It may just be the first time in beauty industry history that three women have been at the helm of the most powerful beauty associations--Cosmetologists Chicago, Intercoiffure America/Canada and the Professional Beauty Association. As part of our Women in Leadership series, Michele Musgrove interviews Sheila Zaricor-Wilson, the new president of Intercoifure America/Canada, inviting her to share her history, her thoughts and her goals during her leadership.
Tell our audience about a little bit about your history in the professional beauty business, and your current leadership roles.
Zaricor-Wilson: I have been the co-owner of multiple salons, including five in Memphis and one in Los Angeles. In the 1980s, I worked to help develop a franchise of full service salons for men and women, I was the CEO of DiVari, a skin care research company with a patented water technology and I am the co-founder of the International Haircolor Exchange and the American Board of Certified Haircolorists. Presently, I am the owner of Master Design Salon & Wellness Studio in Memphis and the President Elect of Intercoiffure America/Canada.
When did you first become or feel you were a leader? In the professional beauty industry?
Zaricor-Wilson: When I volunteered for a few charity events, they kept asking me for advice and finally if I would mind taking over because people wanted to work with me. I realized that when you make it fun and not overwork the team, they want to be a part of it. After opening the second salon and a training center, I realized I enjoyed watching people grow and helping them to achieve their goals. This helped us expand to the five salons.
How has your leadership style evolved?
Zaricor-Wilson: I have softened....It took a while for me to realize that most people are not 24/7 when working on projects or their goals and sometimes they are not as excited as I am about them going to the next level. When someone called me the “little general,” I realized that I had to lead more than push.
What personal leadership trait or habit are you most proud of, particularly good at, and/or find to be most effective?
Zaricor-Wilson: I learned to listen not only with my ears but my eyes and gut. The body language and tone speaks louder than words sometimes. Someone I admired greatly as a leader once told me that God gave us two eyes, two ears and only one mouth for a reason.
This year (2018-19) may be the first time that three of the primary associations representing salon professionals are all being led by a woman at the helm at the same time. What significance (if any) do you find in this situation?
Zaricor-Wilson: Women have become more confident working together in the last few years. Up to then, women were fighting to be heard and worked independently or as a part of a couple. Now, we reach out and help other women become strong.
Tell us about one important objective that you hope to address during your tenure as president of your association, including why it is particularly relevant to salon owners and salon professionals today.
Zaricor-Wilson: I want to create an atmosphere for better conversations on mentoring at all levels, including salons and schools, salons and manufacturers, salons and media and market leader, commission-based salons to the industry as a whole.
What does the phrase “balance of power” mean to you, and how do you think it will or should apply to the professional salon community in the coming year?
Zaricor-Wilson: The balance of power, represents all aspects of the industry, working together to overcome challenges, enhance opportunities and/or make changes for the good of the industry.
What advice would you give other women in the professional beauty business who aspire to stronger or more visible leadership roles?
Zaricor-Wilson: Get involved, be open-minded, do not be afraid to step up and be willing to work.
What do you love most about your career in professional beauty and your role as president of Intercoiffure?
Zaricor-Wilson: I love knowing that I touch lives in a way that no other professional can and that I am touched by people who I would not have the opportunity to meet if I wasn't in this industry. Serving as president of Intercoiffure is going to allow me to open doors for a lot of people by connecting them to others who can help them grow. It is all about supporting each other and making this a better place to live, work and leave to the next generation.
Intercoiffure's Spring Atelier will be held at the Caesar's Palace Las Vegas April 6-9. CLICK HERE for more information.