Many mountain residents know the secret to great hair can be found in Monteagle. Eliza Gilliam is an experienced stylist who keeps both men and women looking great. She recently spoke with the Herald about her profession, her family, and why it is important to be unique.
Eliza is from Sewanee, her father is the late Harold King. Her mother is Laura Henley and her stepfather is Scott Henley.
“I was an elementary student at Sewanee, where I learned life was hard. I lost my dad in fourth grade to colon cancer and we relocated to Murfreesboro where my mom could attend college. She showed me strength and dedication as she did this single with four girls to look after!
“I graduated from Franklin County High School with honors and started working full time right after graduation at Horace Mann Insurance with Lou Pfister. I worked there for 10 years as an office manager/receptionist. While there, I earned trips to Spain, China, and Greece. I am very thankful for that job and all the business insights I gained in how to be professional. Mr. P taught me a lot in life.”
Eliza is currently a cosmetologist at Untangled.
“I have been in this business for the last three years. After Mr. P decided to retire, I decided it was time for me to pursue my lifelong dream. I knew when I was two years old that I ‘wanted to do hair when I got big.’
“I decided to attend cosmetology school while my kids were also at school. So, for a year I drove to McMinnville, everyday
“I chose what I do is because I absolutely love it! I get lost in time when I do hair. I love new things and people. I love to help people. I love to make others feel good about themselves. Everyone is beautiful to me and I love the uniqueness that we all have. That’s what makes each person so special to me. I like the way I can feel when I know that I can lend an ear or be a voice of reason to people that just need to be heard. Sometimes we portray this to others through our style and hair.”
Eliza is a wife and a mother.
“I have been married for 12 years and have two children. My daughter, Layla, is 11 and my son, Casen is 8. We are very active in sports. My husband, Cory, is the coach of the little league team for my son where their hearts are also found on the field!
“I absolutely love the mountain. I love the closeness of a small town. The beauty of the university is like none other, and to get to call Sewanee home is just an honor. The students are always so fun to get to know each year and it is always interesting to me as to how far they come to be here.
“In my free time I like to enjoy fresh air. I like taking out a camera and capturing the beauty of nature. I am always trying to find new things for the family to see or do.
“People may be surprised to know that I am not a ‘fit in’ kind of person. I want to see my own individuality. If everyone is wearing white, I’m wearing black. I don’t want to blend. It’s our own uniqueness to be ourselves. Like Dr. Sues says, ‘Why fit in when you were born to stand out?’”