ending 2020 on a high note

podcast year in review 2020 2021

Surviving 2020 wasn’t easy, so give yourself credit for what you accomplished. In this special year-end episode, we reflect on what we gained throughout this unusual experience and share insights from loyal Outgrowth listeners.

Show Notes


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Edited for length and clarity.


ASHLEY: Welcome to Outgrowth: A Slice of Pro Beauty with your hosts Ashley Gregory Hackett.

JAIME: And Jaime Schrabeck. For all the disappointments we’ve experienced in the last year, it’s difficult to appreciate the success despite these unprecedented challenges.

ASHLEY: In our last episode of 2020, we want to celebrate your accomplishments and ours. Let’s grow together.

JAIME: Ashley, I feel we should have cocktails in hand for this episode.

ASHLEY: Yes, and if it wasn’t the early afternoon, I would absolutely agree. Although in 2020, does the phrase it’s five o’clock somewhere hold any water anymore?

JAIME: Maybe it’s a martini lunch that we need to have.

ASHLEY: Or three. Well, with all the negativity surrounding this year and how we all can not wait to put a bookend on it and go roaring into 2021, we thought we would take a few moments in our last episode of the year and just talk about something positive.

JAIME: This should be a longer episode because a lot of good things did happen, but I think we need to highlight the things that we’re most proud of having accomplished ourselves, and then also share some input from our listeners as well.

ASHLEY: I can’t wait for that. Interspersed throughout this episode today, you’ll hear from some real Outgrowth listeners sharing what they’re most proud of this year and potentially what they’re looking forward to next year.

JAIME: Ashley, why don’t you start with your list?

ASHLEY: Well, I think, first of all, we have to talk about how this was really the year of Outgrowth. We started this podcast on Leap Day, February 29th, 2020. And we were feeling like this would be a good outlet for us as independent educators to get in front of an engaged audience who wants to continue to skill build and elevate the industry together. So what I’m most proud of is creating this podcast with you and connecting with beauty professionals from so many different disciplines since you and I are manicurists, but we definitely interact with professionals from all different disciplines of beauty through being at shows and connecting with people through social media. So this has been really great to sort of have an official avenue for that connection.

JAIME: One of my biggest concerns before we started is that I wouldn’t have the time.

ASHLEY: Well, I mean, silver lining, I guess. 

JAIME: I’m proud that we were as consistent as we were because when we committed to doing this on a weekly basis, we were trying to figure out how best to manage with the other things that we had in our normal schedules and because our normal schedules went out the window, this was the one stable, consistent thing that we were able to accomplish throughout the year.

ASHLEY: And it definitely kept us connected with the industry, even though we were shut down, and open, and not working, and working. It helped us stay on top of what exactly was happening through different states, in different countries, and in our different disciplines. I think, to speak for you as well, it really helped us stay laser focused on what the industry needs as far as education, but also what the day-to-day life of someone in the beauty industry looks like and how different it really is.

JAIME: All those topics that you and I find most interesting that others might find boring really were at the forefront this year because it was all about health and safety, and the operational aspects of salon ownership, and interacting with clients.

ASHLEY: Pricing, policy, marketing, all of the things that are really unsexy topics, and maybe we’ll have just a few people in the classroom at a show, became the stars. They were the things that everybody needed to know about, whether it was PPE, or proper procedure, or sanitation, and the difference between that and disinfection and sterilization. Like all of that stuff that sort of seemed to be on the back burner all along was the number one most requested. It was like sitting at the cool table for the first time.

JAIME: Speaking of stars, one of the most rewarding aspects of working on Outgrowth this year as part of our accomplishment was discovering unknown experts. So unknown to us because as beauty professionals and salon owners, there’s a certain group of people that always get elevated. They’re not necessarily the people that I think that should be elevated, but through our research and asking questions this year, we were able to interact with experts who are, I’m sure, stars in their fields, but their fields don’t normally intersect with us, or they’re not really interacting with us directly. And that’s one of the things I’m most proud of was the ability to make those connections and we’ll be building on that for next year as well.

