Founder of www.behindthechair.com, the leading online resource for cosmetology industry professionals, Mary Rector Gable recently paid our students an educational, inspirational visit.
Her talk began with the value of entrepreneurship; how selling lemonade as a teen enabled her to buy a bicycle by the end of summer, and how that same spirit is vital to all hairdressers when they start out in the business and begin to build a clientele.
Mary then talked about keys to success, including the importance of a great attitude and loving the work you do; how the fundamental techniques of hairdressing are the foundation of creativity; and the value of service with a smile.
Next came new media and how social networking is paramount in today’s world. Mary encouraged all students to develop a professional Facebook page, explaining how having that connection to friends, family, and co-workers provides the ability to reach people with six degrees of separation; and how this can be used to fill up quiet times in a hairdressers schedule.
Mary didn’t stop there, progressing to another great way to build business: Offer a free service to an “influencer’ such as a trendy store manager, sales clerk, cool club bartender, or anyone in a high-traffic job. The value of this, highlighted Mary, is that that person can then ‘display’ your work to a high volume of people, and when those people ask, ‘where did you get your hair cut,’ that person will be you.
She talked about the importance of retailing to your clients and how hairdressers must see themselves as consultants (not sales people) as everyone who sits in your chair needs guidance on what products suit their hair type and style best–and who better than a professional?
After underlining the value of finding a salon that fits with your personality, taste, and style, Mary gave the inside scoop on the Behind The Chair Web site.
Guiding students all around the site, she showed how to view the latest editorial collections from hairdressers worldwide; how to watch educational, step-by-step cut, color and styling demos; how to get access to previously aired webinars; how to use the site as a resource for finding out about industry icons and hot off the press news and opinions; and, finally, how to upload your resume to the site and have new job postings sent direct to your inbox.
After this advanced and insightful tutorial, Mary concluded with a quote from iconic session stylist, Eugene Souleiman, who she had recently interviewed:
“Once you learn the rules, you can break the rules; and once you’ve broken the rules, you can make the rules.”
An inspirational way to end Mary’s talk to the next generation of rule-makers.