If you could interview any professional salon leader, who would it be and what would you ask?
We invited Gary Howse, co-owner of Gary.Manuel Salon in Seattle, Washington, to be the reporter. He picked Antoinette Beenders, Aveda's vice president of creative. Here's part of their conversation:
Where do you most comfortably find your inspiration?
Beenders: Nature is a wonderful source of inspiration, so are people, and I also love fashion and photography. I have the privilege of traveling around the world for my work-I get to see faces, places, art and architecture that all spark my imagination. In the next few weeks, I am off to Tokyo and Kathmandu, where I'll soak up everything like a sponge.
What four people do you most admire in our industry and why?
Beenders: The beauty of the hairdressing industry is the infinite talent, vision and compassion that characterize its members. I am grateful to Trevor Sorbie for exposing me to a wonderful craft; to Horst Rechelbacher for challenging me with natural products; to Christiian, for his ability to make me look at hair in a completely different way; and to Dominique Conseil, for opening my eyes to the environment.
What do you consider your most important achievement to date?
Beenders: Winning British Hairdresser of the Year and twice receiving the Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year award were tremendously proud moments for me. But I'm also very proud of the work I do every day at Aveda, where I'm responsible for all aspects of the brand image. I also maintain clientele on two continents! It's quite thrilling to have such a multi-faceted job, working in the artistic realm of hairdressing, while also driving the creative side of producing a brand image.
What predictions do you have that will forever change our industry?
Beenders: The demand for plant-based and organic products continues to grow as people realize they're good for our health and well-being, not to mention better for the planet. Consumers are also becoming far more aware of the importance of sustainability and ethical business practices.
What do you wish you could do that you have been unable to do thus far in your career?
Beenders: My passion is imagery-perhaps to win an award for Aveda's advertising-that would be nice. That I would quite fancy.