One on One with Tev Finger: Focused on EducationIn the scope of the professional hair industry, Oribe Hair Care is still a relatively young company. Launched in 2009, its few years have been successful ones, with Forbes recently naming the company one of “America’s Most Promising Companies.” But co-presidents Tev Finger and Daniel Kaner aren’t ones to rest on their laurels – they’re making big strides in the educational realm with the goal of helping their network of salons and stylists grow right along with them. Recently, Finger granted SALON TODAY’s Stacey Soble a one-on-one interview on the company’s educational plans.

SALON TODAY: Tell us about the exciting educational developments that Oribe Hair Care has on the horizon.

Finger: We recently opened our New York City atelier on Broadway and Bond, a 1,500-square-foot space within steps of Soho’s amazing restaurants, shops and galleries. The atelier will house workshops and photo shoots throughout the year. We have a unique curriculum that focuses not only on hair, but also on photo shoots, art and referencing. All stylists at salons in the Oribe network are invited to attend our education events, and having this new space provides a wonderful environment for us to hang out with our partner salons. We are also building a Miami academy (currently under construction and set to open in 2015) that will house state-of-the-art business classes, with workshops on leadership, front desk management, stylist retailing strategies and more; plus, a plethora of cutting and styling classes. The academy will also have our very own hotel—with a swimming pool and bar—so that salon stylists can get a subsidized room rate and have everything catered to them while they attend our school. It’s all about white-glove customer service.

SALON TODAY: How do you think your educational philosophy differs from other professional brands?

Finger: We truly believe that we innovate—not as a word, but as a practice. We like to break rules; we like to deconstruct things and then put them back together in a new way. There is nothing in the market like the business classes we’re developing, and our talent pool for leading our cutting and styling classes is top-level, including some of the biggest names in the industry. Daniel Kaner, myself and Reuben Carranza will be taking a very hands-on approach in the academy and will be teaching many business classes…so, at the very least, you know you’ll have two inspiring professionals you’ll want to listen to -Daniel and Reuben!

SALON TODAY: Specifically, can you tell us how Oribe has addressed business education for owners/managers and what its plans for the future are in this area?

Finger: We’ve previously introduced Idealougue: Owners’ Forum, a one-day event that brought speakers from within the salon world and outside the industry together with salon owners and managers. With our new academy, we’ll be going much deeper and having a selection of classes year-round. Another difference is that we’ll have courses based on the experience level of the owner, as we recognize that new salon owners have different needs than those who have owned salons for many years.

SALON TODAY: In the arena of business education, how have you been combining outside experts with industry experts, as well as encouraging salon customers themselves to share best practices.

Finger: One of the things that makes our business education unique is that we love to share best practices, both from salon owners and from outside the industry. For example, The Four Seasons trains its employees to know hotel guests’ names from their luggage tags—how can stylists and owners use customer service like that in their salons? (Want to know the answer? You’ll have to come to our school…)

SALON TODAY: Why do you think, as a brand, it’s imperative to offer your salon customers both technical and business education?

Finger: We see business education and technical education as two sides of a coin; you can’t have one without the other. In our modern world, everyone is expected to cross-train and do more than one thing. The stakes are higher, and the training available has to follow suit.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.