Jen Atkin, founding father of Mane Addicts, Photo Credit: Mike Rosenthal
Photo Credit: Mike Rosenthal
Jen Atkin’s platform Mane Addicts offers new which means to the facility of group, collaboration, creativity, and content material. (Not to say the saying, “Content is queen.”)
Atkin famously documented her rise to celeb hairstylist (with purchasers starting from the Kardashians and Jenners to Chrissy Teigen) adopted by entrepreneurship because the founding father of haircare model the Ouai and Mane Addicts in her bestselling 2020 memoir, Blowing My Way to the Top, and sometimes shares her tales of resilience on her Instagram feed (with a phenomenally engaged viewers of 4.5 million followers).
“I believe that huge leap I first took at 19 years outdated to maneuver to L.A. from Utah set me on this path of claiming, ‘That was actually scary. That was a leap of religion. It did not break my entire life, this feels true to what I need,” Atkin shares. “And I’ve tried to proceed staying on that path.”
That path consists of serving to to pave the way in which for different ladies hairstylists.
Launched by Atkin in 2014, Mane Addicts is the vacation spot and main digital hair group that offers entry to the world’s high expertise for each hairstylists and customers. It options one of the best merchandise available on the market and tutorial how-to movies, together with skilled profiles, authentic content material and cutting-edge schooling, all delivered to its viewers through its outlined, signature voice and POV. (It’s additionally a strong case examine within the significance of a model having an editorial content material group.)
Mane Addicts has expanded to incorporate Mane University: a worldwide schooling platform that brings high expertise to main cities world wide, to show and encourage a brand new era of hairdressers.
“To be trustworthy, it was such a cutthroat and actually laborious business to get into, particularly as a lady in 2006. You actually did not see ladies behind the chair that a lot. Numerous ladies colorists — sure — however not many ladies hairstylists within the mainstream aside from Sally Hershberger and Odile Gilbert to look as much as.”
Part of Mane Addicts’ origin story ties again to Katherine Power, the founding father of Clique Media (whose empire consists of WhoWhatWear, MyDomaine and Byrdie), and a portfolio of manufacturers like Versed, Merit and Avaline.
“In 2012, Katherine had identified the robust shift of publications going digital. She was the one that actually inspired me and mentioned: You know a lot about hair. You’re such an advocate for those that work with you and the group at giant, you should create that digital area for hair.”
Today, Mane Addicts is greater than a digital area for hair — it’s a full-blown universe, or as Atkin refers to it, a “playground.”
“I actually needed to create this playground for customers to study merchandise that manufacturers are popping out with, for professionals to have the ability to mingle, and for hair lovers to have a spot to go and be taught info, see tutorials, however on the time, it was only a digital editorial platform. And then as soon as I began doing little mixers at my home on my rooftop early on, for instance, I spotted this was actually taking off. So since then it is grown and morphed into this wonderful 360 world group — it is actually enjoyable to see its development.”
This development is mirrored with one have a look at Mane Addicts’ metrics: Bookings for hairstylists which might be a part of the collective have elevated 78% from Q1 2021, and are on tempo to complete the 12 months with a 54% improve. Brand partnerships are 87% over FY 2021 and on tempo to complete the 12 months at a 34% improve.
And Mane Addicts’ content material extends to extra than simply hair.
“We speak in regards to the planet, we discuss all of the issues that I believe a standard hair area would not discuss — we discuss individuals’s values and their pursuits, and aesthetic normally,” Atkin shares.
But you possibly can’t have a playground with out gamers — or a way of group — and Mane Addicts has that with its Creator Collective.
A preferred editorial characteristic on Mane Addicts is the influencer highlight and Q&A, Mane Muse, which just lately highlighted social media sensation Tinx (whose actual identify is Christina Najjar), and whose former topics embody actress and changemaker Yara Shahidi, in addition to Zendaya and Maddie Ziegler.
“We launched Mane Addicts even earlier than influencers have been on the rise. Today we eat a lot, so it was actually enjoyable for me to place my stake within the floor. And I’m actually grateful that I took Katherine’s dare.”
The energy of schooling and serving to different ladies hairstylists is a key a part of Atkin’s ethos.
Jen Atkin, founding father of Mane Addicts and the Ouai, Photo Credit: Mike Rosenthal
Photo Credit: Mike Rosenthal
“I stored interested by who I used to be, once I first got here to Los Angeles. I used to be 19 years outdated, I had $200 or $300 within the financial institution. And I actually needed to study hair. I used to be actually fortunate that totally different hairstylists all through the years have taken an opportunity on me and taught me. So I mentioned to myself, Let me be taught from them after which create my very own craft from all of their methods and their methods. It’s been my mission to essentially preserve that door open for extra ladies.”
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Atkin, who has heard plenty of “no”s alongside her trajectory and had doorways shut on her. But she persevered and as we speak shares her wins (and obstacles) on her social feed: together with an Instagram put up that went viral again in December 2021, when her haircare model Ouai launched at Harrods — it was her resilience and drive that stored Atkin going, regardless of the concern. (Atkin based the Ouai in 2016.)
“Looking from a large lens and realizing what’s taking place with me, establishing my model at Harrods — and that it very effectively couldn’t have occurred. I did not let the concern or the doubt take over. I simply stored urgent on. And I believe there’s one thing happening proper now within the media, specializing in feminine founders tales with a unfavorable slant — it makes me actually unhappy.”
Let’s be trustworthy right here: it turns into particularly laborious for aspiring or early-stage ladies founders, when journalists (even feminine ones) highlight the feminine founders who have been as soon as media darlings.
“There’s this bizarre development proper now of telling tales in media, the place I really feel like feminine founders are getting picked on,” Atkin shares.
“I’m actually pleased with the quantity of achievements that girls have made in enterprise lately — I’ve seen it speed up quite a bit. And that is as a result of we have all supported each other. It’s laborious — it is not like, you have got an thought, individuals purchase it, and that is it. On the bottom, there’s investments, there’s VC conversations, there’s all types of overwhelming issues, and also you’re getting a lot recommendation from so many individuals. It’s actually scary at instances. So I believe it is essential to acknowledge that whoever a publication or journalist is that includes, is placing themselves on the market.”
“When I first began the model, I had lunch with Bobbi Brown and I used to be calling on Sonia Kashuk to present me recommendation on her journey. So it is actually essential that we’re supportive and inspiring each other. I’ve all the time lived by the rule of driving group and never being jealous of individuals and being mates along with your friends. I believe that is helped me manifest quite a bit in my life.”
With an enormous web site redesign arising later this summer time, a steady deal with Mane Addicts’ social platforms (Instagram, Pinterest and TikTook) and growing the facility of group, Mane Addicts will solely proceed to develop.
As Atkin asserts:
“If I’m serving to to create alternative and assist direct or steer the careers of different individuals, which we have been doing with our Creator Collective over the previous few years — that is a legacy, and that’s so essential to me.”