5Qs with Hairstylist/Educator Nicole Obert

This little spitfire of a stylist has passion, drive and a silly sense of humor. She also has heart. Not just for hair, but also for her family.

Who: Nicole Obert

What: Hairstylist/Educator

Where: Philadelphia & New York City

Our site/publication is called Industrie and we spelled it with an “ie” on purpose – it’s the French way of spelling Industry and was once defined to us as an artisan who works with their hands to create things of beauty and substance. So tell us, how do you define beauty and substance?

I define beauty and substance together as one’s inner self, which is humorous, considering that my job consists of making the outside pretty. You could be as hot as Ryan Gosling on the outside, but if you can’t make me laugh, or if you are mean to puppies and children and don’t help old ladies cross the street, then I’ll probably want to punch you in the face.

What other creative outlets do you explore/practice?

I actually love loom knitting. It’s totally the cheaters way of knitting, but with a one-year-old running around wanting to steal and unravel your yarn, the loom is quick and productive. I can actually make you a hat and scarf in 2 hours flat.

What’s your personal motto/favorite quote?

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Dr. Seuss

When have you felt the most vulnerable in your career?

I would say probably at the end of my first week as an assistant at ARROJO. I locked myself in the bathroom and cried. They have a very intense and thorough training program and I cut bangs on my model for class, which was not part of the curriculum that day. I just did it. I also thought there was only one kind of brush in the world! I made it past the fifth day and stayed for five years. I felt like a failure in that bathroom, but today I am thankful for the discipline, structure, honesty and tough love from my ARROJO family. I wouldn’t be the artist I am today without it.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

If you’re unhappy, it’s your own fault.

This resonates within me. You are responsible for your own happiness. No one is going to chase after it for you. If you aren’t happy, something in your life needs to change, and only you can change it.

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BONUS QUESTION:

Who or what inspires you to be your best self every day?

My daughter, Charli, and my late father Greg Obert.

Charli pushes me to lead by example. I want her to live a life she loves, to do something that she loves and get paid for it. I want her to want to be good at it, but I also want her to be humble and grateful. I want her to know that she is priceless and that is the kind of respect she will always deserve from every person she meets along the way.

My Dad was one of my biggest fans. He really pushed me to follow my dream. He actually got me my first gig as a hair assistant on a photo shoot in Houston TX. When I moved to NYC, it didn’t matter how big or small my achievements were, I’d call to tell him about them and they were always made into a big deal. Those were my favorite phone calls, and it always pushed me to want to keep going, to keep getting better and to keep succeeding. Even though he’s gone, the phone calls don’t stop…in my mind, anyway.

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What are Industrie 5Qs?

Our 5Qs are just that—5 questions that get asked, contemplated and answered. To spice it up, we throw in a bonus question the person being interviewed gets to pick out of a potluck of possibilities.