I have been following Jenny Strebe, blogger at The Confessions of a Hairstylist, since I began my blogging journey. She published a hair tutorial on Pinterest that became my hip mom 2 minute hairstyle mantra for years to come, that’s how I originally found her.
I have watched through the interwebs as Jenny Strebe’s blogging voice strengthened, her babies were born, her career exploded with her braiding skills, she started traveling in her VW bus teaching braiding and up-do workshops, and more recently she co-founded Pulp Riot Hair Color with a collaborative crew of very talented hair colorists.
Connecting with people through the digital realms is interesting, watching someone else’s life transform in a curated way. Jenny’s ability to be a powerhouse career woman and artist while raising a family really inspired me to want to know more about how she balances everything, in real life.
The sense that I got from her was that she knows when to make appropriate sacrifices to be able to keep the balance of work and family, like as of now……She isn’t working with clients in the salon.
As a mother and a very ambitious person, It can be very hard to balance the work/life thing without feeling like we are lacking somewhere and I’m always looking for advice and encouragement on ways to keep the balance without the burnout. We salute you, Jenny Strebe, for being one badass mama artist in the hair industry which really needs more badass mama artists to lead it.
Today, words with Jenny Strebe, platform artist, master-braider and blogger at The Confessions of a Hairstylist.
Real Confessions of a Hairstylist, Words with Jenny Strebe
We begin with this sweet moment, a snippet into Jenny’s MO with raising her daughter to believe in her own dreams.
Photo by Sara Bishop
Yesterday when I got home from my work trip, I picked up my daughter from school and Instead of telling my sweet Magnolia I missed her so much I said “I’m so happy to see you my sweet Magnolia, mommy was gone because I was out chasing my dreams, and someday you will to.” Magnolia got tears in her eyes and said “I know Mama” that brought so much joy to my heart to hear her say she understands. So moms out there, don’t feel guilty to follow your dreams too! You can have it all.
Jenny, where are you from, where do you live now?
I’m from Walla Walla Washington originally but I went to school in Portland OR and am currently living in Scottsdale, AZ now with my husband and 2 children.
How long have you been doing hair?
For 16 years!
What are your specialties and why do you love them?
Cutting and styling are my specialties. But I’m known for braids and simple up-dos. I love braiding the most now because believe it or not, I didn’t know how to braid up until about 2 years ago! I didn’t want to do them, but then one day I tackled them and fell in love with braiding and its become a strength!
Tell us about your jump from stylist to educator.
I like tackling my fears, and as a young stylist i wanted to be a platform artist. I actually got anxiety and could barely speak in front of other people 8 years ago. I started going to beauty schools and educating my staff to get used to talking in front of my peers. It became addictive to see my students have aha moments so then teaching became a passion of mine!
Jenny Strebe, encouraging words on educating………
People have been telling me that I’m a natural educator. Little do they know my story. I used to have a panic attack teaching at beauty schools when I first started educating 8 years ago. I then made it a personal mission to become comfortable teaching and presenting in front of audiences. I spent years teaching for free going to beauty schools until I landed a position as an educator and art team member for a number of years. After I left to booth rent and create “confessions” I then taught a number of free classes to my peers to get a feel for my new found love of educating and figure out who I was as an educator. It’s crazy to think one of my biggest fears have now become one of my biggest passions. I want to be a living example that you too can be whoever you want to be, and to make your fears or your weaknesses one of your biggest accomplishments and strengths. You can be whomever you want to if you put your mind to it!
What inspired you to teach?
The addictive feeling of helping raise other stylist’s confidence in their own ability to do hair.
What do you find the most effective way to teach other stylists? hands on? Demo, both? theory? discussion? etc.
I like to do a hands-on class with a demo. I think its important to do the hands on and demo because as hairstylists we are creative and tactile, we learn in all sorts of different ways, so doing both helps lock it into our brain.
You are a mother, how do you juggle motherhood and a career? any tips or tricks? share any secrets you may have?
I don’t really have secrets but with anything, you have to sacrifice something to be good at something else and right now I’ve sacrificed my clientele. I don’t work inside the salon as much, and I think that’s how its easy for me to juggle. When I have my kids I’m 100 percent a mom, but when I’m working I go full force.
Any tips for keeping up a strong marriage while on the road following your dream?
Always respect your spouse and their dreams. My husband is my rock, he supports me 100 percent and I support him. Too be honest, he is really special. I’m not sure how many other men out there would do the same.
Where do you see our industry headed?
A more digital, connected world. I see everyday hairstylists having so much more of a voice in the industry. I love that hairstyling is being seen as a more well respected art form. I’m really excited that having cool and colorful hair is now normal instead of being looked at as too alternative. This makes our job as stylists so much more fun:)
Tell us about Pulp Riot?
Pulp Riot is a brand new vegan color line developed by stylists, for stylists. Our goal with it is to show the color community that this line is for them and as a collaborative team, we will inspire and educate them every step of the way!
……..I have been told NO, I can’t or that my ideas and/or dreams couldn’t become a reality over time and time again. Over the years of working on my brand, I have finally made a voice for myself and have been searching for my tribe, my squad, my hair family where I could help positively impact the industry with like minded individuals. Little did I know that all the times I was told NO was going to help push me the direction that I was destined to go
– Words from Jenny on finding her Pulp Riot Color Family. More Here!
Can you share what your favorite hair creation is, all time?
I loved this combo braid!
What is your Favorite Color?
If your 16 year old self saw you now, what would you say to yourself? Would you be a fangirl?
I would say things will get better, it’s okay to be different! I had a tough time as a young women. I totally would be a fan girl!
Favorite music to do hair to?
Hip hop! I may listen to kids bop on the way to drop off the kids, but I love me some hip hop, especially old stuff.
Product you are obsessed with?
My old fave was Bed Head spray wax but it’s no longer available. But my fave now is texturizing/volume spray.
Where do you draw inspiration from for color/styling?
Everything! Right now its muted metallics. I like to look at the intricacies of stones and rocks and check out the different shades inside them.
Are you ever afraid you will run out of ideas?
Yes, but then after awhile something will always trigger new ideas. But I find out when I’m burnt out and uninspired, I just need a vacation to help me re-engerize.
Jenny, we wish a vacation on you any time you burn out, because we love to see your inspired work. Thanks for kicking so much ass.