How I Got My Dream Job: Roxie Hunt, Hair Stylist/DIY Hair Mogul
Most hair stylists cut and color hair. For Roxie Jane Hunt, however, shears and color baths were just the beginning. Over the past decade, the Pacific Northwest-based stylist, writer, entrepreneur, and mother of two has used her cutting and coloring chops as the springboard for a bonafide DIY hair empire that extends far beyond the walls of a salon or the conventional tools of her trade.
(Photo Courtesy of Roxie Hunt)
Whether she’s cutting a client’s hair at Vain, staging one of her adorable daughters in a photo shoot, promoting her line of all-natural ShamPhree hair products, editing a photo tutorial on flora and fauna-infused bridal updos for her widely/wildly adored DIY hair website, How-to Hair Girl, or spearheading a national armpit hair-dying movement, the work Hunt does is not only popular, profitable, and accessible; its something she believes in.
Name: Roxie Jane Hunt
Location: Seattle, WA
PayScale: What do you do?
Hunt: I’m a hair stylist/blogger/photographer
PayScale: What makes it your dream job?
Hunt: I adore my job because it allows me to explore many different directions. I started as a hairdresser because I love working with people, I like to use my hands, I love the transformative quality of it, and I get to be creative. I started blogging to fulfill my love of writing and help me share my thoughts on hair, and the photography came along with that. Now I do hair, then I photograph it, then I write about it. I rarely get bored or burnt out.
PayScale: What’s an average day on the job look like for you?
Hunt: Do a couple haircuts, answer a few emails, edit some photos, then pack up my camera and do a quick shoot with a friend and a bunch of flowers. Then, I pick my kids up from school and put on my mom face. Then, later, I dork around on Instagram.
(How-to Hair Girl Photo Shoot, Photo Courtesy of Roxie Hunt)
PayScale: How did you end up here? What interesting or unexpected jobs have prepared you for this role?
Hunt: I have had all sorts of jobs, but never just one. I firmly believe in not doing any one thing for more than 20 hours per week.
PayScale: What is unique about what you do?
Hunt: Everything! I created my job to be one-of-a-kind. My next goal is to figure out how to monetize what I do on a bigger scale.
PayScale: Are there any challenges about your job that may surprise people?
Hunt: God, yes. Being my own boss, challenging myself constantly, holding myself accountable. Push, push, push. Keeping myself in line. Sometimes it is like herding cats, other times it’s like I have the world’s most critical and micromanaging boss in the world, but I have no one to talk to or vent to about it to but myself. I’m like a one-woman office.
PayScale: Best word to describe how you work.
Hunt: Always super intensely. Usually with coffee. Hopefully not at home. I try to exercise first thing because it helps keep me from fidgeting around the rest of the day.
PayScale: Describe your workplace.
Hunt: It’s different every day. Soon, though, it will be in an office/creative space/photo studio in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, where I will have all my tools and crafty things and pretty things all around me.
(Photo courtesy of Roxie Hunt)
PayScale: What tool or device couldn’t you live without?
Hunt: My Roc-It Dog? shears. They’re nothing fancy, but they always do the job. My Canon 5D, iPhone5, and MacBook Pro. My hairstyling kit, too.
PayScale: What’s your best time-saving shortcut?
Hunt: I made a goal to only check my email and social media three times per day and am working towards it (I am down to 75 times per day). I make lists. I make sub-lists. I make lists of ideas for blog posts and projects and hairstyles while I sleep. I give every idea a while to ruminate before moving forward with it. My twenties were about doing everything. My thirties are more about pacing and prioritizing, and quality not quantity.
PayScale: Did you go to college? If so, where and what did you study?
Hunt: I joke that I have a self-directed PhD in hair. I didn’t go to a traditional four-year school but I am putting myself through my own kind of college constantly by always learning and seeking. Sometimes I think about actually going to college, just to see if I could hack it. My problem is that my brain stops working if I am sitting still — literally. So, if there were such a thing as a walking college, I think that could work for me.
PayScale: What’s next on the horizon for you?
Hunt: More product development, refining my photography skills, and hopefully doing more traveling and teaching.
PayScale: What would you tell someone who wanted to follow the same path as you?
Hunt: To 100 percent not be afraid to pursue the impractical. Be yourself. Be okay with not always getting ahead, but instead doing what you love. Be okay with working for free in the beginning in order to get to where you want to go — that’s how you learn. Fake it ’til you make it. Be relentless without being annoying. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Read about how another hair stylist/entrepreneur got her start, in “How I Got My Dream Job: Giulia Heiman, Bi-coastal Hairstylist, Beauty Columnist, Entrepreneur.”
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Liz Suman is a freelance journalist and copywriter based in Los Angeles. Over the last ten years, Liz has written for a number of print and online publications including Vanity Fair, TIME Inc., The Discovery Channel, The Baltimore Brew, Seattle Business Magazine, About.com, Playboy.com, and The Daily Beast, where she covered film and television premieres as an entertainment reporter. In addition to editorial work, Liz provides professional copywriting and marketing services for individual companies and clients from a variety of industries including art, film, beauty, real estate, and business.