Stylist, A Robert Cromeans Salon, San Diego
VP Education, JPMS
First job: Assistant.
Clients per week: I work about four days a month in the salon and average 12 guests per day
Price point: Cuts: $150, color: $125 and up; Awapuhi Wild Ginger KeraTriplex Treatment: $38.
robertcromeans.com, stephaniekocielski.com, paulmitchell.com
Why did you choose beauty? All my life I was the tall kid, so I needed to fit in and feel normal. A career as a hairdresser became the front-runner choice in my life for those reasons. It made me cool! And I wanted to make people feel good and provide them with a true experience.
Milestones: Meeting Paul Mitchell, co-founder of JPMS, while in beauty school; becoming a Paul Mitchell National Educator and seeing a career path where growth was possible; working at A Robert Cromeans Salon; being known as a mentor for the industry
Big break: Came from Paul Mitchell, the hairdresser
Career advice you’ve received: To continually strive to give people the absolute best experience, whether it is as a guest in the salon chair or in an 8,000 person audience at a show. Raise the standard.
Career advice you’ve given: Take a risk. Don't be shy. Go after what you want to do in your career—with a fast pace and standards.
Your mentors? Paul Mitchell helped me see what was possible and Robert Cromeans helps me see how far I can go.
You mentor: The entire Paul Mitchell School student body, and I love it.
Are there benefits to being a women in beauty? Yes, I think there are many special gifts to being a woman in this industry.
Are there challenges for women in the beauty? I think our industry has unlimited opportunity. Choose what you want to do and it can happen.
Sacrifice and lesson: Time. I’ve learned you never have enough of it, so enjoy the time you are in and look to spend time with the right people.
Risks and reward: I love to take them! And I am so thankful most have worked out in my favor. I’ve learned to never burn bridges, just cross them.
What does “work/life” balance mean to you? I’ve started to plan for life first, then add work.
To follow in your footsteps, a woman would have to: Love people. Find a group of people who make you feel like a new person. Never be afraid of work. Take risks and do anything and everything in the industry, then find what you love, and soar.
Famous woman you would like to style: Lady Gaga. She has no limits.
Next change to my personal style: I feel a total change is happening to me. I don't know what it will bring in the image category, but am excited to find out.
Reading: Several books right now, including The 5th Agreement; an autobiography of Salvador Dali, and a fitness book about goal setting.
Playlist: “Your Just Too Good To Be True” and Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep.”
Important client experience: I love all of my clients, but one in particular named Joy. She is a very powerful businesswoman who is starting a new business. After knowing her 15 years, I see a new person who is scared, but ready to rule the world. There is power in reinvention. It makes me see the need every day for my staff and for me.
Every day, just for you: I make a special tea every morning to get me going.
Working on: The Hawaii Seminar. It was Paul Mitchell's wish to spread new ideas to hairdressers and to renew their spirit inside and out. So I’m trying to live up to this standard and plan a great workshop! Also sketching a new cut and color that can be inspiring and profitable!
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.