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Meet Valerie Stern of Los Angeles Momma in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Valerie Stern.

Valerie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles by my single mother, Patricia who was raising my two older brothers and myself. Life as a child was amazing, thanks to my mom and her parents. They really made our childhood wonderful despite the fact that our father was only around here and there throughout our lives. My mom doesn’t even know this but she was actually my inspiration behind Los Angeles Momma. Despite everything that could have broke her as a person, she never let it. She remained sweet as ever, always beautiful inside and out. Without having a lot of extra money for herself her skin and style was always on point. She taught me from about five how to take really good care of her skin. She taught me everything I know, but most importantly to ALWAYS MOISTURIZE lol. As a little girl, I would go shopping with my mom and grandmother. We would do a lot of thrifting and shopping at consignment stores, we would also sell our clothes at consignment stores, so it was a great way to get new stuff without having to spend any money at all. The message my mom has always sent to me is that I am strong, beautiful and no matter what I always need to make sure to take care of myself physically and financially. I am all of those things because of her, and I hope to be that voice for other people too.

Today I am a hairstylist with 16 years experience behind the chair. The longer I do hair the more I realize that so many of my clients have similar stories to my moms. Absent husbands or fathers to their children, they are working hard, and they spend minimal time and money on themselves. A lot of them just don’t feel confident in their own skin anymore. This is where I come in.. I realized that the hour or two that these women are in my chair isn’t just them getting their hair done and leaving, its an outlet for them to get advice on all aspects of self-care. I try to offer them hair, skin, makeup, clothing tips and tricks. I basically share everything I can so they can go home and hopefully utilize the tips I have given them. Los Angeles Momma is about me sharing everything I know and love with any women who want an easier and sometimes more affordable way to feel beautiful about themselves. I decided to create Los Angeles Momma to reach a larger audience outside of the hair salon, and boy am I thankful I did. I speak to so many women every single day… I have made friendships that I would have never had if it weren’t for Instagram.

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?
Creating Los Angeles Momma was actually easy for me to do, it was basically an extension of me behind the chair and I have known from day one what I wanted it to be about and who I wanted to reach… the hardest part has been me putting myself out there, on the internet. It’s a little frightening to put it all out there for everyone to see and judge. I mean, I guess technically I have become an “influencer”. I’m sure a lot of people are like shes 35, what is she doing? But for me I knew it was my way of putting myself out there and connecting with total strangers. Being an “influencer” is a lot of work! If I am not at the salon I am working with brands, taking photos, connecting with other women/mothers. It’s hard work but it is all worth it.

Los Angeles Momma – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am a hairstylist and by creating Los Angeles Momma it has turned me into an influencer/blogger! I share my life daily with my followers, the good and the bad, but mostly the good. I share my favorite products, clothing brands, shopping deals, along with all of my favorite beauty finds, tips and tricks. Anything that makes me happy and I think my followers would love also, I share. Throughout my life, I have noticed that people aren’t so forthcoming with information about something as simple as an outfit. I have asked someone in the past something like “I LOVE your dress, where is it from?” they reply with “oh, I don’t remember?” (insert eye roll lol) I don’t want to be that person, ever! I will share with you where I got it and give you the discount code to go along with it. If I feel great in that dress, I know you will to, and that’s what I want. I want everyone to live the best life they possibly can and feel good about themselves while doing it!

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment with LA Momma so far was posting my first IGTV video of me showing my viewers how I do my hair. I know it sounds silly, but that was really the moment I opened up the floodgates of both people cheering me on, thanking me for posting the video and of course those who want to criticize. My hair is something my followers ask me about daily, so I knew I had to do it for them and it was great for me to overcome the initial IGTV post fear I had.

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Image Credit:

Amy Theilig, Mary Hamilton Photography

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