In her 20s, Jenny Strebe worked day and night on her career. When clients needed her to stay late, she accommodated them. When they asked her whether she could start an hour early, she said, “Sure.” Strebe did what it took to sharpen her skills, build her book and bring in some good money. Energy? Not a problem. Time? With no one depending on her to make dinner or do a daycare pickup, her schedule belonged to her clients.
And then came motherhood.
Now 32, Strebe is like a lot of hairdressers. She’s a mom who wants to make time for two young kids and her husband and the house and even her own fitness—without sacrificing her career ambitions and creative needs. Energy is more of a problem than it used to be, but the real issue is time. While Strebe cut back her work hours at Salon Stylush in Scottsdale, AZ, she actually stepped up her creativity by launching an online presence called “The Confessions of a Hairstylist” that attracts 10,000 subscribers to her YouTube vlog channel and 16,000 followers to her social media pages. Through these videos, she provides instruction in hair design.
“I used to be an educator, and I miss doing that,” says Strebe, who spent six years as artistic director for the Toni & Guy Scottsdale locations. “Through my vlog, I educate the everyday woman.”
Strebe has stayed diligent with her fitness regimen as well. How does she manage it all?
* During pregnancy, a belly band and saddle seat helped Strebe physically get through a day of hairdressing.
* Accepting new clients only by referral, she keeps her book to 25 hours a week and holds each shift to six or seven hours.
* She avoids commuting time by living nearby the salon.
* At the salon, she works! She overlaps appointments so that she can cut one client while another has color processing, and she limits chatting time and hanging out with team members.
* She eats a balanced dinner at home with her family and keeps healthful snacks at the salon.
* While her daughter is in preschool, she works out at a gym that offers childcare for her toddler son. She does 30 minutes of cardio and 10 minutes of strength training. Again, she multi-tasks. “I do all of my own booking on my iPad,” she says, “so while I’m doing cardio I catch up with my clients and text them back about their appointment.”
* She accepts the help of her support system. Her mother-in-law helps with childcare; if she has to go to the salon for a client’s emergency she has people she can call in a pinch.
About 80 percent of Strebe’s clients prebook, which is key. “Before I had kids, I wasn’t much of a planner,” Strebe says. “I was free-spirited! I still am in some ways, but being organized has made my life much less stressful. Now I’m a huge planner, and it has helped my sanity.”
Jenny Strebe also is featured in MODERN SALON’s April issue in the Healthy Hairdresser article, “The Cycle of Life—and Work.” Check it out!