Barber, Friend, and Fierce follower of Jesus- I have a feeling you'll feel Beth's sunshine just by reading her story.
After just 1 hour (that quickly turned into almost 2) with the very first Styled with Strength Spotlight, I had cried, laughed so hard I think I also cried, witnessed her encourage someone to follow their dreams of moving to Scotland within 2 minutes of chatting, squeezed 3 people that squealed at the sight of her, schedule an appointment for a customer, ask about others, and it genuinely felt like this coffee shop in West Fargo was actually her living room. From her head to her toes, Beth is equal parts badass and straight-up sunshine all in one. Her love for others radiates and truly glows and I’m excited to share a bit more of her story.
Red Buffalo Barbershop
Beth owns and operates Red Buffalo Barbershop in Moorhead, MN a shop she opened in 2020 on a step of faith having moved out of a role she had held for 5 years that felt so safe and secure. You likely just gasped and the thought of someone opening a business – let alone a barbershop in 2020. What is so representative of Beth’s faith and confidence in Jesus is how she describes that time of her life and leap of faith. There was never any doubt that God was going to come through.
From a business perspective Beth was strategic in her alignment with an incredible housemate in Justin who owns and operates Zoltar Tattoo. When he approached her about his unique concept of a home transformed into part Tattoo Shop and part Barbershop- she was so honored and immediately said yes. She downsized her apartment, dotted her i’s, and crossed her t’s, and then... jumped and trusted Jesus.
With government shutdowns, it could have seemed like one giant closed door to her dream, Beth says it was the total opposite. From Instacart groceries being delivered to her apartment door (that she did not order) on a day that the food plan was questionable; to doing bootleg barbershop haircuts in kitchens, basements, and churches; where being tipped with toilet paper are the examples she provides are endless of God’s goodness in a hard season.
When finally allowed to officially open the Red Buffalo Barbershop became an instant success; Beth’s business model is rooted around the person. That every little guy (and big guy!) feels seen and that during their time in that chair- it is truly all about them. Creating a space that’s open and vulnerable for men- is no easy task. She finds that by her demonstrating her own vulnerability and honesty makes others comfortable- and often opens the door for incredible conversations about Jesus and sometimes even a gentle nudge and she'll ask: “Dude have you prayed about it?”
Beth describes her passion for the work she does and the people she cares for as: “I know that I can be a light, and so how can I be that kind of vessel and channeling that within myself with so many different types of people every day?”
But just where does that sunshine and bright light that shines in Red Buffalo Barbershop come from?
Walking within the Light
Beth grew up in a Christian household that church was the center, so she has known and loved Jesus from the beginning. While her faith in him was always consistent; from 7th grade to her mid-twenties where jobs, friends, and partying take center stage as they do for most- His light in her life was always on but the relationship sometimes looked a little different.
At 27, With the charm of the party scene starting to wear; Beth decided to try a dry January and is still going 5 years later. Beth’s perspective around alcohol is so clear and so honest, and something very few women are brave enough to say) She noticed the way that life changed and looked or felt different and in Beth’s words: “I don’t need any liquid courage to get weird, I’m already there!”
2 weeks into her dry January, her mom posed another challenge: get to church. Confidently with her 14 day traction Beth marched back into church that following Sunday, and God was on the move immediately. A forgotten scarf her second visit, led Beth to leading youth group for middle school girls. Something that was never on her radar but acknowledging that middle school was where her own life shifted; her heart was that: “If I could help one little honeypot avoid all the things I had to go through- I’m going to do it.” The month of January 2018 was turning over new leaves for Beth and in many ways was just the first page to all the things that God had in store for her.
Beth has a comfortability about her that gives her the ability to have friendships with everyone from tattoo artists, toddlers, to pastors, and even those happily-grumpy old men. This desire to love others well Beth shares is planted from her Auntie Uni- who pursues her passions confidently and at the root of who she is, loves Jesus so much that it's evident in her friendships and the way she lives her life daily. Auntie Uni makes loving Jesus and loving people easy- by authentically being herself.
Beth’s presence allows her to create space to talk about Jesus in many moments but it’s important to read her words below and wrestle with them as you navigate your own journey and think how you can love people well and also meet them in their specific moment.
When asked: Why do you think it’s important for people that love Jesus to be in rooms and do life with those that don’t love or know Jesus? she had a fast reply:
“To demonstrate and just be a light- to represent that there are other options. Be kind- and be awesome! In those moments you let the holy spirit really do the work and know that not everyone needs to know your life story, or your friend Jesus, but some people really do. So being open and being keen to that and reading the room. You never know when something's going to happen or you'll feel that pull at your heart to share."
