What is the number-one quality you look for when hiring employees, and how do you evaluate if they possess that trait?
I look for their love and commitment. We conduct an extensive interview process with our candidates, which include two to three days of shadowing myself or a senior stylist. All traits, both good and bad, easily come to the surface while on the floor.
What’s the best thing an employee/colleague ever said about you?
Sally Schoen, Global Education at Wella Corporation, told me I was a leader. It brought me to tears because she inspires me so much. I love the way she treats people and for her to say she admires the way I treat people was bliss!
If you were training another woman to take over your job, what’s the most important advice you would offer her?
I would advise her to quickly learn to successfully juggle many tasks, surrender to a great team and surround herself with them. Always make decisions steeped in faith, and that will only empower the brand, the staff, the guests and the community in which she serves.
If you were to look at scrapbook of your professional career, what would be your favorite page? Which page would you like to remove?
My favorite would be any page involving empowering others through charity or continuing education. I wouldn’t remove a thing—this is God’s plan and I’m simply doing his will.
If someone were to write a book about your life, what would be an appropriate title?
Diane Cole Stevens: The Journey to Mastering All Textures
If you weren’t in the beauty industry, what would you be doing?
Not in the beauty industry? Really? I’d be retired from the industry and on an island with my husband and business partner, Avon, while my three children successfully managed the brand.
What are you working on now? What’s your next professional step?
I’m currently publishing a motivational and inspirational coffee table book with images of our salon photo shoots over the past 10 years and also including visuals of our work at the Cinderella Foundation (for at-risk girls in Washington DC and Sierra Leone).
How would you like to spend your retirement?
I would love to rest, relax and reflect by hosting one workshop per month to inspire cosmetologists to invest in their cosmetology craft, learn the importance of work/life balance, meditate daily and give thanks to our Lord and savior for everything. I’d also teach the importance of charity—always reach back to help someone in need