It's Wise Women Wednesday, each week I interview a woman that I believe is inspiring, living abundantly and following her passions. These are all women who live a life of abundance and bring creativity into the world.
Q. Who are you? What is your background?
A. My name is Azalea Yow. I grew up in the tiny town of Seagrove, NC. My father influenced my love of the woods, hillsides, and the creek that ran through them by taking me on walks and adventures filled with nature and ancestry lessons . My mother influenced my love for creativity with her beautiful singing voice, belly dancing, painting, carving, and cake decorating. I was raised to help others, to conserve, to entertain and to share my gifts and abilities. I have an Associates degree in Arts but I developed a fear of failure as an artist, a fear of becoming a struggling waitress (I sucked at waiting tables.) But I needed to feel creative so I enrolled in an Esthetics program, not for the sake of beauty but more of a love of color and creativity with makeup and this country girl fell in love with all things skin. Although I originally set out to do makeup, Brazilian bikini waxing became what I was known for. Early in my career I was nicknamed "Azalea the bush-wacker.” This still cracks me up, but seriously it became my bread and butter, my main money maker. Over time I developed more of my confidence in skincare through experience and a love for traveling and education. After 9 years in the industry I opened my own skin therapy studio along with a friend called Emerge Skin Therapy. Emerge was my first baby. My husband Joseph and I have another child together. Her name is Sophie and we are living that four year old dream through her right now. We are all learning, exploring, creating and teaching each other.
Q. What is your work?
A. I am a licensed Esthetician (skin therapist) with 16 years experience in the treatment room. I went out on my own almost 7 years ago. I wanted to provide products of my own choosing and treatments of my own creation in an environment of my own design. We offer all the popular skin care services like waxing, eyelash enhancements and facials but I don't care much for trends, just providing high quality, results driven treatments. The focus in my business, begins with the consultation and flows into the treatment room. My creativity and passion is sparked by each unique face that lies on my table. I love customizing each treatment and home care regimen to suit individual needs and concerns. We'll discuss professional products and treatments we recommend as well as things that you can be doing to take ownership of your skin health. Once you take ownership of your skin health with regular home care, treatments, and sometimes diet and lifestyle changes, you start to see a difference in your skin as well as feel a difference in how you're connecting with your own personal needs through self care. Once you are in the treatment room we have lots of unique treatment tools and modalities to enhance your overall facial experience. But the most important thing that we offer at Emerge is human touch and connection, and a safe place to connect on a deeper level with yourself through relaxation. People have told me my whole career how healing my touch was, I've always strived to give great service with great attention to detail but what I'm most proud of is how people feel when they leave my table. So it was a natural progression to introduce Reiki energy therapy into my practice this year and it has brought in a blessing of balance and abundance that I can't even explain.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. Right now I'm coming up with some things to accompany my new reiki practice. The work itself is so powerful and helps clients not only relax but take responsibility for their own energy and connect with their own physical and emotional needs. I'm finding that as people are taking ownership, they are looking for tools to work with at home, just like I provide for them after a facial. So I've created a custom blend sage spray to clear the energy from your home or office or set the mood for meditation without having to burn anything. I originally made it to use at work, so I wanted it to smell beautiful and it does! I'm also collaborating with a lovely friend, Anahita of Mind Your Peace and Hues, who is creating gemstone bracelets that we designed together with specific chakras and intentions in mind. Soon, I'll be working on some custom essential oil blends for clients to work with in endless ways and all of these offerings will be sold at Emerge and blessed with Reiki of course!
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. For Valentines Day I put out one video a day on my business Facebook page for 14 days straight. They were each about things that I love at Emerge Skin Therapy. I've wanted to do videos for years now to showcase some of the things at Emerge that I truly love to play with, and just to connect with my clients. I really love what I do and am hoping to expose people to something new in skin care that they could fall in love with as well. I've had so many ideas for videos over the years now, but I had too many self-limiting beliefs stalling my progress with putting anything out there. You know, stuff like "That's not professional enough, I left some info out, that's too boring, my skin's not perfect, what's my hair doing?, WHO'S GOING TO CARE ABOUT THIS?" It was very empowering to move past worrying about anyone's judgements and just do it. Sometimes you just have to take action and start somewhere, right? A mentor encouraged me to release one video and I challenged myself with fourteen in a row!
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it?
A. I love that the work I am doing is so helpful to so many. It's an added bonus that my work is fun and pays well. Just like I try to weave joy and creativity into all that I do, I also try to weave being helpful and compassionate into everything I do. Right now, I believe my purpose is to help people feel better about themselves, inside and out. There was such a theme in my own life this year about removing the masks, and I just want more women to feel better about all aspects of themselves, including what they look like under their makeup. Whenever you are coming from a place of self love and acceptance, you give others permission to do the same. This belief is personal of course because I am a work in progress myself, and I am open to any new experiences and lessons that may reveal a greater purpose for me in the future. Also, I am part of a beautiful network of mentors and I am discovering that another part of my purpose right now is to help make connections for people to get the inspiration or guidance that may align perfectly with their journey. I've always had the attitude, even in business, that if I can't help you or I don't have the answer, I'll do my best to find someone who can.
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Don't stop creating. When you feel lost, head into nature. You will wander so far from home, this will scare the hell out of your parents so please check in with them more often. You will travel and experience a lavish lifestyle, you are meant to experience it, so enjoy it whenever you can but finding the joy in your simple life will bring you just as much pleasure. You will experience true love and true loss and you will grow tremendously from both. Your gifts will take you far but you will work yourself into exhaustion and you'll silence yourself into illness, don't suffer in silence. Speak your truth and choose authenticity over people pleasing. You will lose yourself out there..... but don't worry, you are going to come home to yourself, your true self. And you are going to LOVE her.
Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling "This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!"
And each day, it's up to you, to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say "No. This is what's important." ~Lain S Thomas
Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. When I look back over my life at times that I was not creating anything, i feel a great loss and I can see holes. I can see a girl desperate to fill the holes with things that make other people happy. As I continue to reconnect with my own inner creative self, I am learning to heal and fill them with my own light. When I weave creativity into every aspect of my life, it unfolds in the most beautiful and joyful ways, attracting even more beauty and joy.
Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. Just that it’s never too late to overcome self limiting beliefs around your capacity for creativity. I hadn't picked up a pencil or paintbrush in at least 10 years and when I finally did, I was blown away by what wanted to come through me. I used to say I wasn't crafty, I wasn't a baker, etc. I would hate on the crafty, crunchy granola moms who would make everything from scratch. Well now you can hate on me because I've tried my hand at some baking and some crafting and I love it, it brings me great pleasure and joy to create in a new way. Now if I could just get creative with how to find more time to do these sorts of things, I'd be set. This is my newest intention, to break through the self limiting belief that I don't have enough time to balance the should’s with the want’s.
Q. Favorite yoga pose?
A. Ha ha that would have to be Uttenasana. I'm an over thinker so I love the brain dump feeling I get from this one. But for some reason I can't do it without Master P in my head like a No Limit Soldier "Make 'em say UUUUUUUhhh-ttenasana...ttenasana..." I'm such a dork.
Q. How do you live a life of Abundance?
A. By identifying the abundance already present with appreciation and gratitude and trusting in a constant flow of more abundance coming my way. If I'm not feeling this way, then I know I need to slow down, maybe sleep it off and realign myself in the morning. I love repeating this mantra on my morning commute "Everything is always working out for me."