Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Aldona Stefanczyk…I’m hairstylist…I’ve been doing hair for over 20 years and I currently work at Sugar Hair Salon… I’m a single mother of two boys. Gilbert is 18 and Albert is 13. Gilbert starts college next school year. He has decided to continue his academic and football career at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Albert will start a new chapter in his life, too. He starts highschool. I also attend school. One day… It was Sunday I decided I’d like to add something to my current profession. I had something in my mind but I wasn’t 100% sure. I thought and I let it go… I always do it if I need inspiration. On the same day in the afternoon I decided to check what’s going on on Facebook. The first post that appeared to me was the page of The NLP Training Institute of Chicago and School of Business & Life Coaching. When I saw it, I stated that it was the answer to my question and so from October 2020 I became a student of this school. It is well known that a hairdresser is the best therapist, so why not be a pro in this field too. I will beautify my clients from the outside and inside
What is your story?
I was born and raised in Poland. I came to the USA 17 years ago with my husband and 15 months old son Gilbert. My other son Albert was born five years later… It was a big challenge … I didn’t know what to expect … I never regretted this decision … if we didn’t take that risk then I would never be who I am now and I would’n achieve what I have today … in the further part of the interview you will see what I am talking about.. Yes I am a happy and fulfilled woman who has already achieved a lot, but there is still a lot in front of me …
How to achieve your goals? Just trust … who? The answer is in you…..
Your dream was to move to the United States, what did you feel like when that dream came true? What was the experience of moving to the US like?
I have dreamed of moving to the United States since I can remember. I came here for the first time as a student. I knew I would come back. I was only a few weeks but I had a chance to get to know America from the worst and the best side. When it turned out that we had drawn the Green Card, I was both excited and terrified. It meant that I had to turn my whole life upside down. A peaceful life in a small Podkarpackie city turns into life in a huge Chicago. Packing my whole life to 5 suitcases was quite a challenge. I was already married and the mother of a 15-month-old son. Leaving all my life in Poland, especially my beloved mother, was a very hard and sad experience for me. I remember hours full of tears.She knew it was my dream and she was really tough but only outside. My mother-in-law, a wonderful woman, welcomed us here.I started working at the hair salon on Belmont Ave in Chicago , and my husband, like many Polish men, started working as a contractor. Typical beginning of a Polish immigrants in America. It wasn’t easy. Life did not spoil me. There were ups and downs, but I never regretted my decision.
I changed salons looking for my place, and after my son’s birth I started working at my house. I had my studio in the basement and I made money this way. Yes, I said it on purpose, because although I always liked hairdressing, now I see that then, it was my main goal … to make money. It is different today, but more on that later…
How did you know you wanted to pursue a career in hair and life coaching? When did you realize that was your calling in life?
I will say a little bit about my background. I come from a long family history of a talented hairstylist. My mom was a hairdresser and her mother was a hairdresser too.I never thought I’d be a hairdresser. I can say that I did not choose hairdressing, but it chose me. I graduated in Poland with a master’s degree at AGH University of Science and Technology, faculty of marketing and management. I’ve always seen myself as an office worker. During my studies at the university I already started helping my mother to run her salon. Being there I began to learn the profession of a hairdresser and slowly started working as a hairdresser. I am very grateful to all people and especially my mother, that it happened.She gave me that foundation on which I am building my career now. She gave me all that secrets that allow me to be a good hairdresser but the rest is my talent.. :)))
So after 12 years of working at home, I started working at the salon….Sugar Hair Salon. Every day I express my gratitude for the moment when this work came to me. Yes … and again, I was found by work, I was not looking. Today I can say that it was just the right moment….
Working at the salon has allowed me to train my skills much faster than before, and I met many people who caused me to look at hairdressing completely differently. I discovered that it is not only making money, but also my passion and hobby.There is a saying that if you love what you do, you won’t work a single day in your life … I experience it every day.
I have to mention here a few people who more or less consciously contributed to pushing me out of my comfort zones. The first is Magdalena Goncerzewicz @Maggie Gee (@maggiegeehairdesign). She always believed in me more than I did in myself. The other person is ruthless @catheree_studio Katarzyna Golab We call her the Social Media Queen. Her professional approach to work shows that everyting is possible. In her opinion there is nothing that you can’t. There are many other people whose faith and support allowed me to believe in myself, but these two people have the biggest impact on my professional development. There is one more person, when it comes to the profession, this is our educator from @Matrix @Caryn Vanderbuilt, her positive energy and her incredible knowledge makes you want to know more and more.
