Growing up in Freeport, Illinois, Shaw immersed herself in many forms of art. She went on to study at the Aveda Institute in Chicago in 2006 after attending school for theatre and fine art. An apprenticeship opportunity brought Shaw to NYC, where she studied under April Barton at the famous Chelsea Hotel's Suite 303, mastering the craft of cutting + styling men's and women's hair. It was there that she also met and worked with legendary Parisian hairstylist, Yannick D’ls.
While working on her art and traveling, a road trip brought her to LA, where she began freelancing. She began the process of setting up her roots in the city, while continuing to build her career bicoastal between LA and NYC. Signing on with top agents over the years at the Magnet Agency + Jed Root, she also began traveling the globe doing editorial + commercial work, as well as red carpet- styling Chloe Sevigny, Olivia Munn, Al Pacino, Alfonso Cuaron, Hilary Swank and Michelle Dockery to name a few. You can see her print + film work anywhere from Vogue, Elle, Interview, T Magazine to Nike, Stella Artois, Adidas + Apple Campaigns.
It was in June 2013 that Shaw sought out to do her own project and opened Cabin 207, a 3-chair hair salon and rare bookstore located in Downtown LA. Several years later, Kristen made the move across town and opened Cabin West, a concept salon x homewares pop up shop located in the up and coming Rose Ave in Venice, CA. The pop up ended in spring 2016 and with its success, Kristen was inspired to keep designing new spaces and open a permanent location in her neighborhood, of Venice, CA. Cabin, a private bungalow studio on Abbot Kinney came to life in July 2017 and housed not only the services of both Kristen and brow guru, Jimena Garcia, but a curated selection of beauty products, books, and her newest project, Cabin Paper.
Launched in 2017, Cabin Paper is a stationary line where Kristen has brought her love of illustrating + poetry to life by creating greeting cards and art. “The illustrations blend a world of whimsy and quest for love with my writing,” says Kristen. “These (Cabin + Cabin Paper) are all dream design projects for me of how I see beauty and life. I spend a lot of time in nature and traveling—camping road tripping, exploring. I write and draw everywhere and pull inspiration for the shop from my travels.”
Shaw applies similar principles to her hair cutting techniques. With a strong belief in e.e. cummings statement, "To destroy is always the first step in any creation," Kristen breaks down the components to a long-lasting haircut along with making each snip and slice unlike any before.
Kristen worked in depth with Playa Haircare on strategy and communications to launch the brand in 2017-2018. Working closely with top editors in NYC and LA, Kristen brought the brand to life. Playa Haircare can now be found in Sephora worldwide.
Most recently, Kristen closed Cabin on Abbot Kinney to focus on her work as a Celebrity stylist and men’s groomer. She works monthly seeing haircut clients at Andy Lecompte Salon in West Hollywood and is represented by Art Department for her freelance work.
While not on the road or doing hair in LA/NYC, Kristen spends a lot of time exploring her love for cooking, writing, and being near the ocean.