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Nick Stenson Named Ulta Beauty’s First Chief Artistic Director

Lauren Quick | September 30, 2016 | 8:21 AM

Ulta Beauty has announced the addition of Nick Stenson to its team as chief artistic director for salon services. Stenson will be overseeing all trend direction for the brand and promoting the artistic team and salon services.

“The Salon at Ulta Beauty is a key differentiator for us that contributes to our standout performance and rapid growth,” says Kecia Steelman, chief store operations officer for Ulta Beauty. “The appointment of Nick Stenson reflects our ongoing commitment to continuing to invest in our salon and services business, which we believe has even greater potential to drive Ulta Beauty’s future success. Nick will help us further explore synergies between Ulta Beauty's skincare, hair care and makeup categories to help us deliver all things beauty, all in one place.”

 For the past five years, Stenson has served as senior creative director for a chain of hundreds of salons where he led an artistic team and full-time education team of educators who trained stylists nationwide.

“Nick has demonstrated a strong capability to understand, connect and motivate the salon stylist community,” says Shiv Dutt, vice president and general manager of salon services at Ulta Beauty. “Nick is widely respected within the industry and has a proven track record for identifying and innovating the latest trends in a way that we know will appeal to our guests. We are pleased to have him join the Ulta Beauty team.”

Stenson will oversee the elite Ulta Beauty artistic team that creates seasonal, on-trend cut, color and styling offerings that are available at all locations and will play a key role in the development of the salon and services strategy.

“I’m really being a voice for the hairdressers in the community,” Stenson says. “We want to show the power of Ulta Beauty within the service sector. It’s already well-known for being an amazing beauty retailer. We want to show off salon, skincare and nails—it’s one stop for all things beauty.”

Stenson, whose work has graced MODERN SALON’s cover numerous times, says he’s working on a strategy to build business in the Ulta Beauty salons around the country.

He says he was interested in Ulta for several reasons—moving back to his hometown of Chicago not the least of them—the main one being his passion for every segment of the beauty industry and salon world.

“I think the biggest draw for me was when I think back to when I got started in this business, I wasn’t just a hairdresser,” Stenson says. “I did nails. I did makeup. I did hair-removal services. I did facials. I had my hands in everything.

“I’m obsessed with the industry—I think MODERN knows that. To be with a company full of passionate artists who love what they’re doing—that’s a dream for me.” 

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