Women on Having it All: Cynthia PorcelliCynthia Porcelli, Co-Owner of Genacelli Salon, Chicago, Illinois

Cynthia Porcelli opened her first salon in 1983 after being exposed to the amazing passion of her great uncle Raymond Raines, a successful salon owner, former president of Cosmetologists Chicago and an award-winning hairdresser in the 1950s and 60s. Today, Cynthia co-owns Genacelli Salon and The East Studio with Joseph Cartagena, the current vice president of Cosmetologists Chicago. As the directors of the salons’ business and professional development, she is a hands-on owner who devotes time daily to her stylists development and continually strives to create diversity and success in her salons.

Do you believe a woman in the professional beauty industry can “Have it all” and what does that mean to you?

Having it all is a concept that’s different for everyone. I believe as a creative woman I can achieve anything I strive for. There is an art to everything.”

In the pursuit of “having it all”, what sacrifices have you had to make, if any?

“There have been a few challenging choices, but I would not call them sacrifices. Each choice had its own destiny and its own reward.”

If we were looking through a scrapbook of your life, what page would be your favorite page?

“My trip to Paris with my husband. Everything was perfect. I was in my favorite city surrounded by art and history, enjoying wonderful food and wine and sharing it all with the love of my life.”

If we were looking through a scrapbook of your life, what page would you want to rewrite?

“The day my mother died. She was only 48, and I was 27 and in the middle of building out my first salon. She never had the chance to have her hair styled there.”

What’s your favorite tool or strategy for maintaining balance in your life?

“I make reservations for dinner.”

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you, and how did it change your life?

“Ask questions, listen to what others have to say before you speak and be clear with your intensions. It has enabled me to make sound decisions personally and professionally.”

What wisdom would you share with a young woman entering a career in the professional beauty industry?

“Leave your ego at the door and keep the lid off your box.”

What keeps you up at night?

“A new idea.”

What makes you feel powerful?

“Channeling creativity at ground level, developing an idea and implementing it with others.”

What’s the best thing anyone’s ever told you about yourself?

“That I am a champion for change.”

What do you hope to achieve in the next five years?

“It takes the right person to shake things up and make things happen. I am dedicated to uplifting young people interested in hairdressing, inspire them to follow and realize their dreams, develop leadership within my team and continue to foster excellence in everything we do, in and out of the salon.”

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