By Frances Moffett
She’s sassy; but hairstylist Angela Christine Stevens has the tenacity it takes for professional progression.
And she doesn’t apologize for it.
In a competitive industry where talent and reputation is everything, the Chi-Town chic is paving her way through the mirrors of L.A. and doing it way big as a celebrity stylist and Assistant to high-demand hairstylist Kimberly Kimble of Kimble Hair Studio.
For those who aren’t familiar with Angela’s talents, you can get up to speed on WEtv’s latest reality TV installment, L.A. Hair which showcases a high-profile clientele while zooming in on the drama breeding within Kimble’s salon family.
N’Digo caught up with Angela to get the scoop on the good, the bad, and the grind. –Toya Cross
You’re in a position that so many aspiring artists/stylist are striving to be in. Moving from Chicago to L.A., building a celebrity clientele, and working as an Assistant to Kimberly Kimble, was there ever a moment of intimidation or challenge when pursuing your dreams in a new environment and in connection with some of the most elite personalities and talent?
Moving across country filled my head with anxiety, but once I jumped into the hair scene in L.A. I noticed that things weren’t as hard as I thought to adjust to, at least when it comes to doing hair. My mentors and family encouraged me daily in the beginning so all I could hear was their positive encouragement that kept my confidence high. I had no room to mess up because I wanted to prove myself and establish my styling ability and work ethic. In the words of rapper Remy Ma “you gotta have that mind state like I’m so great.” I carried this mentality and absorbed the knowledge around me, so intimidation was not a factor.
How did the opportunity to work with Kim come about?
When I decided to move to Los Angeles I knew no one in the hair industry. The opportunity to work at Kimble salon was not given to me, it was a goal I set and landed a job there a week after planning strategically. Putting together an extensive portfolio and resume, persistently calling weekly, presenting myself in a professional manor, and doing excellent hair landed me a job there as a stylist and Kim’s assistant seven days after I stepped off the plane. I’m so grateful to have been hired.
How is the L.A. hair culture and working in an L.A. salon different from Chicago? Was there any difficulty adapting?
The culture in L.A. was initially like a whole new world for me. Most of the conversations discussed the latest diet plans, and new pilot shows. I didn’t have any contribution to either so I initially just watched and analyzed a lot. Hair trends look a lot more natural and free flowing, and a lot longer without a doubt. The salon environment is virtually the same the gossip, glam, and the grind. Chicago is my home so the culture there was all I knew. After living in Los Angeles for a few months I was able to adjust to the styles and convo easily.
On the show, you come off extremely confident and sassy, some may even say that there’s a ruthless demeanor about you – meaning that you’ll do whatever it takes to be in the top spot – how much of that is exaggerated for the cameras and how much of the real Angela is being shown?
I am very sassy and career driven, it takes a lot for a person to move from their career into the unknown. Those same attributes are part of the reason I got hired and people take notice of me. In relation to the show, nothing was “put on” it’s just that there’s only so much you can show in an hour segment. The softer more fun loving and professional sides of me were apparently not as entertaining as what made the cut. As far as being ruthless that’s just not me. No matter what people say, I might not have as much notoriety but people know me. No one that really knows me would ever use that word to describe my character.
It’s no secret that “stealing” clients is an industry sin and can divide helpful connections. What motivated you to move forward with doing Eve’s hair, knowing that she is Kim’s client? Do you regret it?
I have worked with Eve through Kim Kimble several times. The only reason I reached out to her was to showcase my talent on the show. Me doing Eve’s style and color was not mischievous. I think it’s rather petty that the situation became that big of a deal, especially since I clearly said that Eve is Kim’s client. I was never out to steal her. There was a communication glitch on my end but I never hid that I was working with her nor was my intent to continue working with her outside the salon. I was raised with a lot more dignity than to “steal” from anyone let alone my employer.
There’s always the drama and high tension in reality shows, and L.A. hair is no different–throw in that you’re sometimes working with celebs, and that can be a high stress situation. How do you handle the drama and what do you guys do to make sure it doesn’t interfere with your work?
As professionals, we all keep in mind that getting the job done takes precedence over anything else. Our work will speak volumes over anything else so drama has no room to take over the situation. A business can’t be run if there’s no business, so having an entrepreneurial spirit keeps us focused on what’s important.
There’s no doubt that you are talented, but are you worried about ruining relationships before gaining the recognition and spotlight you believe you deserve?
I’ve built strong relationships and continue to do so. Career isn’t the only thing that’s important to me. Family, friends, spirituality, and seeking a partner are also equally important. I can’t be concerned with how people who don’t know me view me, there are enough opportunities for everyone to be successful.
As an up and coming stylist, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about the industry so far?
Staying grounded is an important lesson. By keeping honest people in your corner you don’t become jaded by the superficial.
What would you say is the best part about being on the show?
Being able to inspire others to chase their dream is the most rewarding part about being in the show. I visited my old neighborhood on the south side of Chicago and was reminded how humble my beginnings were. I want to show people that dreams can be made possible if you’re not afraid to work hard and believe in yourself. The show is giving me that platform and I’m thankful for that.
What are some things you want to do in the future? Where do you see yourself long-term?
This journey is only the beginning. I’m aligning myself with people who believe in me and the talent I possess. The sky is the limit but for right now I will focus on styling and being sought after for beauty and style advice. I would love to go on tour with an artist, and style on film and television among other things. Teaching and mentoring is also something I am really interested in as well. There are quite a few things in the works but too soon to disclose. Stay tuned!
L.A. Hair runs Thursdays at 9/8 pm cst on WEtv.