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Jen Atkin on Motherhood, Mom-torship and Valuable Career Advice

ICYMI, we had a baby! In March of this year Mike, Roo, Chewy, and I welcomed River Rosenthal into our family. We decided to keep our parenting journey private so that we could have the space to prep and plan how we wanted. It was surprisingly easy to keep it on the DL I think because we were in quarantine and not seeing many people, plus we had the support of our close circle to lean on and get advice from.

I totally get what people mean when they say it takes a village. Adjusting to being a mom has been exhilarating and life-changing. I’m finding it important to unplug to prioritize family time and I’m constantly aware of how much respect I have for mothers, fathers, and single parents as a whole. Becoming a parent has added to my life in more ways than I expected but it is a hard job to try to balance your new baby and your life before.

Jen Atkin’s Mom-torship Advice

Speaking of being a mom, I thought I’d shout out my other babies–our current roster of Mane Addicts hairstylists or our “Creator Collective”–and share a little “mom-torship” advice to build successful careers like this team has. It has been so fun and impressive for me to watch the Mane Addicts Collective team blossom and evolve over the years–they are beyond talented, humble, and grateful. As someone who’s had the privilege of watching them grow, I’ve put together my quick bits of advice based off of the incredible careers of each Creator Collective member. Whether you’re trying to decide if you need to become more niche, to starting your own product business, there’s a little something for everyone.

Brittany Sullivan: @brittsully

Advice: You don’t have to niche down to one skill if you don’t want to, just make sure you put in the time to learn and practice to develop all the skills you want to execute.

Britt is one of our jack-of-all-trades creators. Her swoon-worthy hair and makeup, in addition to an A-list clientele, is the content her audience, media, and clients can’t get enough of. Her client list includes the likes of Justin Bieber, Camila Coelho, Negin Mirsalehi, and Sam Smith to name a few and she has worked with some of the top brands across beauty and fashion like Louis Vuitton, Armani Beauty and Revolve.

Irinel De León: @hairinel

Advice: Being open to opportunities and tuning into what your audience wants and needs is how you build a community.

Irinel is one of my booked n’ busy past right-hands who can be found styling hair all across the globe. Her ability to make any style look effortlessly chic has brought her to work with some of the biggest names in Hollywood and some of the top brands across fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Her admirable clientele includes Bella Hadid, Chrissy Teigen, Kendall Jenner, Huda Kattan, Kathryn Newton and more while working with brands like Skims, Cult Gaia, and OUAI. 

Amanda Lee: @amandaleehair

Advice: Being organized, prepared, and reliable will help you grow a strong network.

Amanda is another one of my go-getting past right-hands who has worked across TV, film, red carpets, music videos and more garnering an impressive celebrity client list including Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner, Chrisellle Lim, and Ingrid Andress. Hair has brought her to work with Saint Laurent, Kylie Cosmetics, and Bare Minerals, among many others. She’s inspired by the inner beauty of her clients and is able to translate that outwardly.

Sabrina Porsche: @sabrina.porsche

Advice: Make time to use your skills as a creative outlet, it’s a great way to innovate and push your artistry. 

Sabrina is one of our newer collective members and is the queen of chic braids and perfect ponies. She’s built quite the demand for her diverse skill-set – her high-profile clientele requires variety when it comes to styling, and she always knows how to deliver. The noteworthy artists she has worked with include the names Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Shay Mitchell, and Solange Knowles and top brands spanning Netflix, Adidas, Nike, and more.

Sienree Du: @sienree

Advice: Learn as much as you can about shapes and silhouettes, this kind of eye for suitability is indispensable. 

Another new collective member and highly sought-after hairstylist and groomer is Sienree, who tends to a wide range of actors, recording artists and publications like Coldplay, Kourtney Kardashian, Niall Horan, Cyndi Lauper, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Benefit Cosmetics. Her attention to detail and impeccable taste has contributed to her growth.

Kathleen Riley: @kathleen_hair

Advice: If you can’t find an existing product or tool on the market that fits all your needs, make it. 

This Mane Addicts Creator and new brand founder of Shae hair extensions is an expert in all things styling and cutting. Her signature effortless aesthetic has brought her an A-list clientele like Jenna Dewan, Maddie Ziegler, and Sofia Richie and her work can be seen gracing the covers of WWD and Elle Mexico, to name a few.

Emma Willis: @emmawillismakeup

Advice: Doing someone’s hair & makeup defines their look, make sure they are your focus. 

Emma’s our newest Creative Collective member – she’s an accomplished makeup artist and hairstylist who has painted the faces of entertainment and reality TV icons. Equal skills in hair and makeup have built her a loyal clientele and allowed her to work with some top fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. She’s worked with top names like Kristin Cavallari, Giuliana Rancic, and Audrina Patridge, with brands like Quay and Uncommon James, and photographers like Cambridge Jones and Chris Buck.

The wins for those around me truly feel better than my own wins.  I get asked daily if Mane Addicts is ever going to expand the roster, or open up salons, and you never know in the future but for now I’m excited to have this curated team of content creators and budding superstar stylists.  They know what it takes to be focused and work in group settings under pressure, to capture great content, and use social media as a tool to further their career. 

I hope everyone is trying to do something everyday that makes them happy or feeds their creative spirits.  I want to end this month’s letter reminding everyone to let go of the pressure from society that you need to be a certain something by a certain age.  I didn’t start doing hair seriously until age 24 and was assisting in my late 20’s.  I didn’t launch my own company until 36, so please don’t let the internet rush you! We are all constantly learning and evolving and changing courses throughout our lives so just DO YOU.  

xx Jen

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