It was a pleasure to sit down with Berry and DJ in their chic environment where they fulfill a multitude of roles each day: salon professionals, visionaries, teachers and tastemakers. I think their profile says it all. They are also fellow mermaid enthusiasts. I wish MAINENTRANCE the best of luck at NAHA 2013.
How did you get your start in the industry? What was your first big break?
Berry Bachen: I come from an artist's background...my mom is an artist and I grew up doing about every project you can imagine. Originally, I went to hair school with the goal of learning a trade between my high school graduation and entering college as an art major . During my program I slowly realized.... I was good at it and I fell in love with the industry and it's many possibilities. When I told my parents, my mom said she always wondered what a little girl who colored in coloring books all day long was going to do for a career....well coloring hair definitely makes sense.
After hair school I decided to work for Toni & Guy in Dallas. It was a great time to be with the company, so much excitement, energy, and growth! I quickly moved up the ranks of colour education...finished my program, began educating in-salon, then advanced education, and filmed my first collection (Chromatic) by the time I was 21. It was a whirlwind.
DJ Riggs: My interest in the industry began fairly early. During my high school years I was on tour as a dancer and choreographer, I was always the one touching up everyone's hair to make sure they were performance ready. When we were on break from touring I decided to go to hair school...mainly because I was young and chasing a girl I was interested in. Luckily it was one of the best decisions.
I feel my biggest break into the industry came along when I moved to New York. I began to expand my influences and broke into the session world, working with artists like Odile [Gilbert] and Gavin [Harwin]. That's when my perspective broadened and I began to see the industry as I do today.
When you opened your own salon and founded an education program you were both established educators for a major manufacturer. What was the process of moving away from working under the umbrella of a large company to starting your own business?
MAINENTRANCE: Actually the process started in the same way we approach finding trends....by assessing. Specifically, assessing what was offered in our industry and what was missing. We were in a unique position, manufacturer leaders spoke to us about what their challenges were and what they wanted from their educators/employees; at the same time, individual artists told us what their challenges were and how they wanted to grow but didn't know how to get past their plateau to achieve their goals.