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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Kelsy Osterman, Star Hair Stylist at The Cutler Salon Sponsored by Meera Gandhi’s Giving Back Foundation

Kelsy Osterman

The Giving Back Foundation, with operations in New York, London and Hong Kong, is a 501(c)(3) operation, with special emphasis on education and women and children in need. A documentary film, musical CD and coffee-table book are available from the Foundation, featuring vignettes and interviews with humanitarians such as Cherie Blair, Kerry Kennedy and her brother Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Hillary Clinton, Lord Loomba, Somers Farkas, Francine Le Frak, Bono, Donna Karan, Deborah Norville, Steven Rockefeller, Irish interior designer Clodagh, Mother Teresa’s Asha Daan and The American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. Charities that inspire The Giving Back Foundation include many others in Hong Kong, Ireland, England, Africa, South America, India and the U.S.A. 100 percent of the proceeds of The Giving Back Foundation’s activities will be donated to charity. To donate to the Giving Back Foundation, please visit:

Kelsy Osterman’s hair styling career began after training at the prestigious Aveda Institute in Minneapolis. In 2003, she began her professional career at one of the Twin Cities’ leading hair salons, Juut Salonspas, which was originally established by Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher. There, she quickly moved up the ranks to become a Master Stylist for Juut while traveling across the U.S. as an advanced technique educator. She also took classes from top hairstylists including Aveda creative director Antoinette Beenders, Wachs & Wachs, Vivienne MacKinder and Ruth Roche, and styled for Macy’s annual large-scale fashion show Glamorama.

Throughout her career in Minneapolis, she was active in the fledgling local fashion industry, leading large-scale shows such as Voltage: Fashion Amplified with independent stylist collective Eclecticoiffeur. During their four years together, the collective counted regional publications and METRO Magazine as clients and worked with top Twin Cities photographers, models and designers.

In 2009, she made the move to New York to work for Cutler Salon, known around the world for its integrated innovative hair cutting concepts. As a Redken Brand Ambassador, Cutler is a go-to source for celebrity and fashion hair trends, salon business-building, and product recommendations. With the Cutler/Redken team of stylists, Osterman has helped create some of the hottest styles on the runways, working on more than 15 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week shows per season for designers including Betsey Johnson, Cynthia Rowley, Badgley Mischka, Tory Burch, and Tadashi.

While working at Cutler Salon, Osterman has been building a strong reputation in the hair industry. She has been quoted in stories by BBC News, New York Post, and Beauty News NYC, and has been interviewed for TV spots on The Today Show and ABC-7 News in New York. She has assisted internationally-renowned stylists such as Peter Gray, Brent Lawler, Didier Malige, Max Pinnel, and Rudi Lewis. We are absolutely thrilled to present Kelsy as our latest Mover and Shaker!  And she is one of the big reasons why Peachy Deegan has great hair.

Peachy Deegan: What is your first memory of hair?
Kelsy Osterman: My first memory of hair that sticks out in my mind was the circular braid my mom uses to sculpt around my head. I'm sure I didn't love sitting still having my mom "tug" at my hair, but how talented she was to give such a tiny person a work of art to wear on her head was a beautiful sight.

Did you used to do the hair of your dolls when you were young?
Yes. Definitely! I had one of life-sized Barbie heads to try out my skills on. I'm proud to say I never cut her hair off though! I wanted long and beautiful.

How is hair different in New York compared to Minnesota?
At the end of the day, yes, hair in New York is definitely different than hair in Mpls, but the thing to remember is that all of these heads of hair are actual people and each should be treated to meet their needs. The diversity in New York has brought lots of different hair types into my chair that I hadn't had the pleasure to work on back home. Every day is a new hair adventure..

What are your predictions in the world of hockey this year?
Well, I haven't been following too close to the stats... All I know is I enjoy hockey over the others. It reminds me of the times I spent back home watching my brother and friends play.

What kind of hair do you enjoy doing the most?
I love all types of hair, but if I needed to choose one it would be curly hair. I find that curly haired people go through some trauma at least once in their lives concerning their curly locks. I have curls and feel I instill confidence in their hair and my skills to get a great result. I treat it more like sculpting.. So much fun.

What kind of hair is the most challenging to do?
I feel I can find my way through most hair textures, but without proper tools and time allotted that's where you can get into trouble. 

What are the most common mistakes women make with their hair?
Not embracing their natural texture and over using hot styling tools. I love a good blowout like the rest, but you've got to give your hair some time to just be every now and again. There are ways that we, your hair stylist, can teach you to hone in on you natural strengths and how to be keep them coiffed. 

What are the most common mistakes men make with their hair?
Never looking at the back! I think decent men's cut goes down the tubes when the back hairline is buzzed off into perfect 90% angles. It should till look like hair growing out of your head naturally.. Not machine-generated.

If you could do any 5 people's hair in the world living or dead, who's hair would you want to do and why? 
Wow, that's a tough one! Well, Tilda Swinton, Patti Smith, Michelle Williams, Prince, and Grace Coddington. I first and foremost would love to meet all of these people. They all embody traits I admire including their work and style.

What is it like to work for Mover and Shaker Rodney Cutler
Working for Rodney has been such a great experience. Rodney has endless energy which rubs off on the rest of us. He's supportive, talented, wise, and strong. Can you tell I'm a fan? Working for Cutler has opened up some pretty amazing door and for that I'm forever grateful. 

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence? 
All the beautiful friends, family, coworkers in my life influence and inspire my pursuit to bigger and better things daily. 

What are you proudest of and why?
I'm proudest of my ability to keep my head in a positive place and always reaching for more. It has definitely served me well thus far and look forward as to what's to come.

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
I would love to style hair in Paris for fashion week. It would be an honor to be surrounded by the best of the best. 

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
I've been rewarded with amazing experiences for all my hard work in and out of the salon. Blind faith is what Rodney speaks about. Saying yes to opportunities without definite reward is how you meet people and grow.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? 
My favorite place to be in NYC is in a park on a beautiful day with the sun shining and a good book. Obviously a cup of coffee in hand..

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
No. 6 boutique. I'm a total clog addict.

What is your favorite drink? 
Dirty martini. Straight up with olives;)

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party?
I love cutting a rug on the dance floor. Sometimes I'll get adventurous and try out a new spin move.. Enough said!

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
I love brunch at Cafe Gitane in Soho..

What is your favorite Manhattan book? 
Patti Smith's Just Kids

Who would you like to be for a day and why?
I don't really dream about being someone else, more like where I would be.. Somewhere new and exotic. On the beach. That's what day dreaming is all about to me.

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? 
A dance move.. It would make me giggle every time I see it.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Seeing the marathon each year is so exciting.. The shear mass of people working so hard to reach their goal. It's always inspiring.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
Bike riding along the water taking in the scenery. 

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why?
I would love to have dinner with my beloved Grandmother Lillian. She passed away over 5 years ago and would love to sit with her. She was the absolute best.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
I love seeing shows on Governor's Island. Nothing beats amazing music, the water, and skyline views.

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world?
I try to be a good person everyday and hope that it will inspire people to do the same.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
I think every experience has a purpose in your life.. Good or bad.. They sculpt us into who we are.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
I don't think I can pick just one. It's nice to have a place to look up helpful reviews and recommendations. It's so valuable!

Have you drank The Peachy Deegan yet and if not, why not? 
I haven't yet... Im sure it's in my future though!

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers? Email please!

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