After graduating high school, Maria Aleman-Aguirre knew what she wanted to do with her life, so she enrolled in the Aveda Institute. After she graduated, she was hired at Juut, where she polished her technical skills and learned all about being a Daymaker.
“When I joined the beauty industry in cosmetology school, I realized right away that it was more than just learning to cut hair,” Aleman-Aguirre says. “I donated 12 inches of my hair while I was still in school.”
With her passion for helping people, Juut was a natural fit for Aleman-Aguirre, and two and a half years later, she now has a steady clientele.
“It doesn’t feel like a job,” she says. “It feels like I’m going to work to hang out with people I’ve always known.”
But it was in her first few months at Juut that Aleman-Aguirre had her most memorable Daymaking moment.
“When I first started working, we collected a group of stylists one day and went over to a local shelter that housed women who were homeless, abused, or had their children taken away—they all had bad circumstances,” she says.
“We went in and took care of them. We did their hair and makeup—it took no time at all,” she adds. “Then, one lady broke down in tears because it had been so long since she felt good.”
In that moment, it hit Aleman-Aguirre that what she was doing for people was huge.
“Just like that, we can make someone’s day,” she says. “And it doesn’t have to be someone in bad circumstances—even everyday clients are affected by the Juut service. How they look and feel at the end of the service compared to when they arrive is amazing.”
And for Aleman-Aguirre, the bond she has with her clients is more friendship than service provider.
“I know for stylists at other salons, the clients can be more loyal to the salon. But here, our clients come to see us because they care about us individually,” she says.
“I just got back from a trip and when I returned, clients kept telling me they were thinking of me on my vacation—they really care.”
Aleman-Aguirre says it’s a two-way street, and her clients care because she does. “They know they are being taken care of, so they open up to you in a different way than someone just performing a service.”
If she’s having a bad day, Aleman-Aguirre says she just leaves everything at the door when she goes to work.
“I just focus on work and know my co-workers are there to help me through and keep a positive vibe,” she says. “It’s hard for clients to leave the salon in a bad mood if you don’t give their bad energy back—treat them with kindness and turn their day around. I want to make them leave in a better mood than they came in with.”
Aleman-Aguirre knows it’s not always possible to give every client exactly what they want (like making a dark brunette a bleach blonde in one service), but she always gives them a possibility or plan.
“I try my best to make it happen and make their day,” she says. “You have to at least try, because when you give up, you’re letting them down.”