Madeline & Kristi’s Story: Working Together is the Dream

Meet Madeline (M) and Kristi (K), two best friends who both live and work in Mississippi.

What’s your profession?

K: I’ve been a hairstylist for 20 years now. I absolutely love my job and talking with my customers. We laugh together, connect, and I enjoy getting to interact with so many different personalities.

M: I’ve had several jobs over the years, but my profession has mainly been customer service. Just like Kristi, I like talking to people. I found out that you can have that personal connection with people in the nail tech field, so I’m excited to pursue that.

How did you two meet?

M: We met in high school. At the time, we were both playing basketball and found out we lived just a few houses away from each other.

K: We attended college together as well! We both went to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

What’s your household like?

M: I’m a single parent of three children and we live at our home.

K: I’m also a single parent, but I live with my mom and dad. One of my kids is in college and the other is a senior in high school.

Walk me through a day in your life.

K: On a regular day when I’m working, I start my day at 6am. I wake up, get dressed, and I arrive at work around 6 of 7am. Since my son’s doing his school work online, I try to help him with whatever he needs. My parents have also been there to help me whenever I need them. After I’m done with work, I come home, cook, and make sure everybody eats dinner.

M: I’m an early riser, too. I wake up at 5:30am, get the kids ready for school, make sure they get on the bus, prepare dinner for that night, then clean up around the house. My 20-year-old and I take nail technician classes together, so on the days we have classes, my father helps me with my kids from 3pm-9pm. He helps them with their homework and makes sure they eat.

What does school look like for your kids this year?

K: My daughter came home last year for spring break, and she’s been going to school online ever since. She attends Ole Miss, but thankfully she only has one in-person class this semester. As for my son, he’s also taking his high school classes online.

M: My youngest kids are going to school in-person. They like it so far, and they were definitely ready to go back. I wanted them to do distance learning, but I waited too long to register them.

Madeline, you said Kristi inspired you to pursue your dream of becoming a nail technician. Could you tell me more about that?

M: That day was a real blessing. I just got my nails done that day, and the lady who did them was telling me about the nail technician courses she took. That’s when I first started thinking about getting certified as a nail tech. Kristi had called me later that day because she said I was on her mind. She told me that I should go for my dream!

K: I always try to call Madeline and uplift her. I like to remind her that she doesn’t have to settle for less than she deserves. Often, I’ll say, “You may be going through a storm now, but you’ll come out soon. You have purpose. You’ve got a destiny.” I’ve known her for a long time. She has such a big heart, and I pray for her.

Tell me about a favorite memory you two share.

M: There are just too many to count! In high school, Kristi played a trick on me and pushed me down the street in a shopping cart. We just kept laughing!

K: Also in high school, we were at Madeline’s grandmother’s house when we decided to phone a psychic. It was one of those 1-800 pay per minute gigs where the first minute is free, but the psychic always tries to stretch out their words. When Madeline’s mom got the phone bill the next month, she said to us, “The next time you want to talk to a psychic, I’ll be your psychic!”

Are either of you currently saving for anything in particular?

M: I’m saving and trying to increase my credit score. Eventually, I want to become a homeowner.

K: I’m saving, too. Each year, I try to put money in a new CD because I’m trying to help my kids build generational wealth. I’m also saving to start my own business.

Tell me more about the business you’d like to open.

K: I’ve been the co-owner of the barber shop/hair salon where I work for the past 13 years, but I want to have my own business one day. It’s been great so far! I just want a space where I can be creative and see my ideas come to life. I already have a name for my business: Slay Hair Oils and More.

As a hairstylist, I’ve seen how issues with hair can really affect a woman’s self-esteem. Last year, the Lord gave me this vision of developing a hair oil that stops your hair from shedding and makes it soft. With His help, I was able to create a product that helps with those issues.

M: Kristi is going to be very successful. She has the personality for it and she’s a great people person!

Do you have any advice for someone who’s just starting to learn about money?

K: Find good investments that work for you. That may be CDs, stocks, or real estate. You have to think in the mindset of “How can I increase what I already have?” Also, don’t spend frivolously. Compare interest rates at banks and watch out for fees. Check out your credit report and see if there’s anything on there that can be disputed. You have to think about your future when you want to save.

M: Pay yourself first. Even if it’s only 10% of your paycheck, pay yourself first. Remember to check your credit score from time to time. Use your phone to your advantage. There are so many great apps that can help you manage your money. They’re not called smart phones for nothing!

How do you feel about SaverLife?

M: I love SaverLife! I was introduced to it through a home ownership program. I’m always looking for ways to save and be better with my money. The member stories are really inspirational. I also enjoy playing Scratch & Save weekly, and I’ve actually won a few times. The Race to $100 is great, too!

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