As everyone knows, the hairdresser is the best therapist and it is true, we know practically everything about our clients …. I personally love listening to my clients and talking about their life. It is definitely part of my job. To do that in a more professional way, I started studying at the NLP Training and Life Coaching School in Chicago led by @annabarauskaslifecoach. It will allow me to enrich clients from inside and outside…
What was the biggest obstacle you’ve been faced with, and how did you overcome it? What did you learn from it?
I can say that a lot happened at the turn of 2015/2016, which indicated a change in my view of the world and life. . My marriage broke up and my beloved mother died at the same time. I understood then the saying that nothing happens without a reason, that even the worst situation can turn into something good. When I said goodbye to my mother, I knew that I would beat everything. Mom was a very important person in my life, I miss her very much. Watching her go away, I understood how fragile life is. We are here and in a moment we are gone. It made me realize that nothing should be done later, because it may not be later. I re-evaluated my life back then. I saw who and what is important in my life. Yes, it was definitely a turning point in my life.
Did you ever have moments of doubt? How did you continue to push yourself to follow your dreams?
Of course, so many times, but there was always a thought in my head “tomorrow is a new day”. It helped me gather myself even after the worst storm and move forward. One day I had such a moment of awakening. I have always believed that everything is due to others. I thought that everything I have and where I am is because of others until I got such an amazing AHA moment after one particular situation. Then I “discovered” that I got so many opportunities from life and people, but it was my knowledge and my skills that allowed me to get to the place where I am now. I love my life …..
You experienced “miracles” throughout your lifetime. What are some of these “miracles” that changed your life and perspective?
The two greatest miracles I have experienced in my life are for sure my sons Gilbert and Albert. Great boys, and it’s not because they are my sons. Two completely different but wonderful personalities. We have such a great relationship….I’m definitely proud and lucky mother
The moment that changed my life and perspective, that changed myself… was the day I met my therapist. I began an amazing journey into myself under the watchful eye of a wonderful man @Lech Konrad Figurski. It was an unforgettable experience. Sometimes difficult and painful, but I’m so grateful every day that I was given the opportunity to go through that process. I can tell I was born again.. Different Aldona . . I highly recommend his services. A wonderful man and therapist. I am thinking here that we should not be afraid of asking for help. This is not a sign of weakness, but a tremendous strength.
What advice would you like to share with others that has helped you throughout your journey? Are there any quotes that you “live” by?
LIke I said before… never give up… there’s always tomorrow
Don’t be afraid to dream and follow your dreams. They come true … not always when we want to, but when we are ready for it…and not always the way we would like.
A lot of my dreams have already come true, a few are waiting for their time. The way to get some of them wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. A certain thought comes to my mind now … we make these dreams come true by ourselves … sometimes without realizing it
Which of your achievements are you most proud of?
I am proud of many things. Most of my children. There was a moment when our life were upside down. I didn’t know what the next day would bring us. However, the boys did a great job … They are wonderful responsible young men
I am very proud of my professional achievements. I was chosen for the Matrix Artist in Training program. From over 200 applications, only 50 were selected and I am in this group. This means that I have demonstrated the skills, presence and passion necessary to become a great Artist with Matrix and Biolage. I can’t wait to inspire stylist and salon owners to capture their dreams and create beauty.
What are your next goals? What else are you working towards?
My main goal is to complete the above mentioned training and develop in this direction. No less important for me is graduating from The Neurolinguistic ProgrammingTraining Institute of Chicago- School of Business & Life Coaching. These are the two main goals for now but there are many other smaller ones…both in work and private life….
What does being Simply Unstoppable mean to you?
For me, Simply Unstoppable means that we can always achieve our goals regardless of the circumstances, that the difficulties of life will not stop us. I always ask my children if I hear something can’t be done… Have you tried hard enough?…there is really good Oprah Winfrey’s quote:
“DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO UNTIL YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO’.
How can readers get in contact with you to continue this conversation?
It will be amazing if my story inspires someone … if someone is willing to talk or if there are any questions … I am available… always
You can find me on social media Facebook / Instagram as @AldonaHairAddict