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Jen Atkin On Work Life Balance, Staying Healthy, and the SHE-EOs That Inspire Her

As I sit on a plane headed to my 11th Paris Fashion Week,  I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself, as it was very hard to leave my husband and our house this trip.  I have been thinking a lot about work life balance and talking to many of my clients and girlfriends about it lately. 

Walking through security and through the terminal, I saw so many of my girlfriends (one who was very pregnant) who were all on their way to Paris as well.  On this flight there was a group of influencers, publicists for the fashion houses, actresses, and even a Jonas brother .  I also had conference call with Andrea Lieberman, founder of the fashion brand A.L.C., where we talked about March being Women’s History Month and I instantly got recharged. I think about how amazing it is that so many women in my life are kicking some major butt–they all have families, partners, and deal with the same work life balance and homesick issues I do.

Jen Atkin Letter From the Editor Work Life Balance Staying Healthy and Female Entrepreneurs

Then, I think of my clients and think of how they cope with work life balance–the ones who travel the world and work thru the jet lag, and also have to be in front of the camera. There are industry legends like Pat McGrath, who is literally superwoman and runs a beauty empire, while key’ing basically every show at Paris Fashion Week.  Rosetta Getty, Pia Arrobio from LPA, Andrea Lieberman of ALC, Rachel Zoe, Raissa Gerona from Revolve, Charlotte Tilbury, Monica Rose, Emily Weiss…all of these women are paving the way for future SHE-EO’s and they keep me going and inspired. In my 15 years, I’ve seen so many more women in the hair industry get that seat at the….salon chair? lol.  I have to pay so much respect to Odile Gilbert, Sally Hershberger, Rita Hazan, Tracy Cunningham for being the early female pioneers in hair and showing us all that we can succeed in a male dominated industry.

I’ve been asked often in interviews about how I keep my work life balance and I always answer with, “there is never a perfect work life balance, I’m just doing my best.”  It’s so important for us, as women, to help cheer each other on, and join together this month to honor the many women who have fought so hard for us to have the rights we have today. I have all female assistants, because I travel to the Middle East so often, and I am impressed every single day with our ability to multitask.  I really do think we live in a time where we can have it all, and do it all. We also live in a time where it’s more important than ever to make sure we don’t get set back in any way.

There is still so much that needs to happen to help women get the support they need to be able to work and have children.  I hear way too many stories of women that worked hard to build a strong clientele, but once they had children, it was difficult for them to take care of their children and still go into the salon.  If only salon owners could help in providing daycare or assistance for both their male/female staff! 

This month our stories are not only celebrating women in the industry, but also health and wellness as it’s national nutrition month. I am going to be paying CLOSE attention to this one.  Traveling is so hard on our bodies and I tend to make horrible decisions when it comes to food.  I also have been in a nasty habit of hitting the snooze button instead of going to the gym to battle jet lag. My good friend Farah Fahad has an amazing nutrition site, The Farah Effect, and will be giving us healthy tips and stories here on Mane Addicts all month long, so stay tuned for those. Summer 2017 is right around the corner y’all !!

So this month, my wish for you all is HEALTH, HAPPINESS, and SUCCESS…whatever that may mean to you. Push yourself a bit more, take risks, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve in life.

I’ll leave you with an amazing quote I read in a magazine on my flight from Mikhail Baryshnikov, “I do not try to dance better than anyone else, I only try to dance better than myself.”

xx Jen

 Keep up with me @jenatkinhair and of course, @maneaddicts. And, let me know what you’d like me to discuss in my next Letter From the Editor below!

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