An Interview with Wax Artist and Aesthetician Melanie Wiley
I love weirdos. Don’t worry, today’s bitch won’t mind me calling her that. She’s seen my bikini line, so I’m allowed some leeway. Plus, she would be the first to tell you she’s 100% weird. Here’s what I love about weirdos, they have a big heart, and Melanie is no exception.
Melanie came into my life during my obsessive exercise phase. What, you didn’t have one of those? I was swimming a lot and needed my body hair removed on the reg. Legs in the air, I would almost fall asleep on her table because I had been up exercising since 4:45am. Melanie would ask why I was doing it and I would say something like, I don’t know, I’m so miserable! A lot has changed in four years. I quit working out like I was training for the Olympics and Melanie moved salons. Now we see each other at my favorite place in Nashville, Gift Horse (she works next door). Meet today’s bitch, Melanie Wiley!
What is your job title and where do you work?
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Never pass up a trip to New York or Paris. This advice is absolutely right. You shouldn’t pass those things up. People still need a little magic and spontaneity in their life, which is something I have a hard time with.
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
You are never actually “stuck” no matter how much you feel that way. I’ve had salons try to enforce extreme non-compete contracts after being hired. People try to intimidate you and scare you into staying and working for them. I’ve definitely felt stuck in a work environment and unhappy. It’s good to know that you’re never unable to do something to change your circumstances. This can be applied in every aspect of life, in my opinion. If you don’t like something or are in a rut, change it. You deserve to be happy.
What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to what you do?
I was the first, and so far only, to graduate at White House High School with a cosmetology license by taking the course.
I also won a scholarship while in high school by competing in SkillsUSA for aesthetics. I placed 3rd the first time and 1st the second time. My models both years received scholarships, as well.
I had three licenses including cosmetology, aesthetics and real estate by the age of 20. I’ve felt that this is something to be proud of and successful at such a young age. Especially when everyone pushes traditional college.
How do you decompress at the end of the work day?
SILENCE. I need quiet and alone time to decompress. I’m actually an outgoing introvert. I take care of so many people a day. I absorb their energy, and it is emotionally draining. Plus, my mouth hurts from talking so much.
What is one thing everyone gets wrong about what you do?
I am always dumbfounded when people ask, “Did you go to school for this?” as I am multiple strips into their bikini wax. Yes, legally I have to have a license to touch and charge you for the services you are receiving.
What does self care look like in your life?
Self care is very important to me. I need my body for work. That’s how I financially survive. My body is always aching. I receive regular chiropractic care and Thai massages. This year, I recently started tapping therapy (recommended by my chiropractor) to help with my right arm always being tight and aching. Apparently, your body holds on to negative memories and emotions. Surprisingly, I actually do feel better after crying a lot and working through emotional things I didn’t even realized that bothered me.
Another thing that I started doing this year is working out again and focusing on strength training, which helps a lot of people like me who stand and use their body all day for work. I also spend time doing things like face masks, naps, having time alone to myself, and going for walks or hikes. I’m still learning about ways to better care for myself.
How do you feel about social media?
I love/hate it. It’s amazing how you can have inspirations and get completely sucked down a rabbit hole in just a few moments of scrolling. I keep up with fashion trends, look at makeup, follow other techniques and products in my field, and can keep up with friends and follow their lives. I hate that I feel like I always need to be plugged in and posting. I’ve found that a lot of my friends and clients like seeing what my life is like or what nasty ingrown hairs I pull out of people. I deleted all apps on my phone for a week and missed it. I also felt odd when I would talk about things and couldn’t show the person exactly what I was talking about. It’s a weird time to be alive.
Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?
I was raised by two women, my mother and grandmother. Granny Janet is definitely the strongest and most caring person in the family. Everyone depends on her. She paid for everything I did growing up and supported me. She taught me to take care of number one, aka myself. She is hard-working, which is probably where I get my workaholic and independent attitude from. I also acquired her love for clothes. She says I have a champagne taste and a beer pocketbook.
Tiffany Goats, my cosmetology instructor, was an amazing influence in my life. She definitely inspired and supported me in many ways. She encouraged and pushed me to graduate high school with my cosmetology license. She even drove me to my licensure tests! I wouldn’t be where I am without her. She is a genuinely good person. She taught not just hair, but life lessons for us young women. She is a wonderful example of a successful woman. I looked up to her as a young girl. I’m very thankful for her and glad to call her my friend.
Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite podcast and snack?
Podcast: Two Less Lonely Girls. It’s two adult women obsessed with Justin Bieber. It makes me laugh. Honestly, I didn’t even care about Justin before this podcast. Look at me now.
Snack: Saltines. I just love them. Also, spicy bread and butter pickles (I’m not pregnant).
P.S. Meet my last bitch: Sydney Blanchard, Freelance Writer and Social Media Manager!
P.P.S. See a full list of all my Bitches here!