President, Dop Dop Salon, NYC
L’Oreal Professionnel Portfolio Artist
Master Color Artist and Motivational Speaker
Licensed: 1985, Cuyahoga Valley Joint Vocational School, Brecksville, OH
First job: Visible Changes salon in Houston, Texas. I started on July 7, 1985 at a place called Almeda Mall.
Clients per week: 40; average ticket is $294 with retail.
Price point: Cut: $150; single process: $150; Highlights: $350; average ticket: $294 with retail
Why did you choose beauty as a career? At the age of 10, I chose to be a stylist. I spent my summers with my great aunt and great grandmother. My great grandmother never cut her hair and she wore a very tight braided chignon that fell to the floor and no one was allowed to touch her hair. I was fascinated by how particular she was about it and I always wanted to braid it. After many summers of begging and pleading, I was taught how to braid and wrap her hair and that I was to be just the second of only two people allowed to do her hair. She passed when I was 15, and I started beauty school a few months later.
Milestones: Having Paul Mitchell judge and choose my model for a spot on the Visible Changes Artistic Team in 1986; opening Dop Dop Salon in SOHO in 1996; being “knighted” in Paris by Intercoiffure, and I will receive "Personality of the Year" for the US at Intercoiffure in Rome next year.
Big break: Leland Hirsch gave me the opportunity to present at Haircolor USA in 1989 in Miami. He said, "Listen Jo, I am going to give you the stage. It will be up to you to keep it.” And I've been performing at shows ever since.
Career advice you’ve received: "Take the client that is front of you!”—Jerry Gordon speaking at Visible Changes conference when I was 19 years old.
Career advice you’ve given: Education, education, education! It’s a lifelong journey.
Your mentors? Annie Humphries, Tim Hartley, Vidal Sassoon, Luis Llongeras, Reg Laws, Aldo Coppolla, Trevor Sorbie and Leland Hirsch.
You mentor: I will and do mentor every single hairdresser I come in contact with, starting with my own team at Dop Dop and The L'Oreal Portfolio Team.
Are there benefits to being a woman in beauty? We are an industry for women, by women. We support and grow women to sustain our industry.
Are there challenges for women in beauty? When I started in the business, there were many challenges in the industry for women. Men have always run and led the industry. The truth is, no matter if a man is straight or gay, women are fascinated by how men see them. Don't get me wrong, if men are talented, it is an honor to watch them work, but if they are popular because of TV or celebrity, and they are not talented, it gets under my skin. I have worked fiercely for years to make a name for myself and I have seen many brilliant women work just as hard and not get anywhere.