ASHLEY: Definitely. We’ve spoken to experts from the CDC, the National Institute for Health, the California Department of Public Health. I could go on and on. We’ve spoken to directors of state boards and CEOs of companies. We’ve been able to get some really great guests to help us break down exactly what was happening in the moment. And while this sounds like I’m just tooting our horn, I’m just excited to be able to sit down and have half an hour or an hour of some of these guests’ time has really been very thrilling. And I think it comes across in the episode that what our mission was in the beginning was elevation through education and I’m hoping, and I hope our listeners would agree, that we hit the mark this year.

JAIME: And for next year with our upcoming scheduled topics, there’ll be much more of that.

ASHLEY: Oh, I can’t wait. I’m, I was looking at some of the email threads today for what we have coming up in 2021 and these guests, they’re just going to build on what we’ve been able to do this year. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but it’s going to be appointment podcast listening.

JAIME: There were some that we weren’t able to get yet, and I think that’s super interesting because some of these officials and some of them are government officials whose names we wouldn’t know at all, but the agencies we know very well because they take an outsize role in our work. It’s just a matter of convincing them that this is the place. This is the time to reach out. And that for all of the effort they put into creating some sort of PDF and posting it on their website, nothing beats actually hearing from an individual who works on this day in and day out.

ASHLEY: And creating that connection with the beauty industry and helping, I think, some of these agencies understand that our industry is hungry for knowledge. Our industry is made up of such a diverse group of people that we’re worth it as far as the effort to reach out to us. And that we’ll sort of be on the front lines of communicating accurate information to our clients. And so it’s been a cool thing to see and the second thing I wanted to talk about is that we’ve created something from the ground up. That’s great. But really what I want to put as the feather in my cap is that we’re seeing the impact on others. And we’re seeing how through either our Insiders membership, or through interactions with listeners, and just comments on social, talking about how they were excited to learn directly from the source, or how it impacted their business and they were able to make an informed decision. And that’s for me at the end of the day, what this is about.

JAIME: I thoroughly agree. And we’re talking about subjects, again, that are not necessarily all that exciting. We would have been talking about health and safety. We would have been talking about legislation. We would have been talking about these same topics, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it all became that much more important and interesting to others.

So throughout this process, I feel like the topics that I was passionate about, I was able to spend more time on because a, I had more time and b, they were just more important to everyone.

ASHLEY: Yeah. I mean I think if you look at the number of people who were seeking out sanitation certifications, and trying to find products, and do some comparison shopping and get to the meat of the matter, it’s really encouraging, I think, for the direction of the industry into the next year and beyond, as far as the role of education in our industry and what we value. As somebody who teaches Instagram and email marketing, I mean, I can’t even think of an analogy that would work here, but in a room of a hundred people in the beauty industry, I think 98 of them are social media coaches. And so while that is something I’m passionate about as well, I just think that we’re going to place value on different things moving forward. And it’s exciting to see that sort of open up, and see the passion ignited in other professionals, and the interest level rise on some of the topics that frankly, to be totally honest, are a little bit mundane.

JAIME: If there was a gap in knowledge, if there was this lack of knowledge or misinformation, I would hope that what we provided was foundational knowledge so that you could build off of that. It might’ve changed your thinking. It might’ve made you more aware as a listener to these topics. And it would make you process new information you saw in a different way, whether it was pending legislation at the federal level, the COVID relief bill, for example. How does that impact the industry? Where does that give us additional resources, whether it be an opportunity to apply for a second PPP loan, or to get unemployment benefits for a longer period of time? On a more local level things about eviction moratoriums, and I mean, there’s just so many different things. I think listeners of our podcasts are now consuming other media, news reports, in a different frame of mind because they understand just how important the government is for how our business functions and how our day-to-day lives function.

ASHLEY: And hats off to our listeners for getting involved, whether it be on a local level, state level, national, what have you, and getting a great understanding of how government works and being curious trying to find more information as well and contacting their representatives. I think this is a year where people did that more for the first time than any other time. For all of the crumminess that 2020 has brought, I think it has brought a level of awareness that we should be thankful for as far as being able to name who your representatives are, and knowing how to contact them, and understanding what part of the government they affect, and how we as citizens and members of this industry can advocate for both ourselves and the greater industry at large. So, yeah, it’s been hard fought and it’s come at quite a price, but if we’re being positive, which is what we’re trying to do in this episode today, that is definitely one net positive to come out of this year.

