Sometimes, we don’t picture our life the way it’s going, but God always works it out for the better.
That’s what 30-year-old Seymour resident Kayli Bailey believes.
She is the owner of Babe Cave Hair Studio in the Vehslage Building at 300 N. Chestnut St. in Seymour.
Bailey said she never thought she would be divorced and raising a child on her own.
“I’m so thankful because I never thought I’d be living in Seymour, starting a business and raising my son,” she said. “But it’s 10 times better than what I ever wanted for myself. It’s incredible.”
Bailey has a 4-year-old son, Milan, and four bonus kids from her previous marriage.
Her parents, Shawn and Tracy Johnson, were from Seymour, but when Kayli was in second grade, they moved out of town.
“We moved to several different places for my dad’s job at 84 Lumber,” Bailey said. “They moved us back here my senior year in 2011, and I didn’t know anybody, so I graduated early so I could get started at hair school.”
She attended Hair Force Beauty Academy in Seymour but knew she wasn’t going to do hair right away because she was 20 and manager of Under Armour at the time.
“So I was working and going to school, and I was so young to be a manager,” Bailey said. “I wanted to work there at least one year for my résumé, then wanted to do hair later when I had kids so I could make my own schedule.”
She is from Jackson County, but her roots were never really here until about four years ago when she moved from Atlanta back to Seymour with Milan.
“When I came back, I had to work to take care of my son, so I worked at Walmart Distribution for a year to make more money and to have insurance,” Bailey said. “When Milan turned 3, he went to day care, and I worked at a local salon on Saturdays to build clientele.”
She quickly built a list of clients and was able to quit her job at Walmart Distribution Center.
“I worked in salons for a while, and I prayed about it because I had a son and wondered if that was the right decision,” Bailey said. “I had a dream that I opened up my own place and took that as confirmation to go forward, and I did, and it has been amazing ever since.”
She opened Babe Cave Hair Studio on Oct. 1, 2022, but this is her third year of doing hair.
Bailey said she was drawn to her profession because she’s a girls’ girl and loves to lift up women.
“We’re so guarded around other women in public, but when they are in my chair at the studio, they open up to me and share things about their life,” she said. “I feel like that is my ministry, and I want to build them up, and there’s no better way than doing somebody’s hair.”
Bailey only works on women’s hair, and her specialty is color and extensions.
As for female role models in her life, she names her great-grandma, her grandma and her mother.
“Definitely my mom because she is a true businesswoman,” she said. “She has always done something in management, and since I was in high school, she has always worked full time, and they own properties, so they manage those.”
When Bailey found out several people had nominated her for The Tribune’s Women in Business recognition, she cried because of how kind it was of them to do. That felt so good to hear, she said.
“I feel like I’m lifting everybody up and loving on everybody, so when I found out, that just touched my heart,” Bailey said.
Several people nominated Bailey for the recognition. One of them was Chandra Dishman.
“Kayli is such a sweet person, she is very hardworking and she is a great person all around,” Dishman said. “She is great with adults and children, and Kayli always has a smile on her face.”
She said Bailey is very flexible and easy to work with when it comes to making appointments.
“She opened her own salon, and that takes a lot of courage, especially in a town that has several already,” Dishman said. “She is one of the kindest ladies I have ever met.”
Alisha Cunningham said she thinks Bailey is the most genuine hairstylist she has ever met. Caring and loyal, she always puts the customer first and is the color queen.
Suzann Sorensen said Bailey is not only an amazing hairdresser and person, but she always makes you feel welcome.
“I had never gone to her, and my first time seeing her, I was worried, but she got my hair exactly like I wanted,” Sorensen said. “I felt we had a friendship when I left.”