• Lizzie LaBelle


Gordon Salon in Lakeshore East is thrilled to welcome back Katie, an extremely experienced and talented hairdresser who has recently moved back to Chicago! Katie originally began in Chicago at the Aveda Institute, before living in New York for about 5 years. Now, soon after her move back to the Windy City, her passion for creating wearable art that people can live in has led her back to Gordon Salon. We are thrilled to have her back, and featured as our Spotlight Stylist for June 2019!

Katie first began working at Gordon Salon in 2011 at the Highland Park location. In between now and then, Katie lived in NYC for 5 years. She traveled the North East region of the United States as a Regional Master Color Trainer, and The Regional Hair Cutting Specialist.  She gained invaluable experience there as she worked on photo shoots with brands, created color looks for commercial campaigns, and did platform work for brands as well. Her home salon in New York has a high end clientele of models, celebrities, and artists. Katie describes her 5 years in New York as a lovely period of both personal and career growth.

As her New York journey came to an end, Katie decided to return to Gordon Salon in Chicago. She was drawn to the company initially because of its reputation for technical excellence. The salon’s focus on sustainability and caring for the planet also peaked Katie’s interest. “I wanted to be part of a culture that is team focused with a strong emphasis on continuing education,” writes Katie. Gordon Salon highly values education and encourages their staff to constantly be learning and sharing. “I always loved working here, and I’m thrilled to be back!”

Personally, her goals as a stylist include being an educator and a mentor. She has always been involved in education throughout her career. Sharing knowledge and watching young stylists grow is one of the things Katie loves most. She has been able to experience teaching on a larger scale, but prefers to teach on a small scale. She finds that building a strong team and leading by example every day makes a bigger impact for the students in the long run.

When it comes to niches, Katie is a master of all trades. She loves to do all types of cut and color. She has had extensive training in hair cutting through Aveda, Sassoon, and most recently went through educator training with Allilon Education (based in London). From precise short pixie cuts to long, hand painted balayage and color corrections - Katie does it all!

In May, we asked Katie to share some of her expert advice for young stylists looking to make a career out of hairdressing. Katie expressed,  “It is our job as hairstylists is to care for people. We are day makers. We touch people. It is so important to step back and focus on our guests and their needs. I see some  people in our industry tend to be focused on themselves and their needs above all else. It is essential to remember that we are nothing without our guests. They wear our art, they talk about our art, they support our art. Make the guest shine, and everything else will come.” Katie is totally right! The emotional connection that you build with your client is key to building your books. Aside from establishing a relationship with the person in your chair, Katie expresses that there are no secret tips. “The trick is that there are no tricks. The only way you will get better is by learning, and the only way you will learn is by failing.” Sometimes life’s best lessons are learned through experiencing adversity. One of Katie’s favorite takeaways from her past education experiences is the notion that “the only difference between the master and the apprentice is that the master has failed more times than the apprentice has ever tried.”

On her off days, you can find Katie either riding her bike or spending time with her dogs. She is the mom to two dogs, a chihuahua named Ramona and an Italian greyhound named Thanos. Her husband is in the music industry, and so she is also often attending live music events for fun. If you are searching for an experienced stylist, look no further than Katie at Gordon in Lakeshore East! Katie is available for appointments on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Call 773.388.9999 to book your next appointment!

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