Blog – Get Inspired!

Kaz Amor -President of Você Haircare and hair colorist to the stars

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Kaz Amor

Celebrity colorist and President of Você Haircare, Kaz Amor, is known as a leader in the professional salon industry. He has become the go-to hair and color stylist in sought after celeb circles, with many beauty professionals turning to him for creative consult. Kaz has picked up invaluable experience during the time spent as an influencer at Redken, L’Oréal, Sebastian International and Vidal Sassoon.

We caught up with Kaz to chat about his inspirations. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: Who influenced you the most when learning your craft?

A: I was most influenced by John Cusenza, founder of Sebastian International, as well as the VP of Education for Redken, Christine Schuster.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: I am very involved in fashion – whether it is make-up, hair or clothes. I read many magazines and stay up to date with technology, trend predictions,  manufacturers and fashion. This way I’ll know what is coming and what is possible. New technology gives you more intense colors or softer colors.

Q: What would you say to new future professionals entering this industry?

A: Most hairdressers get into this business because it is a creative outlet. They are not aware that the compensation can be tremendous – there are people who earn 6 figure salaries for sure! So there is a huge potential to use your creativity to earn a lot of money. But at the end of the day, what you put in is what you will get out of it. Ask yourself: How am I going to stand out from the rest? There are so many hairstylists – are you willing to say “yes” 24 hours a day? If you want a 9-5 job, maybe this is not the industry for you.

Q: Where did you attend school?

A: I was an apprentice in London for three years where I learned how to sweep, shampoo, prepare hair treatments and clean the salon before actually doing hair.

Q: What was the turning point of your career?

A: My turning point was when I went to Tokoyo for Vidal Sassoon and there were 2000 people in the audience. I thought I did things well, but I did not take myself that seriously.

Q: What is the best advice you have received?

A: The best advice I received is: In this business you have to be available 24 hours a day. Be accommodating and available for the client when they need you.

Q: What are some of your biggest accomplishments?

A: Working as a Color Director for Vidal Sassoon, on the West Coast, is one of my biggest achievements. I also count being a Color Director for Sebastian International as an accomplishment along with the lead role I encompassed in Japan with the Japan Haircolor Association. I am also very proud of the work I’ve done with Redken as an educator and hair care consultant as well as time spent with Warren Tricomi Salon, John Cusenza and Christine Schuster.

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Vivienne Mackinder – Master stylist, Leo Passage Educator of the Year

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Vivienne MackinderSeven-time North American Hairstyling Award winner, Vivienne Mackinder, is well known for her online presence on HairDesignerTV.com and her renowned teaching skill. She is a three-time winner of the IBS Editor’s Choice Award and was awarded the North American Hair Styling “Lifetime Achievement” Award in 2009. Her most recent accolade, Leo Passage Educator of the Year, awarded by Inter-coiffure, says a lot about her passion for advancing the niche world of hairdressing and her students.

We caught up, briefly, with her to learn where she draws inspiration from.

Q: Who influenced you the most when learning your craft?

A: I was most influenced by Trevor Sorbie and Vidal Sassoon.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: I draw my inspiration from all of the arts – from fashion and movies, to the great artists!

Q: What would you say to new future professionals entering this industry?

A: When entering the industry, make sure that you work with the best and make a promise to be a student for life.  HairDesignerTV.com has been designed to help you do just that.

Q: Where did you attend school?

A: I attended school at the London College Of Fashion.

Q: What was the turning point of your career?

A: It would have to be HairDesignerTV.

Q: What is the best advice you have received?

A: The best advice was being told that I was a futurist and that I needed to discover what my natural strengths were, through working with a Lifestyle Coach. I was also told to learn how to work with them and not fight them.

Q: What would you say has been your biggest accomplishments?

A: This year, my biggest accomplishment was winning the Lifetime Achievement Award from NAHA. Another accomplishment was being involved in the documentary series ‘I’m Not Just a Hairdresser’. I also find that my website, HairDesignerTV (and helping other professionals grow) to be one of my greatest achievements.

