Personal Compass: Kelly Gorsuch

Karie Bennett | January 31, 2018 | 8:43 AM
Kelly Gorsuch, owner of Immortal Beloved, Beautiful and Damned and Barber of Hell's Bottom.
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Gorsuch with his four-year-old son.
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The Gorsuch family.
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Daisy the Mastiff.
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The Gorsuch family.
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Kelly Gorsuch could be described as driven, passionate, innovative and busy, but that would be too short a list of adjectives. Descended from a family of hairdressers, it was a natural progression for Gorsuch to join the beauty industry more than 20 years ago. Over the decades, he has experienced every aspect of the industry, from working as a service provider to working on runway and editorial hair to teaching the craft to managing, then owning salons—his current business focus.

Gorsuch’s two 45-chair salons and four men’s grooming shops are located in Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia, and their names all invite questions and conversations—Immortal Beloved, Beautiful and Damned and Barber of Hell’s Bottom. He also built much of the wood furniture in his salons, and when he couldn’t find lighting to his liking, he decided to manufacture it himself.

Did we mention Gorsuch is a dedicated husband and father? He just may have cracked the code on how to manufacture more hours in a day. Here’s how he manages to fit it all in:

What time is your alarm set to wake you up in the morning?
“I don’t use an alarm clock. My four-year-old sneaks in and alternates between jumping on my stomach and kicking me in the head. That happens somewhere between 6:30 and 7 every day.”

What’s for breakfast?
“Coffee and contemplation. I don’t crave food in the mornings.”

First item you like to cross off each day?
“I like to make a list of things to do that day. I also spend some time on FaceTime every morning with Caleb Woodard, who builds all my furniture and lighting out of Nashville. My wife calls him her sister-husband,”

Which do you check first: email, Facebook, Twitter, or voicemail?

Biggest waste of time on a daily basis?

What time do you go in to the salons?
“The goal is shortly after opening every day at one of the locations, but I don’t always get there. By the time I go in, I’ve already worked a full day from home or in meetings.”

How much time do you spend there?
“However long it takes.”

Who do you wish you could have lunch with?
“I wish I could have lunch by myself every day. It’s a good time to just think.”

Daily/Weekly/Monthly fitness ritual?
“My ritual is to talk about jogging a lot. I think I’ve now talked about going jogging “one of these days” so much that I may have actually burned some calories in the process.”

Who is your idol?
“Entrepreneurs are celebrity to me, big and small. And I’m not ashamed to tell you that I love The Rock. Who doesn’t?”

Tell me something that would surprise me about you.
“I’m uncomfortable around people. It gives me anxiety to talk to someone I don’t know well. This kind of made my career a lot more difficult.”

Cat, dog, both, or something else?
“Two dogs: an English Mastiff named Daisy and a rescue mutt named Magnum PI.”

Do you cook, and what’s your favorite meal?
“I rarely cook with the exception of blue crabs on Sundays during crab season. It also happens to be my favorite meal.

How do you unwind?
“One of three things: an excellent, mediocre, or crappy whiskey. I also like to watch Sunday football but, for a Redskins fan, that’s not always a relaxing activity.”

What time do you go to sleep?
“My goal is to get to bed between 10 and 11 p.m. I wouldn’t say I ever sleep well, but it is better when I’m not building out a business.”

What do you love about your life?
“Living in America. I feel so fortunate to have been born here. I grew up in poverty. There’s not many places where you can work your rear off at something you love and pull yourself up.”

What would you change about the world if you could?
“I wish I could do something about how divisive everything is at the moment. We all need to give our egos a rest and realize that we’re all in this together and no one can be right all of the time. Except Elon Musk. He’s always right, all of the time.”

What career would you have if you weren't a hairdresser?
“Whatever it takes to pay the bills. I like to nerd out so hopefully I could work that in some way.”

What would you tell your 18 year old self?
“Calm the F down. You’re going to have to put in the years to master your trade unless you’re a prodigy.”

What is the one thing you want to accomplish in your life?
“I have a great family, amazing friends, and I’m leaving a decent legacy for those around me. I’m pretty content with that.”

What's the best invention of the 20th century in your opinion?
“The internet. For 21st century thus far: autonomous cars.”

What do you want to come back as in your next life?
“A sloth.”

What has the industry given you?
“So much. I never took for granted that I was lucky enough to work in an industry that allows you to be creative and do whatever you want, as long as you work hard enough for it.”

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