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.
On Sunday, March 1, 2015 the R+Co Collective—industry icons and brand co-founders, Garren, Howard McLaren and Thom Priano—made its first stop on the R+Co Tour to educate and inspire stylists. Hairdressers, beauty industry leaders and editors, like myself, trekked through the snowy, cold conditions to The New School in New York City for a moderated panel discussion and live cutting demonstrations.
The panel discussion setup was inspired by the popular TV show, Inside the Actors Studio, which was originally filmed in the same auditorium. The show features a one-on-one interview with host and executive producer James Lipton, who asks celebrities open-ended questions about their life and their craft, turning them from stars into teachers.
Given that Garren, McLaren and Priano are hairstylists to the stars, it was the perfect setting in which to hear to three distinct perspectives on the beauty industry, the R+Co brand and the business world.
As a newbie to the beauty industry, I assumed that many of the answers to their questions would help me learn about styling and cutting, products and hair texture. Instead, I found that their advice not only applied to hairstylists, but to my life. Coming from a primarily fashion and editorial background, I definitely have a lot to learn about the beauty world. Like any young professional, my short career has had its ups-and-downs, so it was refreshing to hear that it’s the same in every industry.
At one point the three stylists were asked a question about success: How have they maintained their success in this ever-changing industry? While they all had a different way of answering, they came up with a similar message: Never stop learning. Stagnation is the ultimate weakness.
And with that answer I learned something not only about hairstylists, about the beauty industry, but also about myself. Just as cutting and coloring techniques evolve, so too will my knowledge of writing, editing and storytelling.
At the end of the day, no matter what industry or path you are pursuing, if you’re not learning, if you’re not progressing, if you’re not evolving, you’re not reaching your full potential. And, with the help and support of this amazing community of salon professionals, mentors and role models, I can’t wait to reach mine.
About R+Co: A collective of some of the most knowledgeable, forward-thinking, rule-bending hairstylists in the business—a “supergroup” that has come together to make a “superline” of products and to share the knowledge garnered over a combined century of hairdressing. The lead stylists in the collective are industry legends Howard McLaren, Thom Priano and Garren. The line offers every single product that a hairdresser could possibly need in his or her kit, and each of those products embodies experimentation, design, artistry, passion and curiosity. R+Co is sold in top salons around the country, C.O. Bigelow, Space NK and Blue Mercury. For more information, visit www.randco.com.
About R+Co Collective: Hairstylist-to-the-stars Garren is considered one the world’s go-to hairstylists and style experts, with over 1,000 magazine covers to his credit, his trendsetting haircuts and styles make headlines around the world. Howard McLaren, known for his razor cutting techniques, has been the creative director of influential hair brands like Toni & Guy and Bumble & bumble. Thom Priano is considered one of the world’s top men’s groomers and as a “lifestyle stylist” he has shaped our generations perception of what men should look like from Calvin Klein to some of Hollywood’s leading men.