Gregg McConnell

Western Regional Manager and Custom Publishing Director Sales

Modern Salon Magazine

Newbury Park, CA

Where are you originally from?

Chicago, IL

 

How long have you been in professional beauty?

30 Years

 

What was your first job in professional beauty?

The same job that I have – I have the best job at my company.

 

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What’s so great about professional beauty and why?

I love the people; they are creative, entrepreneurial, and caring.  I’ve seen amazing success stories and have tons of friends. Both manufacturers and salon owners are entrepreneurial and I find that exciting.  They are taking big risks and also getting big rewards when they are successful.  It takes a lot of intellectual power to start and run a business.  I find that exciting along with the personalities of the risk takers.

 

What one trait do all successfully awesome stylists share?

They like people and try to help them by making them look and feel better, but also listen to them as a friend.  I’ve been going to my stylist for 25 years and look forward to seeing her every 6 weeks.

 

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the biz over the years?

Definitely consolidation on the manufacturer and distributor level.   A manufacturer can cover the country with less than 10 distributors while in the past it might take 150.  Globalization has also made a huge impact on the manufacturer level. – major brands need to be global.  For stylists, many more are now buying their products from B-to-B stores. At the salon level, booth renting continues to be a major trend, while online sales of beauty products are growing and causing quite a stir.

 

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Why are beauty trade magazines so important?

Because I say so!  Seriously, I love magazines and subscribe to a ton.  When I get a magazine I can’t wait to open it.  I’m fortunate that my company has also developed great digital products as well,  of which audiences and ad revenue are growing rapidly.  But to answer the question, a magazine comes to my desk – I read it and become aware of new ideas whereas when I go online I’m looking for specific information.  They are two completely different mediums.  Plus, I like to smell paper and ink – my computer does not smell.

 

What does your typical workday look like?

I need coffee and read the Wall Street Journal first and maybe a news blog.  Then I open my email and before I know it… it’s time for dinner.  I have a home office and have for years.  My assistant lives in another state – she is the key to my success because I do know how to delegate and she knows how to make me successful.   Often I have appointments with clients or attend trade shows or beauty events – so I’m rarely in the office for more than a day or two.

 

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I’m somebody who wants to do your job. What’s the most important thing to know or skill to have?

You need to be competitive for sure, “sales” is like a sport and you do keep score. Your success and failures are measured.  You need to like people, you need to travel and put a lot of time in – not a 9-5 job with weekends off.  If you are new to sales, and you want to read books on how to prosper in sales, that’s fine, but develop your own style or you won’t be successful.  In this business you need to build relationships or you won’t make it.

 

How do you keep yourself motivated?

Fear.  I have some great competitors that keep my nose to the grindstone.

 

I hear keeping track of two semi-teenage sons can be a little tiring. True or false?

True.  Kids are wonderful and terrible at the same time.   My life used to be so easy before kids, but also not as rewarding.   Kids are living at home for a short period of time – I try to keep that in mind and spend as much time with them as I can.  We backpack a lot together.

 

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What would you say is a trait that all successful salons share?

They make you feel special, they make you feel good, and the haircut or color looks amazing.  You love going there.  My stylist has a passion for hairdressing and it shows.  I also enjoy the ambiance of salons – a lot of good is happening there.

You have a long, holiday weekend. Where are you and what are you doing?

This is boring, I love to be at home and putter in the garden or home project because I travel so much that It’s really a luxury to have a weekend off at home with family – it’s even better than room service.  Also my house is falling apart because of my travel schedule – so I need to fix things.

 

Is the diner at the Sportsman’s Lodge the BEST place for breakfast in Los Angeles? Why?

I had started a tradition with special people to meet consistently for breakfast for several reasons.  One is that it’s great to start the day with a good friend, plus I like to give that friend an excuse to go into work late if they have a nasty commute.  I love the history of Sportsman’s plus the career waitresses (they love to read Modern Salon).  Breakfast is my favorite meal.  Favorite meal – great friend…need I say more?

 

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How many trade shows would you say you’ve worked in your career? Why are they important?

I have been to about 280 + trade shows.  In this business, they are important for building relationships, being seen, and meeting new people.  For stylists, it’s great to come to the show to have fun, get motivated about your profession, and see what’s new.  They also serve drinks on the show floor.

 

Personal Mantra

“Help, Don’t Hinder”

 

What’s so great about Modern Salon?

I love our brand! We have a long, successful history and our audiences cherish it along with our digital and social products.  I also like the people I’m working with – they’re the best in salon media!