Sandra Smith; Former Salon Owner and Matrix Artistic Director; Dalton, Georgia
Matrix Artistic Director and Mentor Sandra Smith and her husband, Brian, have been a dynamic duo for 26 years. The former owners of two salons (Ritz Hair Design and Ritz International), Sandra and Brian have appeared before audiences all over the world and are 10-time finalists and three-time NAHA winners in the Avant Garde, Haircolor and Masters categories. Over the years, Sandra has learned to balance her globe-trotting educational endeavors with the raising of three children and the spoiling of five grandchildren.
Do you believe a woman in the professional beauty industry can “have it all?” And, what does that mean to you?
“I actually think the statement is very personal and relevant to the individual. For example, an Olympic champion wouldn’t apply to me, even though she’s a very strong woman. Personally, I love my family and my career both. It’s the same characteristics in my career as family that are important—purpose, passion, value, opportunities, achievement, fulfillment, happiness, meaning, support, fun, harmony, balance and challenge. So in my spouse and in the people I work with I get to share, help and have an influence. Arnie Miller used to say, “Love what you do, love who you do it for, love who you do it with.” I think that’s impactful.”
In the pursuit of “having it all,” what sacrifices have you had to make, if any? “Truly, life is about options and choices, and it isn’t always easy. Every day is different. I might give you a different answer on different days. I choose to look at having it all as freedoms, opportunities and challenges. If you feel like you made a sacrifice, it is still rewarding in the end one way or the other. When my daughter was growing up there were occasionally missed events. But for the big events, I tried to plan in advance. However, I remember crying on the plane all the way to my destination once because I was missing her cheerleading tryouts. But when I got there, I called immediately and she made the team!”
If we were looking through a scrapbook of your life, what would be your favorite page?
“My family page. Together, Brian and I have three children and five grandchildren. But if I had to pick one big thing it would be the birth of my daughter. It was something I had always hoped for and wasn’t sure I would be able to have, and I was with her when her kids were born.”