Owner, Eva Scrivo Salons in New York, author and television and radio personality
Eva Scrivo has built a business, as well as a media persona, on the foundation of beauty. A highly acclaimed hair and makeup artist, she is the owner of two New York City-based Eva Scrivo Salons, the author of Eva Scrivo on Beauty: The Tools, Techniques and Insider Knowledge Every Woman Needs to Be Her Most Beautiful, Confident Self, and a television and radio personality. For several years, she was the resident beauty expert on NBC’s Martha,and is a frequent guest on The Dr. Oz show, Extra, Katie Couric Show, CBS Early Show, Good Morning America, Good Day New York and Lifetime’s Balancing Act. Having worked with thousands of women, Scrivo is especially known for the masterful makeover, which draws clients from around the country.
From where does your entrepreneurial drive originate?
From having to be self-reliant since childhood. My parents divorced when I was quite young, which made me very independent. Because I grew up in the Midwest and came from humble beginnings, I somehow inherently knew that life had the potential to be more beautiful. Professionally, I have been working on my own since moving to NYC at age 21. I’ve always had very high standards, along with a strong sense of how things should be done and how clients should be treated and made to feel. The only way I could make that work is by doing it on my own, even if it meant starting a salon out of my fourth-floor walk-up, one-bedroom apartment (my first business venture!). The bar in the industry was so low at that time (and we still have a long way to go) that I still felt my clients were getting a superior experience.
When I met my husband, we both realized that one of the attributes we shared was an entrepreneurial spirit, and that together we could really make things happen! I truly believe that it is only through great partnerships that you can achieve greatness.
As you grew your company/brand, what “ah-ha” moments of clarity helped you shape its future course?
When my husband and I first went into business together and opened a fairly large salon (previously I had been working on my own with my sister and an assistant out of a three-chair salon), we really didn’t understand how to build this type of business. We began hiring random hairdressers we thought would be a good fit, and boy were we wrong! Within about a year and a half our business was in absolute turmoil and we realized we had to fire nearly everyone and start over. So that’s what we did, taking a big financial hit in the process. This was a very difficult way to learn that the only way to build a culture and a sustainable business in this industry is to train your own people rather than hire established stylists. Today, nearly every stylist and colorist who works at our salons started out with us as an assistant.
As you shaped your company, what have been some of the biggest stumbling blocks?