Updated: Oct 19, 2022
Did you hear what Makenna just said?
Ok. Stop right there, you may be wondering what a first-year Artist and her 10 & 13-year mentoring artists are celebrating.
We know what you’re thinking.
Why are they all “jumping for joy” that Makenna just successfully executed a consultation with her guest?
What the heck does Lauren mean when she says “raise a child in the way”??
This all seems like it shouldn’t be that difficult.
Also, what is a supporting artist and why not just call them ‘assistants’ as all the other salons do?
Whoa. Slow down there, Barbara Walters!!
Let us go a little deeper here…
What Makenna just did was actually brilliant. What she just did, not even most five or ten-year artists are delivering to their guests.
Makenna just executed the most insightful, intelligent, professional, and thorough consultation with her guest, while confidently creating a game plan that met all of her guests' objectives, including problem-solving specific needs and meeting her guests' expectations, also while simultaneously earning the trust of her first time guest who ultimately loved her service so much that she wrote a five-star review!!!
PHEW!! Now that was a mouthful. Yeah, we know. When we put it that way, it’s a lot.
The truth is, not many consumers really understand how detailed and complex our career is.
When a young, hopeful artist decides one day that they want to grow up and be a hairstylist, they don’t realize that they are going to have to be a master of people while also having a fu
ll depth of intricate and complex knowledge of their skill set.
No one told them that hair color chemistry, anatomy and physiology were going to be the easy parts of the job!
Most hairstylists remember thinking at one point “I am going to be a terrible hairstylist until I can three-dimensionally envision geometries before they are constructed” (haha! This is a laughable and unrealistic expectation for a young artist). While that thought may hold some weight, the truest and hardest part of our job has been and always will be communicating with our guests.
Hairstylists are, without a doubt 80% communicators and 20% Artists.
Let’s just say this loud for those in the back 📣 ARTISTS ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS THEIR ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS!!
There. We said it.
All artists are communicators. We communicate feelings and hope. We communicate self-expression to our guests, and we communicate identity and self-worth. If you as an artist suck at consultations, you will suck at doing hair.
Let’s talk about some other facts about why this
moment defines Makenna as one of the top 3% of new graduates.
50% of licensed cosmetologists are not going to immediately use their license post graduating.
Another 30% will quit this industry entirely within 5 years.
That means 80% of licensed graduates will not practice after five years in the industry.
Of the remaining 20%, only 10% of those licensed cosmetologists in CA will actually be working or associated with this industry past 8 years, dropping off an additional 10% of licensees within the next three years. To be very point blank, only 4% of the remaining 10% will actually break six figures in their career.
This means only 4% will earn a livable wage with their career choice. This is an absolute tragedy.
And here we are, pumping graduates out like a vending machine and preparing them in school with a STRONG FOUNDATIONAL SKILL SET to confidently concur the first 3 years of challenges they will face, including communicating with others at the active listening level while using their hard skill set knowledge to complete their basic job functions. To be frank, again, ill-preparedness is not at the fault of the school but mainly the cause of poor recent legislation changes in CA (blog on all that nonsense coming *insert eye-roll so big I see my own brain*).
If you are reading this and you are a client, you have probably experienced once or twice a burnt-out stylist who was ill-prepared with their education. Their hand is juggling a million different plates while simultaneously trying to do your hair with some fashion of joy while running their business and trying to drink enough water and get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
You know exactly the stylist I am talking about. And most likely, there was a reason you left their posh cute little salon suite even though you thought she was quite nice and did decent work and she gave you white claws while you sat through their hurried rendition of a scalp massage.
Dear client, this hairstylist is exhausted.
…and rightfully so. I know, because I was her. We’ve all been her at one point.
But, If you are a hair stylist reading this, you may feel like every single moment of your career has been sink or swim. You’ve had to fight and scrap for every little piece of breakthrough knowledge you ever gained. You’ve been in situations where you knew you weren’t the biggest fish in the room but for some reason, everyone that you worked with felt more like sharks instead of fish. I know sis, you are not alone.
This industry can be so scary. Eventually, getting no real comradery or support at all you felt like solo was the only option in your career because no one could do it as you did it (even though you didn’t realize that the way you did it sometimes hurt your business instead of helped it, it's cool babe, no one ever told you otherwise).
Dear stylist, it’s ok. I know, because again, I am you. Let me just say, you’ve done the best you could with what you had.
What does this all have to do with Makenna?
Well, Makenna chose a different path. Makenna chose humility. Makenna chose hunger. Makenna chose to serve others sincerely.
Makenna chose kindness for her career. She chose to commit to a goal and a vision with a group of like-minded artists who bring her value and strength.
In short, this type of consultation that Makenna did, was not by accident. This is something she had been working on, drilling, and practicing with a team of mentors for months. She had been given direction and guidance, and she ran with it.
So who are those “supporting artists” she was talking about? Oh yeah, that was her team of veteran mentors. Both 10+ year industry veterans with multiple accreditations, as well as active and healthy thriving clientele.
Our model here at Artisan Salons is called Servant Leadership, where those who lead you are the first to serve you and teach you how to serve others.
Makenna’s chances of thriving in this industry with a life-long fulfilling career, making a sustainable living wage, have just skyrocketed.
Makenna is going to be one of the first to become the standard to this rule. Others before her, those “successful” hair stylists, are the anomaly, NOT the standard to the rule. Truth be told, we are still looking at less than 5% of hairstylists to ever make a sustainable living wage with any kind of retirement or healthcare, much less break a six-figure mark and/or gain a large following that significantly impacts your client count.
This girl is going to make a name for herself simply because of the actions she has taken and the trust she has put into her mentorship.
Makenna is cool. Be like Makenna.