Featured Artist: Marilda Piri (Part 2/2)
Marilda Piri has had an amazing journey in becoming the business woman she is today. With 20 years of haircutting experience under her belt, this owner of Serenity Hair Design has a lot of wisdom to share with her fellow peers in the Beauty Industry. While it may see to be purely luck for Marilda to meet wonderful people who've helped her obtain her dreams, it's clear that she's created her own karma with kindness and passion.
Q. Tell me, after cutting hair for 20 years, what has it been like working in this industry?
A. In hair, it's honestly every day it's a pleasure because you get to create. You're an artist where you have a vision in your mind and you start to paint; having a woman or man sit in my chair that's when the vision starts to explore all the possibilities in their hair. You can talk to them and get to know their story just by getting to know their hair, and have insight to their lifestyle. And from there, you learn how to create. It's such a pleasure, I really don't know how to describe it to you.
Q. It's pretty wonderful that you don't see hairstyling as a job! Do you notice that approach has affected your relationship with your clients?
A. I can tell when someone who is sitting in my chair has a burden. After 20 or so years of doing my job, you start to pick up on these things. I can sense their needs and suffering, and they always say "heck, how did you know?". It all comes down to the energy they bring or the power of their words, when they talk about about their hair or what made them want to have a change; it gets right into their soul. Really, it's an energy that we translate to one another.
That's when you realize as a hairdresser, "My God, I really do have power" not just to change their hair but to change their feelings. I have customers, after so many years, who will tell me how they went through their picture books and tell me "Marilda, I can tell exactly when I started to come to you" because of how their hair had changed [for the better].
Q. Marilda, you have such passion and energy for your profession, what kind of lessons do you try to part with the stylists that work at your salon?
A. Really listen to the person that is sitting in your chair, because you don't know how they are looking at you. Don't try to lie, and try to be full of yourself because they will know by the job you do, right? Try to be real, try to heal them, then give the best of your knowledge that you have. It's going to make them comfortable to sit there and they're going to want to come back to you.
Q. You have a high focus on the hairstylist creating that relationship with the client, but would you give any tips for clients when working with a new hairstylist?
A. Many times clients will bring a picture of a celebrity and say "I want this hairstyle", however, when I take a moment to cover the celebrities face and ask them if they want it "exactly" like the photo..... well that's when they start to realized they don't like it as much. "Oh, I don't like this fringe or I don't like how high it is". Then I start to adjust and we work it out together. The advice I give to clients is to know exactly what you want, and to be confident and sure!
Another tip I give my clients (especially if they are trying something different, like a completely new colour), is that after the service to observe their behaviour for the next 24 hours. If they catch themselves doing a double take at the mirror more than 3 times, then that means they can't recognize themselves! That's when they know it's not "them", and that the hair isn't working out.
Q. So what's next for you? It doesn't seem like you're ready to slow down!
A. I'm really passionate about education. I swear, sometimes I don't know where I get this crazy passion. I really want to work with the government and see if I can start some way of educating others about our industry. You can find Marilda on Facebook, her site, and on Instagram! She's also hiring new hairstylists, so if you're interested in having a wonderful mentor reach out to Marilda!
*Details of this interview were edited for length and readability.