AHP Indie Stylist

Volume 1, Issue 1

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22 indie stylist Volume 1 Issue 1 Humble Leader Nick Stenson is a beauty expert, teacher, and true visionary by Lisa Bakewell For Nick Stenson, SVP, Services and Trend for Ulta Beauty, the apple did not fall far from the tree, even though his aspirations originally resided in a completely different orchard—one that never included joining the family beauty business. "I come from a family line of beauty professionals," Stenson says. "I was born and raised in a salon. My mother was a hairstylist for 37 years before she retired, but my goal was never to be in the beauty industry. I was in school for sports medicine and physical therapy. My goal was to be an orthopedic surgeon. I wanted to change lives." But goals change, and Stenson quickly pivoted directly into the family business after an internship at Our Lady of Resurrection Hospital in Chicago. Stenson worked the graveyard shift at the hospital, and then would open his mother's salon in the morning for extra money. "There was lots of tragedy in that hospital," Stenson says, "and what I finally realized one day—after a particularly rough night—was that my mother was changing lives every day in a different way in her salon. I would watch people walk in with their head down, but when they walked out, they were smiling and had their head up." It was at that point Stenson realized he could fulfill his desire to help others, but do it in a much friendlier, less stressful atmosphere. Nick Stenson, SVP, Services and Trend for Ulta Beauty

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