Women of Style: Ann Cantu
Owner, The Color Studio, Houston, TX
International Creative Artist, Farouk Systems
Licensed: Pasadena High School career program, 2002
First job: Salon receptionist at age of 16
Clients per week: 70
Price point: $65 cut and blow dry
Why did you choose beauty as a career? I became a hairdresser to express my creativity. I use my artistry to make people feel more beautiful and transform their looks.
Milestones: Becoming a platform artist for a company that I truly believe in; winning 2010 hair colorist of the year, and being named Farouk’s 2011 Artist of the year
Big break? Lisa Marie Garcia, Farouk Systems show director, believed in my creativity and idea that women can dominate the show stage with education and passion.
Career advice you’ve received: The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others.
Career advice you’ve given: Don’t focus on negativity, but on passion and hair. Let the work speak for itself.
Your mentors: Lisa Marie Garcia, Joe Anthony Pena, Jason Yates, Mikko Horttana and Leonel Rodriguez
You mentor? Stylists at my salon, and all the young women and cosmetology students that attend hair shows where I perform.
Are there benefits to being a woman in beauty? We can relate to the hair and to our clients. We have the opportunity to teach them to take better care of themselves.
Are there challenges for women in beauty? Because we are visual people, we tend to judge and stereotype other women by their image instead of by talent and personality.
Sacrifice and reward. Constant traveling; leaving my salon, clients and family. However, the travel and exposure allowed me to do photo shoots, get published and work with celebrities.
Risk and lesson: Becoming a solo platform artist. I learned there is no “I” in team and it takes an amazing group of people to put on an amazing show.
What does “work/life” balance mean to you? I strive to keep my life balanced by giving enough of myself to these five categories: career, family, relationship, personal and religion.
To follow in your footsteps, a woman would have to: Have passion for education and learning, brand herself with a company she believes in and surround herself with positive people who enjoy their careers as much as she does.
Famous woman you would like to style? Jennifer Lopez—I love that Latina!
The next change to my personal style: Changing my hair color to a darker tone to bring out my eyes.
Reading: When I have opportunity, Vogue, Glamour and obviously, MODERN SALON
Playlist: Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”
Important client experience: One busy Saturday morning, we had a bridal party that did not have an appointment walk in. Their stylist was a no-show, and they were desperate. They were so pleased with our service, they became faithful clients and have referred at least 30 new clients.
Every day, just for you: 30 minutes of TV to unwind
What are you working on: A photo shoot for the 2012 hair shows