Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Ehrke.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jennifer. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started in 2010 attending cosmetology school at Golden West College in Huntington Beach. I worked in Huntington Beach with Aveda for five years before moving to LA and working at Rock Paper Salon. The training and apprenticeship with Aveda made me the stylist I am today. Being brought up in the hair industry with a mindset to be environmentally aware taught me to care for the world we live in and practice sustainability. Today, that is so important and I love that everyone is getting on board with this I making small day to say changes. I personally practice it in my work with the products I use and the way I care for my clients.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It wasn’t always a smooth road. After my first salon closed down I struggled to find a new salon home where I felt they valued the same beliefs as I did. I took a year and a half off of working behind the chair and did my own freelance editorial work. It had its ups and downs. Work wasn’t steady and I had to learn how to ride the wave. Most importantly during that time, I learned my worth as an artist. My advice to young women starting their journey in this industry or any artistic industry is to not be discouraged when things aren’t moving and developing as fast as you feel they should. Slow down and take a look at where you’re at and take something away from that moment that will prepare you for the future. There are always lessons to be learned whether it be in good times or bad and we need to remember to look out for them. Without struggle, we would have no growth. Don’t be discouraged during times of struggle. Relish in it and take something from it.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a hair artist. I use the word artist as opposed to a stylist because hair in my eyes is a work of art to me. It can be a creative vision and an outlet for you to express yourself or someone else’s expression. I specifically specialize in coloring, short haircutting, and editorial hair design. Behind the chair, I get to color and cut and then I get to go on sets to do editorial work. I love the change of pace my work allows. My versatility is what I’m most proud of and I think that is what sets me apart from my other peers.
For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
I think as women we tend to focus on our challenges too often and it closes us off from our opportunities. They are all around us and we need to keep our eyes open. Like I said earlier, without struggle, we have no growth. I think you will find more opportunities in the struggle than anywhere else. Women may have more struggle in their career than men and so use that to your advantage. Put yourself in positions where you will have hardships so you can learn and keep advancing. For example, I walked into a barbershop in Venice beach four years ago and asked for a job because I wanted to learn men’s grooming. I was completely out of my element and in a man’s world. Yes, it was weird and yes, it was hard, but I learned so much. I was forced to learn and had no other option but to do it. So, as far as specific opportunities being more fit for a woman, I think the best answer is you create your own opportunities through your goals and ambitions.
- Address: Rock paper salon
1515 w sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, ca 90026
- Website: Rockpaperla.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Hairslayerofficial
Hair by me, Photos by @brittneychristie