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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jacqueline Inman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacqueline Inman.

Jacqueline, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I originally went to college pre-law after being convinced that cosmetology wasn’t a “real career”. After 4 years and a useless political science degree later I realized that law was at best a hobby, and hair was my passion. A month after graduating I re-enrolled in Cosmetology school and after only a week I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

During my last semester of hair school in Wilmington, NC my best friend (a professional makeup artist) had mentioned I should audition for the Charleston Fashion Week hair team, so I did and was elated that while still a cosmetology student I had made the team. It was an incredible experience and gave me a taste of how fulfilling and versatile this career could be.

In 2014, a month after graduating/completing my first CFW I moved to Charleston and apprenticed under my roommate/fellow CFW team member who was also an established and successful local hairstylist until I could find my new salon home. I spent the next 6 years at Lava Salon until finally branching out on my own in March of 2021.

I’ve been a business owner ever since and have loved every minute of it. I learn something new every day and am beyond grateful for my clientele who has stuck with me and supported me through it all.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Ha, definitely wasn’t smooth to start. I almost failed my last semester of hair school because my final exam overlapped with my first training session for Charleston Fashion Week, and of course, I chose the latter because it was an opportunity I refused to pass up.

After pleading my case with the Dean, I was finally allowed to move forward with a makeup exam just days before the semester had ended and was able to graduate on time.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the different aspects of this industry, finding what sparks my fire and keeps me motivated to be better. Originally I thought styling would be my niche as my 5 years with Charleston Fashion Week and 2 years at NYFW brought me so much joy, but ultimately my everyday grind behind the chair proved that hair color (specifically blonding and creative color) were what came most natural to me.

There’s something so magical about helping to boost a person’s confidence and assisting them in feeling as beautiful on the outside as they do on the inside. This has easily become my favorite aspect of my career. In 2018 I joined the educator team of a highly successful global color company which afforded me the ability to explore a side of this industry I had only ever been a spectator of; educating and platform work.

While I loved the traveling, networking, and lifelong friendships this position supplied, I’ve learned where I thrive the most is in the salon with the wonderful clients who sit in my chair on the day-to-day.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
First things first, MY MAMA!!! She’s always been my biggest supporter and taught me that whatever I want in life can be mine if I work hard enough and stay true to myself. Ashley Brooke-Perryman, HMU Director of Charleston Fashion week took a chance on a cosmetology student and taught me everything I know about the hair side of the fashion world.

Mac McAbee, owner of Coven Haircraft, for being a friend and mentor to me when I knew no one in this city. Geoff Richardson, owner of Lava Salon, for giving me the freedom and opportunity to explore my craft, supporting me through my educational journey, and encouraging me to always go big or go home.

David and Alexis Thurston, creators and former owners of Pulp Riot Hair, for giving me a place in their incredible faction of hairstylists, always promoting community over competition, taking me all over the country to spread the Riot love, and being some of the most inspiring, hardworking members of the hair industry I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Last but certainly not least, my clientele. They’ve been so supportive through every venture, bump in the road, and change I’ve made in my career over the last 7.5 years. I most certainly owe much of my success to them.

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