Jessica Mills, VP of Education at Keune, Reflects on Her Career


As a child, Jessica Mills watched her mother, a self-taught stylist, perm her grandmother's hair; it was Mills’ first glimpse at the industry and the positive impact it had on clients by making them look and feel good. Upon graduating from cosmetology school in Ohio, she'd already found her passion: hair color and the science behind it. Working for a multi-salon owner exposed her to the secrets of business success, but she also ruthlessly sought advanced education. “During my journey behind the chair, I was certified in multiple brands and exposed to many mentors like George Alderete, Roy Peters and Debra McCann, who inspired me to be a part of something bigger,” Mills recalls. “Five years later, I decided to leave that salon. I found myself wanting to be exposed to more.”

Over the next several years, Mills sought a new family. She landed a gig as a Redken sales educator and spent a decade with the company, eventually rising to salon development manager; she then worked for a friend with two professional academies and a salon/day spa, serving as executive director of operations and sales—a formative experience with the inner workings of education. Just under five years ago, Mills joined Keune (@keuneamerica) as a regional salon specialist; promotions soon ensued: first to national field education manager, overseeing U.S. and Canada education; then last October to VP of education and shows. “I have the privilege of leading and working with the best education team in the industry,” Mills enthuses. “My team of amazing regional education managers, regional salon specialists and Keune educators inspires me with their passion, strong work ethic and willingness to trust the process.”

Indeed, Mills credits her mentors—who listened to her ideas and empowered her to grow over 22 years in the industry—as a key to career success, along with learning from her mistakes. The self-described “roll up your sleeves type of leader” looks forward to continuing to develop with Keune, which is now represented in 70 countries and enjoying double-digit growth. “We achieve this by supporting the salon professional community and embracing our global heritage,” Mills concludes. “Our educational portfolio continues to grow with program offerings that are based around our true mission: inspiring and growing stylists' income behind the chair!”

More in Brands