Coming Out Of Her Shell: Meet Sharon Hatala
Last year, Sharon Hatala decided to make a change. 6 months after completing Candid treatment, Sharon sat down with Candid to talk about life’s curveballs and finding a career that helps her confidence soar.
Candid: Who are you and how do you define yourself?
Sharon: Immediately I think wife and mother. Hair stylist. I would think that I'm kind, generous. I always tend to put others first. But a lot of that is because of my profession. And my faith, I'm a Christian. So that’s a big part of my life.
I’m an introvert. That goes without saying. I'm very shy.
It’s funny because choosing the career that I have has totally made me come out of my shell. I'm 100% on when I'm behind the chair. I can talk all day and not think about it. I can touch a complete stranger and be in my comfort zone. But get me out of that comfort zone and I am closed up.
What do you think it is about being a hairstylist that allows you to open up in that way?
Well, you have to [open up] to be successful. You have to. I’ve been doing this for 28 years. You have to build a relationship with these people. You have to gain their trust. And the more they know about you and feel comfortable with you, the more they open up. Then you just build these relationships and that’s how you build your clientele. So, you have to. You can’t be successful [in hair] and not have people skills. That really helped me.
I imagine you hear a lot of crazy stories — people really open up. I know I do. What’s the craziest stuff you’ve heard in the chair?
Jeez… it’s always about affairs. Always.
And then, like, a lot of health TMI. That kind of stuff. It’s funny. I’ve heard it all, pretty much.
What was it like when you first started working, learning you had to open up more?
Well, I love what I do, so it was very easy. Since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to do hair. I just love everything about it. My mom tried to talk me out of it — she tried to get me into an office or whatever… I had some interest in that but it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
And I got pregnant at a young age. That kind of, you know, put a little dent in [starting my career]. But thankfully [we had] our family and support. [My husband’s] mother watched my daughter while I went to school. And so it was just meant to be. It was very easy.
How would you define confidence?
Not being insecure. And not caring what other people think. I wish I didn’t care what other people think. I think I'm slowly — slowly — getting better at that. I’ve always been too worried about what other people think. But when you’re confident, you don’t really care as much.
When in your life do you feel most confident?
I probably feel more confident now than I ever have. That’s one of the great things about being in your 40s is that you become… irrelevant? There’s not as much pressure. Nobody’s looking at you, they’re looking at the twentysomething. So you can be you and not care. So probably now, I feel the most confident. I like that.
It’s just liberating, you know? Twenty years ago I’d be like, “Oh my gosh I can’t take my shirt off at the beach. I have stretch marks.” Now I'm like [pshhh] “who cares!” There’s such freedom to it. I mean, it’s huge — in all aspects.
How have you noticed your relationship to your own confidence change from when you were young?
I think I’ve come out of my shell more. I feel like my whole entire life I’ve kept my mouth shut and my opinions to myself. Especially in certain relationships.
[My husband] has seen me from Day 1. He’s known me. He’s the only person in the world that I can be 100% [myself] with. I'm not even 100% with my children. Like, I'm always trying to be happy and upbeat. And I have to be like that at work — you know, leave your problems at the door. Happy, happy, happy. And I'm like that with everyone except for him. But I'm starting to voice my opinions more with confidence.
When people meet you for the first time, what do you hope they see in you?
I don’t mean to sound corny but I hope they see God’s love come from me. I don’t want to sound cheesy, but that’s what I hope. It’s easier said than done, but you know…
That’s not cheesy at all — I think a lot of people want that.
What would you say about your long-term career goals?
I mean, I’ve got another 20 years of work. So there’s that, but I do love what I do so that’s a good thing.
I know my career will change. Pretty soon, brides aren’t going to want me, and that’s okay! I know that’s how it is. As you age, they’ll want a younger girl to come in, so I know my career’s going to change as I age.
If you weren’t doing hair, what would you want to be doing?
Seriously? I’d be in finance. I just love money, numbers, and watching it grow. Like, it’s been fun playing around with our [finances] over the years. I could imagine doing it with other people’s money. I think that would be pretty fun.
It’s completely the other end of the spectrum.
But other than that, my granddaughter’s my life now. She’s just filled a void. Now that [my kids] are grown, they don’t need me. And it’s like, alright, “What do I do with my life?” And ever since she’s been around, she’s it. It’s awesome.
She’s 2. And for her birthday I bought her a food truck. And she loves it, so we play food truck all day. She loves it.
I'm all about family. They’re such a big part of me. ✧