By Rebecca Jones, special to the News-Times
CARTERET COUNTY — Sometimes a career path is not a path at all. It is more of a crooked, winding path, with luck and vigorous work. It is a balance between the things we try to make happen and the things that happen to us.
Jessica Grigsby had a definite change in direction on her career path. While in the Army, she was stationed at Fort Polk, La. She had three roommates who loved to do hair.
“Louisiana was too hot and had too many bugs, so we did hair when we weren’t working,” Grigsby said. “So, when given the opportunity to change careers, I chose cosmetology.”
When she was younger, it was about making money. Over the years, it has evolved into a passion for people and relationships. She had an instructor named Amy Oyer tell her early on that they were not hairdressers, that they are “day makers.” She has always loved this phrase as she tells that to every client, and many refer to her as their “day maker.” Early in her career, she thought she was touching her clients’ lives. But she came to realize at Shades of Color Hair and Nail Salon in Cape Carteret where she works that her clients touch her even more.
“We get to be a part of our clients best times of their lives and share in some of their worst times,” Grigsby said. “So, over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of making countless people’s day. I’ve come to realize beauty is a basic human right. I’ve had many clients that I loved become disabled and not able to come in the salon. So, I was compelled to help. I removed myself from the salon one day a week to help shut-ins.
“Once I started this, I had several folks reach out about children who were not comfortable in a salon setting.”
Grigsby’s neighbor’s granddaughter was severely handicapped and needed a haircut, so that’s where it started. But it didn’t stop with homebound children. She began to find so many children with a multitude of different needs. Sensory issues can’t really be defined in one category. Anyone can struggle with sensory overload. It’s more common with Autism, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, development delayed and neurodivergent. Even high-functioning, exceptional children can be triggered. Many children struggle with new environments and changes in routine. There are many factors that trigger these children, such as certain sounds, smells and sights.
“I just saw a need and hope to help,” Grigsby said. “That’s the best part of this. Families of exceptional children are so grateful. It is the little things we take for granted that can be a struggle for these families. So, to see the appreciation for a simple service and a personal conversation makes the long hours worth it.
“This is not a free service. It’s at no extra cost, and we offer reasonable prices. When making an appointment, we will have a thorough consultation so we know how to best serve each client.”