We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessie Matthews and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Without taking risks, nothing would be created. To me risk taking is a dance of courage and surrender. It really takes something for me to continue to show up for myself and for others as a demonstration of the possibility I am creating. It is demanding and takes some grit, discipline, and humility because oftentimes when we start something new, there is a lot that is calling for us to fail, even if it is our own inner saboteur. It’s important to work through that while living a created life- to work through the imposter syndrome and just keep showing up as this new possibility.. Its less about proving it to myself or the world and more about demonstrating to the Universe that I am willing to show up for “that thing” and that I am worth of it. Someone told me something once that I have never forgotten, “Deserving power isn’t something that is given to you. You have to take it for yourself.” I still carry that lesson with me and I continue to show up because I know that whatever I am working towards is ultimately up to me to create. As momentum builds, confidence grows, and then I just keep going.
What were your thoughts around starting your own business?
I had been working as a hairstylist for over three years when I decided that working for myself would be in the highest alignment for my own joy. I started working for myself officially around 2016. After three years working for myself and with a coworker/mentor, I decided it was time to “dial it in” and focus what I had learned with that mentor to create my own brand so that I could more easily become mobile in the future if I switched salons or even wanted to become a traveling hairstylist/loctician. I needed a brand that was already an unfilled niche in the Boulder area and something that I could build off of. I wanted to infuse my personal journey of healing & spirituality with that brand without it being too woo-woo for the public. I finally chose to launch Bodhi Locks in the summer of 2019. I started with a photoshoot and a website and with what little I knew at the time about marketing myself on social media. That fall and winter, Bodhi Locks really took off. I have been refining how I create & recreate my business ever since.
What’s one thing about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Doing hair and dreadlocks is extremely taxing on the body and mind if you are not taking extra steps to maintain your health. For me it requires an incredible amount of time decompressing from the socializing and space holding with lots of silence. I have to be selective about the people I spend time with outside of work. I exercise 3-5 days per week by weightlifting, yoga, and hiking to maintain my strength along with regular sessions with my therapist. Doing hair is often referred to as “hairapy” so it’s important for me to prioritize self care routines as much as possible to maintain balance so that I can show up for clients beyond just doing their hair.
Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career?
It think that the Universe needs us to show up for ourselves and what we want before it really gives us what we think we deserve. Without taking risks, nothing would be created. To me risk taking is a dance of courage and surrender. It really takes something to continue to show up for myself and for others as a demonstration of the possibility I am creating. It is demanding and takes some grit because oftentimes when you start something new, there is a lot that is calling for you to fail…. Its important to work through that, to work through the imposter syndrome and just keep going. Its less about proving it for myself or others and more about demonstrating to the Universe that I am willing to show up for “that thing” and that I am worth of it. Someone told me something once that I have never forgotten, “Deserving power isn’t something that is given to you. You have to take it for yourself.” I still carry that lesson with me and I continue to show up because I know that whatever I am working towards is ultimately up to me to create.
Other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Meditation, Therapy, & Investing in Programs like Landmark that helped me to develop myself. Without these three things -Meditation mostly- I would probably be dealing with an extreme amount of suffering and still struggling with stories of disempowerment that were holding me back.
What is the most important factor behind your success / the success of your brand?
Integrity & Dynamism… No two days are the same, so it is important to be ready to adapt or create what is next at any given point. Sometimes I really have to drop my own shit at the door to show up for my clients and for my brand. Sometimes I have to soften to root down and hold space. Sometimes I have to completely reinvent the way I am running my business or literally create new locations depending on the need of the time. It takes showing up in my word as well as being able to “flow with it.”
Work life balance: how has your balance changed over time? How do you think about the balance?
I am always in refinement of how I balance work vs personal life… I think as an entrepreneur and artist I have to admit that my entire life is a created creative flow or vortex of some sort. For me the balance comes with making time for my self care needs like exercise, food & water. Meditation has been pivotal for me to maintain a high vibe and clear energy so that I know what I can do and in what timing things need to happen in… having a dog with needs also helps for me to pause on work so that I can take her out to the trails for some time in nature for both of us.
Do you have a favorite quote or affirmation? What does it mean to you / what do you like about it?
“Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field, I’ll meet you there.” – Rumi
For me this is about letting go of my own ego-dramas and need to be right or having it all figured out. It requires me to surrender to the space I’m holding with others and offers me an opportunity to remain open and curious while connecting… its incredible what comes through in the interaction when both parties can dance with each other in that way- or even if I am the only one consciously dancing with the other.
