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Meet Jessica Martinez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Martinez.

Hi Jessica, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. I am the youngest of three girls. I have been interested in beauty since I was very young. I always enjoyed going to the beauty salon with my mom and watching her transform herself. I loved how she fearlessly changed her look every time we went. She would go in with long brunette hair and end up leaving the salon with short red hair! By middle school, I started to experiment with my own hair and ended up with a perm in 7th grade! In high school, I started to style my own hair and my friend’s hair. For soccer games, I would braid my team’s hair. However, after high school, I started college thinking that I’d become a teacher and put beauty aside. After a couple of years, it did not feel right, and I felt like the beauty industry kept calling me back. Therefore, I took a leap of faith, quit college and I applied to the Aveda Institute, and started my journey to become a licensed beauty professional. Nine years later, I have worked my way up from working in salons as a stylist to managing salons, then back to Aveda as a Cosmetology Educator. Now, I am very proud to be a first-generation Latina who owns her own small beauty business in Austin, Texas.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
After going to college for a couple of years and struggling because I felt like I didn’t belong, it felt like it was something that I had to do because both my older sisters had gone to college and received their degrees. My parents were always pushing for me to follow in my sister’s footsteps. Though that was clearly not where my true passion was, so I decided to take a leap of faith and go to cosmetology school. Once I arrived at Aveda, everything just made sense, I finally felt like I belonged, I felt like this is where I was supposed to be, where I could express my creativity and just be my true self. After I finished the program in 2014, I returned back to my hometown of Laredo, Texas to pursue my career as a hair artist. I worked at a couple of different salons until I found a spot where I could grow in the beauty industry. I became the manager of a local salon, but after a few months I realized that I wanted more for myself and that I wanted to be a greater impact in this industry. So in 2019, I decided to grab my bags and head back to Austin, where I landed a job as a Cosmetology Educator at Aveda, the same institute where I attended. Months into the job as an Educator, the pandemic happened, so I decided to take a small break because the world just seemed very uncertain. After a couple of months, I decided to again take another leap of faith and start my own business where I could still do hair but in a smaller area where everyone that came in would feel comfortable and safe. I have now been in business since October 2020. I learned staying true to myself and my passion is key and through hard work and perseverance it’s all possible.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I specialize in balayage, threading, eyelash extensions, and styling. I am known for my creativity in my work and for the way I interact with my clients. I am passionate about making a difference for every person that sits in my chair. I believe that I am not just a stylist but I am someone that my clients confide in. Listening to their life experiences is truly one of my favorite things about what I do.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
The most important thing about what I do is connecting with people, and being a part of their day-to-day lives. I get to hear stories about different milestones in their lives. I hear the good, the bad, the sad parts and the happy times. Those are all the things that make my job such a fascinating career because I get to experience all those things with my clients. I get to hear their excitement when they tell me that they finally got pregnant after years of struggling, I get to hear and see their pictures of when they get engaged. And then there’s the other side of things where people share the sad moments with you as well. You hear when they just lost a loved one and how they came to see you because they haven’t found the energy to be able to do their own hair and you are there to be a friend they can just vent to. Being in the beauty industry is not always about beauty. It’s also about being a friend.

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