Jeanette Vorous: Hair Salon Admin, Fashion Student, Volunteer

Spotted in: Downtown SF

Occupation: Hair Salon Admin, Fashion Student, Volunteer

What are you up to today?

I'm actually working right now. I work up the street at a hair salon—it's called Metamorphosis Salon.

Is that your occupation?

I'm actually an administrator there, so I don't do hair but they do my hair all the time.

That's a nice deal!

Yeah, they get to experiment on me. This is actually the most normal color I've ever had. Normally it's like pink or blue or green!

So what drew you to that job?

I actually have another job, too—I work from home as an online admin for a couple of companies and I wanted to get a second job just to get out and do things, so I've been spending a lot more time here. I'm going to school too.

What are you studying?

I'm taking some fashion design classes at City College. It's kind of fun, I'm just sort of exploring right now and having a creative outlet. So it's nice to actually be in a hair salon where there are creative people. We do shows and stuff too, and so there are other opportunities for me to do other things aside from admin work.

What kinds of things are you interested in fashion-wise?

I'm feeling it out, but right now I'm doing a lot of illustration. Which is fun for me, more than anything. I don't necessarily think I will design clothes ever, but I like the art aspect of it. I actually volunteer for an organization called Dress for Success as a personal stylist—it's for women who are underprivileged an looking to get back into the work field. They come in and we help style them—we give them a suit and clothes to wear for work if they get a job and we help with them with interviews.

That's really awesome!

So that's kind of what drew me initially to looking into the fashion program, because I'm interested in this aspect of it, and also to learn what goes on in the industry, and I'd eventually like to merge the two—the design part, with community service and helping women. So hopefully this will take off somewhere.

How long have you been volunteering with that organization?

I've been volunteering with them for about a year and a half.

That transformation must be inspiring to see.

It is! In many different ways. It's great to be able to help people that wouldn't normally have that sort of resource. And also empowering women to get back in the work force. It's hard for anybody, let alone people who've been at a disadvantage, whether it be they're coming from a homeless shelter, or they've been beaten, that kind of thing. It's really rewarding in that aspect and it's also fun for me because it's another creative outlet. To just say, alright, let me meet you and see what you look like and what you're looking for and then be able to find something for you that makes you feel good. People don't realize what an impact that has. But if you look good, you feel good. So you can do a lot more. It gives you a lot of confidence. That ties into the hair salon thing too, because we enjoy making people feel good because it gives them confidence and helps them see the better parts of themselves. That they can get out in the world and do the things that they want to do.

What's something that's caught your interest lately?

Actually I just went to the Asian Art Museum for the first time. It was part of a field trip for our class. They have an exhibit right now called Seduction which is all about the brothels, prostitutes, and different lifestyles of women in Japan. They didn't really have a choice, that was what they had to go into. Obviously that part wasn't inspiring to me, but it was interesting to learn about the history Japan and the history of brothels and pleasure houses and the lives these women led. This is a different aspect of it, but also the fashions that they wore—like the different drapery and extravagant materials and designs. As an aspiring artist, that was inspiring for me to see the sort of detail and work that went into that—the status symbols and outfits. But also at the same time being like, wow look at all the money that went into this and it's very much a status symbol but at the same time the woman didn't really have a choice. They were either sold into it or born into it, so it's a very different construct of history.

What are your favorite places to go in the area?

Actually, I live downtown in the Tenderloin, and I'm not super fancy so I like to go to the dive bars around there. But I do like going to the beach, I like going to Dolores Park sometimes, even just taking a walk around the city by Cathedral Hill. There's a beautiful church up there— Grace Cathedral. That's one of my favorite places to go and sit. I take my dog up there.

What's a recent challenge you've overcome?

Well, something that I'm in the process of overcoming is just balancing my time with these jobs and school.

Yeah, you've got a lot going on!

I'm trying to find time for myself. I'm trying to learn and practice that It's important to save time for yourself. Work is good, but you need to keep your body and your mind healthy. I've taken up some yoga. I've found that very helpful as far as getting my mind clear and taking me back down to reality when I feel very overwhelmed.

I also wanted to ask your outfit, because I like the blue theme happening!

I also have this animal print sweater too. [laughs]

Oh cool! How would you describe your personal style?

Kind of eclectic? Half of the time I dress in relaxed clothes and then the other time I like to have a little more feminine style. I feel like when I wear heels and a skirt, I just kind of have a different vibe going on. That's important to me. I like to put myself together and it helps me have a better outlook on my day!

I like the little bag too.

It's Frye. I actually got this second-hand. Most everything I'm wearing is second-hand, except my shoes, nylons, and shirt. That's another thing I like to do. I don't actually buy a lot of clothes new. I just think it's better for sustainability, and it's fun for me to kind of go out and search for things that are vintage.

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