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Life and Work with Kylie Borchers

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kylie Borchers.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kylie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have never really told my story other than to a few friends and clients, but here goes nothing! Sorry, if it’s a little lengthy.

I opened Moxie Salon in 2015 when my life was in the middle of a tornado. I experienced some of the highest and lowest moments that I have ever endured in the same year that I opened Moxie… it felt taboo but something was telling me that during this storm was the right time to start my business.

I have been a hairstylist for almost ten years and it has been one wild ride. Growing up as a tomboy and adamant basketball player, I never thought in a million years that I would end up a hair stylist. This industry has a way of sneaking up on you and sweeping you off your feet. After graduating from beauty school in 2009, I spent one year working as an apprentice and eventually left my apprenticeship to start building a clientele at my first commission salon job.

After about a year after working in a corporate commission salon, I was happy with the being behind the chair but I felt like I could do more. I wasn’t quite sure what “more” meant at the time, but I decided college was a good start to a futuristic “more.” So, I enrolled in community college and started working away at both my education and continuing to build my clientele.

Fast forward to the year 2014. It had been four years since I started going back to college. I was still working full-time at the same commission salon with a pretty solid clientele at this point. I had completed my associate’s degree and I just found out that my husband and I were to expect our first child in the summer of 2015! Everything in my life felt right on track. I was a beaming mother-to-be.

Summer of 2015 had finally arrived. I was antsy to have my baby but pregnancy started to show some complications. I was assigned to bed rest by my doctor for the entire last month of my pregnancy. This put a little strain on what I had initially planned on being my maternity leave, but I rolled with it. I dropped off my doctor’s letter to my job and talked things out with my boss to make sure everything was secured for my return date to work.

Finally, August arrived and so did my son! I was elated! After a couple of weeks of recovering, I stopped by the salon to say hello to the girls and check in yet again with my boss. That was the day that changed everything.

My boss pulled me into her office with a smile, congratulating me on my son and mentioned she had meant to call me about a few things but had lost track of time. Next, she handed me a cardboard box that said “Kylie’s Stuff” on the top of it. I opened it up and inside was all of my salon belongings. My blowdryer, my shears, combs, clips… you name it. She explained to me that they weren’t able to hold my position at the salon and that I had been terminated from my position. She then told me she was looking forward to me returning whenever I felt ready and that I just needed to re-apply and go some new-hire paperwork to get my position back.

I was stunned. So, stunned I didn’t even have a response. I wasn’t sure whether to scream or to cry so I just sat there and stared in silence. I quietly took my box and left the salon as fast as I could.

Once I got home, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t have a job. I had no job, a new mortgage, a newborn baby, and 12 college credits that I was currently enrolled in. My brain was in a million places and so were my emotions. What did the salon tell my clients? How will I find my clients? What about the five-year bonus I was about to receive? Who would want to hire me while I’m recovering from labor? Now, what should I do? Should I even be a hairstylist anymore? Do I cave and go back as a new-hire to my old salon? I cried for days. I told my husband that I never wanted to work at another commission salon again. Suddenly wanting “more” turned into just wanting to get by. I was devastated.

All my trust in the commission salon world was gone. Something that always appealed to me about having my cosmetology degree was knowing that it gave me the opportunity to be my own boss. I graduated with that ingrained in the back of my head. I just never had the confidence or the “why” to open my own salon. Well… I quickly found my “why” and decided that it was now or never. Call it a gut feeling or a gift from mother nature, I call it a sign from God, but it was unknowingly my time for “more” as that word was intended to be for me. My husband was fully supportive so together we decided that it was time to turn these lemons into lemonade! I had worked too hard for the past six years and it was time for me to become my own boss.

That week, I spent hours on the internet, making phone calls and doing research to try and find a space close to home to start up my business. All those hours of searching and I couldn’t find one place that had available space for my vision. I was running out of time. I needed to start contributing to our bills and I was just about ready to give up on being a hairstylist and the whole idea of having my own business. I started to feel a little bit crazy and a little bit desperate.

However, my husband kept encouraging me. He told me not to give up on the search. He said he believed it would happen and that it was time for me to do it. I told him this was going to be my last day of searching. That if I didn’t find something available in the Chandler or Gilbert area today, that I was going to move onto something else. Even if it meant a new career or a temporary job to start bringing in some money. He left for work and yet again I started searching. This day, though, something new popped up on Google. It was a link to a brand spanking new building that was tailored for salon suite rentals and it was less than 5 miles away from my house! I had searched for days for salon rentals in this area and this never showed up! What was this place!? My tummy had butterflies. I felt like it was my sign. I called the owner and set up a tour about an hour after seeing it. (Being a brand new mom it took me about an hour to get out of my house with everything I needed.)

I grabbed my newborn son, along with the diaper bag, stroller, some coffee, and a ponytail and I went to take a tour of this newly-found space in my milk-stained t-shirt. The space was perfect. I was excited! It felt right despite my fears. In the next couple of days, with my husband’s and family’s support, I signed the lease to open Moxie.

At this point, I really had no clue what I was doing but I was determined to figure it out. In the meantime, I had found out that my old salon was telling my clients that I was no longer doing hair and they were offering my clients major discounted services to try out other stylists. I had no way to contact my clients other than Facebook or LinkedIn. I had finals coming up to finish my semester of college, I had just signed a lease to start a new business and I had a one-month-old baby in my arms. So, I finished out my semester, dropped out of college, and googled “How to start up a hair business.”

