A Letter From the Editor in Chief, Jen Atkin…
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I was recently asked my thoughts on “social media and how it has affected the beauty Industry.” Before you think, “easy for the Kardashians’ hairstylist to say,” here is my two cents on the subject…
Change and technology can be scary. Technology has changed the way we work, dress, eat, travel, and communicate. Technology is changing ALL industries, not just BEAUTY. It can bring a great sense of togetherness, community, and awareness in many aspects in life.
I’m from the generation that paid my dues by working under many talented artists, learning my craft, building my book, and learning from Andy Lecompte how to take care of the client in my chair. I was also an early adapter of Instagram, and now Snapchat. I’m an over sharer. The reason I over share is because I think about who I was 16 years ago in a small town in Utah never imagining my life would become what is has. I feel blessed daily to be able to do what I love and I want to encourage others out there to go after their dreams. I’m proof they can come true. I wish I had someone there in the early days to help push me along and tell me not to give up.
I do not feel like there needs to be a divide in the sand between artists who have adapted to social media and those who have not. My reasoning for starting Mane Addicts was to bridge the gap between artists – older and younger. This used to be a very cutthroat competitive industry and I’m happy to see that changing. We are so much better off learning from one another, sharing our knowledge, and being inspired by each other.
In the past two years since starting the site, I’ve been humbled to watch my hair idols wish me well and participate in our stories – Guido, Luigi, Odile Gilbert, Bob Recine, Serge Normant, Chris McMillan, Sally Hershberger and Renato Campora to name a few. They’ve been gracious and welcoming and it’s been my pleasure to share their stories and help them reach a new audience of up and coming hairdressers. These artists and their body of work will continue to inspire hairstylists for generations to come.
Through the Mane University platform I’ve had the gift of getting to know so many of my peers one on one; all hardworking individuals who have amazing stories to share of their own hardships and triumphs as they rose to the top. We have shared many glasses of wine, laughed, cried and compared war wounds. We’ve bonded over how fiercely competitive the landscape once was and how rejection made us smarter and stronger. Some have adapted to using social media to show their work, others it doesn’t come naturally, or they’re simply not interested in it. Everyone has their own perspective and path.
Lastly, I’ve been introduced to the newer generation of talents, who through social media have promoted their work, and are out there building a name for themselves rather quickly. Before you judge them, understand that they are from the Information Age and have learned the art of using social media as a marketing tool. There is a reason people are paying attention to their pages, because they are HARDWORKING, TALENTED, and deserve every SECOND of their success. (Many will agree with me that social media is a FULL TIME JOB in itself!)
What I think IS missing in this industry is CONVERSATIONS and EDUCATION by professionals. Everyone deserves to be educated and to learn the ART of hairstyling from someone, it’s how we all got to where we are today! It’s equally important in this day and age to learn about your business, social media, and marketing. It’s not smart to be a hairstylist with a lot of clothes in the closet and no money in the bank! My hope is for all of us to be able to learn from one another and start connecting as artists and human beings.
I’ve watched my own clients deal with the push back and resistance to their fame and success. I’ve heard it all and have firsthand felt the rewards that can be reaped by promoting and encouraging those that work for and with you. Instead of being threatened by others success we help and support our peers and colleagues, we will all shine brighter. I’m so grateful that I have clients and friends that are supportive and have been such role models to me – role models with drive, focus, and good hearts.
I want to thank Adir Abergel, Jennifer Yepez, Harry Josh, Chris Appleton, Christian Wood, Cesar Ramirez, Scotty Cunha, Andrew Fitzsimons, Justine Marjan, Heather Chapman, Bryce Scarlett, Gregory Russell, Owen Gould, Chad Wood, Laura Polko, David Von Cannon, and many others who have helped grow the Mane Addicts community. Leave us a comment @maneaddicts if you are interested in being a part of this community as an educator or student. I am working hard to make sure we can all easily connect more and more.
I will go back to burning hair now.
K. Thx. Bye
THE OUAI / MANE ADDICTS