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Meet Jessica L. Brewster, October Educator of the Month


Jessica L. Brewster, KEVIN.MURPHY Style Educator, is Premier Beauty's October Educator of the Month!

How’d you get your start in education?

I've always felt so inspired by other educators coming into our salon being so knowledgeable and passionate about their craft. I didn't ever expect to end up being an educator but when the opportunity presented itself, I applied and went through the long but rewarding journey to get where I am.

What’s your favorite product from KEVIN.MURPHY?

Everything in KEVIN.MURPHY is my favorite and all the products can be layered for so many different styles. I'd have to say it's probably a tie between SHIMMER.SHINE and YOUNG.AGAIN Treatment Oil—they really bring life and shine back into any head of hair!

What is your favorite cutting or coloring technique?

My favorite cutting technique is definitely a shag. I love layers, texture, and movement in the hair. Coloring, I love a bold or subtle money piece. I also love a good pinwheel technique, for fashion colors. It's easy for me as a stylist to retouch but when the hair is styled, it looks very abstract. Especially on shags, you really see all sorts of colors.

What's the newest, freshest approach you're bringing to education?

I like to do a few interaction games with my classes, get people up, moving, connected, and involved, hearing stylist's challenges and experiences, and problem-solving together. I let people be hands-on with products, especially ones they've never used or are unfamiliar with. Connecting with my classes with positive energy is how I keep it interesting and enjoyable to learn and be an educator.

What are the common problems faced by stylists today?

Sadly, the expectations wanted out of us go against the best judgment and the education we have as stylists. We live in a world now where "we want to see it now" and do not want to wait for the process of what needs to be done to get a client's hair to their desired look safely and properly, whether it be color or styling.

How do you think those problems should be handled?

Informing your client of realistic expectations, cost, and time is going to be a huge part of understanding each other and the process. Whether you're an "educator" or not, at the end of the day, you're still educating your clients. It's fair to both you and the client to be openly honest about what's achievable and what routine needs to be done at home to maintain that look. It's better to underpromise and over-deliver.

What do you want stylists to know about education?

Even as educators, we're all learning something new every day. There's always room for improvement and growth. If you're unwilling to learn as you grow, then you're defeating the purpose of being an educator and a stylist. Education is the best way to stay informed about the industry. Educators are stylists as well—we're always learning. Sometimes we learn new tips and tricks from stylists in our classes!

What are your educator goals?

Ideally, I would love this to help boost me into my ultimate goal of working in the film, concert, and fashion industry side of hair. At the end of the day, it's equally important for me to make it a goal to learn as much as I can and work my way up in education, teaching more classes and keeping stylists inspired. I'm still taking it small steps at a time.

Who’s your biggest mentor?

In the salon, my boss and owner of the salon. She's helped me get to where I am now, whether it has been through personal instances or through providing me the proper tools to guide me where I am, as well as her just being the person she is, inspires me to be the best I can be.

Where you do find your inspiration?

A few years ago, I actually left the industry and quit being a stylist, I thought it was because I hated doing hair but after being in a new career for a few months I realized I didn't hate hair, I just lacked education. I came back behind the chair and took as many education classes as I could. I found a new love for doing hair again and love passing on what I know to clients, coworkers, and other stylists. My inspiration is remembering where I was in the industry a few years ago and measuring how far I've come to keep pushing and going!

What is the most rewarding part about educating?

After leaving the industry once, I remember how alone, uninformed, and drained I felt. When I teach my classes, I want to help stylists not feel the way I did, which drove me to leave the industry in the first place. Even if I can help just one stylist learn something new, apply it to their everyday routine and keep them passionate about the industry, then I've done my job, it's the best reward I can work for.

What is a word of advice that you have for new stylists?

Take a leap of faith. It's scary, yes. But in the end, it pays off. Go to the classes provided for you, and invest in yourself. Go through an assistant program or apprenticeship program. Do what you're scared of, practice makes improvement, and overall, be proud of yourself! You may see yourself doing things you never thought you'd be doing and you'll be loving every moment of it!

Any advice for seasoned stylists?

No matter how many years of experience you have behind the chair, always be open to learning something new. The world changes every day and we need to learn to adapt as stylists to be the best we can be for our clients. No, you are never too old or too seasoned to learn something new.

What new skill would you like to learn?

Balancing. Taking time to sort life out, find time for personal life, family life, relax life, and work life. Separating those and finding a perfect rhythm to juggle but balance it all to not have any major disturbances or distractions that impede other aspects of my life.

How do you like to spend your days off?

I can't not be moving around or doing something. I'm a previous shooting sports instructor so I can be out target shooting, riding my motorcycle, spending time with my dog, and practicing on my guitar. I also am crafty, so I have my own craft business, and do freelance photography and videography. Enjoy karaoke nights, card/board game nights, or spending time in the presence of friends and family. Per the season, I love skiing, snow drifting, sledding, four-wheeling, camping, fishing, beach days, and of course traveling.

Favorite pick-me-up in the middle of a busy salon day?

Of course, as many stylists can attest to this, my mid-day pick-me-up is Starbucks! I really do though enjoy getting a few minutes to catch up with the front desk, stylists, and assistants. We have a huge salon, everyone's so busy and sometimes it's hard to get to see everyone's lovely faces. To have a mid-day refueling of connecting back with the people I love to surround myself with is a great pick-me-up!

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