Women of Substance: Sara Jones
Senior Vice President and General Manager
Licensed: In 1980, after attending Stewart’s School of Cosmetology
Affiliations: PBA and the National Professional Salon Industry Council for City of Hope, for which she currently serves as council chair.
With a cosmetology license in hand, Sara Jones blazed a career path that’s brought her to lead Joico/ISO, one of the most dynamic manufacturers in industry. After working two years behind the chair, Sara Jones became an educator for Redken, traveling a five-state region in the Midwest educating salons in haircolor. She eventually moved into sales management, holding executive positions for several top manufacturers, including Wella, Graham Webb, Sebastian and Matrix, before finding her way to Joico in 2005. In 2011, Jones was named the City of Hope’s Spirit of Life Honoree and she spearheaded a year-long industry campaign which raised $1.2 million for the healthcare facility.
Who were your mentors? “There are too many to mention, but the most influential person on my career was Arnie Miller, the founder of Matrix Essentials.”
How has being a woman made your career path harder or easier? “I can’t say I had any barriers by being a woman. Even in the times when this industry was overwhelmingly run by the ‘old boys’ club,’ I found a way to make sure my talents and skills were known. Perhaps I needed to be more assertive than my male counterparts in order to get noticed, but once I did, I found my merits were measured equally.”
What would you consider your biggest professional break? “Being hired in 1987 as a regional sales manager for Matrix, to cover one of their biggest distributors, which at the time was Victory Beauty Supply. I had very little sales experience, but for some reason Arnie Miller was willing to give me a shot. I learned a tremendous amount about business, marketing and people management in those years. The skills I gained gave me the foundation for how I operate today.”
What’s the best business advice anyone ever gave you? “Lighten up…you take things too seriously.”
What’s the best business book you’ve ever read? “Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends On It, by Al Reis. I’ve applied the practices in the book many times in my career and have always found them successful.”
What business achievement are you most proud of: “Receiving the ‘Spirit of Life’ award by the City of Hope, representing the Professional Salon Industry. I was honored to lead the campaign for such a worthy cause and to celebrate with my industry, my company and my family in one glorious evening.”
What do you hope to achieve in the next five years? “I hope to lead Joico in achieving our ‘Operation Mountaintop’ goal. Sorry…that’s all I can say!”