Women of Style: Eva Scrivo
Owner, Eva Scrivo Salon, NYC
Celebrity Stylist, L’Oreal Professionel
Licensed: 1988, Mr. Bela’s School of Cosmetology in Michigan.
First job: Make-up artist at Justin Parish in Birmingham, MI
Clients per week: 30–40
Price point: $350 for hair cut; $400 for color
Why did you choose beauty? My career choice came quite naturally and I never agonized as a teenager over what I wanted to do with my life. I went to cosmetology school at 17, but I was doing hair since I was about 10 (mostly family and friends).
Milestones: Hosting my own radio talk show on beauty; opening my dream salon on Bond Street, NYC; having my book published
Big break: Becoming the resident beauty expert on NBC’s “Martha” and helping to produce my own segments.
Career advice you’ve received: “To have a great company, you must get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus.” From the book Good to Great by Jim Collins.
Career advice you’ve given: Being overly confident in your work can be a hazard to success. There’s a difference between quiet confidence and arrogance, which keeps you from being open to criticism and being able to scrutinize your own work. When focusing just on your strengths and not on your weaknesses, you stop growing
Your mentors: I never had the privilege of a great mentor to work under. I have always looked up to the many industry greats, but designed my own techniques and style.
You mentor: A staff of 30. I hope to help others in our industry through my book, as well as through the classes that I teach for L’Oréal Professionnel.
Are there benefits to being a woman in beauty? Being a woman helps me better understand, connect with and help other women, whether in my chair or in another part of the country.
Are there challenges for women in beauty? Although this is a profession that is dominated by women, and with mostly female clientele, there’s actually indirect discrimination against women by other women who need a man to make them feel sexy. In addition, this profession is very physically taxing (especially when wearing a heel), which is where men typically have an advantage. Nearly all of my hairstylists are women, and I always encourage them to exercise and take good care of their health.
Sacrifice and lesson: Just about everything other than my soul. Over the years, I have realized that it’s truly not worth it. The most important things are your family, health, and happiness, and to receive gratification from your work rather than feeling like you always have to strive for something more.
Risk and reward: Expanding from a small studio where I was the only stylist, to a big salon where I had to hire and train a large staff. I learned that the wrong people can destroy not only your business but also your reputation, and that there’s nothing more important than having the right people on your team. I also learned that the only way to build a sustainable business is to train and mentor your own staff.
What does “work/life” balance mean to you? When building a business, it becomes your life—there’s no way around it. Because my husband and I are also business partners, it can be difficult to not always think and talk about work. The best thing we did was to buy a house that’s an hour outside of the city, which is the only place where we feel separated from our business. We hash it out during the commute, and when we get home, we enter our own private world.
To follow in your footsteps, a woman would have to: Think more like a man. Don’t be so emotional, don’t take everything so personally, and refrain from letting the nurturing instincts take over. You’re not everyone’s mother.
Famous woman you would like to style: Kesha
Next change to my personal style: Grow my hair out to my waist and lose seven pounds.
Reading: Eat, Pray, Love
Playlist: “Rolling In The Deep” by Adele and “Morning Euphoria” by Chris Cornell
Important client experience: The Publisher of Atria Books (division of Simon & Schuster) came to me as a client and told me at the end of her appointment, “I love your voice. Have you ever thought of writing a book? Please come see me.”
Every day, just for you: Cooking, yoga and swimming
Working on: Concepts for my next book.