By Christine, Level 3 Stylist
Seven years ago, I literally stumbled upon a cute salon while walking my dog in downtown Brooklyn. The salon was closed, but as I peered inside, I noticed the hanging blowdryers and said, “That’s so different! This would be a cute place to work at. I wonder if they’re looking for a stylist.”
Not two weeks later, a friend of mine who was driving a cab, picked up a woman and her son. Upon coming home that night, my friend informed me that he had given my number to this woman who just so happened to be the owner of the cute little salon I noticed. A few days later, I received a call asking if I could come and work for the day. Having been in the business for several years at that time, I thought this was odd. No interview? No request to see my work? I hope I’m not going to be stuck assisting. This is going to be interesting. What I didn’t know at the time was that this would be the day that changed the course of my life and career.
Fast forward to seven years later. I took that leap of faith. I went from almost quitting the industry, to reconnecting with my passion for doing hair, to finding another passion- educating. During my time at [salon]718, I have been given countless opportunities to not only perfect my craft, but to also help lead a location, recruit newcomers, and create an education/associates program that would help others grow at a quicker pace than the industry standard. And as if that wasn’t enough, I also found a family of 20+ creatives that keep each other inspired every day.
And then a historic pandemic happened. COVID-19 changed everything, and the hair industry will never be the same. Had this been at an earlier time in my career or at any other company, I would have sat locked away in quarantine, thinking about a new career. However, I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of a culture that was instilled in me over the last seven years. A culture that stands firmly behind community, inclusivity, growth, and structure. A culture that brews creativity, passion & loyalty. A culture that provides a safe space for those in my industry to grow and inspire. So instead of sitting back, the team at [salon]718 has pushed forward.
That culture has been the root of everything we say and do. Daily check-ins, grocery runs for each other, virtual wine nights, and creating social media content, are only a few things that have kept us connected as a team and as a family during this quarantine. The birth of our e-commerce site has allowed us to provide access to hair care products to both our guests, as well as everyone active on any social media platform. The site also offers 4 different types of color kits for those in need of touch-ups until we open again. These color kits come with the option of a virtual consult with myself or any of our master colorists. Our virtual consultation platform has allowed us to establish new relationships before opening, as well as touch base with our regular clientele. And why stop there? We also decided to revamp our education program, creating a virtual space and a new way to reach so many more looking to hone their craft.
I take pride in being a part of a team that has taken a devastating situation and turned it into an opportunity to be pioneers. In a time when many feel disconnected, it is incredibly satisfying and comforting to be a part of a culture that stands strong. Someone once told me: “At [salon]718, we take lemons and make the best fu#&!ng lemonade,”!
We sure do.
About the author: Whisper, talk or scream? Christine gets it, everyone has different hair expectations and wants. From the most delicate whisper blonde to the most complex color correction – our lead color educator, Christine can do both extremes and everything in between.