Monday, April 22, 2013

Cafe Della Casa - Coffee With the Masters - Hydie Knuckles, Bello In Home Salon

Typically, when I have Coffee with the Masters, I meet up with my interviewee at a local coffee shop or cafe.  But not when you are meeting with Hydie Knuckles, of Bello In Home Salon.... no, she is most comfortable chatting with you where ever you happen to be - whether it be your home, your office, or your community center.  Hydie is more than used to bringing the beauty to you, and I was more than happy to reciprocate and bring the coffee to her.  So with my Starbucks in hand, I sat down with Hydie Knuckles in her home in Saco, and we chatted about what it takes to be a successful female entrepreneur.

At first glance, you would never guess  that Hydie, once upon a time, used to get good and dirty up in The County- picking potatoes on her family farm... but that is just at a glance.  At first glance, you see a beautifully poised and polished woman.  Once you sit down and get half way through a cup of coffee with her, you realize you are talking to a hard working, industrious woman, whose labor of love is to bring beauty services to her clients.

"I really enjoy working with all kinds of people," Hydie explains..."from senior citizens who can't leave their homes easily to get their hair done, to people who may be recovering from an illness or an injury, or even professional women who are just too busy to leave their office, and find it more convenient for me to come them."

Hydie isn't your typical "hair and nails" beautician.  She really understands what it means to a woman's self-esteem and self-confidence to be polished, professional, and to put your best face forward.  Hydie is also Mrs. Maine United States 2010.  "It started out because when I was a child I had meningitis -I had to learn now to walk, talk, and gain motor skills all over again, so my mom enrolled me in activities that would support my fine motor skills.  She first signed me up for baton, and I loved it.  So she entered me in my first pageant when I was 5 years old - the 'Little Miss Potato Blossom' Pageant.  I did pageants all through my teens to get money for scholarships, and I did my last one when I was about 19 or 20."

So what brought you to compete in Mrs. Maine 2010? 

 "I just needed something at that time in my life.  I was turning 40, I had lost my corporate job, and it was really just a low time for me.  I had lost alot of myself working in that corporate career, and when it didn't work out I felt really lost.  A friend of mine pointed it out to me, and it just felt right.  I submitted the application on my 40th birthday! Little did I know, I really needed the boost - I needed to feel empowered, and ... ME again."

"When I walked across the stage in my bathing suit I was SO nervous! BUT I DID IT!"  She humbly beamed.  "After Mrs. Maine, I had the confidence I needed to start my own business.  I really want other women to feel beautiful, pampered and appreciated."  So she brings her services of hair, make-up, manicures, pedicures, and pampering to her clients - women who either can't physically get out to come to her, or to professional women who are too busy to schedule appointments outside of their office.  Personally, I have had Hydie come to my coaching office and she masterfully was able to cut my hair - WHILE I was chatting on my cell phone - talk about productivity and multi-tasking, and I looked great for the networking event I was going to that evening!

About halfway through our coffee date, Hydie's nine year old daughter Kiera came home from school.  Kiera also has performed in pageants and eagerly ran to her room to fetch her sashes and tiaras to show me. "I don't push her to do the pageants," Hydie said as Kiera dashed out of the room..."I mention when there is a pageant, and if she wants to do it, she does it... she really enjoys the talent part the best.  I only like her to do the shows for charity."  Kiera returned and showed me each of her prizes.  It was a very impressive collection, and she always places in talent - her talent being singing. 

"So Hydie, what are your keys to success?"

"OH! Can I answer?!" Kiera's hand enthusiastically flew up to answer my question.  Seriously, who can resist a nine year old beauty queen who is wearing a tiara and munching on an apple?

"Sure.... Kiera, what are your keys to success?"

"Well...." she put her finger to her lips thoughtfully....."You have to have a good product..."

I admit... I was blown away with her understanding of entrepreneurship.  "May I quote her?" and Mom nodded in approval.  "And... you have to have a good luck charm."  she added.

"What is your good luck charm Kiera?" I quizzed.

"ME!"  she bounced as she answered.  Wow. This kid has it going on! 

"What else do you need Kiera?"  Now, I am curious to know the entrepreneurial mind of a nine year old girl....

"You need a good family to support you... and lots of love."  OK. Time out to squeeze the kid!  After getting a good hug, I continued my interview.

"Wow, Kiera, that is very true - to run a business you need lots of love and support from your family." 

"YUP! AND You need to be CUTE - because CUTENESS SELLS!"  and with a flip of her hair and a giggle, she bounced out of the room, leaving Hydie and I to wipe our tears from admiration and adoration of such a great kid.  I noticed Hydie's mascara did not run... Hmmmm...

"So ya, a good product, a good luck charm, a family who loves and supports you - and being cute!"  Love it!

"So, Hydie, do you have anything to add to that?" 

"Oh my! How can I top that?!  But seriously, hard work, determination, treat others the way you want to be treated, and most importantly have faith in yourself..."  Her eyes spoke more than her words, reflecting her own story of self-made confidence.  Confidence is what she brings to her clients... confidence in the guise of beauty services and products.  

Driving home, I reflected on our coffee visit.  Hydie just has a magic about her that radiates beauty inside and out.  I noticed I was smiling as I drove.... and realized her love, sense of family and dedication to empowering beautiful women to be dazzling and brilliant is infectious.  Cuteness may sell, but inner beauty shines.  Hydie is indeed the Master of bringing out your inner beauty.

Thanks Hydie and Kiera for the warmth, laughter and a lovely cup of coffee....

"Cafe Della Casa" is an installment of  the "Coffee with the Masters." Series.   If you are a business owner in the Greater Portland Area who would like to chat over cup of coffee to share your keys to success and how to reach your Key Potential - please contact me.  I'm buying!

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