Today we’d like to introduce you to Kris Clark.
Hi Kris, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My journey started at 16 when I got pregnant with my first child in high school. I was a teen mom long before it was cool and it got you a spot on MTV. A New England native, I persevered and later married, being blessed with two more children. After my divorce, I put myself through school and followed my passion for beauty, all while raising my children as a single mom.
After graduation from the Paul Mitchell School, I started doing hair and makeup for photoshoots, commercials, and editorial, as well as cutting, coloring, and makeup in the salon. About 10 years ago, I had professional and personal opportunities in the DC area. I made the decision to move me and my family in order to explore the possibilities of what the area had to offer. After working in a couple of local salons, I decided to strike out on my own and create my own brand.
Opening a salon that would offer my clientele a more private, exclusive, and personal experience. My new studio included all the services I offer both in-studio and on location. My clients and I both enjoyed the one-on-one experience I was able to offer while being able to help them prepare for the most important moments of their lives. After opening my studio I was inspired to mentor other artists. My assistant arranged for me to meet with the county’s cosmetology program.
After doing interviews with the students, I chose Laisha, with who I had an immediate connection. I could see with perfect clarity her potential and passion for the industry. Her three-month mentorship has evolved into a full-time job for the last 3 years and she is an instrumental part of my day-to-day work and brand. I look forward to watching her blossom as an artist and supporting her as she creates her own brand.
I recently moved to a new studio on the Old Town Alexandra Waterfront. Its larger space allows me more room to grow, while still maintaining the intimate atmosphere that both my clients and I enjoy.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Like with every journey, both professional and personal, there were obstacles. Moving studio locations came with its own problems, be it with building inspections or unforeseen expenses. But no matter how challenging, it was worth it to be able to provide the perfect environment for my clientele and brand.
The COVID shutdowns were another more recent struggle, which challenged my commitment to the industry. Thankfully, I was prepared for possible financial hardship and was able to provide for both myself and my employees throughout the shutdown. I would like to believe that I have weathered the storm, and continue with my belief that with Grit and passion anything is possible.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I do cutting. coloring, styling, and makeup. I am known for my blondes and hair painting (Balayage), as well as make-up. Both my staff and I are known for our exclusive and private atmosphere, where my clients can unwind and truly enjoy the process. What sets us apart is how we offer both a professional and laid-back environment where people can feel comfortable being themselves.
We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
Something that most people are not aware of is my volunteer work and sponsorship of our local domestic violence shelter and organization. My personal experiences have given me first-hand perspective on many of their experiences and inspired me to give back.
- Email: GritaKrisClarkStudio@gmail.com
- Website: KrisClarkArtistry.com
- Instagram: @krisclark_gritstudio
- Facebook: Kris Clark Hair and Makeup
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/grit-studio-alexandria