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John C Simpson – Beauty industry expert and Crocr8 founder

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John C Simpson

With more than two decades of experience, John C Simpson is a hair-styling force to be reckoned with. Working as a stylist in Pittsburgh, John discovered his passion for styling at the age of 18. He was since named Goldwell’s North American Creative Director and won the North American Hairstyling Award for Colorist of the Year in 2008. John teamed up with beauty industry expert, Christopher Dove, to form the new education platform – CoCre8, which was launched in 2014.

We met up with John who shared a lot of valuable information about the industry, lessons learnt and tips on how to be a successful hairstylist.

Q: When and where did you graduate from beauty school?

A: I graduated in 1992 from the prestigious Pittsburgh Beauty Academy.

Q: Were you always a good hairdresser?

A: I think that being a hairdresser just came naturally, to me. My whole youth was filled with art and fashion design, so applying it to the concepts of hair came with ease. Through extended training, my skill eventually grew.

Q: What was your first job like?

A: I worked at two salons before finding my home. As a young stylist, I wanted to do flashy avant-guarde hair, but the salon I worked at did not see this as their major drawcard, which left me quite bored. But nonetheless, it was a great growing lesson. I was so thrilled to finally find my home – I was able to tie the conservative meets avant-guarde world together.

Q: If you could do something over, what would it be?

A: This is a tough one! My career path has worked out perfect for me! The only thing I would not do is waste time. Instead I’d focus on exactly what it was I wanted to be.

Q: What do you wish you had learned in beauty school?

A: I was fortunate, at the time of my training, to work with some of the great hairdressers and learn the true beauty of designing hair – from cut, to color, to classic finish! I only wish that there was a bigger emphasis on highlighting designs. At school we only learned highlights through a cap. All of the other methods were self taught. Yay frost!

Q: If you were talking to a group of young, new hairdressers what would you tell them to make their careers better?

A: If you dream it, conquer it, everything is possible!! Don’t become frustrated when challenged with something new. You need to make mistakes. It’s part of the growing process.

Q: In your opinion, what is the secret to your success?

A: Well, I am a bit OCD – and even through ups and downs of growing my career, I never gave up! Each obstacle made me work harder and think on a larger scale. It’s funny how we measure success. In my mind I’m at a major growing point.

Q: Any tips on learning to cut or style better?

A: As you’re looking at your canvas, always have a game plan in mind. Think about the shape, how the hair moves, and what kind of end you really want to see. Think about which tool will create the different textures, instead of going in blind until something happens. Discipline yourself in multiple cutting methods.

Q: Is there an easy way to learn color?

A: By understanding the basic fundamentals of color theory: Where you’re at, where you desire to go, and what’s going to be there along the way. I always think of hair as fabric. You may have vinyl, wool, and cotton in the same head of hair. Understanding your product choice for each area will make a difference. Something could repel from the vinyl, deeply absorb on the wool, and stain the cotton. By knowing that one head may need multiple formulas, choose the correct product for the appropriate fabric.

Q: What are the mistakes young stylists usually make when starting out?

A: Back to finding your perfect creative environment. Some young stylists will start and stop at multiple salons without ever really gaining any of the salons methodology. Research what style of salon you’re choosing, and commit to a place where you feel strong. This isn’t a date! Also, once you find your place, don’t over think every single client. Keep it simple, and as the comfort comes, expand your creativity from there.

Q: What are the misconceptions about becoming a hairdresser?

A: Some people come into the industry thinking that their world will immediately be filled with glamour, wealth and fame! However, people need to know that it’s a lot of hard work, a lot of self discipline and continuous education to make you a strong successful stylist. And even when a day of “hairapy” has been challenging, always know there’s another day to correct your mistakes and to emotionally recharge.

Q: At what point should a young stylist think about specializing?

