Editor Blog: Advice from Christopher Dove and John Simpson

Kelsey Murray here, the new digital editor at American Salon magazine. This is my first job in the professional beauty industry, so follow along as I navigate my way through beauty shows, brand events, photo shoots and interviews. This blog is a behind-the-scenes look at my first year in the industry.

I, along with the American Salon team, covered the Premiere Orlando show at the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center from May 30 to June 1, 2015, where the industry's newest products were displayed all under one roof.

On the second day of the show I found myself wandering around the artist prep rooms, hoping to see familiar faces; faces I had seen scrolling Instagram, in my Facebook newsfeed, in the Premiere Orlando show guide – or in the pages of American Salon. I was hoping to snap a selfie or two and catch an interview on the fly with an industry superstar. Luckily, Christopher Dove and John Simpson, long time educators and iconic platform artists who recently launched a creative education brand called CoCre8, were in their prep room. I peeked inside, introduced myself as the American Salon Digital Editor and asked if I could have a moment of their time. They graciously agreed to a few minutes. With not much time I asked them the first question I ask everyone I first meet in this industry.  

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Kelsey: What is your best piece of advice for hairdressers entering the beauty industry?

Christopher Dove: Get as much education as possible, attend as many classes as you can, …and know that really you can never get too much education. You may learn from Sassoon that precision cutting is important and “it’s the only way to cut hair”. But then you go to another class and they are teaching a more freehand approach. Everyone will teach you something different (their own language if you will). Absorb it all in. Take everything that you think you can use and adapt it to your own style.

John Simpson: Also within each brand, you’re going to find different cultures and styles. Learn all of them and then create and establish what you love to do. You can be a fan of one product, or one culture, but it’s really about finding what feels authentic to you. Connecting with ideas, techniques and cultures that bring out the most honest and true version of you. Ask yourself: “What are you going to create as an individual artist.”

As I let their advice seep in, my mind began to wander over the past few months. Having been to my fair share of beauty shows, brand affiliated events and educational classes; I’ve subconsciously started to understand the history and culture behind each brand. I’ve gotten to understand what each educator brings to the table, what technique they are best known for and what product line they represent. What both Chris and John reminded me to do: keep my perspective open-minded. Think of this wonderful, energetic, historically rich industry as a big puzzle. Each person, each brand, each technique has it’s own place and it’s up to me to learn and absorb every part in order to correctly tell every story as best I as I can.

About: Kelsey Murray is Digital Editor of American Salon. She holds a B.A. in English and Film Studies from Salve Regina University in Boston and an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University. Prior to joining American Salon, Kelsey worked as lead fashion stylist and digital media coordinator at Kyle Alexandra Wardrobe & Style Consulting. She currently creates content for her own fashion and lifestyle blog Tickle Me Pink (ticklemepinkstyle.blogspot.com). 

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