Erin Kuhn, QMunity Relations Director at Qnity Inc., and I met recently in Chicago at an event she and her father organized. 2 TO 10, an annual event that brings together salon owners who have between 2 and 10 locations, is an industry leader if an event can be described as such. She was in full work mode, and I admired her from afar, watching her interact with the salon owners, and also with her father. It is no surprise that I am always particularly intrigued by daughters and fathers working together… While we are at the beginning of our friendship, I can tell that our love for the beauty industry, family business, prosecco, and books is a wonderful foundation! Now I just need to make it to Chicago more often…
AP: What city were you born in? EK: Golden Valley, MN.
AP: What city do you live in? EK: Chicago, IL.
AP: What is your middle name? EK: Lisabeth (My mom pronounces it like Elizabeth without the E, my dad pronounces it like the two names Lisa and Beth put together. It’s an ongoing debate which pronunciation is correct.
AP: What is your astrological sign? EK: Leo.
AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? EK: I became almost completely vegetarian at the age of 7, and remain completely today.
AP: What is your most prized possession? EK: Books- I go back to my favorite ones constantly.
AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? EK: Gosh, tons of people. Leonardo Dicaprio? Only because I’ve been in love with him since I was 6.
AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. EK: Simple, comfortable, minimal.
AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? EK: Definitely not; a watch would irritate me.
AP: Diamonds or pearls? EK: Pearls, except diamonds if it involves my left hand.
AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? EK: Exercise and healthy eating. When I am active, I look and feel better.
AP: What fragrance do you wear? EK: Aveda Air Control hair spray, lots of it. Otherwise “White Amber” from this boutique in Minneapolis, it’s light and simple. I love it.
AP: Botox or not? EK: No botox. I’d like to think that a healthy lifestyle will prevent the need. Also, I hate needles.
AP: Hair color: natural or not? EK: I believe natural is always best in beauty. However, being a natural dirty blonde and getting darker as I get older, I’m okay with a little intervention. So Natural-ish.
AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? EK: From my mother: Eat real foods in moderation and mostly plants. I also drink lots of water and generally try to avoid processed foods.
AP: What do you do for exercise? EK: I go through phases to keep it interesting. I’ve found weights and interval running are the most effective for my body in the least amount of time.
AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? EK: Prosecco, veggies, and apples.
AP: What is your cocktail of choice? EK: Prosecco or red wine.
AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? EK: Work life balance, something I am still trying to get better at. Schedule social time in advance, exercise and mediate. I am more effective in all areas of life when I do all three.
AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? EK: Gosh- I have never even checked. Definitely not as much as Ada! Due to our great education team, my travel schedule has lessened a bit in the past year. Which I will say, I have enjoyed.
AP: What are your three top tips for travel? EK: When I do travel, I try to make time for exercise and not to overindulge in wine during events/dinners. Doing this makes the transition back home a little smoother.
AP: What book are you reading right now? EK: Mountains beyond Mountains.
AP: Quote to live by. EK: “How you spend your days is how you spend your life.” Also, from my amazing mother, “Always be a W-O-A. (Woman of Action)”
AP: What is your worst pet peeve? EK: Humidity and dishonesty.
AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? EK: I need 7-8 hours of sleep. For beauty and sanity. I wake up between 5 am-7 am depending on what time I go to sleep.
AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? EK: Everyone LOVES what they do. It’s not a J-O-B for anyone, and that is what I love more than anything.
AP: Least favorite thing. EK: Getting ready. I love the outcome, but the process feels like an inefficient use of my time.
AP: Who is your mentor? EK: My mentor- I would say I have a lot. A lot of people I admire and learn from, in this industry and others. Places I look to for wisdom are books, God, my family, and great friends.
AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. EK: I am hardly an expert, but what I would say at this point in my life is to surround yourself with good people and do what you love. You will be a product of your environment, so be intentional about the environment you create.