How She Got There: Sarah Potempa, Celebrity Hair Stylist and Inventor of The Beachwaver

Name: Sarah Potempa

Job Title & Description: Celebrity Hair Stylist and Inventor of The Beachwaver Co.

College Name & Major: New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study, concentration in business and creativity. 

Website(s): beachwaver.com and sarahpotempahair.com 

Twitter Handle: @sarahpotempa

Instagram Handle: @sarahpotempa

Bad hair days are the bane of any college women's existence. When we're bombarded with endless assignments that keep us up until the AM, it can be hard to do anything with your frizzy, knotty mess except put it in a messy bun (or on our worst days, hide it with a baseball cap). To make matters worse, we're constantly exposed to advertisements that show effortlessly shining hair with only the help of your trusty shampoo. If life were only that easy, we would all have tame manes. However, celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa was determined to find an easier path for haircare for any young woman.

Building her way from a local hair salon, Potempa became the first person to ever invent a rotating curling iron. With a press of button the Beachwaver Pro rotates within your hair, creating beautiful hair within a matter of seconds. Not only does this save a significant amount of time, but as Potempa's website states, all of her products are designed to provide consumers with "accessibility and sustainability." Besides her innovative curling iron, Potempa's wide range of hair care products includes everything from adorable hair accessories to necessary protective sprays. Potempa's Beachwaver and hair care products already have multiple celebrity stamps of approval (including some of our favorites such as Camila Cabello, Chrissy Teigen, and Lea Michele). Check out what Potempa has to say about making her dreams come true and pursuing what she was truly passionate about below!

Her Campus: What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day? 

Sarah Potempa: Every day is different, which is part of what makes my job so exciting and why I love what I do. On any given day, I could be on my way to New York or Los Angeles to style a client for a red carpet event, going on camera at QVC, or traveling around the world speaking at events! When I am not traveling, I'm in the Beachwaver Co. corporate headquarters in our hometown of Libertyville, Illinois, filming content, conducting research and development of new products, or meeting with our incredible staff. I am often doing arts and crafts or taking my kids to go snowboarding while I'm home. 

HC: What is the best part of your job? 

SP: I love collaborating with a team, from my celebrity clients to the makeup artists to our marketing team, to make a creative vision come to life. Hair is an art medium that you can use to create so many different styles, from basket-weaving braids to old Hollywood waves.  

It has been so fulfilling to see the feedback from over the years since inventing the Beachwaver and how it has impacted the lives of so many women, from my celebrity clients to working moms and their daughters!

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2018 was epic 🙌🏼 As a young teenager years ago, I dreamed of moving to New York to style hair. I believed in the beauty of styling hair as an art form. There are endless possibilities and it is the most creative career that never feels like work. Thank you to all these stunning women, who I love and admire for all their incredible talents, hard work, and friendship. I am so beyond thankful to all of you for being my canvas this year 🙌🏼 #2018 #celebrityhair #celebrityhairstylist #hairbysarahpotempa #igotbeachwaved #hairasart #busyphilipps #leamichele #emilyvancamp #alilarter #jamiechung #emilyblunt #brielarson #mollysims #anadearmas #kaleycuoco

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HC: What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it? 

SP: When my parents wanted me to get my first job, I always knew I wanted to work with hair as my career. So I looked up every hair salon in the area to get my foot in the door. I ended up getting a job at a salon 10 minutes from my house! I’ve always had a passion for the hair industry and have been styling ever since.

HC: What words of wisdom do you find most valuable? 

SP: My motto in life is, “Leap and the net will appear.” When I invented the Beachwaver, I took a huge risk, but as a celebrity hairstylist, I saw the need for a tool that real women could use at home to get gorgeous waves. I sketched out the idea for the Beachwaver, a curling iron that you hold upright and simply press a button to curl for you! From that point forward, my dreams of teaching every woman how to do their hair became a reality, and I never looked back!

HC: What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it? 

SP: A funny mistake that actually taught me a lot was one time at the salon, my boss told me an important client was coming in. Naturally, I was nervous and accidentally sprayed him with the water hose. From that point forward, I realized I just need to treat everyone the same, and I think it has helped me in my career thus far! 

HC: What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far? 

SP: The Victoria's Secret fashion show was a huge accomplishment for the Beachwaver team and me! Also, walking the red carpet and being presented with The Hollywood Beauty Award's product of the year by my client, Lea Michele, was amazing!

HC: What do you look for when considering hiring someone? 

SP: We look for candidates with positive energy, a willingness to be a team player, and someone who can handle a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment. I also look for someone who is willing to learn and evolve.

HC: What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations? 

SP: Hard work truly pays off. Always be authentic to yourself and continue to set goals.

HC: What's the one thing that's stood out to you the most in a resume?

SP: Creativity! I love seeing something that will catch my eye and stands out from the rest.