By Phenix Salon Suites Founder & Beauty Expert, Gina Rivera
Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative. The definition goes even further to include a sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea. For me, inspiration has not always been at the tip of my fingertips, no pun intended. It’s something I have at times searched for and felt challenged to find.
However, recently I have been speaking to beauty schools across the country. During the Q&A portion of my presentations, I am frequently asked to talk about what or who inspires me. This has pushed me to ask myself this question as well.
After reflecting, I believe that one of the reasons I have been so motivated as a stylist and have had a degree of success in the salon industry is because I don’t always need external sources of inspiration to stay inspired. Of course, it’s nice to come upon something that is inspirational and lights a new fire, but my real source of inspiration is my clients.
I find inspiration in every client I work with. I am fascinated by how a simple change can change a person’s look. I am inspired by my need to give my clients a great result as well as a memorable and positive experience. I am further inspired to push myself to improve and become better each day, not only because I love the artistry of the trade, but also because I am trusted and relied upon by my clients. It humbles me and motivates me to exceed their expectations.
Years ago, I would have told you that I was inspired primarily by photos in magazines, watching the runways of fashion week, and checking out looks on the red carpet. However, nowadays, my inspiration is not limited to these items. Along with finding inspiration in my clients, I am also inspired by the many students I have been blessed to speak with. I deeply enjoy encouraging them and sharing this wonderful industry. I love discussing how they can have a great life through hairdressing.
I am equally inspired by the successes of many of the professionals I have been fortunate to meet. From the junior artist who is excited to be starting their career, to the polished members of my Artistic Team who message me with incredible photos of their work. I especially love it when someone comes to me with a technique they have mastered or a new shade they have cultivated for a client. All these items are exciting to me.
I realize what I really need to get inspired is to slow down and take in everything around me. I now make sure to take note of the young stylist that has just moved into their first salon. I also stop and look at the work of those who have been shoulder to shoulder with me for years working on their clients. I realize that each person brings their own gifts, and this in itself is inspiring.
I now understand that if I rely on external forces such as the media, celebrity looks, and fashion events alone to inspire me, then I am missing all the little things around me each day. I am also certain that these little things are actually the big things.
Give this a try: Just for today, tell each person who sits in your chair that you are excited to work with them. Making this statement out loud will most likely trigger you to deliver an inspired performance as an artist. On the same note, make sure to tell others when they have inspired you. This can be impactful for you as well as for them. Like everything else, simply stating it can be powerful.
In the beauty industry, we are all creative artists. This means we need intellectual and visual stimulation to keep us motivated and on track. Without these elements, we can become bored and disengaged. This can be stressful and exhausting! It’s easy to fall into a routine; however, getting into a program of repetitiveness often results in falling into a rut. When this occurs, there is a negative impact on our clients as well as ourselves
Inspiration keeps us fresh and excited to try new things—even if it is not new, we need to constantly find the stimulation to change the way we do everyday things. Inspiration comes from many different places: our clients, our coworkers, the media, and a variety of other avenues. As stylists, we entered this business because we were inspired to share our creativity, and we owe it to ourselves to strive to find inspiration so that we can move forward in a successful manner for ourselves and those we provide services to.