Shakayla "Shae" Canaday, CEO and founder of Brushed Beauty Studio in Fayetteville, graduated from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith this May with her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership degree already well into her career as a leader.
"Getting a Bachelor's degree was always the plan for me because I love school," Canaday said enthusiastically. "I love knowledge and truly feel more confident in myself, the more I know. I chose the BSOL program because I own a small business and have been thinking about scaling it into a team for quite some time."
Not only did Canaday develop business acumen that has influenced how she leads and manages her team, she also discovered untapped potential in herself.
"I did some self-reflection and realized that in all of the authority positions I had in the past I lacked what it truly meant to be a leader. When I found the Organizational Leadership Program, everything seemed to fall into place for me, and in that first semester of classes after transferring into the program, I knew it was where I was meant to be,” she said. “I have gained so much knowledge about how important good examples of leadership are for the next generation … Leadership is an art and a science that is developed over time.”
A multifaceted business owner, the Russellville native runs hairstyling, makeup artistry, and photography businesses in the Northwest Arkansas region. Specializing in modern editorial styles, she has earned acclaim across the globe, having her work featured in Vogue Italia and the U.K. magazine, Amber, and being named one of the Best of Fayetteville, all in the past year.
Canaday says though she has worked hard to streamline processes and improve her office dexterities, her ability to truly listen to her clients and bring their visions to life is what sets her apart from others in her industry. "People value feeling valued, and I try to remember how I would want to feel leaving someone's chair as a client and bring that to every session," she said. "I am also completely transparent, and all of my clients know that. My artistry is my passion, and though I am a business, I am a person, and I want people to know that when they book me, they get me."
Throughout her program, Canaday said professors taught her more than curriculum, identifying Dr. Kristin Tardif and professor Justina Buck as especially supportive. "Their teaching style and constant willingness to help allowed me to really be vulnerable in the classes that required it and be confident in my ability to make decisions in my capstone course.
While she was a student, Canaday also managed the stresses of being a full-time business owner, wife, and mother of two daughters, two-year-old Eden Grace, and three-month-old Zuri Rose. "My motto is Feel the Fear and Do it anyway," she said. "God has placed some of the most amazing people in my life. My mother was (and is) always there for me to vent when I needed it and to just air out my grievances when I was frustrated or felt like I couldn't do it. My husband watched my daughter through midterms and finals last semester and never complained about the level of craziness I get when it comes to success and high performance in school," Canaday added, noting that she aims to reach the Dean's List every semester.
"For so long, I let fear get in the way of pursuing my dreams. Owning a business, submitting to a magazine … though I still get super scared and nervous before doing any of that, I remind myself that what is meant to be is already mine. Every "no" is not always finite. Sometimes it just means "not right now," so I try to remember those things. It makes reaching for my dreams less scary."
Canaday's instagram is www.instagram.com/brushedbeautyhm, and a new website will be coming soon for all her Brushed Beauty endeavors.