Cosmetologist Chicago, owners and producers of America’s Beauty Show is celebrating its 100th anniversary as an organization of and for salon professionals. As the 2012 ABS approaches Paul Dykstra, executive director of Cosmetologists Chicago and CEO of America’s Beauty Show, and Frank Gironda, president of Cosmetologists Chicago, spoke with MODERN SALON’s Jan Hillenmeyer about the association’s past and future and what we can expect at ABS 2012.


Cosmetologists Chicago's Century of ProgressMODERN SALON: COSMETOLOGISTS CHICAGO IS 100 YEARS OLD. THAT IS AN AMAZING STATISTIC. GIVE US A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF SOME OF CC’S MILESTONES?

PAUL DYKSTRA: A small group of salon owners came together in 1912 to form the Chicago Hairdressers & Wigmakers Association. Their goal was to support and help each other build a better beauty profession and business. One hundred years later, that small group is today’s 9,000-member Cosmetologists Chicago (CC). I’ve heard so many anecdotes of the association’s accomplishments in my 25 years with Cosmetologists Chicago and yet CC’s goals remains the same: The members are all about giving back and helping make the beauty profession stronger.

MS: COSMETOLOGISTS CHICAGO IS BEST KNOWN FOR ITS OWNERSHIP AND PRODUCTION OF AMERICA’S BEAUTY SHOW. HOW DOES THE ASSOCIATION PLAN FOR THE SHOW EACH YEAR?

PD: Cosmetologists Chicago’s ownership of America’s Beauty Show makes it a very unique organization. Each year the management team and I take our direction for each aspect of the show from working cosmetologists who are members of CC. We don’t decide what we think members want; we listen and act on everything they tell us they want. We have several committees comprised of leading salon owners and professionals who meet to determine what’s new and what’s important to them. From that point, we invite the brightest talent to ABS and to the educational programs that CC offers throughout the year.

MS: ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL EVENTS OR OPPORTUNITIES AT ABS 2012 TO COMMEMORATE THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF CC?

PD: Yes. ABS is now so much more than the regional Midwest Beauty Show it was when it first started. To celebrate our centennial, CC is hosting a fabulous all-industry CC100 Beauty Bash on Saturday, March 3, 2012 in conjunction with Pivot Point International’s 50th Anniversary. CC and Pivot Point are two Chicago institutions with longevity as well as foresight into the needs of the salon industry, and we are expecting many of the industry’s top companies to show their support and help us celebrate.

MS: ABS IS FAST APPROACHING. WHAT SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT THIS YEAR’S SHOW?

PD: First, we have had phenomenal support from all the major manufacturers and distributors. We are working closely with key distributors to provide the best opportunities for them, and all their vendors, to reach their salon customers. It’s late November now as we speak, and ABS is already running out of exhibit space! The Runway will have everyone from Miss Universe (courtesy of Farouk Systems) to headliners from London, Los Angeles and New York. Our exhibitors are planning special events and participating in our Saturday night CC100 Beauty Bash. It’s going to be a busy three days!


Cosmetologists Chicago's Century of ProgressMODERN SALON: IT MUST BE EXCITING TO BE AT THE HELM OF COSMETOLOGISTS CHICAGO AS IT OBSERVES 100 YEARS. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

FRANK GIRONDA: To be President of Cosmetologists Chicago as we celebrate our 100th anniversary is truly humbling for me personally. Many great Chicago area salon leaders have preceded our outstanding Board of Directors and me.  I am very grateful for the overwhelming industry response in supporting America’s Beauty Show during my presidency.

MS: ARE THERE ANY EVENTS PLANNED FOR MEMBERS TO COMMEMORATE THIS ANNIVERSARY?

FG: We will kick-off our Centennial celebration at America’s Beauty Show, March 3-5, 2012 in Chicago. On March 3 Cosmetologists Chicago will host a “CC 100 BeautyBash” to honor the people, talent and giveback attitude that has been the hallmark of CC for 100 years. The event will bring together everyone in the salon industry for a night of stars and just plain fun…and it will exclusively benefit the association’s Presidents Scholarships for advanced education.  

MS: TELL US ABOUT THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF CC AND HOW THE ASSOCIATION MEETS THE NEEDS OF A DIVERSE MEMBERSHIP.

FG: Cosmetologists Chicago and our sub-groups reach out to professionals in all segments of the beauty industry. For example, Cosmetologos Latinos is dedicated to providing education and inspiration to multi-generations of Latino hairdressers. The International Nail Technician’s Association brings expert education, networking opportunities and trends and techniques to nail care professionals. Future cosmetologists can become student members of CC and enjoy free access to ABS along with the ABS Student Conference, which always brings in more than 1,500 participants. The American Association of Esthetics provides expert educators for skin care professionals. We also have Skin Inc.’s Face and Body Midwest as a co-exhibitor with ABS.
All CC members receive free admission to ABS, free or discounted continuing education, free magazine subscriptions, scholarship opportunities and legislative advocacy. We also offer a wealth in information online at AmericasBeautyShow.com.

MS: WE ALL KNOW AMERICA’S BEAUTY SHOW. WHAT OTHER PROGRAMS, EVENTS, COMPETITIONS AND CHARITIES DOES CC SUPPORT AND SPONSOR?

FG: It’s important to remember that it is America’s Beauty Show that gives CC the resources to help the industry as a whole. In the past 10 years alone, Cosmetologists Chicago has provided more than $300,000 in cash scholarships for advanced education. The association donated cash funds ($45,000) to help salons affected by Hurricane Katrina and for eight years we helped fund the USA Alternative Hair Show, benefitting worldwide Leukemia Research.

MS: WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR THE REMAINEDER OF YOUR TENURE CC AS PRESIDENT?

FG:  Really just the same as the association. The needs of the salon professional are, and will always be, our focus at Cosmetologists Chicago. I am proud to say we are continuing that legacy with a professional association dedicated solely to improving opportunities for salon and spa owners and their employees. America’s Beauty Show is the fuel for our passion to deliver these benefits to our members.