Meet TJ Pepper. Think she’s just all good looks?! Think again. Hair magician. Super mom. Amazing musician. Killer friend. Half of team Wilderness Barbies. The Thelma to my Louise. And.. she’s married to a stud. And that’s just what I can ramble off the top of my head!
Let’s start off by letting them in on who you are, and where you are from!
I am TJ Pepper, I am a Master Stylist at Élan hair studio and a Platinum key educator for KEVIN.MURPHY. I also Sing in a special events band called Big City All Star Band, and have two boys, aged 9 and almost 3. I’m born and Raised here in Winnipeg, MB, but love to travel!
With so many talents under your belt…Why hair? How did you decide to go down that road?
I’ve been attracted to this Industry since I was a high school student- Constantly coloring my friend’s hair, and cutting my poor brothers hair. After graduation I tried University for a few years, but after some encouragement from my Hairdresser, I enrolled in Cosmetology and never looked back!
Well, I think we can all agree that you chose the right avenue! I know that the hair on MY head thinks so! Where do you find your inspiration to be so creative? What inspires you? Who inspires you?
Inspiration can come from anywhere, but I definitely find myself spending hours on Instagram looking at all the amazing work out there! Social media has impacted our industry in a major way, and not just from a marketing and advertising angle. We’re now able to see what Hairstylists (and clients!) all over the world are doing. Trends are becoming more global, rather than localized, and more rules are being broken everyday.
I’m also lucky to work for a Fashion driven Brand, KEVIN.MURPHY. Kevin is an extremely Sought after Session Stylist. This means He is either doing editorial hair for Major Fashion Magazines, or designing looks for Fashion Houses to use during their Runway shows. I get to learn from the man who creates trends, rather than follow them. His work and the amazing team of Style Masters that work with him keep me so inspired!
With so many new trends, and styles it must be hard to pick a favorite. But! If I were to make you choose just one…What is your favorite hairstyle to create?
I love to style hair that looks lived in. Real. Giving Clients a cut and color that will actually work with their lifestyle, so they can feel pretty everyday, not just the day they get their hair done!!
I know these are usually locked in the vault.. But just this once, can you let us in on any of the upcoming trends for 2016?!
Short Hair is here to stay- you’re seeing a lot of bobs on Celebrities these Days… and if you are willing, an Undercut is a great way to make that classic look feel modern fresh and edgy
Also i think the ‘swag’ (swingy shag) is going to be a big look this spring and summer. A Choppy fringe with irregular dimensional layers for a collapsed texture. More and more women are embracing their natural wave and, and this is a great way to show it off!
5 secret or at home hair tips!… GO!..
1. Go Sulphate Free! Find a great shampoo and conditioner that contains no sulphates. They will oxidize or ‘rust’ your hair so the color will look faded and dull quickly, and make your hair feel brittle. For the cold Prairie Winters, my personal favourite is KEVIN.MURPHY’s Hydrate.Me wash and rinse.
2. Don’t over wash- There is no need to wash your hair every day.. I try to have my clients wash every 3rd day, (or every second if their hair is very fine). The more we cleanse our scalps, the more oil our body will produce, so we quickly develop a vicious cycle. For those days in between, a little dry shampoo along your hairline and part line will go a long way!
3. Cold water is Key- if you want to try a vibrant red, ashy Grey or a platinum blonde, always wash with cool water. the warmer water will wash more of that Color down the drain.
4. Splurge on a good Blowdryer- Chuck that nasty old Conair and find something Ionic or ceramic. These dryers can break down water molecules so your hair can dry faster, and contain technology that can dry your hair from the inside and outside, cutting down your blow dry time, minimizing damage and leave the hair looking shinier. Any time you are using a brush you should always have a concentrator nozzle on as well!
5. Always use protection! …from heat. Flat Irons are now reaching temperatures of 450 degrees, (hair melts at 500) and UV rays are continuing to get stronger. so it is so important to be using a heat protector EVERY TIME we are going to be exposing our locks to heat especially if you are trying to grow your hair. There is a huge variety of professional options out there, so finding one that fits your regular routine shouldn’t be difficult. Our KM range carries heat protection in everything from a smoothing cream to a spray-in conditioner. We even have a beach-texturizing spray with extra UV protection for your Hot Vacation
Seriously…Is there anything you can’t do?!