A: Starting out I would give myself at least three years behind the chair and five years to better to understand why I’m creating the look that I’m doing. If you then decide that specializing in cut, perm or color is more for you, then do it full force. Whatever is your largest passion, and keeps you stimulated, then go for it! But only make the choice because you’re fully passionate about one versus the other.

Q: Who made the most impact on you when you were starting out?

A: Growing up around the business I was always intrigued. Moving forward in my career, I started watching Vidal Sassoon, the Color Works of Annie Humphrey’s and the early Beth Minardi workshops, to see how cut and color work simultaneously. Also, I learnt a lot as a colorist watching these women make a haircut look more compact when it isn’t and lengthening a look or shortening an effect just by the simple placement of color design. These people will always hold highest rank throughout my career.

Q: Do you still attend educational events?

A: Absolutely! Once you’ve stopped learning, you’re done! Feeding your mind and your creativity give you fuel to keep moving forward. Plus I always love to see the different inspirations of other stylists and educators.

Q: Is there anything left for you to learn?

A: There’s always room to expand! Whenever you feel that you know everything, you need to open up your mind and think on a larger global level. Where is the young fashion design taking us and how do I put a fresh twist on a timeless classic? Reaching out further and exploring photography, landscaping, architecture, and automobile design with fashion allow us to take the shapes, lines and color palettes and bring it all back to our true love of hair.

Q: Can a young stylist actually make a living right away or does it take time?

A: Absolutely, you can make a living right out of the gate. However, you have full command of your lifestyle you choose to live. The harder you work, and the more retention you gain, of course your lifestyle can increase from there. You have the ability to be as successful as you choose to be.

Q: When did you consider yourself a success?

A: I always feel that I’m continuing to grow. Even though my salon days are booked solid, sometimes into triple overlap! In the past, in my educational career, stepping onto a stage with the announcing of my name, only rendered me the polite applause. The surreal life of now stepping onto a stage with the thunderous applause, has definitely made me feel that I’ve achieved something. It’s a mad reality to know that people are inspired by your message and crave the style of your work. Now I want to turn the thunder into a booming roar!

Q: Do you recommend a stylist work toward being on platform?

A: Being on platform for any stylist is quite the compliment, however, knowing that stage work is not a platform for your celebrity. If you’re going to be on platform, have a passionate message that you would like to relay and tell a brilliant story. This gives you an opportunity to expand your message to hundreds or thousands of people that can take your creativity, make it their own and fulfill their careers. Giving and sharing information with another person, and seeing them become more successful that you will ever be, is the fulfilling reason why you’re on platform.

Q: What is it like to work for a manufacturer?

A: By working for a manufacturer, you gain all the new tools to expand your work and create total new ideas. My career with Goldwell has given me advanced technologies that fulfill my needs. I only believe in representing a brand because it works for you. I’ve never found a brand that delivers what is promised at all times, supports new ideas and expands my color tableau to the extreme, with a backbone support of new cutting foundations supported by styling and home care services. Working for a manufacturer like Goldwell allows me to personalize and sign my look.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say to young stylists?

A: You’re entering a career with limitless opportunities. What other career can allow you fashion, people, creativity, doing what you love and making money from it even if it’s a tough day? As you season within the business, always remember what it was that turned you on to doing hair. I remember the first day I entered beauty college. The smell of perm solution and ammonia lingered and the subtle scent of setting lotion was all around. I knew at that time that this was the exact industry that I would love for a lifetime. A career that you can find harmony in change, and remember that life is not a dress rehearsal! Live and love the industry you’re in. Just go for it!

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Emily Costello – ‘Haircutting royalty’ and Director of Education at MOKO Organic Beauty Studio

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Dubbed as ‘haircutting royalty’, the gifted Emily Costello, is an educator for Prive Hair and the Director of Education at MOKO Organic Beauty Studio. Based in Philadelphia, the gifted hairdresser is relatively new to the community, but has already gained a reputation as the educator to watch out for.

We chatted to Emily about her career challenges and advice she would give to aspiring hairdressers.

Q: Who has influenced you the most while learning your craft?

