Brains, beauty and beaucoup talent. Who could ask for anything more? If you’re indie educator and salon owner Sherri Jessee, the answer is “plenty.”
Starting as a youngster in the ‘80s, Jessee has shared her probeauty talents with hundreds of thousands of stylists on fi ve continents.
Her latest beauty sojourn: 10 days in India, where she introduced RUSK products in true Bollywood style.
“For me, India is a country that’s on constant sensory overload,” Jessee relates.
“I especially loved watching how people honor ageold traditions while simultaneously embracing modern fashions. On a personal note, I was also ecstatic to see my editorial work gracing the cover of India’s top hair magazine. Despite working extremely long hours and traveling to many cities, the entire 10day experience was incredibly revitalizing.”
What do you do in your spare time? “I dream about hair every night and think about it all day long. Does that qualify as spare time?”
What was the most shining moment of your early career?
“Being my beauty school instructor’s personal stylist.”
What has been your most challenging assignment to date?
“Going to an unfamiliar town with a team of hairdressers and collectively fi nding 100 strangers who would agree to spend three days with us, be our models and have all of their hair cut off.”
Describe your most insane work schedule.
“In the early days as a educator, I accepted all assignments within an eighthour drive from my home. That meant I could cover seven states, as long as I didn’t stop for lunch or take a potty break.”
You look like you’re 25 years old. Do you have a portrait in your attic that’s aging?”
“My home doesn’t have an attic!” What do you want to do in the future? “Create a larger ripple effect. I want to inspire even more people and create positive changes in their lives. I also want to win NAHA!”
“Even though it’s very hard work, I’ve loved every minute of my role as an industry educator,” Jessee smiles. “I fi nd it very rewarding to train stylists and then watch them grow their careers. Being in the teaching spotlight has also given me so many opportunities to expand professionally, including working with celebrities and doing runway shows during Fashion Week, hair and makeup for commercials, major events, and live TV. Am I one of the fortunate few? I feel I am. But in all honesty, I attribute much of my good fortune to setting goals and working diligently to achieve them.” Indeed, when it comes to creating her destiny, Jessee has always adhered to President Thomas Jefferson’s belief, “…the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
“I also freely invest in my career by doing my own projects—especially photo shoots—which have been published all over the world. Being willing to always to go the extra mile, taking responsibility for my career, showing up for every job prepared and focused, and never giving up are really the keys to my success.”
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PATH
Working tirelessly to promote her career for so many years, has Jessee ever entertained doubts about her professional direction? “Of course I have,” she replies without hesitation. “All stylists must eventually face the moment of truth about their beauty careers. For me, my epiphany came not long after I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Education.
“I actually went to college straight out of high school, but after enduring a year of fi nancial hardship, I dropped out. A friend said to me, ‘You’ve been cutting everyone’s hair since you were 11 years old; why don’t you become a hairdresser?’ Within a couple of weeks, I had enrolled in beauty school. Nine years after that, I was fi nancially able to fi nish college. I graduated with top honors and passed my teaching exams. Then, after being offered several staff positions and fi nding myself dragging my feet, I had to face the truth: I love the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the probeauty industry too much to ever give up my career for a classroom.”
|Bobs, Bangs & Color Block
Photographer: James Weber; Hairstylist/Makeup Artist: Sherri Jessee; Fashion Stylist: David Widjaja
Photographer: Jason Setiawan; Hair and Makeup Artist: Sherri Jessee; Wardrobe Stylist: Davis Carrasquillo; Courtesy of RUSK
|In Living Color
Photographer: Jason Setiawan; Hair and Makeup Artist: Sherri Jessee.
Photographer: Brad Lovell; Hair and Makeup Artist: Sherri Jessee; Wardrobe Stylist: Glass Slipper