Celebrity hairstylist and owner of OUAI Jen Atkin
Celebrity hairstylist and owner of OUAI Jen Atkin

How Jen Atkin Never Has to Work a Day in her Life

Share This Story

If there’s one thing we can learn from Jen Atkin’s incredible career, it’s to surround yourself with good people. Whatever professional path you may find yourself in, Jen insists that the individuals you interact with on a daily basis are what will make your job something you love…or hate. “I set a goal for myself to only work with people whose company I enjoyed,” she explains. “By doing that I’ve made it so I never dread going to work. I never dread getting up in the morning, and that’s been so important for me to be a happy and healthy person.”


It’s sound advice, as is most of the wisdom she’s accumulated over her 15 years in the beauty industry, and some of which she shares here in an exclusive career piece with Good Times. Today, Jen balances overseeing her business, OUAI, while also being an in-demand hairstylist whose clients include Jessica Alba, Hailey Baldwin, Chrissy Teigen, and the Kardashian-Jenner sisters. She will remind you, though, that she began at the bottom, as every boss babe does. I got started as a receptionist working at the front desk, then I became a salon manager, and then I started assisting at really good salons, learning from different hair stylists and their techniques and making it my own,” she recalls, crediting passion, determination, and a lot of “blood, sweat, and tears” as the foundation of her success.

Photo courtesy of @JENATKINHAIR

 

Photo courtesy of @JENATKINHAIR


Making sure to keep herself on track to her dreams was critical too, she shares. “I’ve always been really crazy about setting goals…6 month goals, 12 month goals, with check-ins to see where you’re at.” Today, Jen’s clients continue to keep her focused. “Being around a bunch of hard working women who really put in the time but also do a good job of balancing life and work and play has inspired me. I think they’ve really helped push me to my potential and to really see how much I could get done. Spend some time with the Kardashian-Jenners, and you’ll realize you have the same 24 hours just like they do and you really have to step it up!”

Photo courtesy of @JENATKINHAIR

Photo courtesy of @JENATKINHAIR

And when it comes to stepping it up, Jen recommends that aspiring professionals and creatives put some effort into their social media. “It’s so much easier to get attention on your work and to really be able to get your name out there. I always thought Instagram was a really great portfolio and way to showcase your work, what you’re interested in, and paint a picture of who you are as a brand or person. Use social media as a tool. It’s free and it can be there to help you. It’s also a good way to find people you want to emulate and to get an inside look at how much work goes in to doing what we do.”


Finally, for a professional career that emulates Jen’s, it’s important to play well with others. “Take turns!” she advises when it comes to working in a group setting. “I really don’t feel like I can take credit for the cool looks that happen. It’s all collaborative—the makeup artist, the stylist, and of course the client,” she explains. “I don’t like to be pushy.” A nice reminder that as always, it’s nice to be nice.

For more from Jen Atkin, follow her on Instagram and check out OUAI and Mane Addicts.