A: This is a really tough question, because I don’t feel like I’m ever going to be done learning my craft. There have been so many people who have pushed me and continue to push me, I truly couldn’t thank them enough if I tried.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: My staff. They’re incredible. I’ve never met a group of people that literally act like they’re on fire for their craft.

Q: Where did you attend school?

A: I’m originally from Rochester, NY! I attended a trade school during my junior and senior years of high school, which meant that when I graduated high school, I had my temporary cosmetology license.

Q: What was the turning point of your career?

A: The turning point was when I moved to Philadelphia in 2011. I did not plan on staying here, but it somehow just happened. I fell in love with my craft in this city, and I can’t imagine it being any other way.

Q: What was the best advice you have received?

A: Someone is always going to be better than you, and someone is always going to be worse than you. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

Q: What is the biggest career challenge you had to overcome?

A: Being someone who identifies as a queer woman, in a world run by ‘cis-men’, it’s hard to be validated in a community that tends to put the victories of the majority first. I don’t do this for me, I do this for every young person who feels like they don’t fit into a predetermined mold and every person who feels like they don’t have a voice. I do my best to utilize the power I have to propel everyone else forward. Death to the patriarchy.

Q: Are there any accomplishments you would like to share?

A: Opening X (my hair studio) is by far my proudest accomplishment. I did not plan on opening a studio, but I get chills every time I talk about it. Going to work in an environment where I get to create with my peers and push them to the next level is an unbelievable feeling.

Q: What advice would you give students out of beauty school?

A: Surround yourself with people better than you, smarter than you, and more creative than you. Keep your trusted circle small. Supportive people are irreplaceable. If you’re not feeling challenged, move on to the next thing.

Q: What advice would you give new students in finding a salon that is perfect for them?

A: If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Trust your gut, you’ll know when something fits.

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David Stanko – Redken Master Colorist

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David Stanko

NYC-based salon master colorist and hair color consultant for Redken 5th Avenue, David Stanko, is well known for his signature technique and customized-color approaches. David recently launched his Lifestyle Coloring and Midtown Single DVD’s which has placed his signature color classes in high demand. He has been featured on some of the hottest blogs and social media platforms, with the likes of AdviceSisters, DBeautyJunkie and DailyMakeover, swooning over his fresh take on color and style.

We caught up with David, and asked him a few questions about his inspirations and accomplishments. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: Who influenced you the most when learning your craft?

A: My biggest influence was Donna Blanchard, the salon owner I assisted right out of school. Donna was masterful at manipulating hair—and her clients. She was one of the first hairdressers I knew who genuinely followed fashion. She dressed in Chanel and Comme des Garçons, and actually bought the products that appeared in the pages of Vogue. She was masterful at styling hair, placing highlights with a tongue depressor and fearless with hair color. She looked after the hair of all the society women of Pittsburgh.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: I draw inspiration from ‘people watching’ in airports, museums & the many cities I’m fortunate to visit.

Q: What would you say to new future professionals entering this industry?

A: From a hair perspective: learn to cut, color, relax and style a wide variety of global hair types. Professionally speaking: Think about respect, self image and the interview process. Develop intentionally well-honed habits in how you dress, speak and follow-through. You can’t run late, chew gum, text during appointments and make poor wardrobe choices and still be looked upon as professional.

Q: Where did you attend school?

A: I attended school at Pittsburgh Beauty Academy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Q: What was the turning point of your career?

A: The turning point, for me, was working for IT&LY Hair Fashion in the late 80’s early 90’s. I traveled all over the world and when I’d return to the salon – super charged with excitement & knowledge – no one seemed to care. Some stylists seemed content to “punch in” do their clients and “punch out”. I thought, ‘there’s a whole world of opportunity out there – lets go!”

Q: What is the best advice you have received?

A: Be assertive not aggressive. Learn to listen. Don’t interrupt. Be thoughtful & grateful for what you have. Don’t take things so seriously.

Q: What are some of your biggest accomplishments?

