Three years ago, Corey Gray and Tony Stuart decided to jump on the Podcast wagon and create content dedicated to the professional salon industry. The two Maryland-based hairdressers, who have been friends since 1985, brainstormed on topics, bought equipment, transformed a room in Gray’s house into a “studio,” and started reaching out to friends in the beauty world to be their guests.
Forming “Hairdustry” as their brand, Gray and Stuart (who each work behind the chair four days a week) take “their day off” to record 30-60 minute podcasts to spotlight and celebrate people in the beauty business. New episodes are released Mondays and Thursdays. Now, 360 podcasts later, the duo have decided to share some insight into their journey.
ST: Why did you start the podcast?
Gray: We have always been fans of the industry and the people that stand two feet behind their chairs. We wanted to share the stories of beauty professionals. We have learned how incredibly rich those stories have been. We honor and celebrate those stories and people.
ST: What have been some of the greatest challenges in putting together a podcast?
Stuart: Staying consistent early on can be a challenge as you are finding your voice. I encourage anyone interested in this platform to stay the course. We knew how we wanted the podcast to sound like, but actually making it happen took time, patience and a learning curve.
Gray: All and all, I feel lucky that we haven’t had much friction. There have been a few technical challenge—how do you even produce a podcast from the gear to the software perspective! We’re hairdressers, not professional broadcasters. Personally, I suffer from ‘the imposter syndrome’—can an aging hairstylist still be relevant in this space? And, of course there’s the show challenge—how to best honor our industry, our guest and our listeners.
ST: Which have been some of your favorite moments in putting these podcasts together?
Stuart: Outside of being with my homey and enjoying the moments of him messing up our guest names (this has become an inside joke as Corey ALWAYS messes up names), but seriously my favorite moments are meeting and learning from so many in our industry to learn how they overcame struggles to then making a cool mil behind the chair.
Gray: My favorite moments are many, but especially meeting and talking to a few of the industry legends is first and foremost. The friendships that have developed are innumerable and then meeting many people on the show floors is just the icing on the cake. But my single favorite “moment” is building and enjoying this whole journey with my best bud Tony.
ST: Which three podcast episodes should all salon pros listen to in order to help advance their careers?
Stuart: For me, it’s:
- Bryan Nunes (August 2018)—from saving his tips to traveling the world for a year to then opening a SALON OF THE YEAR/SALON TODAY 200-honored salon is a great story. Bryan talks about what it takes to accomplish your dreams.
- Peter Mahoney (January 2019)—leasing for profit, for anyone who is thinking about opening a salon, this is a ‘must listen’ when it comes to negotiating your lease.
- Leysa Carillo (May 2019)—if you think something is impossible then listen to this for inspiration. Leysa shows you anything is possible if you want it bad enough. This is a tearjerker for sure.
Gray: And, for me, it’s:
- Daniel Mason Jones (December 2018)—I’m a huge believer in giving and receiving permission. Daniel makes more than a million dollars a year behind his chair. In the first episode, we all cried at the table as Daniel recounted his upbringing as a gay kid in a southern religious community. The permission he gives is not to fall victim to your life, and to flourish in spite of it. We can all use those reminders.
- Sofie Staygold @staygold31 (October 2019)—Sofie infiltrated ‘boy culture’ and succeeded at the highest levels, regardless of stereotypes. She proves that talent, consistency and resiliency are the real keys to success.
- Olivia Smalley@omgartistry (September 2018): Can we talk super women for a minute?!? Olivia is as smart as they come and blazing her own path in the beauty industry. She’s the queen of the hacks and in this episode she gives away ALL her social media IG hacks.
- (Bonus Mention) Michael Cole’s Sober (October 2018): This interview is an incredible honor we hold. This was the first time Michael ever went public about his addictions and his struggles to stay clean. This episode was powerful and emotional.
ST: What does the future hold for the Your Day Off Guys?
Stuart: For the immediate future we’re looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and connecting with friends we’ve created through the pandemic. Come and fall in love with the hair industry with us.
Gray: The immediate future is to start traveling again. We can’t wait to get back to the shows to meet people and celebrate each other. Please, if you see us at a show, come say hell—we would love to meet you.
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