SALON TODAY: What would you do differently if you entered again?
Ruiz: I would have scheduled a day to review wardrobe. We went into the shoot having previously discussed wardrobe concepts but not having seen the items we would be working with.There were definitely some additional items I would have liked to have. By having done a walk-through a couple days before it would have given the stylist additional time to pull the items I felt we still needed.
SALON TODAY: What do you think set you apart from the others in your category, making you the winner?
Ruiz: A Salon Team entry should be a collective effort, supported by images showcasing a wide-range of skills. We tried to show a full-range of everything. I really think our process for selecting a team based on individual strengths really lends to that end result.
SALON TODAY: How important is the dynamic on the team? Did personalities ever clash? Were disagreements productive in the end?
Ruiz: I think having one creative director with final say keeps team disagreements to a minimum. Some people’s work won’t make the cut and they get that. That’s also what motivates them.
SALON TODAY: What advice would you give to a salon team that’s considering entering this category? Was it a good team-building process?
Ruiz: Putting a group of hairdressers together is like herding cats. You really need to have one person who’s creative director and keeps the team on track of the vision. Based on that, my advice would be to watch Project Runway and decide who is going to be Tim Gunn and then empower them with full leadership and creative direction.
Having a creative director for your shoot is key to its success.
SALON TODAY: Finally, how did the experience help you in your every day work at the salon?
Ruiz: The work my team does behind the chair every day is their bread and butter. These team shoots are a creative outlet for them. It keeps them motivated and gives them a voice in the industry. They get to show the work off to their peers and their clients. At the end of the day having a motivated and inspired staff is critical to running a successful salon business.
Interview conducted and story written by Laurel Nelson, contributing editor for SALON TODAY.