CHOOSE BEAUTY: A Profile of Nadine Ramos, Founder of LASIO
Hometown: New York City
Now reading: The Go Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. “When you have reached a point of success—and I define success as accomplishing what you set out to do—it is such a blessing and you should pass onto the next person by taking time out to mentor, encourage and motivate. That is a ‘go-giver,’ someone who gives of themselves to help move others.”
Hidden talent: Great cook
My favorite way to relax: Hands down, a day at the spa, getting a massage.
Lasio? “I am a proud Latina and I knew incorporating my culture into my baby was a must. The word ‘Lasio’ means ‘silky, smooth hair’ in Spanish.”
Entrepreneurial Inspiration: Bethenny Frankel. “She is so realistic about the constant sacrifice of being an entrepreneur. She inspires me to find balance.”
My Mantra: “I have this saying on my wall in my office, ‘Some people dream of success and others wake up and work hard at it.’”
Nadine Ramos, Founder and CEO of LASIO Professional Haircare, never set limits on her life. Growing up, her family budget was modest, but looking good was a priority. “My mom was a single parent so we didn’t have the financial means but we made do with what we had and we got more creative."
Ramos, whose LASIO Keratin Straightening Treatments and HYPERSILK care and styling products are offered in salons around the world and in her own Keratin Lounge, says she didn’t choose beauty but beauty chose her.
“I was very young and had just recently lost my Mom. She was everything to our family and I was left with a huge responsibility that overwhelmed me every single day,” Ramos said. “I had jobs—receptionist, accountant, event coordinator—but I was always so unhappy going to those jobs, knowing there was more but I didn’t know what that was.
“Over ten years ago, my friend, a beautiful Brazilian girl, invited me to go with her to get her hair done in Astoria, Queens. The man who was doing her hair straightening treatment was originally from Brazil. I saw this transformation in her hair and in her and I instantly felt this rush of purpose, of excitement, and I knew my life was going to change.”
Ramos went on a quest, taking all her savings to travel to Brazil with this man and find the product he was using. She became an entrepreneur, overnight. “Thank God for the internet. I found a cream based product but needed to find out the formula. So you start typing in search terms and phrases: How do I de-formulate? How do I hire a chemist? How do I bring this back to the US? I was so motivated and dedicated to researching, asking questions. When you want something so much you’re not going to just sit there. Your brain and heart start connecting, you’re not sleeping and all you’re thinking is, how can I get this going?”
What she describes as “Step Number Ten” was the decision to enroll in Midway Paris Beauty School to become a trained and licensed technician. “I was horrible,” Ramos laughs. “I couldn’t hold a scissor, I couldn’t hold a comb, but I knew I needed this and my dream kept me going. And it helped so much. Understanding theory, learning everything about the hair follicle, meant I could take that information and create an entire education program around Keratin Treatments.”
Starting out mobile, Ramos eventually opened a flagship salon, Keratin Lounge, formerly known as Lasio Studios. She grossed over two million dollars in her first year of business.
Today, Ramos says her role is to keep taking that next step. “I focus on staying innovative, on creating and manufacturing new and effective products for salon professionals and providing distributors with quality products and knowledge through education and partnerships.”
Next up is a “new category that will change the way we think about curls” and expanding her flagship salon system to new locations in Miami, Los Angeles and New York City.
After years of being responsible for everything, