Get to Know Chrystal Foglesong
A Be A Better Human Story
If you’re looking for someone who can style your hair and your Morning Meditation, look no further than Chrystal Foglesong – hair stylist, gym owner and black apron server at First Watch. Over her 16 years with First Watch, Chrystal has embraced her artistic side, designing much of the chalkboard art you see in our Kansas City restaurants.
What’s your First Watch story?
I’ve worked at almost every First Watch in Kansas City over the last sixteen years, if you can believe it. First Watch was pretty much my first job out of high school. A friend brought me with her when she started working here, and all these years later, I’ve been a black apron and a manger. I was a manger for two years and I led teams in Fairway and helped open the First Watch at 151st Street. Eventually, I stepped down from management and decided I wanted to go to hair school.
Have you always wanted to be a hair stylist?
I have the personality that I am constantly looking for a new challenge. I felt I was very young when I became a First Watch manager, and numbers weren’t exactly my thing. So, I went to hair school while still working at First Watch and a salon part-time. After I went to hair school, I started my own salon in my house, mainly cutting men’s hair. People will be so open with you, kind of like you’re their therapist. I take that to heart.
You also are a trainer at Cross Fit and own a gym…where do you find the time?
Yes, sometimes when I think about it, I don’t know where I find the time. But I enjoy it. I work as a trainer at Cross Fit, too, and now I own my own gym. I was a gymnast when I was little – naturally, I felt comfortable there and I’ve always been into exercise. I take pride in having been with First Watch this whole time while experiencing all these different things in my life.
We hear you’re an exceptional artist and do a lot of the chalkboard art in Kansas City. You’ve piqued our curiosity!
My dad is an artsy person. He taught me how to draw pictures and gave me a passion for arts and crafts. As soon as I started at First Watch, I was doing the chalk boards on Sunday and it just became a thing. Sometimes, I was doing two chalkboards in one day at other restaurants. I’m very passionate about it, about taking my time and being very precise. It’s going to be up there for three months, and I want it to be a wow factor. I also painted a few canvases for First Watch over the years – one I’m especially proud of was for our 25th anniversary!
How did you feel when you received your Black Apron?
I received my Black Apron about 13 years ago and I believe it made me who I am today. It also helped me feel extremely knowledgeable about First Watch. I love knowing that if a customer has a question, I can answer it., especially if it’s about our history. Just the other day, I had a customer ask what the term “First Watch” meant and when I told him, he was like “wow, I didn’t expect that.”
How was participating in the W.H.Y. Tour?
I really appreciated it. It reassured me that someone was letting us all talk, listening and taking my opinions down. I loved hearing other peoples’ opinions and realizing how similar they were to my own. I would love to do it again if it comes back around. It just felt comforting.
What keeps you motivated?
Being a leader that helps people grow, feel good and further their lives. That’s why I wanted to be a coach at Cross Fit and a manager at First Watch. I really enjoy taking people on their fitness journey – it’s why I show up every day. Same feeling for styling hair. After someone’s haircut, people feel great and, let’s be honest, haircuts are so satisfying.
Tell us about your family.
So, I have a little love story from First Watch: I met my husband at First Watch. He remodeled houses and used to come in for his lunch break every day, so I got to know him as a customer. Then, one day, he asked my on a date and I made him go see the new Twilight movie. We’ve been married now eight years. Four years ago, we bought a 100-year-old house with enough space for the whole family, my parents included. We now live together under one roof!
Just thinking back, I’m proud of continuing with First Watch even though I’ve gone through all walks of life and entered other chapters of my life. For some reason, I can’t let First Watch go – I haven’t had enough of it yet.– Chrystal Foglesong
What advice would you give to new First Watch employees?
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get everything we tell you on the first day. You will learn over time.
Name a place that brings you joy. Why?
I could sit outside anywhere, stare at all the nature and take the air in and be so happy. My husband is a fisherman and competes in bass tournaments, so we’re outside a lot. We have a cabin at Truman Lake and anytime we go down there, I could look at the trees for hours. In the morning, I love waking up early, making my coffee, and hearing the birds, silence, and nature on my porch. Pure meditation.
How have you made someone’s day brighter?
The First Watch in Fairway was right next to a cancer center. People would come in grumpy, and you would never know what was going on in their life. I have always told my teammates that “you are here to make someone’s day and give them a really good experience.” When it comes to kindness, I treat the whole restaurant like it’s my section. Having been with First Watch for 16 years, you meet customers from all walks of life. I’ve had many customers pass away and, at the same time, I’ve seen children grow up, now in college. This isn’t just a job for me, it’s also about the relationships you make with people.
You’re a business owner, artist, and server extraordinaire…what’s next?
I am always looking for a new challenge. Right now, I am hoping my gym gets bigger. I bought the gym with three others in January 2020, right before the pandemic, so we lost a number of members. I do hope in the future we continue to build and grow our membership.
So many different ideas in my head…I’ve always wanted to be an interior decorator, given my obsession with decorating my home. I’ve thought about getting my realtor’s license, too. I like to do 1,000 things so there’s always 1,000 ideas bouncing around in my head – I’m taking it day by day and feeling my life out.
Want to join Chrystal in making days brighter?