The beauty industry has its own version of the Greatest Show on Earth, and his name is Robert Cromeans. Entertaining, crazy-creative, talented, witty and energetic, he is known the world over as the ultimate platform artist and showman.
That’s the artistic side of Cromeans, but he also has a savvy business side as the owner of eight namesake salons in San Diego, Las Vegas and Oklahoma. His business advice spans generations—he has cheeky but spot on advice for salon owners and stylists alike. And, he knows what he’s talking about. He wants hairdressers to make amazing income and stresses they need to understand their numbers, and, as he recently said at the Data-Driven Salon conference: “If you don't like numbers, I can pay you in smiley faces."
Google his name and you can spend the day watching him tell his story in his authentic and fast-paced manner, but you might not know who he is when he’s off the stage. Here’s Robert Cromeans, unplugged.
ST: What time is your alarm set to wake you up in the morning?
Cromeans: On a non-flight day, I wake at 5 or 6 o’clock without an alarm clock.
ST: What’s for breakfast?
Cromeans: My breakfast is coffee (4 shot Americano) followed by more coffee.
ST: First item you like to cross off of your list of things to do?
Cromeans: Check to see if I'm alive and kicking.
ST: Which do you check first: email, Facebook, Twitter, or voicemail?
Cromeans: The weather changes from day today based on what's going on. Sometimes my emails are the most vital but I also look at an app called Zeezor that shows me daily performances from each hairdresser in each salon nationwide. Of course Facebook and Instagram come next as they are perfect for morning coffee.
ST: What time do you go in to the salons?
Cromeans: “I work in the salon taking guests once a month where I start at 10 a.m. but arrive by 9:30 to be ready for the morning Pow Wow! I do a lot of work by phone worldwide starting as early as 6am with conference calls and some show days we start at 5 AM with hair prep! Never a dull moment!”
ST: How much time do you spend there?
Cromeans: The salon day for me 10am-5pm and although I’m not necessarily in the business every day, I am working on the business all day every day!
ST: What’s for lunch?
Cromeans: I’m known to skip lunch--more of a nocturnal eating habits after work is done.
ST: Who do you wish you could have lunch with?
Cromeans: I would like to have lunch with every one of my fellow cosmetologists in the beauty industry--just one big massive lunch & we could change the world!
ST: Daily fitness ritual?
Cromeans: I like to walk the beach with my beautiful fiancé Mary with our toes in the sand, hand in hand. I also swim and surf a bit.
ST: Biggest waste of time on a daily basis?
Cromeans: It takes time to travel and in my career I have flown over 6,000,000 miles. I don't know if it's wasted time. I like to think of it more as time travel!
ST: What do you do when slacking off is an option?
Cromeans: I love movies! I think I've seen every movie ever made.
ST: When do you get your best ideas?
Cromeans: The Internet—take an idea from one person and you're stealing. Take it from many and it's called research… every day I am researching!
ST: Tell me something that would surprise me about you.
Cromeans: I started my career in the professional beauty industry while still in beauty school and it began in a warehouse in Memphis, Tennessee. I was a PILOT. They brought in the boxes and I piloted it!!!!!
ST: Cat, dog, both, or something else?
Cromeans: No pets, but I do have a money tree that John Paul DeJoria gifted me from a seedling. It died twice and the leaves fell off, and it was kidnapped once but now it is happy and healthy and blossoming!!
ST: Who does the cooking in your household?
Cromeans: I like to cook for Mary. I used to be a chef so I try to impress her with my culinary skills.
ST: What’s your favorite meal to cook?
Cromeans: Some of my best dishes are fried chicken, spaghetti carbonara, pepper steak & all sorts of potato dishes you can't even imagine!
ST: How do you unwind?
Cromeans: Wine, book, bath, meditation, TV, video games. Honestly just cuddling my beautiful fiancée makes me forget about everything--and I do like TV.
ST: What do you love about your life?
Cromeans: Hairdressing is a lifestyle and I get to celebrate one of the greatest in the beauty industry. I’m an internationally recognized icon, all because I joined a small company called Paul Mitchell back in the beginning.
ST: What would you change about the world if you could?
Cromeans: Transparency—Truth prevails but there's a lot of misdirection in the world both politically & in our media.
ST: What career would you have if you weren't a hairdresser?
Cromeans: People will say that I should've been a comedian, but I think I'm only funny to like-minded hairdressers! No matter what--I'm positive, and I love to be around people, so I would be working with people in some capacity.
ST: What would you tell your 18 year old self?
Cromeans: Be a hairdresser…NOW! I didn't start till I was 24 and my only regret in life is that I wish I'd started at 16. I can’t even imagine where I would be today if that were the case.
ST: What is the one thing you want to accomplish in your life?
Cromeans: I want to help the entire beauty industry to imagine their dreams and more importantly, live those dreams!
ST: What's the best invention of the 21st century in your opinion?
Cromeans: The edit machine is the best invention! It would be no fun watching a movie real time, it would be soooooo boring!
ST: What do you want to come back as in your next life?
Cromeans: In my next life I'd like to be a woman--I'd be really awesome at doing my own hair and everyone knows I like to dress up.