A: My biggest accomplishments include:

  • The launch of www.DavidStanko.com
  • My move to NYC
  • Spearheading the testing and technical execution of Redken hair color and lighteners
  • When I was Color Work styled by Serge Normant, Oribe and Orlando Pita
  • Best Educator 1999 by Hair Color USA
  • Most Inspirational Educator 2000 by Hair Color USA
  • Entered into the Pittsburgh Beauty Academy Hall Of Fame
  • Entered into the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administration Hall Of Fame
  • Featured in nearly every North American trade magazine
  • Quoted in popular consumer magazines & beauty blogs
  • Being able to teach in over 12 countries and 40 states, from Manhattan to Mexico City; Thailand to Turkey
  • Reaching a point in my career where people really care to hear my opinion.
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Vadre Grigsby – Pravana artistic director and hair color maven

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Vadre Grigsby

Hair color expert, Vadre Grigsby, started her career in beauty as an assistant at a hair salon in 1988. She quickly worked her way up and was able to open her own salon at the tender age of 23. Vadre was introduced to Pravana and its products by Steven Goddard (Pravana founder) before it had been officially launched. She was eventually asked to join the team as the Artistic Director of Hair Color.

Vadre shares more with us:

Q: Who influenced you the most while you were learning your craft?

A: When I first got into hair color education, I was lucky enough to assist Jo Blackwell-Preston during a hair show in San Jose California. It was so impressive to watch the way she related to people and listen to her talk about true in salon experiences we all deal with. Her relationship with her audience and genuine abundance of hair color knowledge inspired me to want to learn and share. Once I started doing advanced education, I met Karen Johnson. When we met I was doing in salon education and she managed education events for a large beauty distributor. I didn’t know then that she would literally have a huge affect on my life later. Skip forward 3 or so years and Karen sent me a tube of a soon to launch color that she was impressed with and thought I might be too. That was my introduction to Pravana and ChromaSilk. Working with Pravana and Steven Goddard changed the course of my career.

Q: Where did you attend school?

A: I studied at the Santa Clara Beauty College in California – which is no longer open.

Q: What was the turning point of your career?

A: Sacrificing and scrapping together every dollar I had to buy my first salon at the age of 23. Another turning point was when I was given the opportunity to be a part of Pravana.

Q: What is the best advice you have received?

A: The best advice is: we regret more the things we didn’t do or didn’t try then then things we did.

Q: What is the biggest career challenge you had to overcome?

A: As with many woman in this industry the balance of career and family can pose challenges. In this industry, we work ‘retail hours’, which could be a challenge. But in some cases we also have the flexibility to set our own schedule, which helps when trying to find the balance.

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How to hire hair stylists for your salon in 5 steps

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You’re busy, right?  You need to constantly balance priorities for how you spend your time between work, family, clients, staff, training and operations…it can sometimes feel overwhelming!  We know how you feel and that is why we put together this list:

How to Hire Stylists in 5 STEPS…

Step 1) Create a Hiring Profile:
This is important if you want to consistently attract the right stylists for your salon.  The amount of time and effort you put into your hiring profile will demonstrate the value you put in your salon’s brand and the attention you place in hiring stylists that fit your salon culture.  Be descriptive in the position that is available, include images, video, links to social media and your website.  Describe your ideal candidate and share the salon’s philosophy, clientele, location, health insurance benefits, training opportunities and growth opportunities.  Make sure your profile includes clear instructions on your contact preferences and guide job seekers on how to approach you.

Step 2) Be Consistent:
Hiring hair stylists is similar to building a brand for your clients and consistency matters.  Don’t forget about Marketing 101, “out of sight out of mind”…if you are not consistent with your hiring approach, then it may be harder to gain momentum later.  Consider talent recruitment as something that becomes a quarterly part of your salon’s normal operations.  Even if you are not hiring immediately, it is important that you are making your salon brand known to the future stylists that can have a large influence on the success and growth of your business.  Here are some ideas that you can do every few months: attend beauty school career fairs, register for competitions, attend trade shows, post on job boards, use social media strategically, develop a talent recruitment reward system for current stylists.  We’ve talked to some salons that manage multiple locations and they are recruiting 12 months out of the year; basically making it a full time job!

