Escaping the 100-degree heat on an early Scottsdale, Arizona, morning, a sellout crowd of eager salon and spa owners, managers and stylists packed the ballroom at the Camelback Inn for the 2013 Millennium Experience. As they found their seats, a video montage of past educational events set to a song created specifically this year's theme, "Turn Your Dreams Into Reality: Learn, Network, Inspire."
As the music closed, the Electrolytes, MTV's number one dance group, energized the stage with a fast-paced number before revealing John Harms, the founder and CEO of Millennium by Harms Software. "I was lucky enough to fall in love with the beauty industry," Harms told attendees. "I was a software developer and a salon who needed help found me. Then I discovered what I really loved was using that technology to help people grow their businesses."
As Harms shared his dream, he told the audience that as his dreams became reality, he discovered new dreams. But Harms' story came with a lesson: "Don't get so caught up in chasing the next dream that you forget to focus on today. Each day, find a reason to celebrate today's successes, and help someone else achieve their dreams. That's what this conference is all about."
Then Harms introduced his co-host, Robert Cromeans, who also is a Millennium customer with his salons in San Diego, Las Vegas and Tulsa. Cromeans jokingly referred to himself as a platform artist, "which really means I'm a hairdresser from another town."
But Cromeans also had some words of wisdom for the group:
"Stylists say they don't like numbers but try paying them in happy faces and see how much they like that."
"The way to show off in the modern world is through experience. Push up the volume and give your clients a positive, memorable experience."
And, "Pick an apple from the tree and not the barrel--take a student and grow them instead of hiring someone with a full book the baggage that goes with it."
With that he introduced a runway of movie-inspired looks from the students of Phoenix's Penrose Academy, owned by Jill and Burt Kohler. Starring students as models, fellow students created the hair, makeup and fashions for five looks each for Django Unchained, Great Gatsby and Ironman.