Why did you pursue an artistic or creative career?
I simply can’t not. It is my nature to remain open and free. I realized very quickly that I couldn’t do one thing for the rest of my life and that for me to follow my joy in any given moment was the most important thing that my soul needs… working for myself offers me the creative freedom of my dreams – literally – as well as the opportunity to keep innovating how I’m “doing life” without having to ask an employer for permission to really live life the way I want to. It forces me to create my own reality as well as my intended future.
What do you want your legacy to be? What do you want people to remember about you?
I want everyone to follow their bliss and never give up on their healing… its incredible what is on the other side of our healing process when we dig deep and don’t give up on ourselves no matter how far we might fall into our own darkness. Living a created life in joy as a basic navigation system is the ultimate freedom and how we really take our power back in a society that has trained us not to. I want people to see my life as a journey inward in pursuit of peace, harmony, and real life liberation.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My career as a hairstylist is way more than just being a hairstylist. It’s about holding space as a deep listener, healer, leader in my community, and being a never ending creator of my own reality. I think what the sets me apart from others is the ability to go deeper than the surface and see life symbolically and to operate from that place as a base point. And perhaps it’s my obsession with continuing to refine my own creative self and the projects I have invested in. How I got myself here today it was rather unconventional. Traditional schooling didn’t really suit me at the time and I did not feel called to spend thousands of dollars on a degree that I was not fully committed to. I chose to go the creative route and pursue Hairdressing until I knew what else I wanted to do. I discovered along the way that life ultimately was mine to create and that being a hairdresser was a huge gift and offered many skills that have nothing to do with hair. My journey has not been an easy one. I went through a lot of hardships in the beginning… Healing from abusive relationships included overcoming alcoholism, addiction, and deep childhood wounding that still lived inside of me. Along the way I had the pleasure of adopting one of my clients as a Shamanic Teacher. That is ultimately where my healing journey began. Working with her for two years and by taking myself through programs at Landmark gave me the access to overcome the stories that inhibited me before and to create myself fully from the ground up as a powerful creator and unique visionary. In that way it truly feels like I have lived many lives just in this one. I have learned that life is ultimately about declaring what you want and following through with action and integrity no matter what comes up to stop you. That is our power and magic and it is much easier said than done. I have learned along the way that it takes grit and patience and treating life as a practice and an ashram of sorts to get things moving when stuggles and challenges are a reoccurring theme. I’ve had to stick with it when nothing else was working and learn that my true inner happiness and freedom had nothing to do with what was outside of me. It has only been within the last few years through healing, self development, and starting a Vedic Meditation practice that I have seen magnificent and transformative results in my life. It is through this practice that I continue to refine my consciousness and see how it is reflected on the outside. What I want people to know about Bodhi Locks is that life in itself is a transformative journey and one that we have the power to root down in and take hold of for ourselves for our own liberation. To create our past as well as our future through the learning opportunities that life presents us and to reflect a sense of love and relatedness towards others along the way by embracing own unique creative expression and embracing the diversity in others.
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?
I would take people into the epic beautiful mountains that surround us to enjoy the beauty and connection with nature. We would go to my favorite taco restaurants and open mic nights or to concerts at intimate venues in the Boulder/Denver area as well as cook incredible meals at home and enjoy each other’s company. We would probably go camping and embrace beautiful silent moments with the fire under the stars, drink ceremonial cacao and share stories and possibilities that we wanted to create. These are just a few of my favorite things that I would want others to experience with me.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My sister Jordan for her unwavering reflection of belonging and radiance and for her stand for me.
My siblings Grace, Sam, & Jack for keeping it light and love and super real and for always teaching me how to be a better version of myself, and for loving me unconditionally.
My mom Kathy for always being my friend and support. For always loving me through our challenges and our lessons.
My dad Mark and step mother Lise for never doubting me and always knowing my own creative power even before I could see it for myself.
My grandma (Mum Mum) for my warrior spirit & fierce heart.
My meditation teacher Yashoda Devi Ma for offering me tools that take me to the source of my own being, inner radiance, and of true cosmic intelligence and for giving me a practice that bases me in Bliss Consciousness as a baseline level of happiness.
Landmark World Wide and all of the coaches & leaders for offering programs that give me the structure to develop myself to be a powerful leader, communicator, listener, and real AF human being.
My partner, Forest for his love and affection and doing life together.
My best friend Cassidee who is a fierce AF reflection of a badass warrior living her best life.
Instagram: @jessie.infinity & @bodhilocks
Cory Richards, Lisa Sicilliano, Edica Pacha