We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Cerna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
As a mother of 3 ( ages 4,2 & a newborn) the most important thing I’ve done so far is getting their undivided attention & truly listening to them. I feel a deeper connection with them when I do. My older two kids are at an age where I’m starting to have full conversations with them. I notice a difference when I’m trying to multitask and talk to them versus stopping everything and listening to what they have to say. Plus it prevents them from overly repeating themselves, which they also tend to do at these ages.
Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I feel what sets me apart from other colorist is that I truly understand what it takes to get a brunette blonde. Being a brunette myself and going blonde with my own personal hair journey has taught me a lot about the process. In the beginning of my career doing color wasn’t exactly my strong suit. I definitely struggled trying to understand the formulations on how to achieve certain looks and colors. It all clicked and made more sense to me when I started going blonde myself. I also hit a bump in the road around my 4th year doing hair. I switched from a commission salon to a booth rental salon paying for a full time chair. My clientele wasn’t big enough to turn a profit. I started to doubt myself in this field and looked to other professions. My brother was a dental assistant at the time and I thought that being in the dental field would be more stable for me. So I went to dental assistant school in hopes to eventually apply to dental hygiene. After my first day of my working interview as a dental assistant, I remember standing there in the sterilization room thinking to myself “this isn’t it”. After that moment I changed my mind set about my approach to hairstyling. Found some great stylist to look up to and model after and it’s been up hill since then. Over the past 4 years I’ve been trying to refine my craft and trying to find what my “brand” is. Taking more education to try and level up with what I can do as a hair artist and just continue to grow and evolve with this ever changing industry. If you go through my instagram you can kind of see that evolution.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would start the week off with brunch at Ki’s in Cardiff with the ocean view. Hit up the Self Realization Center after to check out more awesome ponds and more killer beach views. Head over to One Paseo for more good eats like International Smoke and Salt and Straw. I’m sucker for brunches any day of the week so another spot I would take them is to The Cottage in La Jolla. For lunch I would head down to Convoy St down in Clairemont. Too many good places to name. Being Asian I love other Asian food. Kung Fu Tea in my opinion has the best boba in town and are consistent with all their locations. Dumplings at Tasty Noodle House win over Din Tai Fung any day ( in my opinion of course ). Ramen at Menya Ultra if you can beat the lines but if you can’t Nishiki Ramen is also a great spot that typically isn’t as crowded. But my ultimate favorite is Hiro Nori in Hillcrest. Being a sticky rice and mango fan, there’s this cafe dedicated to it called MNGO. I could literally go on and on about that street and all the good food it holds. I haven’t been able to enjoy happy hours much as of recent since I’ve been having babies for the past four years, so some of the places I name might not even be around anymore. Going to the Gaslamp is definitely a must when coming to San Diego. One of the last happy hours I was able to enjoy was at The Nolan. The restaurant is set on a roof top so you get awesome views of down town.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A huge influence that has been there since I first started working, is my good friend and hair bestie, Erin Petit (@hairbyerinpetit). I definitely owe it to her for helping me build my confidence in formulating color and just being a great stylist over all. I owe a lot of my beginning success to her because of what a great example she was to me. She is like the older sister I never had. I still look up to her today and even more so on a personal level on how much of a great mother she is to her two awesome boys. I feel so blessed to have such a positive influence in my business and personal life.
I also want to give a shout out to my husband. Over the past 10 years he’s helped shape me into becoming the best version of myself. He’s been there for most of my career and has helped me on the business side of my profession. He is an amazing super hands on father to our three littles. I truly could not have asked for a better partner in life and I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without his support.