What is the number-one quality you look for when hiring employees, and how do you evaluate if they possess that trait?
Passion coupled with a great attitude. I can teach almost anyone to color hair, but what I cannot do is give them passion or a great attitude. I also look for people who honestly know what they can offer and who can honestly evaluate their own worth to the organization. I can evaluate pretty quickly if a person has “got it” or not. As I always say, “Turn the new horse loose with the others in the pasture—and watch.”
The others will, at first, ignore, and then be a bit nasty to the new horse. Continue watching. Emotionally intelligent people learn what makes the group tick. They fit or they don’t. People try very hard at the beginning. But it becomes pretty clear rather quickly if there isn’t passion or a great attitude.
What’s the best thing an employee/colleague ever said about you?
That I “made” their career, and that the success they enjoy came from what I taught them. With my color brand, colorists tell me that finally color makes sense and does what it says it will do. That makes me feel wonderful.
If you were training another woman to takeover your job, what’s the most important advice you would offer her?
I would tell her to be good to herself and her health—to rest enough, to work to the most focused capacity, to get to know everybody in this business, and to realize we can never do enough for the hairdresser. I would tell her to never stop learning and to be a student of color all her life. I would teach her to feel comfortable speaking to people—three people or 3,000 people. I would tell her to be brave. Being brave is harder than you can ever imagine. I would tell her that women CAN do everything, just not all at the same time. I’d tell her that people are our most important asset, and that working as a team member is so much better than trying to do it alone. I’d teach her that she MUST have good writing skills.
Also, eat veggies, take hot baths, and take good care of your skin and hair! NEVER go around with roots. Enjoy being a woman as well as a working woman!
If you were to look at scrapbook of your professional career, what would be your favorite page? Which page would you like to remove?
The best is the day I introduced Beth Minardi Signature Shades to my first group of salon professionals. My other favorite pages are the days I met Sara Jones, Ron Krassin, Jim Morrison, Paula Kent and Robert Oppenheim. Another great day was the grand opening of Minardi Salon. And before that, the first day I walked into my own office at Clairol—I was 26. I have won several amazing awards—receiving them were great pages for my scrapbook. Also, bringing my two-year-old daughter on stage with me at Haircolor USA with Leland Hirsch so many years ago was a favorite. My worst page was walking out of Minardi Salon for the very last time. I lived so much of my professional life there. That day was black for me.