Ha! plenty- I’m terrible at Drawing, i”m constantly loosing keys. I suck at water-skiing ( although I keep trying) and an exceptionally bad basketball player, just to name a few. I always wished I could sew…
How do you juggle such a busy life?! Between work, music, kids, hockey practices, and play dates.. And hubby time.. Any tips for staying sane during the crazy times in life?
I quickly learned how to become organized after my second son Tucker was born. I had always struggled with Time management and scheduling before that. But I’m old school.. i have the Giant Mom calendar on the fridge in the Kitchen, and I write EVERYTHING down on there.. My Husband and I sit down about once every two weeks and update it.. I’m a Huge believer in the Tribe. I am so lucky to have a fantastic group of friends and and family to help me raise my kids in a happy, healthy environment. I couldn’t do half of what I do without my mom to. She’s fantastic.
As far as staying sane, I try to balance family time, hubby time and solo time… I find I’m a better parent if I get some time without the kids around once and a while.
Okay, time for some randoms!..One item/person/habit/thing you can not go one single day without/doing.
Gotta be singing… Its a major stress reliever for me too, nothing feels better after a stressful day than cranking the tunes and singing along at the top of your lungs!
How many times do you have to listen to a song you love before you hate it.
Usually half way through the first listen I know. I’m annoyingly opinionated about music.
How many times have you hurt yourself while dancing in the shower?
Only once. since then I discovered Singing in the shower has a much lower injury rate.
How many bottles of wine have you finished without actually pouring any of the wine into a glass?
If we’re counting my early 20s, I’m sure more than I care to admit.. these days if I’m going to be chugging anything out of the bottle, I need the whole next day off- and that’s pretty rare!!
What was the last thing you ate?
I am currently eating a red velvet cupcake from Sweet Impressions… and making a mess of myself while doing it.
Alright, so tell us…What’s next for TJ Pepper?
Spring is usually a busy time for me- The salon is busy, and I’ll do hair at some big trade shows in Western Canada working with KEVIN.MURPHY. I’ve got some great gigs lined up with my band as well! As soon as Hockey season is over, any free time will be spent at the lake. We bought a cabin this fall, and I can’t wait to spend some time up there making memories with my two little Peppers!
You can follow TJ on Instagram! @tjpepperhair
Have you ever met one of those people who can lift your spirits just by being in the same room?.. That person who is always in a positive mood (and not in the annoying way!!).. Even when something awful happens, they find a way to find the light, pick themselves up, and come out stronger? Well.. I have. .and not only have I met one.. I am lucky enough to call her my best pal! And guess what?.. On top of being positive, outgoing, and one of the most caring people I have ever known, she is also gorgeous, AND brilliant! That’s what I like to call a
Double Triple Quadruple Whammy! And because I love everything she stands for, and all of her encouraging words.. It’s a complete no-brainer that I MUST introduce you to her! Stefanie Baranowski from Tea Time Talks is someone you are sure to fall in love with. She is a yoga teaching, tea drinking, vegetarian lover, and once you do, you can head over to her blog so you can stay up to date with her and all of her lovely adventures!
Okay my dear, now IIIIII know why you started your blog, but for those who don’t… will you spill your guts on the What/Where/How/Why you decided to pour your heart out to the world?
I started my blog when I made my move to Vancouver. I felt I not only needed to go on a life adventure but I also wanted to share my new adventure. What started off as a blog to record my adventure opened up to a blog of various topics that were running through my mind. I then changed the layout and the dynamics of my blog to be open to a wider audience. My blog posts now are a reflection of my continuous life adventure and include a variety of topics that are honest, relatable and thought provoking.
When you say you are honest and relatable, you are not lying! This is one of the many reasons women and girls all over the place look to you as inspiration and advice during those times in life that we want to scream and rip our hair out, or curl up into ball and cry until our eyes are swollen shut! On top of your honesty, you are one of the most positive people I know! You can find the light even at the worst of times. Seriously, what’s your secret to being able to live such a positive lifestyle?..And will you let it out of the vault for us?
