Amedeo DeRango is a KMS California guest artist and Business Master who has been a passionate and motivating industry educator for many years. He has a way of connecting and engaging with each and every member of his audience making for memorable and meaningful education that we all often crave for. We have had the pleasure of attending many of Amedeo’s presentations and knew we had to share him with all of you.
You have been very involved in the educational aspect of the industry as well as behind the chair. How do you balance the two? What drives you to bring education to students and salon professionals?
It’s easy to balance the two, because I love what I do. Doing both isn’t at all like having to change hats—when I’m on the road for KMS California, I get to share the latest trends, designs and products, then bring that same knowledge to my clients when I’m in the salon. I love what I do—it’s more than a career, its my life.
I’m driven by my passion for growing business, and sharing how enriching and fun a career can be if you have the right outlook. For me, it’s a lot more than teaching a cut or style—it’s about how you make people feel, and making those clients your best promoters. I’ve been a guest artist for 16 years, and I’ve found that in all my travels, people are a lot more alike than they are different. There’s nothing better than watching professionals of all levels have a breakthrough and seeing them realize their potential.
What behind the chair & business advice can you give to young stylists just starting out?
The best advice I can give any young artist is to be patient, passionate and get those listening skills ready to go! You’re on a path to building something amazing, and it takes time. . . years, in fact. Being available is key, as is maintaining a marketable image—wearing the latest trends in both apparel and hairstyle.Your first time clients make up their mind about whether they’re coming back within the first ninety seconds of meeting you, and you never know when they’re coming in—so look the part seven days a week!
Remember, people respond to the way you project yourself. If you’re a fashion-forward individual who aggressively pursues the latest hair trends, you’re a lot more likely to attract that type of client.
Always approach every client the same way. Never judge anyone, or assume they wouldn’t wear a look, or spend their money on product or services. If you put forth the effort to understand products, you’ll be in a key position to make professional recommendations. Remember, no one wants to be sold; yet, everyone wants to buy.
Ask yourself what separates you from the rest. Maybe it’s something simple like taking the time to let the client hold a brush and teaching her the effects of different levels of elevation. I’ve always believed that the greatest resource a hairdresser can offer a client is the ability to recreate a look at home. Is she using what you used?
You teach many different seminars and classes all over the country. From advanced cutting techniques to business, do you have a favorite?
Today’s salon professional needs both to succeed. Your business needs both to flourish! Personally, my favorite part of being a Guest Artist, and Business Master for KMS California is being able to present cutting techniques and business advice to a group on the same day. It’s high impact, and sharing both help develop a full plan of action that fosters immediate results for hairdressers of all skill sets and experience levels.
You are an active member in many on line communities such as Facebook, Hairbrained.me, and Twitter. How does the online world impact your business as an educator and behind the chair?
Being a part of online communities is an imperative for being accessible and successful in today’s society. I’ll never forget that in the mid 90’s, Don Francis at Jingles Academy told me that I was talented—and that that would only take me a third of the way to my goals. It really stuck with me. He also said after a lengthy pause, “Your MARKETING will take you to the top.” If used correctly, all of these communities can create a great deal of inspiration and buzz.
You represent KMS California as well as Goldwell. How did you get started on the platform teaching around the country? What, do you feel, is the most important thing to know or do as a platform artist?
The most important thing is to be a good presenter and know how to connect with your audience. You have to take your information from your program and create relevant, captivating language that will engage your audience. For example, you could be demonstrating an amazing haircut and still lose your audiences interest. But if you involve your audience in when to use the techniques you’re demonstrating, how to grow your business from it, and how to make it fun, now you have something special. People will always remember the way you made them feel.
Who is someone you look up to in our industry?
Don Francis, Jingles Academy
What was one of your most memorable moments on stage?
Getting laughs and seeing people’s faces as they’re having a breakthrough is something that never gets old—same with feeling that rush just before being introduced.
However I’ll never forget my first time on stage. I received applause after a haircut and felt chills in my stomach. I was like, okay, it worked! I remember thinking no one must have seen my hands tremble.
With all of the traveling, educating and time in the salon it must be hard to balance life outside the industry like family and friends. What are your secrets to making it work?
No secrets, you just have to carve out that time to be available. I attend most of my daughter’s activities, and am my son’s soccer coach. It’s unrealistic to think you can be everywhere at the same time, and there are always decisions to be made. Personally, I’m surrounded by great family, friends, and clients with flexible schedules.
Friends tell me that I have no down time, but it’s hard to think of what I do as work.
I knew I was a Hair Nerd when…
I grew up as a salon Brat, always going to work with my Mom or Dad both being in the industry.