Nick Stenson, vice president of services and trend at Ulta Beauty, shares a recent proud moment and talks about efforts to champion diversity and inclusion to serve all guests’ beauty needs in every way. Here are his thoughts, along with an update on how Ulta is aligning all of its “experiential” areas—including events, boutique and services.
“We have so many reasons to be proud as beauty professionals,” Stenson says. “We have the privilege to live our passions to create and nurture. We help people look and feel their best, make a difference in their lives and use our talents, vision and ability to connect. Sometimes those moments are so powerful, they stop us in our tracks, validating that we are on the right path and motivating us to keep doing what we do.”
Recently, Nick says the entire team of Ulta Beauty associates experienced one of those moments.
“Our hearts burst with purpose and pride as Carolyn Anderson of Leesburg, Virginia, shared the now viral story and photo of her 4-year-old daughter, Maren, reacting to the Ulta Beauty model image you see featured on the cover of the October special edition of insideLOOK inside MODERN SALON.”
Maren, who uses a wheelchair herself, was awestruck when she saw a large display of the inclusive image, and her mom captured the moment.
“Well, Ulta, you absolutely stopped my girl in her tracks this evening,” Anderson wrote in a Facebook post in August. “It was mesmerizing to watch her stop, turn and gaze at this poster, so thank you.”
Anderson’s post was shared more than 80,000 times and picked up by numerous national media. She said the image really “spoke to us, and makes Maren feel included.”
According to Stenson, the Andersons’ story and its message “make all of us at Ulta Beauty feel even more inspired to continue to feature amazing people that help us shape how the world sees beauty.”
In case you missed it, the Ulta Beauty Pro Team’s “All Inclusive” collection in September MODERN SALON is all about embracing diversity and pushing boundaries beyond body type, skin tone, texture, gender, color application and more.
“At Ulta Beauty, we feel a genuine responsibility to celebrate the differences in the beauty we see around us, and also for creating the best possible experiences throughout our entire store and organization,” Stenson says.
Throughout a three-part insideLOOK series of special reports, Stenson and the Ulta Beauty team have highlighted the benefits and opportunities to “come grow with us” for beauty professionals.
“We’ve explained how the strength of our service business intersects so successfully with being part of the largest beauty retailer to tap into all areas of a guest’s beauty needs—whether pro, prestige or mass; skin, hair, brows, makeup or fragrance,” Stenson says. “It’s all under one beauty playground umbrella, providing the world’s largest waiting room of potential guests for your chair, all within easy reach.”
Stenson recently revealed that Ulta Beauty is taking this approach to the next level.
“All of the experiential parts of our business—salon services, specialty events and boutique business—will work seamlessly as a team to bring beauty to life through products and services,” he says. “All who create experiences will be speaking the same language, driving business from one area to another—from Benefit Brow Bar to skin services, from blow out to MAC, Lancome or Clinique touchups, from fragrance launch to styling tips. We are building strategies to cross-convert guests to experience all Ulta Beauty has to offer and to build the books and careers of all our arch experts, skin therapists, makeup artists and hair stylists.”
To help lead this important initiative, Stenson has promoted Megan Murray to Senior Director of Field Services and Specialty Operations. She will work closely with Director of Specialty Operations Melissa Doyle and Senior Manager of National Events Michelle Luna-Cason, as well as Brandy Lindoerfer-Schmidt, who will succeed Murray as the new Director of Field Services Operations.
“Ulta Beauty’s culture of collaboration between salon, specialty event and boutique teams offers a perfect trifecta of guest experiences to help beauty pros grow their business,” Murray says.
Stenson adds, “This is just one more way Ulta Beauty is animating the energy and connection around our brand, bringing all the possibilities together to build visibility for our team and the beautiful experiences they create,” he says.
Stenson encourages all beauty professionals to “come see our culture in action,” to visit an Ulta Beauty store near you and experience careers.ulta.com.
“Download our Ulta Beauty app, ask a store manager about free education opportunities and how to get a VIP pass,” he offers. “Check out our in-store promotions and play on our beauty playground. All are welcome.”