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Blowing My Way to the Top by Jen Atkin
Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir | My Review Rating: ♥♥♥♥
245 Pages | Published: December 8, 2020 by HarperWave
Book Jacket Synopsis
From celebrity hairstylist, social media influencer, and wildly successful entrepreneur Jen Atkin comes a glimpse into the glam life, with lessons and insights on how to forge your own path and succeed in business and in life.
Hailed by the New York Times as “the most influential hair stylist in the world,” Jen Atkin is a celebrated businesswoman, tastemaker, and friend to A-list celebrities like Chrissy Tiegan and the Kardashians . . . but her success didn’t arrive overnight. Her glamorous, jet-setting lifestyle came from years of hard work, humility, and hustle. In Blowing My Way to the Top, Jen shatters the illusion of effortless, instant success that permeates social media to reveal the sweat, dedication, and drive it really takes to make it.
Jen chronicles her remarkable journey—from growing up in an isolated, conservative religious community where girls were encouraged to marry young, to striking out on her own and breaking every rule and convention to build an empire valued at $80 million.
Though Jen rebelled against the restrictions meant to limit her potential as a young woman, she has since formed her own core principles, which serve as the foundation of her daily life. In Blowing My Way to the Top, she offers insight into the values that have allowed her to thrive in the modern, digital landscape, from looking out for others to embracing humility and financial responsibility. As a trailblazer in a male-dominated industry, Jen also speaks frankly about the difficulties and challenges women face in business. She offers crucial advice, from the importance of running your business like a feminist—hiring, nurturing, and promoting female talent; finding mentors; and building camaraderie amid the competition—to learning to navigate the work and life issues that impact women most.
Jen makes it clear to those who aspire to follow in her footsteps that while inhabiting the world of celebrity culture has its perks, it can also be dangerously distracting and misleading. Part personal narrative, part practical how-to, Blowing My Way to the Top is a fierce, funny, and inspiring book about how Jen built a one-of-a-kind business against all odds—and how readers can take what she’s learned the hard way to live their own dreams.
- I feel like I need to issue the following PSA: please remember that there is a big difference between championing yourself and being cocky.
- Be deliberate about how you invest your time.
- Own your success. You’ve earned it. Take confidence in it. And don’t apologize for your past—celebrate your future.
- Figuring out what success means to you is the most critical element of creating an awesome life.
- My desire to empower other people is the reason I’ve been successful, and that same vision can drive your success, too.
- What does it even mean to “be yourself” anymore? At its core, I believe authenticity is about self-awareness. Understanding who you are, and honoring that truth, rather than just following trends or taking cues from influencers.
Review & Thoughts
Themes, Elements & Review Notes:
The title of Blowing My Way to the Top reminds me of a book I read recently called That’s What She Said. The title sounds a bit naughty but the book is completely female positive.
Blowing My Way to the Top was an enjoyable read. Reading it feels like you’re having a long fireside chat with a girlfriend. I enjoyed learning about Jen’s journey and felt myself being inspired by her experiences.
I liked how the chapters were organized but I think the structure would have benefited from actionable lists of the tools she discusses in each chapter. The book doesn’t have a clear guide of suggested tools. Instead it discusses tools and lessons she learned along the way that can help you in your own life and career.
One of the biggest takeaways was Jen’s determination and drive, her true grit. Her passion for hair and pursing her own business within the industry. Taking risks on starting her own companies. Hustling hard but never forgetting where she came from. Always doing what she could to help others succeed and to lift others up along with her.
Authenticity is a big theme and Jen’s true voice shines through in her book. I’m not a big hair or beauty guru and I have to admit I actually hadn’t heard of Jen Atkin before but after reading this book I have a newfound admiration for her and I look forward to seeing where she continues on her path in life.
My Tip: don’t expect a detailed list of tools or actionable steps [there’s plenty of other self-help books that you can go to for that]
In a Nutshell: This was a medium-paced book and certainly worth the read. Pick up Blowing My Way to the Top for an entertaining dose of inspiration and to learn more about Jen Atkin’s story.
Book Format & Source: Hardback copy via Harper Wave. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper Wave. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
About Jen Atkin
From the Author’s Amazon Page:
Jen Atkin has been working in Hollywood for over 15 years, with some of today’s most influential stars, including Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Katy Perry and Jennifer Lopez. With over 3mm followers on social media, she’s what the New York Times calls “The Most Influential Hairstylist in the World,” counting top models Hailey Bieber, Chrissy Teigen, Kendall Jenner, Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Kaia Gerber as some of her most loyal clientele.
Jen is the creator of ManeAddicts.com, a digital community and destination for salon and editorial stylists, students, influencers, and consumers where they have access to the world’s most influential trendsetters, celebrities, hairstylists, and haircare brands. In 2016, Jen launched her wildly successful haircare line OUAI, the first digitally connected haircare brand that has since expanded into new categories, like body.
Jen’s extensive brand partnerships include Dyson, Calpak, Chloe & Isabel, Slip Silk, Barbie Style, Equinox and Smartwater. She is currently working on her soon-to-be-titled book, coming from Harper Wave (an imprint of HarperCollins) in January 2021.
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