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Life and Work with Katie Ruppel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Ruppel.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been a professional hairstylist since 2002. I accidentally found cosmetology, I really struggled in high school and just had little to no direction on my future. I felt like I was not smart enough to go to college, because if the work involved was anything like high school, I did not want to struggle anymore. So, I was waiting tables and I knew I loved talking and working with people. My school counselor suggested that I try an aptitude test. The test results as you can probably guess were: a server/ restaurant service I was already doing this and it was getting old quickly. I couldn’t imagine that as my future. The next was a floral designer, this I actually thought about for 2 or 3 min. Then, I saw the word cosmetology on the paper. WOW, I thought, this could work! I really liked doing makeup especially for my friends in the bathroom during French class! I thought I should give it a try! I knew that the first week of training that I picked the right path for me! For once in my life, I was certain that I loved this field and I wasn’t struggling and I understood the lessons and work. I realized and was astonished that people who sat in my chair wanted MY advice on what would be the best style or most flattering color on them. AND they really respected my ideas and told me they trusted me to do whatever would look the best! I was loving my career so much that the first couple of years, I felt guilty charging for my services because I LOVED doing it so much! One of my favorite attributes about the beauty industry is the constant change. I really love going to hair color classes or beauty shows to learn what’s popular, and of course the new latest and greatest!

I recently opened my own salon suite, Amethyst Salon (Tucson, AZ) for this purpose. I want to be able to go to classes or teach them whenever I want. For a very long time, I regretted not being pushed to or choosing a college. I’ve come to accept that I probably would have been miserable. Going to college is the right path for lots of people, however, I get to wake up and be excited to go to work, chat with my people as I make them pretty and give them scalp massages and relaxation while becoming the best they can be! Your hair is your number one accessory and you feel like conquering the world when hair looks amazing (even in sweatpants)! I really feel like part of my purpose is to help people look amazing BECAUSE then they feel amazing! And I think this world needs more amazing people who can see their inner beauty come to life!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My road like most has been smooth then curved, then bumpy, back to smooth. The beauty industry is ALWAYS changing. Instead of embracing some of the new ways to market yourself (via social media) I shyed away because I didn’t really understand it. How to edit pictures, knowing what to post or what to say. I really hurt myself and my business by staying close-minded about it. Or needing to ask for help. So, try new things out of your comfort zone and ask for help. People really love to help,

Please tell us about Amethyst Salon.
I’m really passionate about blonding, balayage (hand painted), melting colors. Honestly, I’m in love with hair color I loved it so much that I decided to get the highest level of education recognition in the field. So, I’m a Certified Redken Haircolorist. I really love all things Redken, as well. These Beachy lived in looks are my favorite right now! Being a Redken Haircolorist gives me the upper hand when formulating hair color for my guests. I have the knowledge of how and why the hair color works the way it does. Especially, the Redken brand, I feel like I can give real, predictable, stunning results every time! I never have to pray to the hair Gods in the back room that the color formula is right or will hopefully do what I want. I just LOVE that peace of mind! I’ve also been told I give a great blow out style and scalp massage!

Who have you been inspired by?
I’ve always looked up to the singer P!nk. She is unapologetically herself even before it was cool! She is fierce, smart and full of talent. Her music resonates with me and makes me feel like we are besties. I also really love Michelle Obama, my mom, and my late Grandma Mickey, I really have so many right now there are so many amazing women to look up to!


  • Most color services are $80-175

Contact Info:

  • Address: Amethyst Salon
    4262 N. 1st Ave. suite 130, Studio 14
    TUCSON, AZ 85719
  • Website:
  • Phone: 6362368234
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @desert_rosekatie
  • Facebook: fb://profile/1482227970

Image Credit:
Some photos: the.naked.gypsy photography

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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