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From hair styling to motorcycles: doing what you love

Cutting and styling hair came naturally to Tracy Ayars. Prompted by her mom, who ìwackedî her bangs so bad she didnít want to go to school, Ayars started cutting her own hair, and eventually the hair of friends and family, at age 13.Ayars grew up in Philadelphia before her mom and stepfather moved the family to Florida. Although Ayars initially didnít want to move, a chance encounter with a Philly native who currently lived in Florida changed her mind. Ayars met Bill while he was vacationing in Philadelphia, and they developed a relationship that became long distance when Bill returned to Florida ó before Ayars moved there in 1990.After just six months in Florida, Ayars said her mom and stepfather decided to move to Breman, Georgia; and Ayars decided to move in with her father in West Palm Beach, Florida. Bill asked 17-year-old Ayars to marry him, and they tied the knot in November 1991. That same year Ayars entered the cosmetology program at Indian River Community College (now Indian River State College) in Fort Pierce, Florida.In 1992, Ayars graduated and began working as a hair stylist. Outside of work, she spent plenty of time at a local gym. The owners of the gym persuaded Ayars to train for an all-natural body building contest. In three months, Ayars said she also learned more about nutrition and lost 20 pounds and gained muscle. ìI wanted to see if I could do it,î she said. And she did: Ayars took first place in the heavyweight novice class and second place in the open heavyweight. Two weeks after competing in the body building contest, Ayars and her husband moved to Colorado. ìFlorida was not my favorite place,î she said. ìComing from Philly, I missed the seasons.î The couple moved to Colorado Springs in September 1994.Ayars worked at a couple hair salon chains and eventually managed a Cost Cutters in Colorado Springs. ìI was trying to find the right place for me, but those places usually are good to build clientele that might follow you somewhere,î she said.In 1998, Ayars moved to a ìhigh-endî salon ó Studio 182. After five years there, Ayars went into business for herself by renting a booth at Tianís Hair Studio in Colorado Springs. ìYou book your appointments; youíre your own business,î she said.Ayars had also joined the Southern Colorado Mopars (Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth) car club. As a member of the club, she had a ìhandfulî of friends that she hung out with. One of them is her second husband, Sam Ayars (she and her first husband had divorced). They had been friends since 1996 and eventually began dating. In June 2007, they married and moved to Woodmen Hills in Falcon. Ayars opened a salon in her home, and called it Hair by Tracy.In 2009, Ayars and her husband sold their house in Woodmen Hills and bought 5 acres of land in The Meadows housing development, just west of Falcon. They moved into their new home in 2010, and Ayars continued her in-home salon business, but changed the name to Wild Hair Studio. Today, she has about 80 clients and works part-time. ìI really love doing hair, but I wouldnít mind keeping it part-time,î she said. ìIt is a blessing to be financially stable,î which allows for other activities like coaching motorcycle riders.At the Motorcycle Training Academy, Ayars teaches riders about safety and basic and advanced riding skills. ìIt is very fun and very rewarding to watch beginner riders learn how to ride and pass their written and riding test,î she said.Ayars also volunteers at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide, Colorado. She has a passion for animals, especially wolves. ìWolves are my favorite,î she said. ìItís my therapy.î Ayars met the owner of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center shortly after the Hayman fire in 2002.ìShe had to evacuate Lake George with at least 17 animals,î she said. Ayars brought several bags of high-protein dog food to the wolves under evacuation. She became more involved with the center after it moved from Florescent, Colorado, to 35 acres near Divide. Ayars feeds the animals, gives tours; and for several summers served as the volunteer coordinator.Whether she has scissors in her hands, is instructing motorcyclists or hanging out with wolves, Ayars fills her days doing what she loves. ìMoneyís great, but Iíd rather do what I enjoy and volunteer,î she said. ìAs I get older, money is not as important as happiness is.î

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