Note from the KeraGirls: This is the second part of our KC Pro post containing career insights and advice from Inspiration Team member Paul Orlandi. Click here for Part 1.
Q&A with Paul Orlandi: His advice
Q. Describe some of the best and worst decisions you made during the course of your career.
A. One of the best decisions I have made was to work by myself. I started this way and have come back to it. It allows me to focus on what I am doing and do it well. Also, it has been a great decision to become an educator. It allows me to understand the products I use on a different level, and has made me the go-to person wherever I am.
As far as the worst decisions … I’ve made mistakes; however, I have chosen to look at them as opportunities to learn. If we don’t learn from mistakes, we're destined to make them again, right? You've got to trust what’s inside you, and if you have a vision, don’t stray from it, no matter what people tell you. It IS possible to achieve all you want and more.
‘Never say no. Say yes to any educational opportunity you get.
Say yes to every new client you can. Learn how to do every service that’s available.’
Q. If you got a do-over, would you do anything differently?
A. Definitely. One thing that I wish I hadn’t done was listen to other people when I owned a large salon. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being a salon owner and enjoyed the people I worked with; but as my business grew, I listened to the wrong people and didn’t trust my inner instinct. I learned that for me, a smaller, more intimate salon is better.
Q. Have you had mentors? If so, who?
A. I would definitely say my biggest mentor is Martino Cartier. His love of what he does and the inspiration he gives is so phenomenal. I aspire to be that motivating to somebody.
Q. What was the best advice you ever received?
A. Do what makes you happy, no matter what other people think.
Q. What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry?
A. Before you start, make sure you love this career. If you get into it and you don’t love it with every fiber of your being, don’t do it. It's a lot of blood, sweat and tears—sometimes for no recognition at all. The days when you get a client who keeps texting you about how they love their new hair are what make it all worth it.
Second, never say no. Say yes to any educational opportunity you get. Say yes to every new client you can. Learn how to do every service that’s available. I feel it’s necessary to know what is involved in these services, even if you never perform them again.
Lastly, when you feel like you know it all and there is nothing else to learn, it’s time to stop. You will never know it all, and once you think you do, your growth and love for the profession will begin to wither and die. You have to LOVE this career to succeed at it.
Q. Are there any trends you predict for the future of the salon and/or beauty industry?
A. Going back to what I said earlier, what’s old is new again. Trends keep coming back in updated versions. We have to keep our eyes and ears open to see what is happening next.
Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
A. This is an industry that has so much opportunity. You are responsible for where your career goes. You are responsible for how much money you make. You are responsible for your own happiness. I have been so blessed this past year, and I am so grateful for all that this career has given me. I look forward to continuing to grow!