JAIME: That helps us hold ourselves accountable and our elected leaders accountable. I was chuckling to myself because I thought for many this may be the first year you actually know who your representatives are. You may not have paid any attention to them at all, particularly at the local level, because you would have thought, eh, what does it matter what’s happening in the state capitol? You might know of your federal leadership, particularly if they happen to be more prominent, but otherwise you might not have paid any attention at all. And now you realize that at every level, it matters and particularly with the COVID restrictions, it’s at that local level, the county level, where public health officials had even more influence than the state did. So I just think all across the political spectrum, no matter where you’re coming from ideologically, no matter where you’re coming from in terms of your previous knowledge, it has just really elevated everything and hypersensitized us to what’s happening. I think a bit of that will calm down a little bit as the new year comes around and we see this new wave of legislation coming in, but now we’ll be able to process it better and we’ll be able to move forward with the advocacy that we feel is worthwhile, whether it be evaluating deregulation efforts, and I say the word evaluating rather deregulation efforts because it’s not that every effort is automatically bad. It just might get slapped with the label and I think we’re all better prepared now.

ASHLEY: As well as knowing the role that each part of government plays in the legislation and regulation of our industry, we’ve helped dispel the myth that the state board is an advocacy avenue for our industry. And I think a lot of members of our industry have a greater understanding of who actually makes the rules that govern our regulation, and how we can protect them, or how we can challenge them, and then what role the state board actually does play in not only our profession, but the administration of it. Let’s take a short break and hear from one of our listeners about their proudest accomplishment in 2020.    

ADRIANA: Hi, everyone. This is Adriana Nakamura in southern California. I’ve always been a writer and I’ve been playing with the idea of writing for beauty and skin care brands for a while now. I managed to get my first writing client in August and I’m writing different marketing materials and will soon be writing training manuals for them too. I’m so proud of this accomplishment. It’s nice to combine my 10 years of esthetics knowledge with my writing skills and I hope to continue down this path.

ASHLEY: Thanks. Adrianna. Congrats on all your success.

JAIME: I’ve been able to attend more meetings than I would ever have been able to if I had to do it in person this year. I was able to attend board meetings in other states. I have not been as involved in the normal education that you’d expect coming from beauty show organizations. But in a way, I felt like Outgrowth was its own event every single week we released a podcast.

ASHLEY: That’s a nice way to think of it, and maybe that’s a gateway to actual events in the future. 

JAIME: Well, we can certainly pivot because we know that when beauty shows plan their slate of educators and they pick the topics, that’s done months in advance, whereas we could be much more nimble in pivoting to what we felt was most relevant for listeners to have now.

ASHLEY: It’s been a fun exercise to try to anticipate needs two or three weeks ahead of time and what type of topic would be relevant to the average beauty professional no matter the discipline, no matter where they’re located next week. And I think some of that has happened through just educated guessing, and some of it has also happened through pure luck, but that for me has been, and one of my favorite parts of putting this podcast together is thinking about what are the pain points. How can we contribute to a solution and who can we bring on as a guest? Or what research can you and I do to try to lessen that load or at least point listeners in the right direction, as far as like having all the information? I think that that’s something that with all the information that’s flying at us every moment of every day, it can be hard to really know what is coming from a reliable source, and what is being spun to get you to spend money on something, or whatever. And I know that there’s a lot of organization out there and efforts that seem to be in all of our best interest, but through this project with you, I’ve learned a lot about who to trust, I guess, and how to really think critically for myself in making decisions for my business. 

JAIME: That’s why we encourage our listeners to at least skim the show notes. They’re not very long, to find the links to these resources so they can follow up and they could do additional research for themselves. And for those for whom listening isn’t the best possible way to take in this information, we also have transcripts. I wanted to point that out because I know that’s been something that we’ve provided but not everyone is aware of. That if you scroll down the page when you click on the website, you’ll find word for word transcripts for what’s being said.

