Meet Kristeena Van Cleave: Beauty Launchpad 25 Under 50K Winner for 2023

Kristeena Van Cleave (@thatrebelstylist) is a salon owner and blonding educator at Blonde Culture Salon in Gig Harbor, WA.
Kristeena Van Cleave (@thatrebelstylist) is a salon owner and blonding educator at Blonde Culture Salon in Gig Harbor, WA.
Courtesy of Kristeena Van Cleave

We are spotlighting the winners of Beauty Launchpad’s 25 Under 50K competition, sponsored by Truss Professional.

Today, you will get to know Kristeena Van Cleave (@thatrebelstylist). She is a salon owner and blonding educator at Blonde Culture Salon in Gig Harbor, WA.


Beauty Launchpad (BLP): What is a fun fact about you? 

Kristeena Van Cleave (KVC): I am a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed March of 2020 at age 30. I spent two years during COVID battling cancer. Now cancer free, I have opened a beautiful specialty salon and fast tracked my career! Don’t let anything stop you from achieving your dreams, friends!

BLP: How did you get your start in the industry? 

KVC: I first worked as a receptionist in a salon in 2009 and fell in love with the atmosphere. I have always been an artist at heart and am now obsessed with all things blonding!

BLP: What is your proudest accomplishment? 

KVC: My three beautiful daughters and opening a luxury blonding salon with my business partner.

BLP: What is your current favorite hairstyle trend? 

KVC: I’m loving high contrast, lived in blonding right now! 

BLP: What is a tip you have for your fellow stylists who are looking to grow their following on socials? 

KVC: Stay consistent, know your target market and speak to them! Make your posts intentional and something that others would want to share! 

BLP: What is a piece of advice about styling/working with hair that you have for your fellow stylists?

KVC: Take your time. It’s not about speed. It's about details. Take the time to take all of the extra steps to keep the hair’s integrity intact.

BLP: What do you love about your work?

KVC: I love that I am able to get my clients to their goals while maintaining the health of their hair. Specializing in only services I love has given me the time to become fully confident in everything I do and educate other stylists as well.

BLP: What inspires your work? 

KVC: I love people. I’m a people pleaser at heart, so making others feel beautiful feeds my soul. 

BLP: What motivates you about the industry?

KVC: I’m obsessed with where our industry is headed. I love that social media has given us a way to share and grow together. It’s become more about community and growth over competition, and that’s amazing. There is so much room in this industry for everyone to be successful in their own specialties and be authentically themselves. What a time to be a stylist!

BLP: What is a career goal you have for yourself? 

KVC: I have been educating for a couple years now, and I’m loving every minute of it. I want to grow as a blonding educator and travel around the country meeting other amazingly talented stylists, sharing and connecting all I can! Creating “ah ha” moments gives me life! 

You can learn more about each of our winners in our September/October 2023 digital magazine.

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