LOL! I’m told that a lot. Be present with where you are. Take time to get to know yourself and ground yourself. There is always going to be the next thing we want or the next goal we want to achieve; rather than thinking of what we want and where we want to get to, take a moment to feel grateful for all that you have and be exactly where you are. When you can learn to master your thoughts and become present, you can master your emotions.
When you feel great, you look great!..Is it safe to say that your positive outlook, is also responsible for your flawless skin? I mean, it’s gotta be connected somehow.. right?! – So tell us.. What are your must have skin care items?
I don’t wear foundation, instead I wear a tinted moisturizer (my favorite is the BB cream 24H intense moisture by Marcelle) and I also can’t go without mascara. Every girl has their insecurities, mine just happens to be my eyelashes due to the fact that they are so blonde. I just started using a combination of mascara’s that help make my eyes pop and look bigger ( I put Extra Lasting Mascara by Avon on first followed up by Lash Lengthening Mascara by Mary Kay)
Since I have known you, you have always been so motivated to be successful and you ARE achieving your dreams! What advice do you have for others trying to figure out their own life?
Ahh Yes! The secret to success… When I make choices, I always mull over not just how it’s going to benefit me in the present but how it can help me bring me one step closer to my long-term goals; Be conscious of your choices and how they will affect you in the short-term and long-term. Set goals: Set a 1 year goal, set a 5 year goal and go ahead and set a 10 year goal. Once you have set your goals, now you need to break down those big goals into steps/smaller goals (breaking it down from the top to bottom). Keep that list of small goals that are achievable and check off each goal as you accomplish it. Success doesn’t happen overnight, it takes patience, consistency and courage to go after what you really want!
You have done and seen a lot in the past year, from moving across the country, to becoming a certified hot yoga instructor.. So many things to be proud of! What has been the highlight for you?
Wow, I just found myself reminiscing over the last year and it always surprises me to look back at how much I did in a year. The highlight of my year would have to be the change that occurred within myself that I wasn’t expecting as I went through my adventure. Each experience created a new facet of change in my life.
Okay, no more serious stuff! On to the celebration!You recently got engaged, so a HUGE congrats to that! And I get to be a Bridesmaid!! What’s your one best love life/relationship tip that you can share with us so everyone can become as happy in love as you?
Yes, I did get engaged! Don’t believe everything you see on Facebook and social media. Just because we look like the Golden couple doesn’t mean that we haven’t had our trial and tribulations. Always love even through the difficult times and remember that you are both in it together. Work through your problems together and keep those challenges between the two of you (keep the dirty laundry at home where others can be free of judgments and biases)
This one is Rapid Fire! List 10 items/habits you absolutely positively cannot go one day without?! Fast! Go!
Lol! Oh boy!
If I asked Graham (my fiancé) he would say:
1. Leaving half full drinks everywhere in the house
2. Sniffling and not realizing I need to blow my nose
My answer (the first two are probably right)
3. My phone (checking emails and messages and reading articles to keep up to date on things)
4. Walking my dog (It forces me to go outside even when it’s really cold outside and animals and exercise are a great stress reliever)
5. Reading (I love to continuously educate myself)
6. Morning tea/coffee (depends how much of a kick start I need)
7. Meditating/quiet time
8. Fruit/vegetable infusing my water
9. Making the bed in the morning
10. Doing my hair and my make-up (I like to always look presentable when I leave the house)
Okay, now I’m just being nosey.. tell us.. good or bad (we wont tell anyone if you cheated).. what was the last thing you ate?!
This morning for breakfast I had my yogurt concoction I always make:
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
a handful of assorted trail mix (unsalted/ no chocolate)
1/3 a cup of granola
1 Table Spoon of Hemp seeds
2 Table Spoons of Honey
(Because I’m vegetarian, it allows me to get all my essentials nutrients to give me a good morning boost for the day)
Now head over and show this girl some serious love!.. HERE!♥♥
Pretty damn lucky if you ask me?! Why?? Because I got to have a Q&A with STEFANIE from TeaTimeTalks! Stay tuned for my chat with this yoga loving, tea drinking, vegetarian.. Who also happens to be my best friend! In the mean time, head over to her blog here and show her some serious love! ❤️