Jen Atkin on Feeling Insecure and How to Stop Being So Competitive
Traveling frequently between the US, Europe, and Middle East, Jen was inspired to launch her haircare line OUAI in 2016. The digital savvy brand was created to save women time with an easy to navigate website, app and subscription model. OUAI includes curated multi-use products and supplements that work hand in hand to help women achieve hair health from the inside and out.
As an authority in haircare and beauty, she released her own range of Beauty Works hair extensions, her line of Chloe + Isabel hair accessories, and worked closely with Dyson to bring their innovative blowdryer, the Supersonic, to the market.
In an effort to unite the hair industry and create a community for hairstylists, Jen created ManeAddicts.com.The digital magazine gives readers access to the world’s top hairstylists, featuring the best products on the market, and instructional how to’s. The site’s expansive readership has garnered the attention of media outlets such as Elle, InStyle and Teen Vogue as THE hair related resource. Since its launch in 2014, Mane Addicts has since expanded to include Mane University, a global education resource that brings top stylists to major cities around the world to teach and inspire a new generation of hairdressers.
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One thing I’ve discovered since launching my own brand is how powerful technology can be. It’s both a blessing and a curse. We have so much information and are more connected than ever before. I think it’s also important to talk about how it can also make you feel insecure. It can also give you major FOMO or those annoying feelings of jealousy for what someone else has. I was talking with a friend about how in the early stages of my career I worked really hard on not being jealous of my peers. I talk about it a lot. It wasn’t easy and I worked on myself for years to truly stop those competitive feelings and stay in my lane and focus on myself and my own goals. We really can’t let social media feed any of our insecurities as artists. Remember why you got into the beauty industry and don’t let jealousy cloud your creativity.
Social media has educated us and created so much opportunity for artists but I think it’s important to talk about what goes on behind the scenes. Nobody likes to show the hard work that it takes to get success. Nobody wants to talk about the rejection and things that went wrong to get where they are. Just try to remember that everyone has a story and we don’t always see the gritty stuff.
The word success is dangerous too. I think success can not only be financial but you can find happiness and success in doing good deeds. One of the best days we’ve had at Mane Addicts was the day all of the hairstylists came together to give makeovers to women in need. We are going to be doing that activation again in October. By focusing on growing your skillset, helping someone out, spending time with friends, giving back to your community, I can guarantee you you will find the same happiness that you would feel if you bought that expensive bag you see everyone on instagram with. So as fashion month kicks off I want to encourage you guys (myself included) to put down the phone and make sure you’re connecting with people IRL.
Speaking of connecting with community… we are going to have a MAJOR announcement and opportunity coming soon to EVERYONE. I’ve spent the last month connecting with haircare brands who have woken up and understand the importance of Education/Inclusivity/and Authenticity.
Exciting things ahead!