Game Changers 2016: Beachwaver Founder Sarah Potempa
Sarah Potempa isn’t exactly new to this industry—she began her styling career assisting hairdressing icons like Bob Recine, Danilo and Ward for editorial photoshoots and fashion shows—but has really come into her own in the past few years with her invention of the Beachwaver styling tool. Her goal? To make sure you can help your clients have amazing hair even on the days when you didn’t style it for them.
“The reason why I created my own line of hair tools at the Beachwaver Co. is because I want real women to have the ability to get celebrity hair themselves,” Potempa says.
Her foolproof design—available in pro and client-friendly versions—makes curling hair simpler for clients who might struggle with a traditional flatiron, wand or otherwise.
Outside of her company, Potempa is thriving as a celebrity stylist for a number of stars, including Reese Witherspoon, Margot Robbie, Julianne Moore, Lea Michele and more. Last year, she styled all the models for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Potempa is making waves (pun intended) with the Beachwaver, with her styles and her sunny disposition—and that’s a game-change we’re all for.
New York-based, living in Libertyville, Illinois
Beauty school: Aveda
Facebook: Sarah Potempa Hairstyling Tools
Instagram: 86k followers
Best known for: Braids and waves
Most viral post: “The loop braid that I did for Buzzfeed Style got over 68 millions views!”
Tip to get the best results on a post: “Challenges are a great way to get people interested and excited to follow your journey. My first challenge was #100hairdays, where I wore my hair a different way for 100 days in a row. I styled wigs, braids, and went through the most iconic time periods, creating fingerwaves, beehives, and even 1800s hair. Then I completed one of the most difficult challenges, #365daysofbraids, where I posted a different braid every day for an entire year. It was a lot of work, but definitely worth it!”
Favorite hashtags: #igotbeachwaved, #hairinspo, #braidinspo, #hairvideos, #365daysofbraids
Who you follow: “I like to follow people I have a personal connection with. This incorporates a variety of celebrity makeup artists, clothing stylists and actresses who are my friends. Since I styled the hair at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show last year, I follow a lot of the models, like Taylor Hill and Sara Sampaio, in addition to the hairdressers who were on my team.”
Passions other than beauty: Interior decorating, painting, knitting, playing guitar, gardening, working out and spending time with her husband and two children.
Shout out to someone who helped you along the way: “Bob Recine really supported me, inspired me and taught me to appreciate the art of hair. Ten years after assisting him, my Beachwaver Co. team was sponsoring runway shows at New York Fashion week, and Recine was the key hairstylist for those shows. It was amazing to partner with him in that capacity and see him using the tools I created!”
Potempa's braids and waves look on Margot Robbie in Miami. Instagram @sarahpotempa