You are well known for your hairstyling work, but what drew you to pursue a career in the Beauty industry? And in the area you focus on now…
I didn’t necessarily focus on hairstyling but instead saw it as a springboard to the many aspects of the Beauty Industry. I have leveraged my knowledge of the industry into various positions such as hair care product development, artistic director, brand spokesperson, beauty advisor of a global hotel chain, editor of a beauty blog, and on-air authority to name a few. While I am usually juggling several jobs simultaneously, my current focus is developing an e-commerce site for men’s grooming. WOW! That was a mouthful 🙂
Having studied Communications at Boston College, what made you change direction afterwards and settle upon training at Toni & Guy?
My Mom was a successful hairstylist having put my father through law school and purchased their first home. My uncle and cousins launched a regional chain of salons. I guess you could say it was inevitable. Actually, I find it fascinating how creativity and structure intersect in harmony.
Has it been challenging getting to the position you are at now, where you are recognised as an authority in the field of hairstyling and men’s grooming?
Life is challenging but that does not mean you stop pursuing your dreams. At the age of 30 I decided to walk away from a prosperous management path in the garment industry to pursue a career as a hairdresser. I began as a beauty school student followed by an apprenticeship paying $6.50/hr. That was challenging. Once I finally got behind the chair I realized that I had so much to share, but very limited on the number of people I could influence in a single day. That was a challenge. I decided to execute a very strategic plan to expand my exposure and stuck with it. The steps of my plan began with editorial work, followed by celebrity clientele, quotes in leading publications and eventually my blog SerafinoSays. Yes, there were some adjustments along the way but I never let setbacks keep me from my end goal.
(courtesy of serafinosays.com)
Throughout your time being a stylist, what has been the most exciting event/project you have been part of?
Every year for the last five I have been the hairstylist for the ‘Town & Country’ magazine and Longines watches “Women of Worth” Awards acknowledging women that made a difference in their area of expertise. The women that are nominated and the dedication to their community are extraordinary and inspirational.
(courtesy of serafinosays.com)
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the interaction I have with my clients. It is such an honor that people trust me with their most important accessary…their hair. Whether it’s a celebrity, business person or mom, I love the chance to help them look their best.
Is there anybody you particularly enjoy working with?
Hahahaha, now you know the unwritten rule among hairstylists; we never cut and tell. Therefore, I’ll take the Fifth and simply say I LOVE all my clients 🙂
(courtesy of serafinosays.com)
Living in New York, what is the best thing about residing there?
I have lived here for 20 years and I am still amazed daily at the sights. It is a city that forces you to interact with others…whether you like it or not. The energy is contagious and the activity is stimulating.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start in the profession?
Education, education, education, with a healthy dose of passion! I think the best advice I was ever given was by my Uncle Drew who was a hairstylist and salon owner. He told me not to worry about making money but to get the best education I could get in the business and then the money would follow. I went from a six-figure salary and an office to working behind a shampoo bowl. There were days I thought I would never make it but I NEVER quit and kept sight of my dreams. Once I got my chair it was my balance of education and passion for hairstyling that led to a successful career. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself that all my dreams have come true!
What is the best tip you can give to females about a basic beauty regime?
It’s so easy to look in the mirror and focus on our flaws. But I have learned to concentrate on the features I like best. Therefore I enhance my best features instead of trying to hide the rest. For example, if you love your eyes, a sweeping fringe will draw attention to them or trying new eye color pallet. The focus will then be drawn on your eyes and not on any imperfections. Feeling good about yourself gives you an extra boost of confidence. Trust me, people will notice!
Which celebrity in your opinion has great style when it comes to red carpet looks, and in general?
I don’t necessarily have a favorite style icon, but instead I tend to lean towards celebrities that wear more classic styles and stay away from trends. Trends are not meant for everyone so don’t get caught up trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Use trends a as a guideline that you personalize to best fit your style.
Where do you get inspiration for hairstyles?
I get inspiration from people walking down the street, magazines and movies.
Aside from beauty and styling, what other hobbies do you have?
I used to be a runner but since I blew out my knee playing sports I now spend my “exercise” time following a rehabilitation program in hope I can run again soon. I am a closet comic books junkie, enjoy cooking (but not the clean up) and spending time with family and friends.
What is your ideal way to spend the day when you have one off?
I am not sure if I remember what it’s like to have a day off. When I am not on a job for a photo shoot, travelling between jobs, at a promotional event, cutting hair or working on my blog, I try to steal romantic walks with my sweetheart roaming the city. He is really great at encouraging me to forget about work and appreciate all the wonderful things New York City has to offer.
If you could travel to any country, where would it be?
Something tropical, lets say Bora-Bora or Tahiti. I grew up in the waters off the coast of South Florida so I want a place where the ocean is pristine and the skies are always blue. The most exertion I want in my day is the walk from my beach chair to the water…or watering hole.
What three items would have with you if you were trapped on an island?
My dog Ringlett, my mobile device to keep in touch with everyone and an endless supply of candy. (I have an insane sweet tooth) 🙂
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