Women of Substance: Sydney BerrySydney Berry

President and Owner

Salon Services and Supplies

Renton, Washington

Affiliations: PBA, in which she currently serves on its leadership council and board of directors

Licensed: In 1973, after attending Reece and Sybil in Lincoln, Nebraska

In her beginnings, Sydney Berry’s role as a stylist transitioned into the owner of Sydney’s Salon. After eight years, she decided to pursue a new role as a sales consultant for a distributorship. Today, she owns this distributorship—Salon Services and Supplies—with her husband, Miles Berry and George Learned. Berry has long been admired for helping her salon customers build successful businesses through Club 40 and her leadership role within the Professional Beauty Association has helped raise the professional bar within the industry.

Who was your mentor along the way? “Mentors have been numerous in their actions and support! My parents taught me love of family, and being raised on a farm taught me resiliency as only Mother Nature can! Personally, I learn continuously from my immediate family and friends, as life holds a daily lesson. Professionally, Jane Wurwand, Geri Cusenza, Jill Kohler, Michele Musgrove, Renee Shakour, Debra Neill Baker, Stacy Kurtz, Sally Brower and Karen Shea are all women who maniftest their vision with their actions!”

As a woman, what barriers if any did you come across during your professional growth? “Opinions and assessment created difficulty with attaining the transition with the initial ‘boys’ club’ but it has changed. At this time, I don’t see being a woman as an asset or a challenge—success is dependent upon your commitment. But I do believe our industry is NOT as well versed in understanding the needs or is as supportive as it could be considering the majority of our consumers and stylists are female.”

What would you consider your biggest professional break? “The opportunity to partner George Learned in ownership of SSS, as he is fearless and my continual supporter, plus he teaches me by his relentless energy in pursuit of creating success for our company, our staff and our industry.”

What’s the best business advice anyone ever gave you? “You have a choice in how you respond to life—it is the only control you personally have in every encounter life’s journey takes you.”

What business achievement are you most proud of? “The ownership of Salon Services and my staff’s dedication in serving the beauty industry. Also, the creation and facilitation of a salon owners’ networking group (Club 40) for 25 years in sharing and building upon the strengths of one another to raise the bar of our industry. To be able to connect in an industry that can be isolating for the owner who doesn’t have the opportunity to network.

What’s the best business book you ever read? “The Dr. Seuss book, Oh, the Places You Will Go, as it illustrates our life journey, which is infinite, as we view it as a child. My grandson, Kanon, teaches me continuously as his is my muse in challenging me to play, dream and grow.

What do you hope to achieve in the next five years? “Ask anyone who is in my world, and they would say, ‘She is never satisfied,’ as I push, prod, and provoke others and myself to grow. Achievement would be to relish in the gift of the present state of being and say to myself, job well done today.”