Welcome to This Is Me Thursdays! To read other posts in this series, click here. If you want to be involved, please email me for more details! Today, learn more about Monica Schroeder, someone I’ve known since we went to high school together!
Yep, that’s right, we originally met back in high school, which was longer ago than I care to remember haha. We’ve stayed in touch over the years, and it’s been really cool to see her start and grow a business in Fargo. She shares so much on both her personal and business social media accounts about mental health, self-love, body love, inclusivity and so much more. She honestly does so much good in the world, and she’s been such an inspiration to me. Visit her website, Instagram account, Facebook page and Snapchat profile, and let her know you saw her post here!
This Is Me: Monica Schroeder
Share a little about yourself and what you’re up to these days.
My name is Monica Schroeder, I’m 29, and I grew up in an in-home daycare in West Fargo, ND. I’m a crafter, a cat mom, a homeowner, and apparently, a business owner! I got my cosmetology license in 2010 and there was only one place I was interested in working…North Dakota’s only children’s salon. My hair changed between 4th and 6th grade from straight to VERY curly and suddenly, at the most emotionally vulnerable time in my life to this point, not only did I not know how to style my hair…but nobody knew how to cut it. I had many years of bad haircuts and lots of poof and frizz which lead to lots of teasing. All I wanted was to have soft, straight hair so that I could be pretty and feel good about myself, but that wasn’t about to happen. I decided that I needed to do hair for kids who were like me so that nobody else would feel this badly about themselves. Fast forward to now, 10 years later, and that salon closed its doors and there are still no other children’s salons in North Dakota. I felt an overwhelming responsibility to the children in my area and decided to open a new, updated children’s salon…and that’s how Dandy Lion Cuts for Kids was born.
What does life purpose mean to you? Does it really exist for you/all of us, or is it just some pipe dream?
To me, the purpose of life is to make it better, if even in a small way, for everyone else. Spread love in the world and do your best to squash hate. Be visible as a member of a lesser known community to let others know that it’s ok to be different. Use any privilege you may have to help further equality in society and the quality of living of communities facing oppression.
What motivates and inspires you in your life?
I am motivated and inspired by children. I think the most important thing that we can do is to show kids how to be kind, loving, accepting, and educated. As we go about our days I think it is so important to remember that children are watching and learning from us and it’s our responsibility to make sure they are more kind, loving, accepting, and educated than the generations before them so that we can continue to grow and progress positively as a society.
Is what you do now what you always imagined doing? Why or why not, and what have you learned because of that?
Not completely, no. I decided in 6th grade that I had to be a hairstylist for kids but I also decided around that time that I’d never own my own business. I’ve always said that if everyone’s goal was to own a business and nobody wanted to be an employee we wouldn’t have any businesses at all. If my 20’s have taught me anything, it’s that you can’t really plan anything. I don’t think everything happens for a reason, but I do think that there is positivity that can come from everything that happens; you just have to be willing to “go with the flow”.
What’s something you desperately want other people to know or realize that may help them in their lives?
It sounds so cliche, but you are enough. Honestly. If you are living your life in a way that makes you feel good, is positive, and is not harming yourself or others, then there is no reason you should feel a need to change anything about yourself.
How do you define belonging and connection, and how have your definitions changed over time?
Belonging has become less important to me over the years while connection has become more important. I think belonging to a group can be stressful and make you feel like you need to make adjustments to your personality and what makes you happy while having a real connection with someone can be incredibly beneficial by making you feel understood and comfortable.
What’s something you make sure to do every day/week/month that helps you practice self-care and self-love?
Anyone who knows me knows that if my nails and eyebrows are done, I’m a happy lady. They are small things but they make me feel so much more complete and powerful. If I can also finish at least one cross stitch, embroidery, or crochet project a week then I know my mental health is doing well.
How do you define success in your life and/or business?
I think someone is successful in life when they are happy and comfortable with who they are, and surrounded by people they love and who love them. Success in business, to me, is when you are able to run the business with minimal to no money related stress.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Mental health is just as important as physical health. If you have anxiety, depression, OCD, bipolar, body dysmorphia, or any of the many “invisible” disorders of the mind, you will inevitably have days that are harder than others. It took me way too long to come to terms with the fact that it is ok to take a day to recharge and feel better. Just because your mental sick days aren’t as visible to others as a physical sick day does not mean they are less real, valid, or important to take care of.
Photo courtesy of Monica Schroeder