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People of NKY: From Fine Arts to hair art, Emma Maue has found her muse — and her adventure

By Ginger Dawson
Special to NKyTribune

You are having a crisis with your hair. It never does what you want it to, and every time you walk out the door you feel like you probably shouldn’t.  

It is way past time to do something about it.

You make an appointment, and then expect someone else to perform miracles with what you have provided them, for better or for worse. The stakes are high and in some cases, miracles must be performed.  

Who is willing to take on this challenge? And, more importantly, how does someone acquire the know-how, nerve and confidence to do it?

Emma Maue at home in front of the bay window in her beautiful apartment.

Emma Maue knows how and loves to.

It’s a journey that began with an early interest in Fine Art.

She grew up in Anderson, a suburb of Cincinnati. After high school, looking to expand her interests in the field, she went to the University of Cincinnati, where she enrolled in the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.

Pursuing drawing and painting—standard introductory courses, Emma realized that she didn’t have that natural drive to paint and draw beyond what her courses required of her. She knew this was not a good sign.

Emma discovered that her creative impulses were better served and naturally stirred, by an interest in theatrical wig design. This was a program which existed but was not offered to undergraduates. She also wondered about employment opportunities in the Fine Arts.

So, after a year, she very wisely and sensibly decided to leave UC. She pursued training at Aveda Fredric’s Institute and received a degree in Cosmetology. Real hair took the place of wigs and provided her with an excellent creative outlet that promised a career with a future.

It was a good choice; she has a passion for her job and continues to refine her skills. Ongoing education is a pleasure for her. She has a passion for her art and her clientele know that they can expect the best from her.

Emma at Greenline.

Unexpectedly, Emma ended up in Covington four years ago. She had accepted a position at Greenline, a personal care and hair salon located in the Mutter Gottes/Old Town Neighborhood. She decided that she needed to make that jump across the Ohio River in order to be in close proximity to work.  

This is a phenomenon that has become increasingly popular for many people over the past few years as Covington’s profile as a hip, happenin’ place is on the rise. The restaurants, walkability and living options have become sought after by people of all ages and descriptions.

Greenline Salon is a part of this trend and Emma says 80% of their clientele is from Northern Kentucky.

Emma loves Covington. She has a great apartment, can walk to work and really enjoys what she and her co-workers refer to as “Covington Characters.”   

Covington has always had its share of characters, whether it be its demimonde; its assortment of entrepreneurs; its corporate chiefs or its regular citizens who seem, to a person, to hear a different drummer. Emma likes them all.

In fact, her motto in life — at this point, on the occasion of her self-proclaimed “quarter-century crisis” (she is twenty-five years old), is “To each his own.”  

She has a steady confidence and sense of her self that allows her to have this magnanimous view. This attitude also assists her in working with people who have ideas about what they want their hair to look like and helping them to achieve that. Vanity can be a touchy mistress!

When Emma is not working, she enjoys other creative pursuits.

She and her sister, Vanessa, have joined the Ohio Valley Wood Guild. In classes and open workshops, they are learning the craft of woodturning on lathes. They create bowls, rolling pins and other kitchen utensils out of walnut and cherry.  

This is a sentimental connection for her and her sister, as well. Her father, Paul, who passed prematurely at the age of 62, had been a member.

One of the products of her pottery class at Baker Hunt.

She has also taken pottery classes at the Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center, a great Covington institution.

Emma loves to travel. When she plans a trip, she likes to have a loose itinerary and have the sensation of “just being dropped in a whole other world.” Then, that way, she can follow her nose and go where it leads her.  

Actually, this was the same sensation she experienced when she moved to Covington, proving what all Covingtonians know — this city really is a good place for adventure.

One recent trip to Oregon gave her a REAL chance to take it as it came. She wandered off a trail on a mountain for about a half hour and realized she was lost. For a moment, she was in panic mode, checking her provisions — water, a granola bar, etc… Fortunately, she ran across some other hikers and was pointed in the right direction.  

Mercifully, with its street grid, this is an impossibility in Covington.

One of her favorite places to walk is the beautiful Riverside Drive in Covington. The grand, old historic homes invoke a romantic Southern feel and remind her that she is in Kentucky, even though Ohio is right across the river. There IS a difference.

When asked what lessons she has learned up to this point in her life she responded with this: “Not to be cheesy, but don’t take life too seriously and know how to have a good laugh.”

This is good advice whether you are at your “quarter-century crisis” or your “half-century crisis!”

Ginger Dawson will be writing about the People of NKY — the neighbors you need to know and people you need to meet and understand. The feature will appear periodically at the NKyTribune. If you have ideas for subjects, please share them with Ginger at ginger@fuse.net.

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