It’s fair to say that with over 600 hairstylists working in their salons across the country, Vivo’s co-owners, James Carlisle and Lynden Mason, have had the opportunity to witness and talk with thousands of stylists over the years. “We have worked with every kind of stylist; from young apprentices to those who have been in the trade for more than 40 years,” Lynden reflects. “We have seen some stylists' careers stall, while others go from strength to strength.” The Vivo directors have a name for these people - Superstar Stylists.
What qualifies someone as a 'Superstar Stylist'? James and Lynden agree it’s the stylists who are always learning and keeping their skill-set fresh, who have developed a large and loyal client base. “And of course,” James says, “it’s a stylist who really loves what they do.” Lynden agrees. “There are lots of aspects to a hairdresser’s career, but it’s the understanding of ‘why’ that makes the difference. I've found that many people are focused on “what” they do in a career. Here's an example. A stylist has a half head of foils booked. They give this client a technically solid half head of foils but the client does not return again. Nothing went wrong with the service and the stylist is confused as to why the client doesn't return. This stylist is focused on ‘what’ they do: apply colour, cut hair, blow-dry and style. By doing this, they miss the major component of why a person visits a hair salon."
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” - Maya Angelou
A “what” mentality limits a person's perspective. Superstar Stylists understand clients have limited understanding of how to achieve their ideas, and the Superstar Stylist thinks about why the client is really in the chair and what the client actually wants. This person wants to feel amazing and it’s up to the stylist to develop the pathway to this vision.
“People tell everyone they know about an amazing experience. Ultimately, that’s why a client returns to a salon over and over again. It’s not just about technically great hair - It’s about an experience that leaves them feeling fantastic about themselves too."
The WHY is the purpose of the Superstar Stylist. They understand monetary reward is just a side-effect, not the main motivator. “Focusing on making money from your clients is never going to make you money, because this encourages negative behaviours that are counterproductive to making clients feel their best,” says James. “Focusing on making your clients feel amazing will lead to financial success.” Lynden interjects. “People tell everyone they know about an amazing experience. Ultimately, that’s why a client returns to a salon over and over again. It’s not just about technically great hair - It’s about an experience that leaves them feeling fantastic about themselves too."
The take-home message is this: the day a stylist wakes up with the belief they are going to find ways to make their clients feel amazing, and that truly becomes their purpose, a whole new level of happiness and fulfilment will be unlocked for clients, colleagues and themselves. As a stylist’s reputation grows, financial success will be a natural consequence to this positive mind-set. There is a famous quote that reads: “When you do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.” The key to this is finding your WHY.
Headway Magazine, Spring 2018 - Content by Tereze Taber with James Carlisle and Lynden Mason, co-owners of Vivo Hair & Beauty