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Meet Jeni Atraje Senephimmachack of J. A. S in Romeoville

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeni Atraje Senephimmachack .

Jeni, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a little girl, I would always watch my mom cut, dye, and perm my mama’s (grandma) hair. I always wanted to assist her with applying the perm rollers and handing my mom the thin paper you had to apply in the chunk of hair she had to roll. I also loved to cut my barbies hair and try to curl their hair with a curling iron. (That didn’t go so well and I learned the hard way when my barbies hair burnt off and melted on my moms curling iron. Ssshhhhh… she never knew since I threw that doll out!) After some trial and error on my dolls, I then started to style my own hair in grade school and knew it was meant to be when every day I would wake up early just to have “perfect” curled bangs to go along with my “sun -in” hair dyed mane for school (picture the late 80s/early 90s hairstyles).

Fast forward, throughout high school, I found my forte for styling hair. From styling my own hair for dances and cotillions to styling my friends and family’s hair for dances and special events is what I found was my passion.

Before deciding what I wanted to be “when I grow up”, and it was time for college, I brought up to my parents that I wanted to go to cosmetology school and become this big famous Hair Artist. Well, if you know Filipinos, the first thing that might just come out of a parents mouth in regards to a career is, “why don’t you become a Nurse?” Honestly, at the time, I did not want to be your stereotypical Filipina who is a Nurse. Nothing against Nursing or the healthcare field, but I just wanted to go a different route. I went to NIU & thought I would go the business/accounting route and let’s just say, that wasn’t for me at all. But I was still happy there because I was styling, dying and cutting all my sorority sisters and friends hair… for free! Talk about getting more practice in. As I decided to leave NIU, And venture back home, I started to get inquiries to style hair for weddings and special events. I was so grateful for my family and friends for referring me to be the hair artist for someone’s special day! As I was styling hair for weddings and special events part-time, I decided to go back to school for ***drum roll*** CNA and Nursing.

So, not to bore you with my long journey on how I got to where I am now, let’s just say I am now a Nurse and being a Nurse and a Hair Artist was my calling this whole time. I get the best of both worlds. I get to make someone happy in both fields and at the end of the day, that’s rewarding to me. I take pride in what I do and just blessed with all the love and support I have received from husband, family, friends, clients who’ve turned into friends, “my glam squad & the dream team” and fellow vendors or as we say “friendors.” I have been styling hair for over 18 years, I have been in the healthcare field for over ten years and a Nurse for five years. I work full time as a Nurse and I also style bridal parties and clients for special events almost every weekend. Yes, that sounds busy, but it’s worth it in the end. By that I mean, I love what I do and I want to spread that love, education, and positivity not only to my clients but also to my residents that live in the community I work at.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all who have supported me along this journey!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have been some obstacles/challenges along the way. And a few of my clients who are reading this will know. I did take almost a year hiatus from styling hair and it honestly was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make last year. I didn’t want to disappoint my clients and my family and friends. But I had to think about myself and my well being. I feel in order to be healthy and feel healthy – mentally and physically, you have to be a little selfish sometimes and think about yourself. In life, you have to press that “reset” button and just start over. If you’re reading this and feel like you’re struggling, you’re overwhelmed, or just can’t catch a break, it’s ok not to be ok & just press that “reset button” because tomorrow is a new day.

What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
On social media, my business name is “ J. A. S “ (which are my initials – yes, I have a long last name. I blame my husband!) I specialize in bridal and special events hair styling. Show me a picture and I will style your hair exactly how it looks or similar. I love incorporating all types of braids in the styles I do and love doing vintage glam waves/curls.

I am most proud of how far I’ve come along in this industry as a self- taught artist. Again, I thank my family, friends and my fellow “friendors” who are also in the wedding / special events business for all the referrals.

I’m all for supporting other artists and love working with all the talented hair and makeup artists. Everyone is unique in their own way and I don’t think it should be a competition. We are in the same industry and love the same things about it, so I SUPPORT YOU!

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Being able to see my clients faces after they look at their hair or hearing their comments about how much they love how they looked makes me feel so blessed to be doing what I love.

Also, being able to give what I can from my extra income to my parents is a blessing. I know they are proud of me in what I have become, and just being able to give to them as they have to my brother and I is the least I can do for them for always supporting me.

Contact Info:

  • Email: JAShairartistry@gmail.com
  • Instagram: jas_hair

Image Credit:
David Lai Weddings, Chris Kim Photos, H Photography, HAIR BY ME: J. A. S, MUAs: Chylartistry, Tracy Pantoja, DaniLou

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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