October 8, 2020
Jenes Carter Owner and Nail Artist at Beautiful Nails Reno, Nv.
Jenes and I have the same birthday!
I think there's something special about people that are born on the same day as you, there is some kind of deep bond and you just know that, that person is cool. At least, that's what it's like for me and all the people that I have ever met with my same birthday.
Jenes and I go back about ten (-ish) years. She was the singer and dancer of my favorite band and someone that was hard not to stare at because of her amazing dance moves. Her shakin’ her thang definitely made me want to shake mine, and I sure did!
You see, Jenes and I both have a need to create magic and I believe that drive and that need for creation is a special light that we each hold. And when I see someone with their light shining it lights mine up even brighter... and the room then becomes corner to corner shockingly lit up!
That's how I feel when I am around Jenes. She helps me be brighter, bringing out more compassion, endurance, and space to be wonderful and also not have fear of the imperfect. She encourages me to be all of me and turn it on full blast because that is what she does; that's how she sets her example and leads her life.
Like many of us, Jenes started in the beauty industry when she was young. She began by using her Grandma's nail polishes and painting little flowers with toothpicks. She became really good at it and began to do hair too. She would braid her friend's hair at the Boys and Girls Club. And, she had to learn how to do her own hair having been raised by her dad, a single father.
She has mostly made her way paying bills and getting through life with music, odd jobs, and styling hair on the side. But when she found out she was pregnant she decided that she needed another hustle! So she went into Cosmetology! It turned out to be really cool and she is excellent at it!
Beauty to Jenes, as someone that is always looking and searching to grow more, is in those moments of acceptance of oneself. Beauty to her comes in so many different fashions and Jenes said she wasn't quite sure how to say what it just... is.
A huge moment and take-away from my interview with Jenes was when she said that the beauty industry is a responsibility. Jenes believes the beauty industry is something that needs care and attention to be given its full life and honor. I agree.
With Covid, she wants to make sure that she is keeping her clients safe and healthy. And, just as a general rule, there is, of course, a responsibility to not fry the client's hair off. If you are in the industry you know these things and you are willing to take them on because you know it's worth it...
...especially with the responsibility to hold space for people.
We are here to help people feel good about themselves and to give them what they are looking for (whether or not they know what that is).
One of her tag lines is, "I use my art to make you feel…*insert feeling here*”
And, I want to shift it ‘just a hair’ and say, "I use my art to make you feel."
The beauty industry helps people FEEL. I think I have a lot of judgment about the industry's superficial bullshit yet, at the same time, it makes me feel something deep inside when I get my hair or nails done. It makes me feel special. It helps me connect to my deepest desires. It helps me feel like I am taken care of, that I am supported. It makes me feel like I am an active member and participant within the community. On the surface it may look like I am just getting my hair done to look good, however there is so much more happening on the inside. Now, of course, that's just me. Everyone has their own journey and most things are whatever you make them. I like to make meaning out of things and dig deeper into their potentials and purposes.
I know I talk about it a lot, but my hair education was a bunch of bullshit. I am grateful for my friends and the few big take-aways that I got from that time. I mean - actually - who knows if this project would even be a thing if I had had a beauty school education that didn't piss me off and have fundamental flaws.
Jenes and I talked about textured hair - which I had absolutely no education on - and she mentioned, in her school, that she seemed to only have black clients. Interesting occurrence there. Sure, I could have advocated more for myself in school and stood up for what I wanted to learn. However, I was so naive to everything at that point. I just wanted to learn everything I could and then get out. I hope this will change for people in the future.
Jenes talks about being a black woman business owner and how that being a thing means that there is a disadvantage from the start. Business should just be business. She doesn't let it get her down or stop her from getting what she needs though. However she is aware of the impact of it, having lived it.
In this episode, I hope that you enjoy my giggles from Jenes' magical ability to be light, silly, and at the same time hit me deep in the heart. She inspires and moves me.
Love and gratitude,
Creator/ Founder of The Beauty Project
Jenes' Beauty Statement: "Beauty to me is those moments when you feel at your best, those moments of accepting the self.
The beauty industry is a responsibility. It means to me a way to reach others and help them to acquire that feeling of beauty and self worth, to get closer to that and to accept and feel good about themselves.
What I want people to know about the beauty industry is that no one is your slave. We are here to make you feel good. We are not your bitches.
I am beautiful because I am willing to continue to grow and understand others and to continue to learn how to understand myself."