FIVE MINUTES WITH JEN ATKIN The Kardashian hairstylist and Ouai founder shares her best advice for building a digital beauty brand.
You’re avidly using social media to communicate with your customers. How do you feel about your growing social following?
“I definitely am someone who dances like nobody’s watching. It doesn’t register to me that two million people are seeing my posts. I just love Instagram. I love sharing my story, I love hopefully inspiring people, but learning information from other people, it’s really like my social life now. At times it definitely can be a challenge, because you are giving a lot of yourself or you’re kind of like a sponge for other people and what’s going on with them. Social media is a full-time job: it never really shuts off. It’s just always there, but it’s great, too. It grew my business and it changed my life and my career. I definitely am a finger-on-the-pulse type of person. I didn’t study marketing, and Instagram has just pushed me into that world.”
Can you describe a crossroad in your career?
“That’s so easy for me: not listening to my old agent who told me to not work with the Kardashians.”
As an incredibly busy hairstylist, how did you find the time to create Ouai?
“I used to be a salon stylist, and then I was a salon and celebrity stylist and then I was a celebrity stylist who travelled all the time with my clients, and then I started a hair website, Mane Addicts [maneaddicts.com] and then that kind of grew into its own entity and then Ouai was born. What’s been amazing for me is the support I’ve had from my clients, because even when they reach out to me and I’m on a trip or I’m doing press or I’m doing something for Ouai and I’m unavailable, they’ve still been so amazing and supportive, and you know they’re really rooting for me, which says a lot about women.”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
“Jessica Alba told me once to never let someone who can’t say yes tell you no, which I really liked.”
Ouai Volume Spray, $37.