Sydney Berry

President and Owner, Salon Services and Supplies

Renton, Washington

Licensed: In 1973, after attending Reece and Sybil in Lincoln, Nebraska

Affiliations: PBA, in which she currently serves on its leadership council and board of directors

AFTER TAKING TURNS at being a stylist then a salon owner, Sydney Berry ‘decided to pursue a new role as a sales consultant for a distributor. Today, she owns that distributorship along with her husband Miles Berry and their business partner George Learned Berry has long been admired for her perseverance in encouraging her salon customers to network with one another and share best practices, and for her leadership role within the professional beauty industry to raise the bar for all.

Who were your mentors along the way? “My parents taught me love of family, and being raised on a farm taught me resiliency as only Mother Nature can! I learn continuously from my immediate family and friends, and professionally Jane Wurwand, Geri Cusenza, Jill Kohler, Renee Shakour, Debra Neill Baker, Stacy Kurtz, Sally Brower and Karen Shea are all women who manifest their vision with their actions!”

How has being a woman made your career path harder or easier? “Opinions and assessment created difficulty with attaining the transition with the initial ‘boys’ club but times have changed. At This time, I don’t see being a woman as an asset or a challenge—success is dependent upon your commitment. But I do believe our industry is NOT as well versed in understanding the needs or is as supportive as it could be considering the majority of our consumers and stylists are female.”

What would you consider your biggest professional break? “The opportunity to partner with George Learned in ownership of SSS, as he is fearless and my continual supporter, plus he teaches me by his relentless energy in pursuit of creating success for our company, our staff and our industry.”

What’s the best business advice anyone ever gave you? “You have a choice in how you respond to life—it is the only control you personally have in every encounter life’s journey takes you.

What business achievement are you most proud of? “The ownership of Salon Services and my staff’s dedication in serving the beauty industry. Also, the creation and facilitation of a salon owners’ networking group (Club 40) for 25 years in sharing and building upon the strengths of one another to raise the bar of our industry. To be able to connect in an industry that can be isolating for the owner who doesn’t have the opportunity to network is so important.”

What’s the best business book you ever read? “The Dr Seuss book, Oh, the Places You Will Go, as it illustrates our life journey, which is infinite, as we view it as a child. My grandson, Kanon, teaches me continuously as his is my muse in challenging me to play, dream and grow.”

What do you hope to achieve in the next five years? “Ask anyone who is in my world, and they would say, ‘She is never satisfied,’ as I push, prod, and provoke myself and others to grow. Achievement would be to relish in the gift of the present state of being and say to myself, job well done today.”

“Ask anyone, and they will say I push, prod and provoke myself and others to grow. Achievement would be to say to myself, ‘Job well done today.’”

—Sydney Berry