Step 3) Be Patient:
Depending on your type of salon business, hiring stylists does not always happen immediately.  The chances of your opportunity matching exactly with the perfect candidate at the same time it matches their availability can be tricky and sometimes may involve forces outside of your control.  Whether candidates are still in beauty school, already working at another salon or are living out of state, patience is a virtue when it comes to finding that next superstar.  Some stylists we talked to mentioned that the hiring process can take up to 12 months from when their resume was submitted to when they were offered a position.  Set realistic expectations and try to avoid bundling all your recruitment efforts only during the time you are hiring…your strategy should be about ‘awareness’ for your salon brand and location too.

Step 4) Stay Connected:
Even if you are not hiring, keep the contact information for those hair stylists that have submitted resumes.  Staying connected in this way will make it much easier to get results when you need to fill positions along with your other recruiting efforts.

Step 5) Know your Attribution Model:
What is an attribution model?  This is basically a flowchart that helps breakdown all the touch-points or engagements you have with job seekers before they submit their resume and get hired.

Also known as a ‘Conversion Funnel’, this is a visual representation of the process a person normally goes through before taking an ‘action’, like submitting a resume to your salon for an employment opportunity.

Awareness – Job seekers need to become aware of the opportunity.  This is the largest part of the funnel because you want to cast a wide net to the right audience and build the awareness of your salon’s brand and career opportunity.  The funnel continues to get smaller as potential candidates determine if there is a match that interests them.  This is why your ‘Hiring Profile’ is essential because your ultimate goal here is to build ‘interest’ for candidates to move further into the funnel.

Interest – Once you have the attention of a hair stylist looking for a job, you want them to become interested in your opportunity.  The stylist may want to take a look at your website, social media or understand training and growth opportunities as well as what product lines you support.  Now that they are interested, chances are they will be comparing your salon against other opportunities that caught their attention.  In either case, they may decide to take an action, like submitting their resume or physically visiting the salon.

Action – Your ultimate goal is to encourage job seekers to engage with you on some level about taking next steps for seeking employment.  An action can be: emailing you, submitting a resume through a job board, visiting your salon or physically dropping off their resume, etc.  Over time you may see patterns of your hiring process that can be easily repeated as part of your new 5 Step Approach

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Stephen Moody – Wella Global Education Academy Dean

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Stephen Moody

P&G Salon Professional global education academy dean, Stephen Moody, represents Wella’s outreach program, ‘Hairdressers at Heart’. This industry expert uses his role to help hairdressers to better their skill and craft, and provides support and resources to the (approximate) 800 hairstylists and educators who are a part of the Wella Global education team.

Stephen joined Vidal Sassoon as a vardera, in 1980, and has spent a large part of his career traveling the world as a representative, travelling as far as Sweden, Italy, South Africa and Malaysia. He was promoted to Principal for the North American Academy in 1987 and, in 2003, became International Executive Director of Vidal Sassoon Education globally.

We were fortunate to grab a quick word with Stephen. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: Who influenced you the most when learning your craft?

A: In no order and for different reasons (I am still learning my craft!}: Viviane McKinder, Annie Humphries, Vidal Sassoon, My Mother, Roger Thompson, Christopher Brooker, Tim Hartley, Simon Ellis and Fabio Sementilli.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: I draw my inspiration from the youth and style I see on the streets.

Q: Where did you attend school?

A: I attended school at Vidal Sassoon in London.

Q: What was the turning point of your career?

A: I would have to say that the turning point of my career was when Simon Ellis asked me to interview for a job at Vidal Sassoon.

Q: What was the best advice you have received?

A: The best advice I have received is: Hairdressing is Football not Golf.

Q: What was the biggest career challenge you had to overcome?

