No matter what we do, what we do matters.
Meet Jen Jagger. Jen is a hair stylist, running her own business in a salon space in downtown Downers Grove, IL. Jen’s clients are men, women, and kids, and she often takes care of whole families. Jen is adorable on every level, and people of all ages leave her chair feeling confident in the way that they look, walking taller, and feeling better.
G: How did you know you wanted to be a hairstylist?
J: I knew when I was in junior high. I would go into my cousin’s salon and just want to hang out. I would shampoo hair, I would sweep up. Anything just to be there.
G: So what was it about it that hooked you?
J: I was hooked immediately by the whole vibe; the people, the loud music, the glamour. I love getting to know people and there was so much chatter and so many conversations going on. I could tell early on that it was so much more than cutting hair. It was about relationships with people, and from an early age I wanted to be a part of the conversation. After I graduated high-school, I knew I wanted to go straight to beauty school.
G: So that was the path you took?
J: Yes. I went to the College of Dupage to take some business classes and went to beauty school. It was a ten month process and then I took my state boards. From there I interviewed with two salons and chose based on how much it felt like home and how much I liked the company. From there I did more training and was at my first salon for seven years before I made the jump to go into business for myself.
G: What has that been like?
J: I love it. It was the best decision I ever made. I don’t mind being on vacation and stopping what I am doing to book a client. In fact, it has made me love coming to work even more. At first I was terribly nervous, but my husband helped me so much with that. The first few weeks were scary. But then people started rolling in and it was great. It was terrifying, but exciting too. It was a game-changer on so many levels, but it challenges me to be on top of it all. I have hired someone to help me with my bookkeeping. I keep up with my education and license.
G: What gets you out of bed in the morning to come to work?
J: Well my dog wakes me up every morning to take him outside! No, I am always excited to come to work to see not only my clients, but the friends that I work with. The energy here and the people that I am around is so amazing. It makes such a huge difference. I truly, truly love what I do. The flexibility of my routine is perfect. The freedom, the flexibility and the hours. And I love my people. That makes it.
G: You have cut my hair for over six years, and when I leave your salon, I feel so much better about myself. So much more confident about the way that I look. The reality of the world is that we live in a world where our appearance matters. Do you sense the change in how you make people feel when they come to see you?
J: Oh, totally. It makes your day. I know how I feel when I get my hair cut, and I hope that’s what I give someone. If I am able to help someone feel better about themselves, to be more confident, and they carry that out into their day and be the best that they can be? That’s what I hope for.
G: In this day of social media and pressure, it’s such a gift to have people in your life who can help you feel your best. Your business is so clearly built on long term relationships. You work with people of all ages and with families. Kids, families and teenage girls. How has that impacted the work that you do?
J: Lots of my adult clients bring their kids to me, and it’s fun to see them go from being squirmy in the chair and annoyed by me as little kids to letting me help them figure out how to style their hair when they get older. It’s cool to watch that transition. Kids go from not caring and not wanting to be in the chair to having an opinion and asking me how to help them. It’s a perfect opportunity to get to watch kids go from childhood to adulthood and I love the idea that a client can be with me for a very long time. I have clients that are adults now and I remember getting to be a part of their Homecoming day, or their wedding. I get to be a part of their special events in their lives so that’s great too. I love that people trust me with that.
G: Your stepdaughter is in high school right? How do you help her to deal with the pressures of that age and appearance?
J: She and I are so different in a lot of ways. We have an awesome dynamic. I love that she comes to me for advice. I love that she trusts me. Her look is so natural, and she doesn’t worry too much about hair or makeup in her day to day life and I love that about her.
G: What you do is so creative. You look at each person and see their uniqueness and figure out how to pull their whole look together. What inspires you in your life? What keeps you moving and motivated?
J: I have always liked to work out, but yoga is becoming a new obsession for me. I love the mind-body connection. It is so rejuvenating. Also, I try to stay current with what is happening trend-wise in the entertainment industry. It’s become so political these days, but I still like to watch to see the newest looks in hair and makeup. But mostly it’s the people around me. My friends and family inspire me in every way. And my husband. He is one of my biggest fans, and I love that. He is so supportive. So I guess, family, yoga, my husband and Hollywood!
To connect with Jen Jagger, contact her at (630) 427-7368.