You’ve probably very familiar with Jen Atkin’s hairstyles. She tends of the heads of the entire Kardashian-Jenner family, Reese Witherspoon, Gwen Stefani, Sofia Vergara and more. On top of that, she runs 3 businesses. A Haircare line, Ouai, a digital magazine called Mane Addicts and hair accessories collection Jen Atkin X Chloe + Isabel.
The Road to Success
Like any other teen with big dreams, Jen Atkin arrived in L.A with just $300 when she was just 19-years old. And over the years it’s safe to say her dreams have come true. In 2015, the New York Times named her as the World’s Most Influential Stylist.
According to Forbes, Atkin attributes some of her success to her Mormon upbringing. She says, “I grew up in a sheltered household, but I was taught to set goals and achieve them, to multi-task, to push myself.” It was this hard-working attitude that has lead Atkin to achieve so many amazing feats.
Including, launching her haircare line Ouai, working with John Galliano at Christian Dior and doing Gwen Stefani’s hair for a front cover of Vogue magazine. Talking of the latter, she says, “That was a real pinch-me moment.”
The Difference Between Money and Success
Atkin is pretty unique in her business approach, “When we think of success in business, we usually think of money. To me, business is creating something that makes people’s lives better,” she says. Her top advice is all about “Taking away that financial goal and focusing on your message and what you’re about.”
When Atkin was first developing her brand Ouai, she took to her Instagram following for advice on smells and textures of hair formulations. She says, “It felt very odd to me that there was a lot of men in boardrooms making decisions about what women want for our hair. I wanted to create the first product line a community helped create.”
Her techniques clearly worked, as the brand is now partnered with Sephora. But Atkin remains humble, she even says that to be successful as a hairstylist its 30% talent and 70% personality. She says, “From day one, I’ve always thought, “I’m in the service industry.” It’s never been about me. I’ve never put myself before my clients.”
Expanding Her Businesses
Atkin makes a point of hiring women. In the past, she wouldn’t employ them “I thought girls were emotional, and wouldn’t be able to carry heavy bags around and get dirty” she says. But she’s since seen the error of her ways. Atkin says, “I was part of the problem from the 90’s! I’ve since realized women can multi-task like no other. I love watching women kick ass.”
Making it look easy to run 3 businesses and maintain a marriage, she says, “I feel like my brand is growing beyond hair. I’m having more conversations about women in business, starting a business, managing being a wife and friend and running a business at the same time.”
Not only that, she started Mane Addicts to give back. She’s turned it into an education platform for aspiring hair stylists. Dubbed Mane University, her company offers free talks from top stylists in the game. Atkin wants to offer these opportunities because she thinks, “If I’d had a chance to learn and better myself at a young age, I would’ve been able to accomplish so much more, faster.”
Inspired by this story? Share it with your friends!