We had the good fortune of connecting with Stevie Carter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stevie, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Initially I didn’t. I toured the Aveda Institute Atlanta when I was 18 years old, right out of high school. I knew I wanted to do hair, but at the time I was young and intimidated and decided to take the traditional college route. Fast forward about 15 years, I had finished graduate school with a MBA and was working in corporate Atlanta and just really wasn’t satisfied with my career. I made good money but I just didn’t really care about what I was doing and couldn’t imagine sitting at a desk for the rest of my working life. My fiancé and I were driving to dinner one evening and we stopped at a red light, right next to a salon. I said, “this is going to sound crazy but I want to admit something to you. Every time I pass a salon I look inside and wish I was the person behind the chair. I still want to be a colorist and a creative. That’s what I want.” Instead of thinking I was crazy for wanting a career change, he drove me to the Aveda Institute Atlanta that same week and helped me enroll. So it took me years to pursue my dream career, but when I finally did I went all in and never looked back. I feel fulfilled now, work doesn’t feel like work. I love playing with color and helping clients feel beautiful and badass.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a hairdresser and I do consider hairdressing of all kinds to be an art form. I’m a colorist at heart, and while I love all color, I specialize in vivids. When I’m working on a vivid project I feel like a kid with a huge box of crayons and I’m super happy and excited. I didn’t set out to become a vivids specialist, but after my first head of blue hair I was hooked. I love pushing the boundaries with color, seeing what kinds of custom colors I can create for my clients. No two vivid clients will ever get the exact same colors. Each color and placement of color is nuanced for each person so that they are truly getting an unique customized look created just for them. I really love involving my clients in the creative process too; sometimes I’ll even bring them to the color bar with me and we’ll chat and do a little color mixing together until we’re happy with what we’re seeing. Getting your hair done should be a fun experience, so I try to make that happen for each client that sits in my chair.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Atlanta has an amazing craft beer scene, so I’d definitely take my friend to some of my favorite breweries. Orpheus Brewing has hands down the best sours in the city, and Monday Night Brewing is a blast. We’d also have to go for Korean BBQ at Iron Age, and of course check out Ponce City Market. Oh, and go for ice cream at Krog Street Market.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
JD Delaney, my fiancé, deserves so much love and recognition for helping me get to where I am today. He encouraged me, nearly demanded, that I take a leap of faith and make a career change. He wanted me to be a hairdresser as much as I wanted to be one, and made sure I could make that transition with as little stress as possible. He packed my lunches every day, always had the coffee ready in the mornings, worked overtime so I didn’t have to, and assured me I was making the right decision whenever I doubted myself. He said he had never seen me so passionate about anything before and he wasn’t going to let anything stand in my way.