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July 2, 2018

2 Iconic Boss Babes Share How They Made It In Beauty

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2 Iconic Boss Babes Share How They Made It In Beauty 

If there’s one thing BTC Founder & Creative Director Mary Rector-Gable and Melisse Shaban, Founder and CEO of Virtue® Labs (formerly head of Aveda, The Body Shop and Frederic Fekkai) know, it’s how to make it in the beauty industry as a female entrepreneur. So they went LIVE on BTC University to share straight talk about what it takes to make it to the top. Here are seven tips from Mary and Melisse that’ll help you find success in the beauty business. 




1. What It Takes To Be Great  

One of the biggest questions stylists ask Mary is what she thinks are the key parts to success. To Mary, it’s about being curious and always saying yes while Melisse added that having an acute attention to detail is also crucial. 


  • Be curious. Both Mary and Melisse agreed that successful people are both life curious and intellectually curious. Never be satisfied with where you are at the moment, and keep looking for the next wave so you’re never behind it. “It’s very freeing to learn and to not be satisfied,” shared Melisse.


  • Just say yes. Say yes to coming in early. Say yes to staying late. Say yes to doing whatever is required. “What’s really important is to learn that people are watching no matter what you’re doing,” said Mary. “Whether you’re folding towels or cutting hair, do it the best you can because the people above you are going to be watching.”


  • Pay attention to details. Melisse said part of being successful involves having an acute attention to detail and the ability to bring out the best in the people around you, whether that means a comforting hug or a poke in the right direction. 


2. “Good Is The Enemy Of Great!”

Sound familiar? It’s Mary’s most famous quote and the mantra at BTC headquarters. Being good might be good enough for everybody else, but finding real success means ALWAYS striving for greatness. Going the extra mile. So many people do enough just to get it done. Greatness is in doing what nobody else is willing to do.  Once you reach a goal, find a bigger one because the minute you think you’ve reached the top, there’s only one way to go—and that’s down.


3. Build A Salon Culture Others Want To Be Part Of 

Salon owners listen up! Building a positive salon culture takes time, but always remember:

  • Hire slow and fire fast. Make sure the people you hire believe in your culture and become part of the dream.  


  • Don’t hold on to people who don’t fit your culture. Get rid of those who don’t want to be part of your plan and do it FAST! They become the break room drama makers and it’s so important to not allow negativity to overwhelm the positive you have going on.  


  • Hire for attitude and not just for aptitude! Once you have two or three of the right team members who are willing to work hard, and have the right attitude, it allows you to work with them to build your culture. Bring like-minded team members on board.  


  • Always celebrate positive team members with opportunity. This will make the negative nellies have less power! 


“Spend less time worrying about the negative and more time focusing on your brand,” says Melisse. “Set the bar higher and the people who don’t meet it will die off. It works itself out.”



4. Increase Social Media & Continue Salon Education

Instagram is the new business card, the new yellow pages and it’s FREE. Rally your team and teach them how to take the best pictures to show off your salon and their work. But don’t stop there. Get closer to your stylists, find out who they’re following and who they want to learn from, then bring those people in for salon education. Don’t think your stylists and colorists don’t want education. They just may want it from others you are not aware of- like social media stylists they follow and you don’t!  Stylists want education now more than ever.


5. Don’t Let Your Gender Hold You Back

First, believe that you can do anything. Then, surround yourself with like-minded people who push you to be better. “Women are relentless because we have to be. Women are a little impatient because we have to be,” says Melisse. “I think that relentlessness and that ability to manage a lot of things at the same time is part of our DNA.”


6. Know This Before Opening A Salon

We told you this live was going to be some straight talk—so when a viewer asked about opening a salon, Mary and Melisse served the realness! Here are three realities to consider before opening a salon:


  • Not everyone is cut out to be a salon owner. Just because you’re good behind the chair doesn’t mean you understand how to run a business—because that’s what it is. So many people think because they know how to cut and color and have a full book, that’s a good enough reason. But, it’s not. When you own a business, you never go home—you’re always working in your head and behind the chair.  


  • It’s a hard business and it’s hard to make money. Owning a salon is a work of passion and love, not a way to get rich fast. You need business classes! Most salon owners, great ones, are lucky if they make 10 percent in profit. Keep this in mind! 


  • Running a business also means enduring failures. Don’t make excuses for your failures because you can do that all day, says Mary. Instead, focus on how you can win. Then, you won’t have time to focus on the negative because you’ll be too busy planning.


7. Embrace The Struggle

If anything, take comfort in the fact that most successful people didn’t make it to the top without some sort of struggle. We grow in times of hardship and chaos. We grow in times of difficulty. Remember that and embrace the struggle! And stay passionate about what you’re doing! When times get really bad, passion is the only thing that will keep you going. “You’re going to come out on the other side,” says Melisse. “You just need to hang on, and you have to support the idea that the business is changing.”



Want more advice from Mary? Check out HOW TO TAKE PICTURES tips from her and @shmeggsandbaconn!

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Melisse Shaban