Can I just start off by saying wow, wow, wow! I just had the honor this weekend of sharing a few days at the National FPE event in Hershey, PA with some of the most inspirational people in our industry, STUDENTS! As this was my first time at this event, I must say I was in absolute awe and admiration for the passion, support and love you all showed this weekend. When I first arrived to this event, I wasn’t really sure what to expect (except lots of chocolate, haha!). I knew we (as in Sexy Hair) would be doing a few classes, and we would have a booth and a pod to share information, but little did I know what I was about to witness…
It was the morning of Sunday, June 23 and my fellow artists and I all gathered into our booth around 7:45am. Walking through the huge lines that already awaited at the doors, we knew we had limited time to finish setting up our booth. As we rushed around like busy little bees, you could feel the energy and excitement flooding in from behind the closed doors. We knew that at 9am those doors would be opening and the show floor would become a scene of fabulous chaos… music, energy, products, cheering, hair, nails, makeup ….and best of all, excited hairdressers! We (the sexyhair crew), should have known to brace ourselves for the overwhelming amount of love and support we got right away when those flood gates opened. I have truly never seen anything like this in my life…products were absolutely flying off the tables, money being paid, money being exchanged, rang through, deals made, products dealt, pictures taken, lines forming around our pod to have Fun Colors sprayed in your hair…absolute beautiful hair insanity!
10:00am in the Magnolia room, our wonderful Artistic Creative Director, Mr. Rafe Hardy, kicked off the day by opening with a few of his classic jokes, speaking to our Versatility tour of 2013, and the endless opportunities the beauty industry has to offer. I, too, still feel humbled myself every time I have the opportunity to work with someone of his stature and iconic knowledge of the industry. During all 5 sessions of each day Rafe and I had the privilege of sharing inspiration, trends, our revolutionary cutting system Structure in Motion, our 5 point upstyling system, all the while having great laughs and making new memories with everyone in our audience. [side note…shout out to all of my girls who volunteered to be my upstyle models...xoxo!] I want to personally thank all of you who attended our classes for being so involved, and more so for having an open mind and open heart to what we had to share with you. It is our great privilege and honor to help grow you in any way possible!
Immediately following our third session of the first day, Rafe and I gathered our things, ran up to the show competition floor…and let me just tell you I am still beaming ear to ear at what I saw that night! As we walked through the doors of the Grand Ball room, the DJ was spinning, every single school was running around [literally] with their school spirit from posters to banners to shirts, nerd outfits, superman costumes, pink shirts shining bright like diamonds, anything they could dream up to support their fellow competitors, they did! The Grand Ballroom was sectioned off into separate competition areas, including Long Hair (to which Rafe and I judged), Braiding, progressive look, and more. All of the competitors were lined up with their numbers, hundreds of students at 8’ long tables with their mannequin heads or models prepped and ready to go, counting down and waiting to begin probably one of thee most exhilarating hours of their lives. When the crowd counted down “3..2…1…BEGIN!” every competitor was allowed one hour to allow their artistic vision come to life. My heart was truly racing for them, because for me…this event really hit home.
I had the honor to be asked to be a judge for the long hair competition, and I want you all to know, I ate a piece of humble pie that night. My first break into the beauty industry was entering myself into a competition called “Hair by Night” at one of the largest international shows in Chicago. I was still a beauty school student, and at the time I was having a hard time finding a sponsor. Someone who believed in me enough to help get me to Chicago, support me, and allow me to enter this competition. I was going to stop at nothing because I knew this was what I wanted to do, and I just HAD to do it! So, I ended up writing to Tish and Snooky of Manic Panic letting them know I was a beauty school student, I wanted to push myself to be in this competition, I was flying solo, and “Will you please support me?” And guess what. They did! My creative design was a Hawaiian bouquet of flowers [incorporating the Bird of Paradise, Star Gazer Lilly, and other flowers of such] all by using beautiful bright colors. I walked in alone, I set up my doll head alone, I had no professional coaching (just my mom and sister cheering for me on the sidelines), I was just riding on a bullet and a prayer, and this, too, was one of the most exhilarating hours of my life. All in all, I didn’t place as high as I would have liked, but you know what, I did it! So KUDOS to all of you competitors who had the courage to compete! And to all of your team members, fellow students, friends, family and instructors, kudos to all of YOU for your endless love and support for your competitors! The hair was absolutely off the hook. I myself left so inspired, motivated and learned a thing or two!
From this weekend, I truly left with a breath of fresh air knowing that this is the future of our industry, and to all of you students new, and about to graduate, welcome to the family and get ready for the ride of your life. If I can leave you with one piece of advice today, it would be that of Walt Disney himself, “Dream, Believe, Dare, Do”, shoot for the moon because if you miss, at least you’ll hit the stars!
[ m i s s y . c r o q u a r t ]