We Heart: Stylist & Balayage Pro, Sami Knowles 

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26 | Eastlake 

Hometown: Kent, WA

Occupation: Stylist at Stan Parente Salon (as of November 2016, Sami has moved to Winslow Salon in Kirkland downtown). 


After graduating from the Gene Juarez Academy, Sami worked at Gene Juarez in Bellevue downtown for two years. Last year, she made the switch to the Bellevue location of Stan Parente Salon. She became interested in becoming a stylist after high school. After touring the Gene Juarez Academy, she fell in love and knew she wanted to pursue beauty.

As a designer at Gene Juarez, Sami was cutting hair exclusively. Now, at Stan Parente she both cuts and colors. She also specializes in balayage and loves how it is an art to her. She told me all about balayage and why it’s been all the rage recently. It’s been around for a while, but this technique has gained considerable popularity because the color is “painted” on the hair freehand, instead of using foil to create the highlights. This creates a softer and more natural look. The grow out is less noticeable and easier to maintain without constantly re-coloring the roots.

Some of Sami’s favorite parts of working as a stylist is giving people great hair and making them look and feel good. It’s incredibly rewarding to her. The most challenging part of the job for is getting people in her chair. She tells me that “you have to be patient in the industry and live like a student in college for awhile (at least two years) before you feel comfortable, but it just gets better and better with referrals and such.” Another part of the job that is a challenge is being okay that she won’t be able to make everyone happy. Learning to let go and not let every little thing get to you and keep holding your head up high are important lessons she’s learned in this industry.

Her goal as a stylist is to keep growing her clientele and getting more referrals. She might want to open her own salon someday. She’s passionate, friendly, and super fun to chat with. She’s got endless ideas! Personally, Sami is saving up to buy a house in the next couple of years and trying to stay active and healthy. She recently visited Victoria, BC with her family and is planning to travel more with her boyfriend and friends in the future. She recently adopted two kitties and is looking to add a dog to the family soon.