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Color America: Jo Blackwell

Patrick McIvor | July 10, 2011 | 11:59 PM

As I shared in my last blog, Color America has been an amazing opportunity to be involved with Cosmetologists Chicago and the America’s Beauty Show Team. The event in Fort Worth gave me the opportunity to work with another amazing colorist—Jo Blackwell-Preston.

I first met Jo about 20 years ago at one of the first HairColor USA events in Florida. If you can believe it, at that time, being a colorist was something that was not so common and Jo Blackwell (not yet Preston) was one of the hottest, young colorists in the country. I can even remember the micro-weave technique she shared on stage at the event. I always liked Jo, because you can feel the powerful, positive energy she has just by standing near her. And with Jo, that is just the beginning.

Jo’s life has so many dynamic moments, and some that as a hairdresser I would never even have dreamed of, which is what makes her so inspirational to me. People often ask me how I do all I do and my answer is, I don’t sleep, don’t stop, don’t waste time. I am always running like crazy, and thank goodness for my wife because she is the secret to our success. Now truth be told, I follow Jo both on Facebook and Four Square and her schedule always seems way more hectic than mine. When I ask her how she does it, there is a sense of real peace in her answer. She explained  simply just to “let go and let God.” For Jo, her personal grounding and peace is the center for all she does to make others better.

I love talking with Jo because she always gives me great little nuggets I can use to be better in my life, as an owner and behind the chair with guests. Here are some nuggets from Jo that made a difference for me.

• Be present. If Jo is taking care of guests, that’s all she is doing—if a team member asks a question while she is working behind the chair, she reminds them it is not appropriate for that time. When she is reading to her children, everything else is out of her mind and it is just her time with the kids. In addition to family vacations, time away is also taken with her husband (alone) to keep their marriage strong. Her family even schedules an uninterrupted bath time so Jo can take care of Jo. So smart. They say you plan for success and failure happens—Jo clearly has a great plan.

• Jo’s salon, Dop Dop in NYC, has some amazing talent working there. Jo also wants the team to celebrate their talents outside the salon and gives them time to be educators, pursue careers in music, acting, photography—whatever it is they want to do. It is celebrating her team’s other personas that she believes makes them more fulfilled hairstylists, colorists, managers and team members.

• Jo told me her promise to her husband is to be the best she can be and to be his biggest cheerleader. His promise to her is to be the best he can be and to be her biggest cheerleader. WOW, that makes it easy, now I just need to do it as well as Jo does.

The more I know about Jo, the more I love about her. The most amazing thing to me is the person she is represents only the tip of the iceberg of the accomplishments and accolades she has already received. From being one of the youngest Intercoiffure Owners in the World, to the Emmy she won for a Public Safety Message she did with Harlem Firefighters and Elmo, to being Knighted in France for what she has done in our industry. Heck, most of us would be proud just owning a top salon in New York City, but this dynamic women is so much more than just one of the best colorists in the world.

Patrick McIvor, Matrix Artistic Director – the leading professional haircare and haircolor company in the United States and part of the L’Oreal USA Professional Products Division. He owns patrick mcivor color studio (Bethlehem, PA) and studio two (Allentown, PA) – the two hottest hair studios in the Lehigh Valley. As one of the most respected colorists in the industry, McIvor mentors his team by involving them in runway work at New York Fashion Week; fashion/beauty editorial shoots and interviews with publications like Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Real Simple, Seventeen, Family Circle and Allure (editors named him best colorist in the USA); and television segments on “The 10! Show”/NBC Channel 10, WFMZ “Channel 69 News” and “Good Housekeeping Reports.” His studio provides stellar hair services inspired by international cosmopolitan influences such as fashion, cultural and global trends. In other words, guests leave with beautiful, sexy believable hair. McIvor is also featured in the book “50 Hairstylists.”



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Color America: Jo Blackwell



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