Daddy God’s Got You
What I thought was a softball question of “Where do you feel closest to God?”, threw a curve-ball directly back at me. I fully expected her answer to be rooted in nature or wonder, as Beth is an adventurer to her very core. But Beth’s answer, raw honesty, and ability to perfectly describe her relationship with God and when she feels closest to him- caught me so off guard that it made me challenge my own heart of where I feel closest to him.
“I feel closest to him after I’ve been apart from him. When you’re on that downhill, you’re just getting hit by life, it’s coming and then you start getting a little annoyed with God- “like all right my guy- you’re supposed to be looking out for me, where have you been” Then you’re in this silent treatment phase- maybe a week maybe a few days and then you get that a-ha moment and realize you haven’t been doing the things that bring you closer to God- I haven’t been singing, I haven’t been going to church, I haven’t been with my people and so you finally come to- and then you do call out, and then that punch- all of a sudden he’s in that room and you’re crying or the song starts playing. And you realize you’ve pushed yourself away instead of coming to God and that realization that He always shows up. It’s always strong. And it's undeniable that’s when I feel closest to God. He does always show up. I may not like his answer, but he’s that blanket of comfort in the shit-storm of life that it can be. Those problems don’t go away but that blanket of “we can do this” is there.”
Honesty. Vulnerability. and pure obedience and awareness to her relationship with Jesus.
How often do we tap the easy button to that question? I know I certainly do. I would have said something like; “In worship” “During my daily devotional” or something that might have made me feel better but wasn’t actually my truth. Beth so eloquently described what her walk in faith looks like- especially when times are hard, or times when she’s distant from him, yet- one thing is constant-
He hasn’t moved.
(Thus (my) tears..)
Confidence in Christ and Navigating the Wild World of Female Friendships
When asked what people often get wrong about her- is that prior to meeting her she comes off as intimidating. You could tell how crushed she was even thinking about the question as even talking about it she shared it makes her heart break all over again. Her desire is that in every moment she wants to be the teddy bear, to see the person, to accept them, and truly wants them to be the best.
There was something remarkable she said next: “but I don’t believe those things about me.”
I reflected to the first time I met Beth and examined my heart, my inner thoughts, and now knowing Beth something clicked. In my perspective what makes Beth intimidating to others is not her tattoos (or that she genuinely looks like a supermodel) it’s her confidence. Not confidence in herself individually- but confidence in who God has uniquely made her to be. Her confidence in knowing her heart and intent, and her ability to boldly show up as her authentic self in all environments.
Isn’t that how it always works with us ladies? Sometimes our perceptions of others without meeting them, is more about what’s going on in our own hearts instead of theirs? We make assessments of others in milliseconds and believe them as truth (which in turn might actually make us feel worse.) What if we sought his truth in who we were made to be and lived so boldly and confidently secure in that place that when we met a woman, or walked into a room- we weren’t immediately trying to see how we measured up.
In the words of Miss Beth: “There’s room- for all of us to be our best. And that’s cool-we don’t need to squash anybody else. We’ve got it bad out here!”
Beth has created a wide net of amazing people that surround and support her and knowing that so many of us are craving friendship and authentic connection I asked for her advice to build and foster healthy female friendships. Her fundamental life recommendation overall is to be kind- to be open and be the type of friend that you would want. Acknowledging that we become a magnet for the type of energy you want to be around- make sure you are radiating the energy that you are wanting back!
Choose to Be the Light
I hope that by getting to know Beth a bit more, you’ve also had the opportunity to reflect and learn some things about yourself. Are there parts of your life that could radiate more light? Have you thought about or celebrated the gifts and passions that God has uniquely given you lately?
Inspired by one incredible woman with a strong foundation of faith and demonstrating that light and love outwardly and inwardly is the best way to honor and live out your faith, which in turn has helped shape and launch another incredible woman for the next generation to do the same. Authentically living and standing in our truth and in within ourselves can inspire a ripple effect of acceptance and love (for ourselves!) and for others that we might not realize who are also desperately craving joy.
While I might be able to gush for the next 3 days about how Beth understands her gifts and uses them in service for others and for her creator, I know we’ve barely scratched the surface here. Her kindness, her amazing tattoos, her kick-ass style, her light and warmth, her bold authenticity, and most of all her trust in His plan for her life are just a few things that make Beth Ailie truly a woman that is Styled with Strength.