Meet Adam Wayne, a hair stylist at Marquee Salon in Oakland, CA. A rock musician who took up hair styling as both a career and creative outlet, Adam speaks about his path to becoming and working as a stylist, why he loves the work atmosphere at Marquee, and his favorite local businesses (hint: it's cheesy!).
Have you always lived in the Bay Area?
I was born in Oakland. My family moved to Walnut Creek, which is where I graduated high school, and I moved to Portland Oregon shortly thereafter. Stayed there for 10 years and returned in 2005. I was living the dream of the 90's!
How long have you been working at Marquee Salon?
I started at Marquee salon in January of 2013, just a few months after the ladies opened up the shop.
When did you decide that you wanted to be a hair stylist, and what inspired you to choose that path?
I had been working in a service department at an Apple reseller (this was before there were Apple stores) and was also a full-time musician. At this point, I was about 28 years old and had been playing in bands since I was 16 years old. Money was scarce and my job was not fulfilling in any way.
I reached a point in my life where I had to make a decision between lifetime starving artist or finding a career. I was destined to find a happy medium because I did not want to quit music. I needed a career that offered a creative outlet while supporting my need for great pay and schedule flexibility.
I had considered a whole myriad of options... none of which were all that appealing to me. My grandfather was a career barber who started in Oakland back in the 40's so there was some influence there. I also had a good friend who is a phenomenal stylist in Portland.
Over the course of a few years, she casually mentioned that she thought I would be a good hair stylist. She knew I had a good eye for detail and was really great with people. Those seeds must have stayed with me because when I came around to seriously considering the hair industry, it was a no-brainer.
Is there anything about being a hair stylist that surprised you when you first started out?
I had no idea just how precise the work is! It truly takes a great deal of time to hone in on this craft. I went to school for a year in Portland and then apprenticed at a shop in Berkeley for two and a half years.
Do you have any other creative hobbies outside of your work?
I play in rock bands still, study Jazz guitar in a weekly lesson, and practice Aikido for exercise and spiritual perspective in life. I've also taken up being a new dad as a hobby. Nobody told me it was a job!
What's your favorite part about working at Marquee Salon?
First and foremost, my coworkers. I will say this all day long. We are very much a family. Having a work culture like this makes the tough days easier to get through and the good days great. I have heard stylists over the years say that their clients make it worth showing up to work every day. While that is absolutely true for me, my coworkers make it even better.
Other mentions are the open atmosphere, natural light, and attention to design. The shop has a really balanced design aesthetic. Whether it is conscious or not, our clients seem to pick up on all of these attributes and it makes for a great experience in our chairs.
We’re all about local business here, so what are some of your other favorite local businesses in the Bay Area?
The neighborhood we are in is full of 'em! 1-2-3-4, go! Records, Manifesto Bikes, Subrosa Coffee, Broken Guitars, and, of course, Homeroom Mac & Cheese are all great!