Jesse Crowe; Toronto;
Let’s say we’ve just met at a cocktail party. How would you describe, in a nutshell, what you do?
I do a bunch of things. I balance my time between music [she plays in two bands—Beliefs and Yi—and also a solo project, Praises] and being a hair stylist. Both things that I’ve done almost all my life.
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I went to hair school at Marvel College in Saskatoon.
What was your first paying gig out of school? (In your field, or not.)
My first job was at Rain Hair Salon in Vancouver. They took me in based on a terrible CD I had handed out of my hair work, full of spelling mistakes, very DIY. I really wanted to work with Bumble and Bumble and I dreamed of being an editorial stylist.
What was your BIG break? How did you land it?
I’m still waiting on it, but I’m enjoying my life of many small breaks.
Describe the moment in which you first realized, I think this is actually going to work out?
When my business partner Emily Lebel and I took on two additional partners and moved to our storefront on Toronto’s Dundas St W. It felt like a real business and as though people were viewing us as more than just two girls in a tiny loft on Queen St. W.
What would you say has been your biggest failure or shortcoming, career-wise, to date? How did you bounce back?
I’ve been doing the same thing forever and it’s only become better and easier. That’s not to say I haven’t failed all over the place, but much like the big break, there was no big crash.
Name one piece of career advice you always give.
Be your own boss.
Did you deal with barriers in your field because you are a woman? If so, what were they?
It’s a strange industry because even though salons are predominantly staffed with women, men still hold the power. My old boss in Vancouver was a man, he made the most money. The other men made more than the women, they became educators faster and they got away with being hungover or late.
My next boss, who was a woman, still seemed to favour the men in the salon.
And often the top educators and editorial stylists are men, heck, most of my long-time hair heroes are men. So even in beauty, we are still expected to look to men for what a woman should look like.
Are you making a fair income for your work? Why or why not? Do you have a side hustle for extra cash? If so, what is it?
We’re good. Again, just be your own boss and you’ll make what you need.
What’s the worst stereotype you’ve heard about millennials at work?
That we’re lazy and entitled, but Emily and I are both old millennials so I’d like to think this doesn’t apply.