Native/New: Meet Jenny Lawson
Meet Jenny Lawson | From Butler, GA | Occupation: Stylist, Signature Salon
California surfer girl, punk, beatnik, flapper, hippie – what do these have in common? They’re all easily recognizable icons of countercultural hipness, and they’ve all, at one time or another, served as muse for Jenny Lawson’s ever-evolving, always discerning personal style. Jenny had a happy, easy country childhood in the small town of Butler, Georgia, with doting parents who raised her on classic rock and Motown and an older brother who got her into grunge, but by the time she was a teenager, she knew she needed to explore outside the small-town boundaries.
She lived in Warner Robins for awhile, then moved to Atlanta, but it was “expensive and busy and lonely,” says Jenny, “and I couldn’t fit into any scene.” When she came to Macon in 2010 only knowing a handful of people, she felt welcome immediately – it felt like home. She fell right in with Macon Noise, who at the time were “a hivemind unit of artists, musicians, and Macon hipsters coming to the Golden Bough on Tuesday nights” (or a house party, or an old loft, or Grant’s or Roasted) to see whatever band turned up to play. Inspired by all the new, experimental music she was hearing – “there was sludge metal, harsh noise, and everything in between” – Jenny wrote a show review for one of the zines being published, then started designing flyers for lots of the performances, then, after joining in at some impromptu jams and discovering she had a talent for keeping time, she wound up forming and playing drums in the new wave/punk band Moontrash, along with Meghan Dowlen and Esther Lee Altman.
“Seven years has passed, and lots of things have changed and people come and go,” Jenny says, “but there’s still this same spirit when you go to a show at Fresh Produce Records – that scene evolved from all of us being young punks on Cotton Avenue having weekly shows during the quieter days of downtown, and it’ll always be special to me.” Music is still an integral part of her life – right now, she’s heavily into The Beatles, especially George and Paul’s solo careers – during her more punk rock days she wrote them off as overrated, but she’s making up for lost time now. Other current favorites: Kyle Craft, Father John Misty, The Lemon Twigs, and Foxygen.
Love of music and involvement in the downtown Macon scene also landed Jenny a cool and unexpected accolade – Willie D., owner of Fresh Produce Records, showed his pal R. Stevie Moore, prolific and iconic lo-fi legend, some footage of Moontrash, which he dug, and he and Jenny have been friends ever since. Last year, when R. Stevie put out a limited edition re-release of his collaboration with Ariel Pink, he asked to use one of Jenny’s paintings, “Birth of Pisces,” for the cover art. “The old cover was a naked woman in a cemetery,” says Jenny, “so I guess he wanted something more friendly and bright! I was honored.” (Another serendipitous musical connection: Jenny first met her fiancé Cody Kurth, drummer for African Americana, at an Ariel Pink show.)
Creativity in all available forms has always been natural and necessary for Jenny; by age 17, she knew she wanted to be a hairstylist – it was a perfect fit, combining her love of fashion and art with the innate skills she’d honed by practicing on her own hair, DIY-style. She’s been licensed since 2008, and she’s spent the past two years at Signature Salon – she currently works at the downtown location, which just celebrated its first anniversary. Jenny’s a cutting specialist; she’s genius at fixing bad haircuts, and she loves doing pixie cuts, bobs, bangs, and men’s cuts. She’s also renowned for her skills in doing bright fashion colors. Any client who spends time in her chair will leave happy and feeling good about themselves, thanks to her talent and artistry – and that’s what makes her happiest, too. And you can count on Jenny to know what’s trending in the world of hair – right now, lots of texture is coming back in style. “Think of the shag or mullet of the 70s, but very much updated,” she says. “Low-maintenance air-dried hair is also trending, and long, soft, tapered Brigitte Bardot-inspired bangs are popular.”
“The teamwork [at Signature Salon] is incredible,” Jenny says. “The system that’s in place is set up to help us succeed – we have Redken educators come in seasonally for classes, and we have monthly meetings and one-on-one checkups to keep us motivated. It’s so helpful.” And getting to spend every day in her beloved downtown Macon is just another bonus – “I’ve always lived downtown since moving here, and seeing it grow and become busy is so exciting. Our clients love people-watching through the windows,” Jenny says, “and I absolutely love seeing my friends walk by on the sidewalk and wave at me while I’m working!”
11 Things You Didn’t Know about Jenny Lawson
1. I have two webbed toes on my left foot.
2. Keith Morris of Black Flag/Circle Jerks/OFF! told me happy birthday from the Drunken Unicorn stage once.
3. I drew my own clothing designs and made little magazines from ages 8-13, based off of Delia’s catalogues I would get.
4. I was a drama kid, I loved acting workshops and my school’s 1-act plays growing up.
5. My favorite hangover food is a Whopper with cheese.
6. In first grade I slipped in the mud and had to change into a clown suit. (The only thing my teacher had in the classroom.) So embarrassing.
7. I used to be in the girl band Moontrash from 2011-2013.
8. I can’t stop buying oxford shoes – I have tons of essentially the same shoe.
9. I used to hate hippie shit, now I can’t get enough of it.
10. I’ve never ever been stung by a bee. I credit that to watching Idgie Threadgood on Fried Green Tomatoes.
11. Mandarin’s steamed dumplings and Roasted’s falafel are my food obsessions.