You Can Have It All!


I want to start off by saying: If you have a dream and you are willing to work your ass off, it will come true. My name is Amelia, but my clients know me as Milly. I live and work in Long Island New York, am a vivids and color correction specialist and I love what I do.

As a child, I always loved the cartoon characters with rainbow hair and funky makeup. It kind of inspired me at a young age. When I was 12, my mother gave me pink highlights — and that was it. She opened Pandora’s box. At 13, I started to color my own hair, and from then on, I was known as the girl with the rainbow hair.

I remember in school, I had the teachers and principals always reprimanding me because they thought my hair and makeup were distractions. That hurt because it was such an important part of me. However, it also gave me more of a drive to really perfect my craft. It was at that moment that I decided to go to cosmetology school.

After high school graduation the following September, I started my career. I finished in 10.5 months and started working immediately, serving as a salon assistant for about five years. Then, I knew I was ready to start taking my own clients and, eventually, have a chair of my own! However,  the boss I had at the time did not want that for me and kept me at the assistant position way longer.

I decided that if she wasn’t going to give me an opportunity, then I was going to make my own. So I started to freelance and eventually built up my clientele all on my own through word-of-mouth and social media.

I would work in the salon for about eight hours and then go to work on my clients afterwards. Some days, I was working about 12 to 15 hours. I wanted it so badly that I was willing to be constantly exhausted. Thankfully, the hard work paid off.

I became pregnant in 2016 with my second child. Then, even though I was eight months pregnant and couldn’t see my feet, I still worked all those hours. After I had my daughter, I decided I was going to start living for me and putting motherhood and my health first.

The six months that I wasn’t working, I felt like there was a piece of me missing. I love what I do so much that I decided to make it work. I worked my ass off, and now, I have such a big clientele that I am booked a month or two in advance and am also an Uberliss sponsored artist.

If you really want something in life, you will make it happen! You can be a mother and have the job of your dreams. I am so overwhelmed with appreciation for my beautiful clients. Some have been with me through this whole journey, and now, we have become close friends!

This is an amazing industry to work in. I absolutely love what I do and that I get to help women look into the mirror every day and love what they see. It’s amazing what changing your hair can do to your self confidence and the way you carry yourself.

As someone once told me, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

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Amelia Mercado

Amelia Mercado is a New York-based hairstylist who specializes in vivids and color correction.

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