The slash gen's #momgoals: sierra Johnson
I'd like to introduce you to my dear friend, sierra.
Sierra embodies all that is the Slash Generation. She exudes the type of confidence many only dream about all while juggling a busy life as a Mother, Wife, Educator, Athlete, and as she'd say, a PhotograpHER. Grab a cup of tea and join me in welcoming Sierra Johnson.
I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the term” slash generation” but it refers to us millennials and the many hats we wear. Whether we’re young professionals by day and entrepreneurs pursuing our passions by night or even just servers in a restaurant, many of us seem to be doing a lot! That’s one of the main reasons why I wanted to meet with you! I’ve followed you on Instagram for quite some time now and have always been a quiet fan admiring your work. So, can you tell us a little bit about the many hats that you wear?
Thank you so much for choosing me! I'd love to share. I'm a mom, wife, 4th grade teacher, lifestyle photographer, natural hair care specialist and a track athlete. My son and my husband are my everything. They keep me going. So, putting all of my time and efforts into those roles is absolutely nothing to me. I live for that, for them. I recently started teaching 4th grade and am in complete love with this role thus far. Prior to this role, I was an in-home therapist for children with disabilities but once I graduated college, the door opened up for me to teach in a school and I was completely for it. My mom, grandmother and great grandmother were/are all educators so I've always known this was a path I would eventually embark on. My businesses (SCJ Captures and Styleyourcrown) are huge part of who I am and I will always keep those up and running no matter what I'm doing. Styleyourcrown came first, it was initially just a natural hair styling/consultation service for women natural and/or transitioning but as I got older and wiser in regard to natural hair care, I switched off the styling portion (for the most part) and started really diving into the educational portion of natural hair. So many women are natural or want to be natural but don't know where to start or how to maintain or how not to allow society to turn them off of loving their own natural hair. So now that's what Styleyourcrown is for - empowering and educating those of the natural hair community. SCJ Captures started just from a love of photography and appreciating natural, Raw moments. My amazing husband believed in me and bought me my first digital camera (I was initially only shooting film and iPhone) so from there I took off with my photography business. Last but certainly not least, I'm a track athlete who focuses on triple jump. I've been an athlete my whole life, played a number of sports but track has always been my true love. I started running track when I was 8, started triple jump when I was 13 and I've been on that ever since.
One thing I LOVE is the way that you’re monetizing your talents! You’re a natural hair expert and a photographer and you charge for your work. Did you ever work for free to gain experience? If so, how was the transition from working for free or “exposure” to naming your price?
It's a process to get people to believe in your talents. So, a part of that sometimes has to be to give out freebies so that you can get things up off the ground and spread the word. With Styleyourcrown - freebies were slim to none because it's a service and talent that I was extremely confident about early on. With that confidence, people believed in me early and were willing to pay. With SCJ Captures, I worked with Erika Layne (@erikalaynephoto) a few times to help give me more experience and confidence before shooting on my own and that helped me tremendously. She's heaven sent. She helped me with a lot. When it came to naming my price for both SYC + SCJ, I just did what felt best. For a while, a large portion of my clientele were college students. So, I had to be realistic with pricing being that I knew what it was like being a struggling College student. Lol. But as time progressed and I got better and I slowly but surely raised my price.
We all know that great success doesn’t come without many lessons. What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learned from balancing your hats and becoming a business owner?
Honestly, just trusting the process and knowing that God won't bring me to any obstacle that I can't get through. I had to understand that nothing would come overnight and I was completely okay with that. Still recognizing and acknowledging that to this day.
You just hosted your second Styleyourcrown workshop! Congratulations! Can you share with us what inspired you to host such an event and what we can expect from Styleyourcrown in the future?
Thank you so much! I always knew that I wanted to provide the natural hair community with a safe and empowering space. My workshops provide that and it gives me life to hear and see that amazing feedback from women who thought they were about to return to the creamy crack until they attended a workshop or received a consultation from me. Wearing your natural hair with confidence is so much more than just "being a naturalista" It's about owning who you are, loving the way God made you, embracing the way your hair grows naturally. It's all a part of just being genuinely in love with the person that you are. That is so major. Now that's not say those who aren't natural don't have that same self-love and confidence. This is just my route to self-love and I want to help others who are on this journey as well. There will absolutely be more SYC workshops and events in the future.