Today we’d like to introduce you to Jena Pickle.
Jena, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I got my imagination and twang growing up in the small East Texas town of Overton where there was never much to do. My Mom who was a self-taught painter/artist and I made the best of our time. We would paint, paper mâché, go to plays at the local college and visit museums in Dallas. One summer we got into photography and made a darkroom out of the bathroom and developed film that we crafted into abstract paintings. My creative mind and soul is mostly attributed to my mother and the fact that I had to have a very lively imagination.
Growing up with my grandparents, mother, several farm dogs and barn cats on a sprawling 300 acres in rural Texas allowed me to embrace the healing powers of Nature, art and music. I knew from a young age that I would move to a bigger city and when that time came I jumped in feet first! I remember when I first moved to Dallas it felt like New York City to me. I settled in with my aunt and her family and soon after enrolled in a cosmetology program. I remember feeling so free! Even to this day I feel proud that I was able to follow my heart and start visualizing my future.
After completing my cosmetology training my career began taking off and really hit a high when I joined the José Ebér team. I trained directly under Jose Ebert whose body of work in the 90s was huge. Jose was doing big transformations and was always appearing on the talk show circuit specializing in makeovers. These were the days of Oprah and Sally Jesse Raphael and the beginning of transformation/makeover shows. It was high-energy, fast-paced and fun! There were no cell phones or social media, we worked hard at our craft and played even harder in our down time. J
Fast forward to 2019, my business partner and I had just begun making plans for Ladybird Society when the pandemic hit. Like most people we were anxious. It was a chaotic time for the world and the economy and the idea of starting a business seemed terrifying. It has definitely been a challenging year and a half, but I’m very lucky in that I’ve always had a steady and calm energy where the salon is concerned. I believed in our journey and partnership and knew we were going to be okay. We opened on June 1, 2020, with a strict sanitation protocol and we minimized unnecessary contact in our personal lives, the goal being keeping ourselves and our clients safe. And amazingly everything we have done to this point has paid off! We have been patient and positive and as a result we’ve had had a lot of wins. We are currently working on both our brand identity and expanding the salon. We plan on making some big moves in 2022 as well. Ladybird Society will soon have a new space with room to spread our wings and grow our team. Our focus is to build a community of strong, artistic, emerging stylist and help them to reach their full potential within a calming, safe and fun space! Mind, body, spirit and of course, good hair… It’s all connected.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Moving to Austin was challenging, I lost three important people in my life in a matter of months, one of whom was my mother. I was completely grief-stricken and I began to feel that it was time for a new start. My partner (now wife) was offered a job in Austin so we decided to go for it! She graduated from the University of Texas and had always wanted to move back to ATX. It was a difficult transition for me personally as I walked away from a client base I had built up for years, along with my very closest friends. It in many ways it was a lonely and reflective time for me. But looking back on it now I know it really was a gift. It was exactly what I needed and where I needed to be. This experience lead me to continually encourage those I mentor to trust the process, it will get you where you need to be. Mental health issues have always been very important to me as everyone faces uncertain times in their lives and also experience low points. I hope we continue to normalize the conversation about mental health and that we keep talking about it. Check-in with your friends, especially your strong friends.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My work consists of classic, free-form cutting. My friend’s cheeky nickname for me is ‘bob killer’. I also enjoy long, playful seamless layers that create movement in the hair plus bounce. Modern day shags are fun and we can tailor the lengths according to your hair density and preferences.
I enjoy getting to know my clients and what challenges they have with their hair. It’s also important to understand their lifestyle, how they live with their hair daily and how much maintenance they are able to handle. A good haircut is like a brand new outfit, you strut differently when you love your look. I want all of my clients to walk a little taller and let their confidence shine through.
Sounds funny but I also enjoy getting to know your hair, and how it grows. My cuts typically last between 6 and 10 weeks. Every week your hair gets better and I want to be there for the ride! Also, I removed gender from our menu of services as haircuts have no gender. I feel more aligned with my menu than I ever have in my entire career.
Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Finding a mentor is key to every great stylist. It’s not only important for the basics of cutting or color formulation, but for the overall business. How you speak to clients and learning how to give a great consultation can make or break you. Communication is key when navigating through the human connection.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heypickle/