December 14, MODERN SALON and First Chair were given the tremendous honor to again be a part of the Matrix judging panel that picked 2013's Spread the Love winners. This being our third year on the judging panel, we thought it may be easier for us to pick the final six out of the 20 finalists, but we were wrong. This year was HARD. We spent hours deliberating--because, in the end, only six could be chosen.

Contestants had to launch a blog and gain followers, upload YouTube videos to introduce themselves and answer questions, and get recommendation letters. Then, they had to submit essays about themselves and their path to beauty, and create a top 50 Wish List. Matrix whittled down hundreds and hundreds of entries down to 20 finalists, who were then flown to New York City to meet last year's STL group, and for an American Idol-style live audition in front of the panel of judges. And, this year was different as technical skills were taken into consideration as well--the finalists were observed learning from the Matrix Artistic Directors and working on mannequins. After a very exciting/emotional/extremely challenging day of interviewing the 20 finalists, judges finally came to terms!

We are so excited for you to meet the members of 2012 Spread the Love!

These six recent beauty school graduates will share their journey of a lifetime as they travel state to state, salon to salon and event to event, exploring the country, connecting with stylists and learning the ins and outs of the professional beauty industry. Each week, the three teams of two will visit and work with different salons in different cities, attending beauty shows and taking in everything that makes the hairdressing industry incredible. They’ll learn new technical skills, salon business practices, and all the special ways salons touch their communities. … all in exchange for blogging and documenting their experience on

Jackie Hovorka, from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and a recent graduate of Black Hills Beauty College, says she lives for hair--"I've never had a hunger, passion or drive for anything the way I do for hair." Her purple hair, passion for the industry and bubbly attitude won a place in our hearts. "I'm in shock, I can't believe I'm here--but I'm SO glad I am!"

Mario J. Smith, a graduate of Long's School of Cosmetology in Terra Haute, Indiana, has always loved doing hair and loves to braid but, as he says, he would love to learn more. "I'm a hard worker, full of ambition and perseverance," he says. "Words can't express how excited I am to win. I almost passed out in my chair! But, I'm glad I didn't because no one would be able to pick me up!" [Smith is nearly 7-feet tall!]

Erwin Sapao, a graduate of Penrose Academy in Scottsdale, Arizona, wants to inspire other to trust in their abilities and capabilities. "I am focused, determined, driven and fun to be around," he says. And with a personal recommendation letter from Spread the Love 2012 member Todd Kane, we know Sapao will be a great addition to the team.

Carley Throgmorton from Taylor Andrews Academy in West Jordan, Utah, says, "Cosmetology has given me so much of who I am. I've spent my whole life looking for a way to express myself and the hair industry has given that to me." With a love of glitter and sequins and a personality so bubbly and bright, we can't wait to see what she contributes to the team!

Patrick Heid from Spring Hill, Florida, has been doing hair since he was 14 and is a very proud hairdresser. "I had the honor of meeting the 2012 Spread the Love team, and also learning from Patrick McIvor--who inspired me to share my passion with the world," he says. Heid is also a talented guitarist and he's even a trained fire dancer!

Jessica Bosworth, a graduate of Chattahoochee Technical School in Marieta, Georgia, was so excited when she found out she won. She has a love for this industry that she wants to share with future cosmetology graduates and this program is an excellent platform for her to do so.




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