Throughout International Women’s Month, the Slick Team has reflected on some of the most admirable women that we are privileged enough to work with. One such example is the incredible Jean Barbee Dawkins: one of the most amazing, dedicated, and inspiring people that we have had the pleasure of getting to work with. Professionally, Jean balances a busy schedule as the Leasing and Operations Manager at Sola Salons Tysons Corner, the President and CEO of her own salon, Salon Montage Inc., an author, and a Minister.
The three words that Jean uses to describe herself are creative, strong-willed, and tenacious. “I love that in my career, I get to see people’s lives change because of what I do,” she says, “When a client comes in, I listen to their outer needs, and I hear their inner needs through that process.”
Jean is aware of the energy she brings to her environment. Having grown up in an environment with two amazing parents, by 6 years old Jean knew that she was destined for greatness. She recalls curling her dolls’ hair and realizing that she had a natural talent in the beauty industry and she ran with it.
As she grew into her career, Jean looked back fondly on one of her greatest role models: a cosmetology teacher that she had for 2 years and continued to stay in contact with until she passed. “Julia Pryor shaped me professionally. She inspired me to move forward and get a degree in Vocational Education. I graduated in 1991, and I’ve been self-employed ever since.”
With the experiences she gained on her journey to salon ownership, Jean uses her own experiences to help other beauty professionals to realize their own dreams. “I engage with my colleagues and clients enough so that they know I am there for them. I do what I can to keep a great atmosphere at Sola Tysons Corner and make us a collective being.”
Jean chooses to measure her successes in terms of how many lives she feels she has been able to change. “I measure my success by the lives that I have seen changed through what I do and say. It’s not about money or being busy – it is measured based on what is important and if you are growing or staying the same.”
With all of the struggles and hardships she faced along the way of her journey, Jean has been able to look back at her accomplishments with pride. When she began her career, Jean had a lot of naysayers that challenged her along the way. Now, she chooses to channel that energy into helping young children realize their dreams are possible. “It is so important to be able to encourage the kids to focus on developing themselves and work toward having a great impact on others.”
Through all of the highs and lows in life, Jean continues to stay positive and look through the optimistic lens. Jean, we feel so honored to work with you and to have gotten to know you. Thank you for being a fantastic example of an admirable woman, especially in this month that we celebrate incredible ladies everywhere.
If you’re interested in learning more about Jean, head to her Instagram at www.instagram.com/jeanbarbeedawkins and her website at www.jeanbarbee.com.