It's early on a Tuesday morning and I'm sipping coffee, wearing a yellow Shampoo Boy by J Ry t-shirt and Diesel trunks tip-tapping away from the office at Studio J Ry.
Freshly sneezing... yep, it's allergy season.
When I was a little guy, allergy season killed me! As a teenager, it was murderous! I could NOT focus, in my early twenties, I even called off a couple times, a business owner, NEVER! I would take whatever I could (still do to this day) to suppress the urge of sneezing and hurting eyes to take care of my client.
I am at a position where my career cannot be turned off, not for sickness, not for a anything.
I was offered ANOTHER position with a beauty brand LAST week from TIGI and have been outweighint my options: L'Oreal or TIGI?
I've had conflicts in my head like, "Why can't we ALL get along?"
My strong belief is that all haircare brands are good at what they do or at least have ONE facet they're amazing at. So, a couple of weeks ago, I started a beauty blog. I have always wanted to publicly endorse products through hairshows, class appearances and public stamps of approvable and currently, on my side, I have stamps from six different companies that wanted to hire me. I've also been trained by four of them.
Think of all the endorsement as my "portfolio". Some of them are key players, some NOT so much.. anymore.
The other day I was talking about competition and the whole hairdresser loyalty subject to a guest of mine. I outwieghted why someone like me that is cocooned in their life and sees the two (my personal and business) as the same: I LIVE it artistically. I live the dream . I sewed the two together the way a public personality (Rachael Ray, Lady Gaga, Madonna) sews their projects to them like medals or, even so, arms and limbs, whereas there are other stylists our there that may be techinically gifted but have OTHER things on their brains like their boyfriends, clubbing and being seen at events, but not promoting themselves, just living.
Niether (Artist) Hairdresser A or (At-work) Hairdresser B is the better example. The two are generally amazing at what they do in their own way. Just like my favourite beauty brands. Different bottles, different scents, different marketing, but just as good, and JUST AS professional.
This creates competition.
Competition is NEVER BAD. In fact, the main goal of competition is to recognize the TOP in that particular field. I respect my comepeting peers and have strived long and hard to become a competitor in the local hair arena.
Recently being told I have to make decision to step away and education propelled me to tell a major corporate brand representative, "I am incredibly busy behind the chair. Don't make me chose one, because my clients win."
To leave for a brand will never be the story of my life.
I do not wish to "shadow" a "senior" artist in my life ever. I do not see them as competition. They're two different jobs. One creates (me) and one sells and educates (them). I do both in my salon and to remove the client interaction for me would be like me walking around with an oxygen tank during allergy season.
Sure, it's hard to breather sometimes and sure my eyes itch, but I'm up and at 'em and doing it. Itch and sneeze suppressent in place at time, but I rock out my day and don't let someone put an oxygen mask on me. No one has control over me and that's what the "oxygen mask" symbolizes in this case. Allergies are my obstacles both literally and metaphorically.
So, to assure you all, I'm not going anywhere. I'm here. I'm happy and I will always make the best decisions that honor my dreams, but also, honour my clientele.