Throughout the next year, I made profiles on Yelp, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I stepped way out of my comfort zone and started sharing much more about myself and my work on social media platforms. I got licensed in eyelash extensions since I was recovering from labor and was unable to stand for long periods of time to perform a service. I advertised for Moxie on local community groups on Facebook and made friends with anyone across town who looked like they needed a beauty service done. Basically, I hustled and marketed my tooshy off. After just under a year of opening, I had mostly built an eyelash clientele even though I hated doing eyelashes and really missed doing hair. This is when I realized it was time for a change.

I wasn’t as happy as I imagined I would be when running a business and I had a reality check. I told myself, “Kylie you didn’t start up a business to offer services that you don’t enjoy. You started a business so you could create your own happiness, your own income, and your own schedule. Why are you doing things you hate?” Of course, the answer was so that I could make ends meet. I started to change my perspective and decided that I would make more money if I did what made me happiest. However, I still didn’t really know how to do this yet. Everything was trial and error.

That’s when I decided to dive into some hair education. I started attending as many hair classes as possible. Local classes, classes I had to travel to, expensive classes, inexpensive classes… I threw myself into the beauty industry more than I’d ever allowed myself to explore it before. In result, I also found myself more in love with it than ever before.

Soooo, here we are now. Fast forward to now, it’s the beginning of 2019. My son turned three in August and my business turned three in October. As for Moxie: a couple of months ago I moved and expanded my one chair salon suite into a new location and added another station to make it a two-chair salon. I have built a brand new clientele within the last three years and I love every single one of them. I also love every single service that I offer on my menu. I specialize in a technique called hair painting and I am booking roughly 6-8 weeks out for an appointment. I just hired my first assistant to help me on the weekends but I have a goal to start an apprenticeship to fill my second chair part-time with someone who is as passionate about this field as I am. I feel more confident in my own skin than I have ever felt and I have reconnected with a passion that I accidentally buried inside of me through my mistake of getting too comfortable. Sometimes, I still have no idea what the heck I’m doing, but I still wouldn’t have it any other way. Becoming a mom and a business owner in the same couple of months have been the craziest and most fun rollercoaster I’ve ever been on.

Opening Moxie has given me opportunities to involve myself in purposes that are bigger than myself. This year was my favorite year so far. I attended Hair Love Retreat in April which has brought me some very rich relationships and the support of other women in this industry, I was involved in a non-profit fashion show in October in Virginia called Runway 2 Life to support mental health and suicide awareness. Finally, this month I have almost hit my goal to raise $1,000 to donate to a charity I feel very strongly about called Convoy of Hope for Women’s Empowerment; all with the help of my clients. I feel so passionate about trying to better our world through any way I can and being a business owner helps me to do so. I want to make the sweetest lemonade you’ve ever tasted from some pretty sour lemons.

I’m not sure what my future holds within Moxie but I know there will be “more” yet again. I’m so grateful for all of the support that I have received from my family and friends since opening. I truly believe that I am living out my purpose for this time period of my life. Thank you so much for reading this far! If you’d like to follow my endeavors on social media, you can find me on Instagram @yougotmoxie. I’ll look forward to connecting with you!

Has it been a smooth road?
Oh, I had so many struggles. Heck, I still come across bumpy roads all the time. My advice would be to not let fear be the reason you say “no” to your great ideas. Let YOUR voice be louder than everyone else’s. Trust your gut and pray/meditate over things then look to the Universe for answers. And lastly- if the people around you are not supporting you then find new people to surround yourself with!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Moxie Salon – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I specialize in a technique called hair-painting as well as lived-in hair color and haircuts for women.

I am very proud that my brand has been involved in non-profit events that are near and dear to my heart.

I feel that what sets me apart from others that I care about my guest’s hearts as much as I care about their hair. We spend a lot of time together in the salon considering hair appointments are not short appointments and are often times frequent. I view each appointment as an entire custom experience.

I would also say that my education is something that sets me apart. I really invest a lot in this part of my business as it is a priority for me to attend a certain amount of classes on a yearly basis. It keeps me inspired and up-to-date as this industry so frequently evolves.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
Oh, so many!

Instagram (I love me some Instagram #noshame)
Yelp Biz

The Road Back to You
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
You are a Badass at Making Money
Start With Why
Girl Wash Your Face

Hair Love Radio
Britt Seva

Other Resources:
My business coach Elizabeth Faye
Provision Coffee!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Brittany Allen

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.


  1. Jaime Nystuen

    January 9, 2019 at 2:22 am

    This woman is the BEST! Not only a skilled stylist, but a genuine human with a heart of gold. I’ve never been one to stay with my stylist but Kylie is worth sticking around for! She’s thoughtful and honest and provides great education about caring for and getting the right color and look! Coloring and haircare is truly an art and Kylie is an ARTIST!

  2. Wendy Brooks

    January 9, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    I drive 25 miles to get to Kylie, and I’d drive 100 if I had to! She is a PHENOMENAL stylist who always makes me look and feel my best. When she says she cares about her clients’ hearts as much as their hair, she isn’t kidding. I always leave feeling loved, inspired and uplifted.

    • Kylie

      January 21, 2019 at 4:07 am

      Aw Wendy I love you! Thank you, you light up my life!

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