Nov 12, 2020

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Stepping Out From Behind the Chair


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“You are bigger than your problems”

You’re in for double the fun this episode! I’ve got two special guests with me, Nina Tulio and J Ladner. These two are so much fun, you definitely are gonna wanna listen in to this one. J is a self-described “unicorn magician”, digital creative director for Oligo Professional, a stylist/salon suite owner in LA and an independent educator.

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You’re in for double the fun this episode! 

I’ve got two special guests with me, Nina Tulio and J Ladner. These two are so much fun, you definitely are gonna wanna listen in to this one.

J is a self-described “unicorn magician”, digital creative director for Oligo Professional, a stylist/salon suite owner in LA and an independent educator. 

Nina is now a business consultant and the Business Education Ambassador for Oligo Professional. She’s been in the biz for 24 years, owned her salon for 11 of those and was a stylist for 20 years. She now travels and educates other salon owners on how to build their biz. Her teaching focuses on personal growth and development and business building. 

Together, Nina and J host an incredibly honest and vulnerable podcast, No Stylist Left Behind. You might recognize one of their guests… (it’s me). 


If you’ve ever thought that the universe works in mysterious ways, you’re gonna love the story of how J and Nina first met. It was about 2 years ago in a collaboration class. 

Nina was set to be a speaker and J was set to spend his day as he normally would. There was no plan for him to be at this event. Until someone cancelled last minute and J was called to fill in. 

They describe meeting each other by locking eyes outside the building and then 5 minutes later they were hyping up the crowd, dancing around the auditorium together. 

“It was love at first dance” as J romantically puts it. 

Fast forward a bit and they both ended up moving to L.A within weeks of each other. Being in the same city they were able to spend more time together and started throwing around the idea of recording a podcast together. 

One of J’s passions is making sure that stylists in the industry feel included and that they’re not alone. Which is what made them create their podcast “No Stylist Left Behind”. The podcast has now been going for 1 and a half years and they’re doing an amazing job of creating a safe place for everyone in the industry. 

People come into our lives for a reason, whether or not we realize it. J is so thankful to have Nina as a mentor and a best friend in his life. They share a lot in the fact that they’ve both gone through some hard times. 


Fear isn’t an unknown emotion for many of us, J describes himself as always being fearless and rebellious. He found that his actions were never led by fear. 

However, being fearless doesn’t mean that J has never experienced hardships in his life.

One of the hardest things he says he’s ever experienced was moving to L.A on his own. He was excited for the new opportunities, but found himself falling back into old habits and coping mechanisms. 

Uncovering old traumas is never an easy thing to deal with, particularly when we’ve pushed them down so far we almost forget they exist. J found himself in a cycle of old trauma and pain and he didn’t have the one person he wanted to be there with him, his husband, Vince. 

Despite the portrayal of a glamorous, high-end lifestyle on social media. J’s life behind the camera was full of struggle and pain that only Nina and Vince knew about it. 

This vulnerability is part of what bonds Nina and J together. Nina’s “been through some things” as she puts it. But what was most difficult for her was selling her salon. 

She’d owned her own salon for 11 years and many of her team members had been with her for a long time (4-7 years). Not only was she saying goodbye to a space she had created, she was saying goodbye to a team she had built, grew, respected and loved. The transition to selling her salon was not an easy one. 

What motivated her was the fact that she knew she wanted more. She wanted to travel and didn’t want to spend all her time behind the chair. This came at a good time as her husband was getting another job and they were already planning a move. 

The initial plan was to move to the south and enjoy the warmth. But let’s be honest, life doesn’t always go according to plan. They ended up moving to Connecticut when her husband was offered a job opportunity and they knew that it would be a good place to start transitioning Nina into her own biz. 

They packed up and left everyone and everything they knew and moved to a place where they knew no one.


For Nina, the most difficult part of the move wasn’t the sale of her salon, or the goodbyes to her staff. 

The most difficult part was that she wasn’t busy anymore. 

She didn’t have anything to distract her or to keep her mind busy. Without the same routine she’d had when she was running a salon, after 4-6 months it all came crashing down. 

Nina had a major breakdown, all of the things she had tried to avoid for so long were right in her face. She didn’t have anywhere to hide from it anymore. It was an extremely vulnerable time for her. 

Similar to J, she too was portraying a happy life on social media. She was showing up, teaching, going to salons and continuing to motivate others. Despite having days where she couldn’t motivate herself to get out of bed. 

The dark time came when her therapist went on vacation and Nina says she “lost her shit”. 

Becoming very honest with herself and her husband, at a lunch date she said to him: 

“I really think I need to check myself into a facility.”

After selling her business, losing her time, losing the life she knew, she found that she lost herself in the process. 

Thankfully, Nina’s therapist returned from vacation and was able to help get her back on the right track. 

I too used to push myself to the brink with my work. My identity was my work. I found my identity and my value in how much I could do. 


I was recently asked this question and found it difficult to answer. So I wanted to see what Nina and J had to say when they were posed the same question. 

“Who are you with the beauty industry stripped away?” 

I don’t think I was expecting the answers that they gave me. They were so profound and from the heart. 

Nina describes herself as a “connector”. She’s very empathetic, kind and compassionate (you know those are some of my favourite things). She feels that her purpose is to make an impact on people. 

Her gift is her experience, the pain and trauma that she’s gone through. 

By being willing to share and be vulnerable about her past she’s able to help other people heal. 

J describes himself as a “facilitator of light”, as he’s been in the dark for a long time. He also describes himself as a “father” and “husband”. He says that everything he does is to ensure that his family never experiences the trauma that he went through. 

These two are so incredible and what drew me to them was their authenticity and their genuineness. 


Nina and J have been through some hard times. But we all know that just because we’ve been through them doesn’t mean we won’t ever go through them again. 

For Nina, the biggest thing that has changed the way she works through the hard times is her mindset. Mindset is everything. When you’ve gone through things, you can look back and know that you’ll be able to make it through whatever you’re currently going through. If you’ve overcome one hurdle, you can overcome 100. 

J also reminds us that we need to be open. Once you get fixated on that one problem, you’re blind to everything else. Everything you need to see is right there, if you’re just willing to open your eyes. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Be stubborn about your goals, but flexible about your approach.

So now that I’m an honorary member of the club, I’d just like to say thank you to Nina and J for joining me on such an amazing episode. 

If you enjoyed this episode I know Nina and J would love to hear from you. Nina answers all her DMs and is almost always over on the ‘gram. 

Pop into J’s messages or learn more about him on his website

And if you wanna hear more Nina and J you’ll definitely wanna check out their podcast “No Stylist Left Behind.”

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

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