A: Moving to America was, by far, the biggest challenge for me.

Q: What are some of your biggest accomplishments?

A: I would have to say that my move to America was also one of my biggest accomplishments.

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Sarah Conner – Meche Salon colorist and hair extension specialist

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Sarah Connor

Former 6th grade school teacher, Sarah Conner, was discovered while working in a beauty salon, on a freelance basis, in Orange County, America. She was eventually asked to join the newly formed Meche Salon – a bold career moves that gave the stylist a boost into the hair and beauty world. She is still with Meche and currently holds her own as a colorist and hair extension specialist. Sarah has been featured in several magazines, such as Elle Girl Japan, Nylon, Italian Cosmopolitan and Behind the Chair. Her color work has been featured on major TV shows such as Master Chef, ABC’s Mistresses and multiple Nickelodeon shows.

We met with Sarah to speak about all things hair and where she draws her inspiration from. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: Who influenced you the most while you were learning your craft?

A: I changed careers from being a school teacher to became a hair stylist. So I think it was my drive and determination stemming from that change that influenced me the most. I’d finally found what I’d always wanted to do and I was passionate about it!

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: I get a lot of inspiration from looking at editorial shoots. A good old fashioned fashion magazine goes a long way. The styles, music and art of previous decades are always inspiring. I even find inspiration in my clients. I love looking at someone and seeing a vision of how I can transform their hair color and make it look like it naturally grew out of their head that way!

Q: Where did you attend school?

A: I attended beauty school at Golden West Community College in Hunting Beach, California.

Q: What was the turning point of your career?

A: I think that the turning point was when I switched salons from Neil George to Meche Salon.

Q: What is the best advice you have received?

A: You can’t be afraid of change- chances are you can always go back, but you’ll never know what lies ahead if you don’t make a change.

Q: What is the biggest career challenge you had to overcome?

A: The biggest career challenge was when I decided to switch salons. It was a terrifying move at the time but ended up being the best career move I could make at that time.

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Kris Sorbie – Ombré color technique originator and Redken Education Artistic Director

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Kris Sorbie

Named, by Intercoiffure USA, as the 2014 Icon of Color for being the originator of the ombré color technique, Kris Sorbie is world-renowned for her daring methods of color styling . She is considered an expert in the field of long hair and up-styling and is one of the most sought after educators in the hairdressing industry.

Kris also holds the title of Master Stylist Winner and is a seven-time Nominee and Finalist of the prestigious North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA). She is the current Redken Education Artistic Director and is the President of Kris Sorbie, Inc.

Kris gave us some insight into her career and what it’s turning point was.

Q: Who influenced you the most while you were learning your craft?

A: The list is endless, it includes my teachers at Beauty School, my peers at the various salons I worked in and teachers of classes I attended. However, if I was to narrow it down to one person it would be Vidal Sassoon and everything about him, his taste, vision, style, eloquence and determination.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: I draw my inspiration from everything: People, art, nature, life. I often remind myself to stop, notice and absorb what I see.

Q: Where did you attend school?

A: I attended school at Chiswick Polytechnic, London, England UK.

Q: What was the turning point of your career?

A: In 1996 I created the Ombré technique, despite people telling me that ‘no-one would wear dark roots or several colors in their hair’. I believed that coloring hair with seamless, transitions of colors merging, had a sense of beauty and resembled animal fur. I asked myself: How could that be wrong?! In 1998 I showed the technique on stage for the first time at Hair Color USA. To my surprise I won ’ The Most Inspirational Educator’ award. Several months later was offered the job I still do for Redken. My only regret is that I wasn’t clever enough to name it at that time!

Q: What is the best advice you have received?

A: The best advice I’ve received, “Believe in yourself”, is the hardest thing to do. Find a great Mentor to guide your career and help you to do so.

Q: What is the biggest career challenge you had to overcome?

A. The biggest challenge had to be when I became Redken’s Global Artistic Director in 2000. I’m still working on that challenge and loving every day!

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