We met Toni Wells years and years ago when we were just baby Nerds. She is the Queen Mum of Number 4 High Performance Haircare and pretty much knows and has worked with everybody. One of those unsung heroes that work so much magic behind the scenes that she has allowed many of us to be better stylists without us even knowing it. We wanted to take this #EmpowHERment Friday as an opportunity to introduce you to a woman who gets shit done and has taught us a ton!
We asked a few of our friends who have had the chance to work with and be mentored by Toni over the years to share some of their stories about how she has changed their careers.
Tell us about how Toni has mentored you…
Toni isnt very hands on when it comes to management style. She kinda lets you figure it out as you go and then guides you as you need it. She is always willing to help you with anything in life. She’s helped me manage situations both within Number 4 and outside it. I call it Toni Wellsing the shit out of a situation. She always says, “come to me with a solution not a problem” which makes me work a lot out on my own and gives me the opportunity to find the answer in myself before looking elsewhere, yet walks me through how it will work, sound or be perceived. -Kat Nacario
Toni has the ability to read trends and see the future – so to speak. She has taught me to always keep an eye on trends, recognize fads as fads, and plan for the future in the present. Toni has also shown me how very important our personal brands are to us. From the products she has created, to the way in which they are presented/used by stylists and consumers. Toni always creates top quality products from concept to the hands of the user. Toni exemplifies the phrase “Start with the end in mind”. -Grace Moschella-O’Brien
Toni’s mentoring brings together the structure of a professional business woman and the “taking under the wing” characteristics of a loving aunt. She gives you the opportunities to learn for yourself, trusts in your decisions, but is always there to make sure she can help if you reach out. she has given me insights and direction to help with stage work, to a simple pk class. There hasn’t been a situation I have not learned something from Toni. For anyone who has the opportunity to sit in a room with Toni, consider yourself a TWIT, a Toni Wells In Training. -Max Sawicky
I have the pleasure to call Toni Wells a mentor and friend, I am forever grateful for the time we had together working with clients, meeting deadlines and traveling around the world growing the N4 brand. Toni taught me our business through a hands on approach by showing me how to build relationships, design marketing initiatives, & create unique opportunities to build a brand. What I didn’t realize at the time was Toni’s mentoring gave me priceless insight that helped me blossom in my career and I still cherish her advice to this day. She always says she “wants to leave you with a better resume than when you started” and that is definitely the case. -Taylor Cavalarro
Out of the mouth of Toni Wells…
Just do it and ask for forgiveness later. -Kat Nacario
“Don’t you think you deserve it?” She can turn any situation around by ending a sentence with this phrase. No matter what, people will have to say yes to that question, and it works amazingly well. Don’t get me wrong, it takes some guts to make a remark like that, and it sounds easier than it is.-Max Sawicky
“Ultimately it must be about the consumer, or it doesn’t matter.” This has helped me stay focused on the most important goal of the company, servicing our clients and creating products that they love. I also really like her advice not to “rest on your laurels,” which means that she is constantly working on improving, both herself and whatever project she may be working on. – Janae Rafael
“Whoever has the best story, wins” -Pat Owens
What skills has Toni helped you develop over the years?
Over the years Toni has taught me how to use my voice; to speak my truth, stand up for what I believe in and when silence is the best policy…Oh and that a fabulous bottle of wine is best enjoyed with friends. –Taylor Cavallaro
Details count, importance of merchandising well. -Pat Owens
Managing. People, situations, the perception and up. I’ve known I wanted to grow with Number 4 and each year I’ve been able to do that. I’ve always known that I’m good with people and I love helping others grow and to be part of a team. Toni has helped me build a team and lead it. She’s also taught me the art of managing a situation which sometimes is more important than managing people. Its all about the perception! I don’t always know how to get there but I know where I want to be and Toni has helped me draw a road map. She always says that she wants my resume to be better when I leave her than when I got here and it has although I don’t know that I’ll ever leave. -Kat Nacario
Toni is one of the hardest working women in the industry. She continues to inspire me by being a lifelong learner. Over the years I think I’ve learned to pay attention to everything and not hold back on my opinions. She’s also taught me about how to make a solid case for my recommendations and to always keep the company/team goals in mind. She is so good about listening to others and allowing everyone to have a say and an opinion. -Janae Rafael
On a personal note…
As many people have mentioned Toni leads by example and that is why we thing she is so amazing. Countless evenings have been spent together filling swag bags or developing strategy for an event. Toni happens to be the gatekeeper to one of our very favorite products ever and she has never turned us away when we show up with our hands out looking for shampoo or prep spray. We value her opinion so much that we often reach out to run our pie in the sky ideas by her. Toni Wells is the epitome of a female leader who has developed the skills and careers of so many women in this industry. -The Hair Nerds