ASHLEY: Yes. So if an audio medium is not your favorite or most convenient way of consuming an episode of Outgrowth, you can always head to our website outgrowthpodcast.com, click on that listen tab, and each individual episode has its own page. If you go all the way to the very bottom, you’ll see the transcript that Jaime painstakingly puts together each week. So that way you can consume it or learn from it however you prefer. But we also feel very strongly about making sure that everything we talk about and the advice from the experts we talk to is accessible to everyone. So for the deaf and hard of hearing community, as well as those who don’t want to listen to us drone on and on, which believe me I get it, that’s available for you there.

JAIME: Let’s pause for another short break and hear from another Outgrowth listener.

ALICIA: Alicia Orabella, Orabella Hair Studio, Oakland, California. My first biggest accomplishment was being able to keep my studio open moving into 2021. My second biggest accomplishment was founding Pro Beauty Inside in July. August 11 we held a rally for close to 400 licensed professionals on the south steps of the state capitol. This paired with other advocacy movements allowed us to work into the purple tier and be separated from bars, restaurants, and family entertainment.

JAIME: That’s amazing. Alicia. Thank you for sharing with us and congratulations.

JAIME: Ashley, why don’t you add one of your highlights that’s more personal in nature?

ASHLEY: Well, I got married this year, and my Midwest accent just came out strong, married. I got married. We were able to pull off a very safe, socially-distanced micro wedding and it’s so far been just phenomenal. Now we’re under two months in, but so far I’d say, marriage is pretty great.

JAIME: Well, I’m glad to hear that. Even though I wasn’t able to participate, I was able to watch the live stream.

ASHLEY: Yeah. Yes, if we had done it in person, you would have definitely been there, but hopefully, again, once everything calms down, we’ll be able to get together and party party.

JAIME: I can’t believe that new year’s is right around the corner. And speaking of partying, I probably won’t be. I don’t know what your plans are.

ASHLEY: Another quiet night at home. I think that makes this uh quiet night number 300 this year.

JAIME: I’m at an age now where pretty much every New Year’s Eve is a quiet night.

ASHLEY: Yeah, I think we’ll put on, lately, we’ve been watching terrible, like Hallmark and Lifetime movies and commentating on the plot, or the hair and makeup, or whatever. So we might do something like that. It’s, it’s going to be quiet, but I think it’s the best way to say goodbye to this year. I think I’ll stay up till midnight just to make sure the clock doesn’t reset to December 32nd.

JAIME: Yeah, I think, it’s an evening where I’ll be home. I might be in bed and asleep by the time midnight strikes even on the east coast. 

ASHLEY: With that being said much more to come next year. I think everything’s just going to get bigger and better and we have a couple of tricks up our sleeves, a couple of fun things to be announced as we move into 2021. But I don’t think our core mission will change at all, and again, that’s elevation through education, bringing on as many sources as we possibly can to give you accurate, fact-based information so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your business.

JAIME: Thus far, our mission has served us and our listeners well.

ASHLEY: Yes, and if you agree, we would love for you to leave us a review on Apple podcasts and you can do that with just one click. Type in bit.ly/outgrowthpodcast.

JAIME: As always you can follow us and comment on recent episodes on Instagram at @outgrowthpodcast.

ASHLEY: Well, Jaime, until next year. Be smart.

JAIME: We’ve been trying to do that all year. Just continue being safe, Ashley.

ASHLEY: You too. All right. Bye, everybody.


ASHLEY: Happy New Year. 

Described as the best beauty podcast in 2020, Outgrowth Podcast is for hairstylists, nail techs, estheticians, massage therapists and lash technicians. Hosted by beauty industry experts Ashley Gregory Hackett and Jaime Schrabeck, PhD, this salon industry podcast has helpful  interviews with guests that teach topics from increasing salon clientele, salon marketing, covid guidelines, beauty industry insights, starting a salon, renting a salon suite, salon Instagram tips, and how to run a successful salon. Join us for weekly episodes of hair podcasts, nail podcasts, esty podcast, and more.

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