Follow Friday: The DIY Edition

On Twitter, "Follow Friday" (#FF or #FollowFriday) is a way to recommend people you think others should know about. It's a very neat idea, though most people just add the hashtag and then list a bunch of Twitter user handles. It's a nice way to give someone a shout out, but often lacks the context. Why should I follow these people? Well I've decided to answer that question & provide that context. Each Friday I'm able, I'll write a post briefly profiling 3 local or relatively lesser known creative people who you should know about. I know this one's not on Friday, but it still counts cause I say so. In this post I'm going to profile three folks I know who I respect for following their dreams: Sarah Rose, David Montgomery, & Rachel Rummer.

Badass Stylist: Sarah Rose

Website: The Lone Rose Barbering Company

Sarah Rose is a badass. So are the haircuts she gives. I met Sarah this summer at the Floyd's Barbershop in Boulder where she previously slaved away. I never liked going there, as I felt the service was less than stellar - as were my haircuts - and the "we're cool" vibe they market always seemed too "corporate trying to be cool". But it was cheap and blocks away from my house so I kept going. Each time I dropped in for a cut, I noticed this one wacky looking stylist. She had tattoos, cooky outfits and theatrical makeup.

She looked awesome.

Sarah Rose. Badass. Plus, that guy.

I was totally into it and so, it appeared, were her customers. I had seen her do cuts for everyone from little kids to dudes-and-bros to complicated drama queens to boring businessmen. Everyone walked up to her and left her with a smile. Eventually I asked about her and booked my next appointment with her. What would follow was not only the best cuts I've had since moving to Colorado, but also getting to know one of the more intriguing people I've met since moving here. Sarah is one of those big personalities you meet in life. One of those people that takes center stage.

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As someone who spends a lot of time focusing on branding for a living, I am impressed with hers. She knows how to market. The "look" stays with people. She's uber personal. She takes pics of you post-cut and posts to a Facebook fan page, which she uses actively with her personal profile to let customers know when she's working.

She breeds loyalty.

Going in to get cuts from Sarah brought me back to my days supporting my awesome friend Aga and Rock Razor Scissors back in Chicago. It gives me an appreciation for styling hair and makeup as an art form. Sarah adds "performance art" to that, yet you never feel like she's just pretending. She's genuinely kind and funny and the marketing never seems cheap or phony, which is why I'm not surprised she finally left Floyd's to start her own business.

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I visited her yesterday for a cut on her first day open and well, her new gig is awesome. She's uninhibited now, and I see a lot of potential for growth. I know she has a loyal customer base that will follow her in her new endeavors and I'm glad I get to support her as well. The new place is called The Lone Rose Barbering Company and if you're in Boulder, you better visit and tell her Coate sent you. Or else....

Journalist: David Montgomery

Website: http://dhmontgomery.com/

David Montgomery is a talented journalist who covers politics and government in South Dakota. As his own newspaper says, he's kind of a BIG DEAL.

"People know him."

As much as it's probably in my nature to poke fun, he is though. I don't care where you live or what you do in life. If you're good enough at it to have marketing materials made about how good you are at it, you've done well. Of course, it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that David has done well. He's always been one of the brightest people I've known.

Growing up in school, David was one of the "smart kids" - getting good grades, in honors classes, etc. Now, I also got good grades, and shared honors classes with him, but I was never at the level he was. I was smart, but I still got to hang out with the "cool kids" and the stoners and the jocks and so on. In those circles, I would make fun of David, but in truth I respected him. Shitty way to be, but that's youth. In the context of a classroom I wasn't annoyed when he shot his hand in the air to answer yet another question correctly. I was actually a bit in awe.

That awe continues as I look at David as one of the few people I know that is actually doing what he set out to do, and doing it well. He went to school to be a journalist and he is one. A good one. As much as he downplays the significance of that advertisement or the success he's had in his career, it's meaningful. I enjoy reading his work and I enjoy our occasional Facebook chats about baseball, life, writing and good music. I'll continue to follow his career, as should you. I don't think it will be too many more years until David Montgomery is known outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. When he's a super big shot you can have the satisfaction of saying "you knew about him before he got big." You know. Just like a hipster.

Educator: Rachel Rummer

Website: Kumon of Superior-Louisville, CO

So the third person I'm profiling here is the better half of my good friend/mentor Jeff Rummer, who if you follow this blog you may remember from my post on Thursday entitled  "Thanks, Jeff." Wait. Double entry for the Rummers this week? Uh oh. It's going to go to their heads...*cough*

"Yeah. We know we're awesome, Coate. So?"

Rachel is also an influence on my life, similar to Jeff, though I don't make it as obvious to her as I should. We have a fun relationship built on sarcasm and her mothering me. All jokes aside, she looks out for me and when we hang out is vocal about her concern for my emotional well being. It's nice to have someone like that, especially during the times when I'm not concerned about my own emotional well being. Which is usually.

rach kumon I'm writing about Rachel in this post because earlier this year she left the classroom after years as a teacher and ventured into the great unknown of being a small business owner. She opened up a Kumon learning center and so far it seems to be going very well. I'm extremely proud on her behalf, not just because she's a good friend of mine, but because she's following her ambitions in spite of how terrifying that can be. It takes some serious drive and guts to jump into the deep end like that - guts I haven't yet developed.

But like Sarah and like David, I'm not surprised Rachel has done this and I'm not surprised she's succeeding and will continue to. She has the mix of smarts and personality to make this work, and has a good support group around her.

Now, I'm going to end this post before I get too complimentary of her. It's going to ruin the balance of us constantly making fun of one another. In fact, I think I've already said enough kind things to upset that balance. So I leave you with this picture of Rachel:

rach Yes, this is the person I've been bragging to you about.

Let that sink in.

And then go follow your ambitions too.