We had the good fortune of connecting with Marisa Factor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marisa, what’s the end goal, career-wise?
This is a question I have been mulling over a lot recently and trying to conceptualize more clearly for myself. There are so many directions to go in this industry and so much competition, I find it easier and easier to compare my work to that of others and feel inadequate as I observe influencers (most of them not even licensed cosmetologists!) blow up on social media. Ever since I started beauty school, my goal was never to stop behind the chair; I always wanted my career to transcend past that into a more creative space, and I definitely feel the most in my element when I’m working freelance jobs that allow me to collaborate with other artists. I love being on sets and backstage. I would ultimately love for my two worlds, professional dance and HMUA, to collide and have had a long time dream of working in a theatre. By the end of my career I would love to be represented by an agency so that I can stay based in Colorado but have bigger opportunities that include travel. Working fashion week in New York in 2019 had me feeling like I was living my dream life for the weekend and that was really exciting and motivating. I’m also a product junkie and huge advocate for sustainable beauty, so I could see myself one day developing my own product line in leu of creating a less green washed, more green industry.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I went to school for cosmetology in tandem with high school, so I got licensed and started working two months after graduating. I started my own LLC and began booth renting May of 2015, so about 7 years into my career. I think what sets me apart from others is that I stay authentic to what I want to do and strive to stay original. I prioritize my independence and definitely dance to the “beat of my own drum” which is why I am much better off working for myself! Right now I’m most proud of the fact that I am working completely independently; I currently have my own one room studio at Salon Republic Flatirons. This move has given me so much freedom in that I am no longer running my business inside someone else’s business, I don’t have to tow that line anymore and that feels expansive. Career-wise it has been easy in the sense that I continue to find myself in the right place at the right time, it has not been easy for the fact that it’s an extremely competitive industry, and because what we do is by nature emotional. I have screwed up a lot and have been screwed over a lot! I overcame the challenges by surrounding myself with an amazing community of artists who support each other. Today, the people I have in my corner are as real as they come, and I love them so much for it. As far as the lessons I’ve learned along the way, the list is never ending. My career has taught me everything: professionalism, tolerance, artistry, class, maturity, patience, boundaries, confidence, self expression, compassion. I want the world to know that when I’m working with you, there are no judgements or prejudice. This goes back that word “tolerance”, I support you 100% when you’re in my hands. I believe I’m here to help people express themselves authentically, but in order to do that I have had to first find a way to do that for myself. It’s taken a long time, but I’m getting the hang of it. 🙂
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?
If my best friend were coming to visit from out of state, we would first start in Denver exploring The Zeppelin Center, DCM and street art in RiNo, DMOCA, and hopefully catch a performance my friends are producing. I’m not much of a drinker, but your girl can definitely eat. Uchi, White Pie in uptown, Sushi Den on s. Pearl, Safta, and Maria Empanada on s. Broadway are some of my favorite spots. We would also definitely order in from LupaFurba one night! We would pay our respects to Red Rocks, Flagstaff, walk around Pearl street, then hop on i70 and catch some wild hot springs on our way to Aspen before having dinner at Betula!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Definitely the first woman I ever worked for, Mary Cahill, is who I will always credit my foundation to. She was really the only mentor I have had in my life, and I’m so grateful for all the education and opportunities she offered me. I met Mary fresh out of beauty school when I was 18 and had probably had my hairstylist license for all of one month at that time. She had just sold her former business and was opening a totally new salon concept. I went on to work for and train under her for the first four years of my career. Meeting Mary was such a pivotal “right place at the right time” moment for me, truly a spring board that launched me into so much growth. She shaped the way I see beauty. The most encouraging part of it all, for certain, was that Mary saw me for the person I was striving to become, and that was so needed at that time and so empowering.