Girl You Gotta Know: Katelyn of Ryn's Roost

1. Tell me a little about yourself, what you do and where we can find you.

I'm always either just settling into one town or moving to a new one. My husband and I move often and are in the process of moving again; we have no idea where our next adventure awaits. I'm currently a full time mom taking care of my baby girl, easily the best job I've ever had. You can typically find me breast feeding in a comfortable spot on my couch, writing my next blog post, or outside strolling my daughter. Life has a funny way of always keeping me on my toes, and had you asked me this same question a year ago, I would have had a very different answer--before Ryn, I was a hairstylist and makeup artist working in a fast-paced salon. Obviously a lot can change in a year! My mom and I started Ryn's Roost, named after my daughter Ryn, as way of sharing our passion. She's an Esthetician and makeup artist. She's also really knowledgeable in health and wellness. I also started a youtube channel to share ways to cut and color your hair at home and apply makeup. {Laura's note - also be sure to check out her Instagram!}

2. You quit a job working in a toxic environment when you found out you were pregnant. Can you tell us more about that experience? The environment, the motivation and finally how you came to this difficult choice. If you had to make the decision again, would you? 

I loved my job, the energy, my clients, being creative, and the thrill of not knowing what I would be doing next. Keratin straightening was probably my biggest motivating factor to leave. It made me feel physically ill. My chest would burn; I would feel faint and nauseated. I refused to give keratin treatments to my clients, but my coworkers performed them often, and as soon as the process began, the entire salon would fill with smoke and I would start reacting. It's not like I was the only one, either. Clients would cough and complain of the smell, and I've actually witnessed a woman pass out while having it done. She had no health issues and refuses to get one again. Keratin straightening (Brazilian blowouts) should be banned. It's a horrible chemical with a scary level of formaldehyde and other toxic ingredients and carcinogens, but people seem to dismiss this for their vanity. 

I knew that type of workplace wasn't healthy, but there weren't any salons in my area that used safer products. When I found out I was pregnant, I decided I couldn't let an innocent, unborn child develop in this toxic environment -- I immediately called my manager and told her to cancel my clients and that I wouldn't be returning. It wasn't an easy decision for me, but I don't regret my choice and would 100% do it the same way, except maybe stop working sooner. The more I read the more I know I made the right decision. 

3. What are the worst hair care mistakes you see women make?

Getting a cut and color based off of a picture or what they see on someone else. You have to take your face shape and coloring, hair texture the amount of time you're willing to spend on your hair everyday into consideration. Unfortunately not every cut, color or style looks good on everyone. A good stylist should always help guide their client

 

4. Tell me about your morning routine. Is there anything you make sure to do everything to have the best start?

I start my morning with a warm cup of lemon ginger water. It's refreshing and it makes me feel good. I typically follow that with a big bowl of oatmeal. There is nothing worse than eating a meal for breakfast that makes you feel terrible the rest of the day. That used to be me: French toast, pancakes, or a sugary latte, and I didn't understand why I was so lethargic and crummy feeling. 

5.  What are some ways you practice wellness in your busy routine? 

I practice wellness through the way that I eat. I'm not on any diet, and I don't restrict myself. I eat everything: fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, but I try to make healthy decisions for the majority of my meals. Whenever I make a less healthy choice, I don't beat myself up. I let myself enjoy it. I'm also lucky to have a husband who loves to cook, he spoils me with delicious meals.

I'm also trying to practice meditation by calming my mind and enjoying the quiet moments. I'm an over-thinker, so this has been difficult for me. I started meditating while I was pregnant, and I got through labor without an epidural by meditating and listening to calming music, so I guess it's working for me.

6. What's an adventure you'd love to take?

I've always wanted to go on a safari in Africa. I love animals, and I'd love to watch them in their natural habitat. 

7. What makes you feel super healthy?

I feel super healthy when I eat well. This doesn't mean juicing everyday (although that does make me feel great), but I'm talking about a healthy balanced diet. I also drink a LOT of water. Especially now that I'm nursing, but I've always loved water. It sounds strange but that's what we grew up drinking, so I hope to instill that in my daughter as well. 

8. What's the best advice you've ever received?

I actually just started reading a book called Mindful Motherhood, and it's given me a whole new perspective on being mindful. Mindfulness is about being present in the moment without additional stories or emotions running through your head, having fewer judgments or anxiety-provoking thoughts, and controlling your outlook on any given situation. Really being present in every moment is harder than it seems, and it's something I'm working on.

9. Is there any advice you can give another woman who may be struggling with the decision to leave a toxic environment in order to save her health?

I would tell her that no amount of money in the world can bring back your health. Spending your day in a toxic work environment isn't worth the possible risk of anything happening to you. We all have a voice and purchasing power, and we can use our voices to enact change. I hope to one day see unnecessary toxic chemicals banned. 

I would also tell her that you don't have to live in a non-glam world to eliminate harmful ingredients! There are so many great alternatives to more commonly used products. That's why I started a blog, to show everyone that you can be mindful of your health without giving up high-performing luxury beauty products.