21-year-old Ashley Evert balances a full course load from Wilkes University, a full-time job and national notoriety
Working in the beauty industry isn’t simply cut and (blow) dry.
Ashley Evert isn’t your typical 21-year-old girl. She can be found bouncing around between stylist stations at The Chop Shop; the orchid-haired beautician is a master juggler. She can balance two or three clients at once just as well as she balances a full-time, appointment-only beautician business alongside a full-time course load at Wilkes University.
No stranger to hair, Evert began her cosmetology career at the Hazleton Area Career Center when she 15 years old.
“I actually was able to finish my required hours for licensure before I even graduated high school,” she laughed. “I had my full license almost two weeks before I walked in graduation.”
Even from the beginning, Evert’s nontraditional take on beauty has granted her accolades. She won multiple contests, taking home first place in the SkillsUSA regionals division and second place in the states two years in a row. She also won a fashion runway contest that enabled her to get her state board licensure tests paid for.
Nearly seven years into her hair career, Evert is now getting global recognition for her skill behind the chair. Just in the past few weeks, the Hazleton-native has had her styles and colors featured in the likes of Buzzfeed, Allure, Elle UK, Good Housekeeping, Seventeen and more.
The trend, known as “underlights,” was coined by one of Evert’s stylist mentors, the renowned Ruby Devine from Alexandria, Virginia.
“Ruby created the trend roughly a year ago,” said Evert, explaining the technique of fun, fashion colors layered as a color melt while sandwiched between layers of “normally” colored hair.
“It’s a great way to have fun, funky color but remain conservative at the same time, since you’re always able to hide it. Being so close to Washington D.C., these are people who need to maintain a level of professionalism while also getting to be ‘mermaids and unicorns’ if they bring their hair up to expose it,” Evert said.
Some of Evert’s customers travel quite a distance to have her style their hair.
“I drive an hour from Allentown to Hazleton for Ashley to do my hair, and it’s completely worth it,” said Rhiannon Chocolas. “I was going to the same woman for about four years in the Lehigh Valley. I like to experiment with non-traditional hair colors, and the woman I was going to wasn’t able to do what I wanted. When I started going to Ashley I finally was able to get the colors I wanted. She is incredibly talented in what she does and I always love my results! It’s worth every mile I drive and every penny I pay to go to Ashley!”
Evert’s exposure in the traditional media is only bolstered by the attention she gets through social media.
“I would say I get over half of my business and clientele through social media,” she said. “I noticed 2015 was a huge year of growth for me, directly proportional to the amount of engagement I received through platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.”
She first noticed the jump in activity when she began posting photos of the trend that swept the nation last year.
“I realized that the better quality photos I posted – and the more actual engaged users I had with them – it translated to my books.”
Evert maintains a loyal following on such websites, noting that a lot of her clients fall directly into the “millennial” designation that so often flocks online for ideas and trends.
“I would definitely say that my age differentiates me from most stylists in the area,” she said. “My clientele reflects my own youth. We have a saying in the business, to ‘find your tribe’ – people see someone like-minded to them, and are drawn in to that.”
While Evert is gaining international acclaim for her hair-styling skills, she is not a one-trick-pony. She is highly regarded for her nail art.
Evert gained huge notoriety online for her funky, creative nail designs. Stilettos, coffins, encapsulated lace, hand painted custom designs – you name it, she can deliver.
“I always tell my clients, if you can send me a picture or tell me an idea, without a doubt, I know I can do it,” she said.
Besides complete creativity, Evert is also passionate about nail safety.
“I have a huge focus on safety and sanitation,” she said. “I only use the highest quality nail acrylic – EMA, versus the commonly seen MMA acrylic – and ensure the health and well-being of my clients.”
Evert’s drive doesn’t stop with her hair skills, however. She is finishing up her final semester at Wilkes University this spring, preparing to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree majoring in Communication Studies with a public relations track, as well as three minors: Integrative Media, English and Women’s and Gender Studies.
“I always felt it would be smart to be a college graduate as well as have a technical skill,” she said. “The job market isn’t what it used to be, I wanted to make myself as marketable and employable as possible. I absolutely love what I do. Every part of it.”
Reach Weekender at 570-991-6111 or at [email protected]
Follow Ashely Evert on Instagram: @beautybyashley
To Get an Appointment: Call 570-401-6517 or text to request an appointment. Texters are asked to be as detailed as possible in reference to service requested. For hair styles, please include a photo of hair in natural light and a brief hair history.
For nails, any reference ideas or photos are encouraged.
New clients: Please expect up to a 4-week wait time.