Though she was raised in a military family, Sara Bryan was never one to embrace structure and a strong work ethic. “I was a bit of a rebel back then, but these days, systems, organization and excellence define me,” says Bryan, who went from being a naïve, small-town kid to an educator, platform artist and director of operations for the Kelly Cardenas Salon company. “Hard work, building relationships, making guests happy, loving my team and remembering what my mentor says are things I embrace every single day,” Bryan says. ✂ —Kelley Donahue
What inspires you?
Music—I listen to it constantly—and traveling. There’s so much out there to soak up and see.
Hair came naturally to me. I worked the front desk of a salon on weekends when I was in high school, so I got to watch the stylists and ask questions while helping them perform tasks around the salon. It didn’t take long to discover that hair fulfills my creative side.
After attending cosmetology school, I pursued continuing education. I’ve attended every Paul Mitchell Gathering since 2004; taken classes at trade shows; and have been a part of countless Kelly Cardenas Salon Academies.
Definitely Paul Mitchell The Color 7OR & Hairdreams Extensions! They’re my creative mojo!
I’m a huge fan of hairstyles from the early ’60s—from the Beehive and sculptured styles to those of the many girl bands that perpetuated the Wall of Sound style of music.
Kelly Cardenas, whom I consider to be my Obi-Wan Kenobi, influences my life much beyond hair. He leads by example, is an incredible, gregarious and generous human being, and pushes me to reach my full potential.
Creating what’s next. I’m so happy and blessed with the success I’ve had, but find myself wanting more. I have a passion for designing tools that make hairstyling easier and would love to create something useful in salons. It’s also been a goal of mine to own a salon with Kelly.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I EVER GOT
Keep it simple. As artists, we tend to complicate things or get overexcited. Being straightforward saves you every time.
Unbeknownst to the stylists I work with, I save every note, birthday card, Post-it and piece of paper they have ever given me. Those messages are near and dear to my heart and represent my greatest accomplishment—my team.
To launch the first Kelly Cardenas franchise salon and get a few of my inventions off the ground.