click image to zoomOne of the images that helped Jackson Ruiz seize the NAHA Salon Team of the Year win in 2011. NAHA judging is now taking place for the July 2014 event. Have you ever thought about putting a team together in your salon? We talked to three owners who’ve successfully put together teams and won the prestigious NAHA Salon Team of the Year award for an inside look at the process.
Below, Allen Ruiz, co-owner of Jackson Ruiz (with co-founder Heath Smith) in Austin, Texas, (NAHA Salon Team of the Year winner in 2011) weighs in on his experience. Read our interviews with other past winners Anna Pacitto of Salon Pure and Steven Robertson of Lunatic Fringe Salon for their insights.
To see a gallery of winning images throughout the years, click here (http://www.probeauty.org/nahagallery/year/).
SALON TODAY: How did you choose who worked on your team? How many people were on the team?
Allen Ruiz: I like to look at what people’s strengths are and build a team around that. I need a great hair colorist, hairdresser, cutter, etc. I’ll appoint a lead person in each category and then partner them up with a support person. Five leads plus five support people equals a team of 10. That’s excluding wardrobe, photographer, make-up and creative director.
SALON TODAY: How soon before the deadline did you start developing your concept? What was your timeline like (hiring models, photographer, stylist, make-up, etc.)?
Ruiz: I like to have a concept ready to go three to four months prior to the shoot. I first book the photographer and shoot date and then work back from there, booking the make-up artist, wardrobe stylist and models.
SALON TODAY: Did you have a specific vision from the start that the team helped execute or was the whole team involved in the concept? What was your creative process like?
Ruiz: I take a very Tim Gunn/Project Runway approach to the creative process. I share with the team my vision for the shoot: “Designers, here’s your challenge,” and they then build on that vision through storyboarding.
They pull inspiration that they feel supports the vision. We all meet, put the images up on one board and begin to look for commonalities. We then break up the images into categories (i.e. texture, hair cutting, avant-garde, color, etc.). We assign each category to the already appointed team lead whose strength lies within that category.
Like Tim Gunn, as they are working if I see them straying too much from the vision I will reign them back in. This process seems to really work for us.