Matrix Imagination 2011: And the Experience Gets Better and Better!
When I wrote the subject line of this blog about Matrix's 201 Imagination, "And it gets better and better," I meant it...
This show is unlike any other manufacturer show, it's NOT AT ALL about the products, it's NOT AT ALL about the numbers, it's ALL about the inspiration and education behind the hairdressers involved and the extreme amount of dedication and passion the Matrix Senior Team has for the industry.
The General Session began with an incredible performance by the Matrix Artistic Team! Sometimes, I see something so beautiful that it brings a huge smile to my face--but with the amazing looks executed and performed on stage, I had butterflies in my stomach, goosebumps on my arms and tears in my eyes.
It began with Nicholas French. He drew stunning model imagery on an easel and then BANG, the model would walk on the stage wearing the same look. It was magnificent! Nicholas French is so talented, I couldn't believe I was seeing this with my own two eyes.
Then, it moved into Patrick McIvor and Nathan Rosenkranz's act... it was amazing. The music that played was so loud and full of bass, you could feel it in your heart! A huge fan was turned on and each model's hair was doused in products to make it dance in the fan.
Then came Nick Stenson's energetic circus act/puppet show... it was so entertaining! There were acrobats, performance artists, beautiful models, and an amazing show of puppetry with dancers flipping and soaring through the air on rope.
Check out this amazing performance next! WARNING! Turn down your volume, otherwise it'll hurt your ears! But, keep it on a little bit because the music is fantastic!!!
Whenever I look back on my footage captured during Christopher Benson's performance, the butterflies in my stomach start flapping around uncontrollably. It began with three models who arrived on a VERY DIMLY-LIT stage wearing big, white gowns, face masks, and a white wig. Christopher took bottle after bottle of colored paint and covered each gown and the surronding exposed skin in long, verticle strokes. Then, the models' wigs and face masks came off, the lights came up and it was revealed that the paint color on each model clearly matched her hair color.. Words can't describe it, you have to watch the video!
Then, Colin Walsh, VP and General Manager of Matrix, came out to talk to the audience. Colin is such an amazing, inspirational speaker... he is so proud of his team at Matrix and so proud of the hairdressers who support the brand every day in their salons, in the way they live their lives, in their everyday mission to "spread the love," he really recognizes the team behind him--and I love that! It is such a pleasure to listen to him speak. He mentioned that every single day, we are given 86,400 seconds to live life to its fullest, to help "spread the love" to other individuals, and to make the most of every precious second we have in this life... it really inspired the audience!
Colin also isn't afraid to look a little goofy! The Matrix Senior Team (pictured here is Elisa Fischer with Colin) put together some hilarious skits of them "spreading the love" that had the entire audience wiping away tears of laughter. It's always funny to see people who are so professional dancing and singing without a care in the world. What an amazing leadership team!
Ahh! It's me! That's right, I was up on the mainstage! I was so honored to have been asked by Matrix to introduce the Spread the Love campaign, a campaign of which I am such a strong believer and supporter. It was definitely scary to be up there in front of all those people, but I knew I couldn't miss the opportunity to express my sincere thanks for being asked to help judge and my sincere appreciation for the campaign--Matrix, along with MODERN SALON Media, is working hard to continue to elevate the profession for the next generation of hairdressers! And the Spread the Love campaign is such an exciting thing to happen for the beauty industry!
Then, one of the co-founders of the Life is Good brand (you've seen the shirts, right?!) spoke to us on the mainstage for a presenation that was beyond inspiring. Their little company has grown to be a multi, multi-million dollar company all founded on the basic principle that life is good... Bert's story inspired everyone in the room and certainly helped us all to re-evaluate the way we do business and the way we choose to live our lives. I will never forget that life is, indeed, good!
At the end of the day, we were invited to a Digital Extravaganza, to help with the launch of Matrix's new ssite mymatrixfamily.com! This event was amazing! Everyone was invited to create a profile on the social networking aspect of the page, and throughout the event we were given challenges to earn "badges" that appear on our profile pages. The more badges you earn, the more opportunities to win prizes you have! Here's an example of one of the contest alerts.
One of the ways to earn a badge was to have your picture taken with the winers of the Spread the Love competition... I, of course, was dying to get in there and see my "babies!" We had this picture taken by the photographer, who then copied it onto my Matrix jump drive, and then I was able to have the photo.. AND unlock the code for a new badge to appear on my profile!
While I was at the Spread the Love booth, I had to take a fun pic with my little Kayla... I just love her.
Here's another contest to earn a code to unlock a badge... people were having so much fun completing the different challenges! There was a Rockband challenge, funny costumes, favorite products, etc... it was such a great way to unwind after a day full of inspiration and education!
Everyone from Matrix was at the Digital Extravaganza! Even Pat Parenty, Brand President of L'Oreal USA's Professional Product Division.
This was one of my most facorite moments of the event... when I got to cut off the front snippet of Patrick McIvor's hair!! This is the third time Patrick has donated his hair to Purple Ribbon Council--whose goal is to Break the Silence, Break the Cycle and Save Lives by Cutting out Domestic Abuse. This time, his daughter was also on stage and did the same. It was seriously hilarious and amazing to be able to donate to a great cause and to get rid of that long hair! Matrix's new Chairs of Change initiative is such an exciting one to hear about. As a stylist, you already create change every day--no one leaves your chair looking or feeling the same as when they arrived. But why stop there? Chairs of Change empowers, inspires and rewards hairstylists’ efforts to change the world. Sign in to ChairsofChange.com using your MyMatrixFamily.com username and password, and connect with other stylists, see what they’re doing to affect change, and use our coaching tips to help create your own project for change.
We also all had the opportunity to record our own video about "If I could create change..." Here's my video, yes, it's a little dorky, but I was put on the spot! And, while if it was edited I may change some things, the point is there... and it'd be great if it could come true!
Here's the amazing, warm, beautiful Elisa Fischer again! She is so much fun to be around and I love how she jumped right in and got into the "digital extravaganza" experience with her sweet lighted headband! LOVE HER!
Right as I was about to leave, I spotted Gina Khan, color spokesperson for Logics, and the super friendly Veejay! I had to snap a photo of the beautiful pair!
Also spotted: Karrie Fonte, my hair twin!!
One more funny one to share... I won't name names in case you're embarassed! Butttt this picture is awesome, and so are you!
Last but not least, Yaniv Shapira, the brainchild behind the Spread the Love campaign, and the whole reason I was inducted into the amazing Matrix family... thank you to Yaniv! You are an amazing man full of so much passion and love for the industry... I believe in you and I believe in your mission!