Take a peek into the world of our most esteemed stylist, Woody Theis. Not only has she been part of the JUUT family for over 25 years, but she has been everywhere from NYC fashion week to being named a Top Stylist by Seventeen magazine. We are so fortunate and inspired by the expertise and character Woody brings to JUUT!
What inspired you to get into the beauty industry?
I grew up in the industry. My Father, his Father and three of his brothers were barbers! At one point my Dad took over the business for his Dad and the brothers all worked together at the shop. When I was nine I started working with my Dad every Saturday. I shined shoes, cleaned the windows, and watched my Dad cut hair and shave faces. I fell in love with the way he spoke with his guests, the way cared for them and how he made them look when they left. Honestly, the before and after was shocking!
When I was 16 my Dad took me to see Horst and Aveda at a show in Minneapolis. From the moment Horst walked on stage I was riveted, I loved Aveda from the beginning! Horst cut a woman's hair that hung to her knees. She stood up and he cut it off - chin length - in one section! Her hair fell like a curtain, it was spectacular! I knew long before that moment that I wanted to work in the industry but I had no idea before then how exciting it would be.
How did you begin your journey with Juut Salonspa?
I had the opportunity to work with both David and Horst together at Horst Salons. When David bought the company I was fortunate to transition with him and have been with Juut since day one. It has been a pleasure being part of Juutʼs journey as we have grown and evolved. David has put management strategies in place, an education system that is recognized throughout the industry and he has the financial foresight to keep Juut vital and successful through this tough economic time.
So you have been with Juut now for 25 years. Why have you stayed?
What makes me stay are the values of the company. One thing that’s really important to me is living my life with people that are kind to each other. I have been introduced to lots of different facets of this industry and lots of different people. And every time I come home to Juut, there is a love here. It’s apparent that we’re all supportive of each other and we all take care of each other. Juut has supported me going outside of the company for education and encouraged me to be recognized in all my individual efforts to be creative. If I wasn’t allowed to be creative, then I couldn’t stay here ... or anywhere.
What has changed in your 25 years in the beauty industry?
When I started there was so much passion about how precise you could be. We would work on the same haircut for four to six hours, practicing exact tension and elevation. We took very small sections, used small combs and used extreme tension. The result was geometric and the goal was perfection. Although I still see a passion for this type of hair cutting, it is more about texture. The products, tools and techniques that we use today are used to “sculpt” the hair and create what we want.
What has stayed the same after 25 years?
The passion. This profession is filled with people that are truly happy with what they do. Hairdressers will tell you over and over again it doesn’t feel like work because they are so passionate about what they do.
Describe your ideal client.
For me, it’s about figuring out a puzzle. I love to see what my client's see and what’s important to them. You can look at their lifestyle, their bone structure, their hair texture, their skin tone ... but when you put the right thing on the right person it's magic. The perfect client is one that I can figure out and finish the puzzle resulting in them being truly happy!
If I were to pick an actual client it would be Tasha Hock. She’s one of the most positive people I have ever met. When I see her she lifts my spirits. She lets me shave the bottom of her hair off, she is just really cool! Another ideal guest is Marsha Lietz. She is always willing to work with me to make her hair perfect. She and I have worked together to perfect the shape. It is a relationship, not me telling her what to do or her telling me, but rather us working together.
What is your motto when it comes to beauty?
"The right thing on the right person is magic."
To me if you put the wrong thing on the wrong person it does not make their day.
And your life motto?
"Health in every way, physical health, emotional health, spiritual healthy. Health."
Who is your style icon?
I look to the Sartorialist
to be inspired by real people. I also like Kate Lanphear, the beauty Editor of ELLE Magazine and Sarah Jessica Parker’s style ... however, Carrie Bradshaw is a little edgy for me!
What’s the most exciting thing you’ve done as a hairstylist?
Participating in Fashion Week in New York City is always exciting! I love being back stage. The first show I ever did was Monique Lhuillier
. Working with hairdressers at that level at fashion week is my favorite thing that I do. Another exciting time was when I was invited to participate on Avedaʼs Team to design the collection "Evolution~Revolution," which was launched at Aveda Congress in 2005. I was in New York City for 3 weeks working with the team and the two cuts that I designed for the show were taught all over the world! I also lead Juutʼs creative team in designing our own collection for Avedaʼs Master Jam which was an extremely exciting time. The team was amazing and we all worked very hard! We designed a cohesive collection complete with images and a beautiful step-by-step guide paired with a fantastic show. Several people came up to me the day we presented and told us they were blown away by our work. It was very exciting!
What's the most memorable event you’ve participated in?
The most memorable event I've participated in was Daymaker Day in St. Paul a few years ago. We were offering free services to cancer patients and their care providers. This woman sat in my chair and I assumed she was a provider because she looked perfectly healthy and had a full head of hair. Toward the end of the service she said, “I just want you to know I have breast cancer and I am going in for treatment in 2 weeks.” As she was talking her eyes welled up with tears when she said, “… and I’m gonna lose my hair.” I remember being amazed that women handle going through chemotherapy, having a mastectomy, and feeling sick but when they talk about losing their hair it can bring them to tears. They are strong and know they can get through the tough stuff but when the cancer steals their femininity it is very painful. She said one of the things she’d always wanted were dreadlocks. She had really fine blonde hair, but she had always wanted them. I knew how to do them and took the time to make that happen for her. She was so excited! We both knew she was going to loose those blonde dreadlocks in 2 weeks but it was so worth it!
Is there a story behind your name, Woody?
I was the fifth child born in my family and I was born with a tuft of bright red hair. As the story goes, I think my parents were a little tired and had a sense of humor so my dad decided to nickname me Woody after Woody the Woodpecker. When I started with Horst they asked me what I would like to be know as - Carrie or Woody. And, well, you know what I decided!
Woody Theis is a Master Stylist at our Downtown Minneapolis and Edina locations. Woody works with individuals to style perfect looks for them and has the expertise to transform. She has been named one of the top four stylists in the country by Seventeen Magazine, named a top stylist by Mpls StPaul Magazine, attended multiple New York Fashion Weeks, done editorial work in Vogue magazine among many other remarkable accomplishments.