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Meet Allison Hunter

Today we’d like to introduce you to Allison Hunter.

Hi Allison, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
As far back as I can remember, I had always wanted to be creative, I just always had trouble narrowing down the endless possibilities.

Fortunately, I was a good student and attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a full-ride scholarship. There I changed my major numerous times but finally settled on Studio Art.

That wasn’t really enough, though, and I worked from a young age as a makeup artist – so I could scratch the ‘self-expression’ itch. I eventually ended up in Chicago where I was invited to work as a makeup artist for an international hair company – RUSK – and had the opportunity to do makeup for several of their stage shows.

I was enamored of watching the hairstylists run the model room and create these amazing works, so at the urging of a friend, I decided once and for all to attend cosmetology school at twenty-four. After graduating I was lucky enough to do my advanced apprenticeship with a RUSK creative team member in Chicago, and there I really got the extensive education and experience that cosmetology school just doesn’t provide.

A year later, I started working for RUSK as a designer, and with them, I traveled all over the country doing hair shows and providing education to other hair stylists. I did this for about eight years, and throughout I received the kind of education you cannot put a price on – but my real passion was spending time creating behind the chair with my clients. In 2014, I opened a small studio space with my best friend in Clayton.

It is by far the best decision I’ve ever made – I’ve been so uniquely privileged to build relationships with clients I’ve come to love and to create beauty and a sense of passion in people’s lives. My salon is now in its eighth year in Clayton, and even with the setbacks we saw during the covid pandemic, I continue to grow and educate myself. I hope to continue doing what I love for many years to come.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My husband is a business-minded person, so before setting out on my own, he made me do my “due diligence” regarding starting a business of my own. I had to write a SWOT analysis, budget, and plan.

All that being said, Covid-19 was a unique challenge none of us were prepared for. While I was very privileged to have wonderful clients and friends who supported me throughout, the time was not without its challenges.

I am very pleased to say that today, with responsible stewardship of the space I share with my clients, along with dedication to following guidance regarding policy and procedure, we are safely returning to normal operation.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I really love doing creative color techniques.

There has been an upswell in recent years of creativity among the individual and self-expression, and it has opened the door to beautiful hair every color of the rainbow, and stunning hand-painted looks.

Working with that kind of creativity and the individual is incredibly satisfying and part of what I love best about my job.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
I hope to see a continued commitment to sustainability, environmental advocacy, and cleaner beauty.

The beauty industry has historically been allowed to self-regulate, to its own detriment in my opinion. I look forward to more oversight regarding our environmental impact and the more responsible creation amongst brands and artists.

That is part of why I chose to feature Davine products in my salon. They are an incredibly ethical company that focuses on the cleanliness of the product they offer, sustainability in their production, and commitment to the environment through responsible production.

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