5 years can change a person. Describe a day in the life of Steven today…
I wake up around 7:30, hang out with my partner and our two pups over a cup of coffee for about an hour before I head off to the salon. I work from 9am to 6:00, 7:00 or 8:00, depending on the schedule. My assistant and I keep a tight schedule that rarely runs behind. It’s about the only thing that gives me anxiety in the salon…when I feel like someone won’t be done by the time I tell them they were going to be. We don’t take scheduled lunches. Just eat whenever we can throughout the day. After the clients, I close out my numbers and log color formulas if any changed and track my retail sales daily. We make a quick log of inventory in case we need to stop at the supply store the next morning. Then I head home. My partner makes dinner most of the time. Thank God. We hang out and eat, catch up on any series of that we are watching (currently Game of Thrones and America’s Got Talent!) and am to sleep by 10:00/10:30. And then Groundhog’s Day all over again the next morning. Isn’t adulting a real treat 😉
What advice would Steven today tell Little Steven on his graduation day from beauty school?
Don’t narrow yourself in to one part of the hair world so quickly. I used to hate coloring hair because I was bad at it and that was it so I just didn’t really do it. Then one day I changed my mind and now it’s 90% of my salon services. I also had zero desire to work in a salon and solely wanted to do editorial work. Which makes you almost no money most of the time. And now I spend 50+ hours a week in the salon and generally enjoy every moment of it. Except when “those clients” come in 😉
5 years ago we asked you “What do you feel is the biggest issue in the industry today?” You said entitlement. Has it changed? Why?
I still feel entitlement is an issue, but an issue salons are just going to have to adapt to apparently. So we move forward. Currently, I feel there is an issue with the professional product manufacturers selling out to mega-retailers, Bumble with Ulta and Sephora, Oribe and R+Co with their recent Amazon agreement. Others will follow suit. That’s a problem for salon profits. I would imagine we’ll start seeing less salons capable of staying in business, with fewer employment options for hair school graduates. And to be honest, it’s the hairdressers that believe “I’m not a sales person” fault. If only 3 out of 10 hairdressers sale retail in the salon, the manufactures need to recapture profit in another market now or our beloved products we love don’t get developed. Exclusivity to the professional industry can’t be one sided.
If you were a cocktail, what would you be and why?
A shot of vodka. Reliable each and every time and always gets the job done. Plus that’s what I drink after a days work if I feel like my clients mentally ruined me life that day. Which is basically everyday
You said that Help Portrait was the most rewarding thing you had gotten to be a part of in your career. What other amazing opportunities have come up in the last 5 years?
They stopped doing Help Portrait a number of years ago, which was a real shame. Having had clients now for 7+ years, it has been rewarding being able to watch my clients grow and help them out when they’re in need, whether it’s a financial struggle, sending them flowers if they’re injured or getting to go to their family events. One time I got to help fly a client to Alaska to see her first grand baby born because it just wasn’t lining up for her. I remember the day when one of my kid clients feet were finally able to touch the floor at the shampoo bowl. I wouldn’t be able to offer those kinds of things if I didn’t have such a loyal clientele to begin with. Minus the occasional psycho, my clients have helped create a great life for my partner and me and I like to give back to them when I can.
How have you maintained balance in your life?
I have almost zero balance. It can be a problem sometimes. Most of the time I can get through it, but I have those days where I just want to burn my house and the salon right to the ground. My partner and our two puppies keep me focused.
Describe yourself using only emojis.
😒 🙄 🙃
Name one of your current #HairstylistProblems.
Having a new client show me a picture that’s clearly foiled, but re-rooted afterwards and them saying, “I only want balayage on my hair like this picture”.
Best / worse advice you’ve ever been given.
Worse: Be a yes person.
Best: Learn to say no (after being a yes person for years).
What products would you [gasp] pay retail for?
I love Shu Uemura anything. Given I’m bald and have that awkward receding hairline, I can’t really use anything personally. To top it off, I have a bit of seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp. You’ll never see me without a hat. Conveniently a new product line called Cult & King has come out that has a bomb ass Tonik Spray that has literally the best ingredient list ever, the first being Witch Hazel, which clears up my dry dead scalp without having to use steroid creams anymore. Love. Absolutely love.
What do you see the next 5 years looking like?
I’m working on a new salon concept here in Salt Lake City that I hope to have all dialed in by the end of the year so I can begin the opening process which is probably an even bigger pain in the ass. It’s stressful but is going to be exciting! Our growing city is in need some more salon competition and options for services.
Want to stalk Steven?