Women of Style: Sherri Jessee
Sherri’s Hair Salon, Bristol, VA
Rusk Creative Team
Licensed: 1983 from Virginia Academy of Cosmetology; also havee Bachelor's in Education from Emory & Henry College
First job: The Hair Zoo in 1983. Opened Sherri’s Hair Salon in 1985
Clients per week: 60
Price point: Cut: $50; color: $150
Why did you choose beauty? I began cutting hair when I was a child and have always loved fashion. With a background in theatre and education, working as a platform artist was a perfect fit. What else on earth would I do?
Milestones: Owning a salon with my daughter Amy Lauren assisting me;
traveling as an international educator and celebrity stylist; having my hair and makeup work published worldwide
Big break: MODERN SALON’s Artist Session program was instrumental in igniting my passion for doing hair and makeup for photo shoots.
Career advice you’ve received: “If you are going to be a name in the beauty industry, you are going to have to learn to be more assertive.” —Dr. Brooke Carlson
Career advice you’ve given: Get a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Your mentors: Privileged to train under industry icon Irvine Rusk. Privileged to for photo shoots under MODERN SALON Beauty and Fashion Director Maggie Mulhern
You mentor: A lot of people as a “cyber mentor” via. Facebook, networking sites and my blogs (www.sherrisstepstostyle.blogspot.com)
Are there benefits to being a woman in beauty? I deeply believe that women stylists are more empathetic. We know what it feels like to have a bad hair cut. We know what it feels like to have a great hair cut that turns heads and gets us attention. We know how a sexy style makes us feel better about ourselves. Bottom line: a woman understands a woman’s needs best.
Are there challenges for women in beauty? The majority of our clients are women getting cuts and colors. The majority of stylists are women. However, when you look at it, most of the platform artists and famous stylists are men. Don’t get me wrong, I love men, but why is that the power and fame seem to go to mostly men in a woman’s industry? I am on a mission to share with other women and empower them with knowledge that will make them more confident and successful in the industry both personally and professionally.
Sacrifice and lesson: Traveling doing hair shows and education worldwide, I missed many special events, birthdays and anniversaries. The upside is that I passed on a great work ethic evident in my (now adult) children. And my daughter recently became a hair stylist!
Risk and reward: Financing a series of photo shoots was a big investment, however, working with top NY photographer Roberto Ligresti and training under makeup artist David Maderich has helped me create the most amazing images that have been published worldwide.
To follow in your footsteps, a woman would have to: Get ready to work hard and love every minute of it.
Famous woman you would like to style: January Jones is stunning. I love Mad Men and the ‘60s era styling, and she has some fun red carpet looks.
Next change to my personal style: Just cut 10 inches off my hair yesterday. My hair has been very long to super short, and all lengths in between. Always blonde, though. I have a blonde heart.
Reading: A tower of fashion and beauty magazines, several novels and audio books
Playlist: We listen to the Adele station on Pandora all day—great music to work by!
Every day, just for you: It’s very important to me to have my makeup looking good every day.
Working on: My own education system, “Sherri’s Steps to Style,” to create celebrity- inspired results for real people.