name. I also named my daughter Promise Lillie with the same intent. I want to carry a legacy that honors my Grandmother and I want my daughter to benefit from the foundation I am laying out for her.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I genuinely love what I do and I love my clients. What sets me apart is that I am continuously learning and always trying to improve. I listen to my client needs and I want to maintain healthy habits for them and their hair. I even started making my own hair products just so I can ensure that I am meeting the expectations of my clients. I am proud of how far I have come in the past three years. In 2018, I had no idea what direction my life would go. Now I am a Licensed Cosmetologist, I have grown my clientele and started my own product line.
This road has not been easy. Discovering that I was pregnant while in cosmetology school was a big challenge for me. Luckily, I have the support of my mother and family to help me with my baby girl. I used my pregnancy as motivation to be successful. I also had to complete school when the Covid-19 Pandemic began. Everything was closed and switched to virtual learning. I had just began to practice for my cosmetology licensing test and finalizing my state required grades. I essentially had to complete the program via zoom in my basement. I was determined to complete what I started despite all of the uncertainty around me.
The biggest lesson I have learned is that if you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen. We are the controllers of our futures. Utilizing the support around you and keeping a positive thought process will encourage you to keep going.
I want the world to know that Lillie’s Cutz & Stylez will always put client needs first. We are a brand that will continue to grow throughout the years to come. Our mission is to promote healthy hair care and to make every client feel properly cared for when they come to visit.
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?
Colorado Springs, Colorado has so many great things to offer. If you were to come hang with me for a week. First , I will take you to the best barbershop in town, Faded and Braided! This is where I currently operate as an independent stylist as Lillie’s Cutz & Stylez. All of our barbers are so talented, it will be hard to pick which one to go to! If you are in need of styling, my chair is where you need to be.
For food , I would first take you pick up some Lil Howard’s BBQ for food! Best fried catfish in town hands down! From brisket to ribs and a bunch of sides to choose from, you’ll probably want to order two dinners so you can try it all. The food is cooked to order and the customer service is outstanding. If you are a sushi fan, Fujiyama located downtown is my favorite. The atmosphere is so relaxing and the sushi is absolutely delicious. It’s a great place for friends to hang out right before they hit downtown for the night. For breakfast, The Denver Biscuit company would be my first choice. Also located downtown, the portion sizes of food are huge! You can share or enjoy it for yourself. If for any reason you have no idea what you want to eat, I’ll take you to COATI Uprise where you have a variety of food stands, coffee and cocktails to choose from. The industrial vibe, live entertainment and games will keep us occupied for a while.
There is no way to avoid hiking when you hang out with me. Mount Muscoco Trailhead located in North Cheyenne Canon is my absolute favorite. It’s a fairly long hike so bring lots of water and lunch. Once you reach the top of the summit, the views are unforgettable. The best part about it, is that there is cellular service at the top! You can take as many videos and pictures as you want and post them for everyone to see.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would to dedicate my shoutout to a few people. First, I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my grandmother, Mary Lillie for inspiring me to always do my best and be myself. Second, I would like to dedicate this to my daughter Promise Lillie and my mother Janice Frazier. They both motivate me and drive me to be successful. Last, I would like dedicate this to all of my instructors, peers and clients. All of them have been so supportive in my journey and my success would not exist if I did not have them.
Culture Media Productions, One Body ENT, K-Fadez Faded, Skyhigh Barber ,and Braided Barbershop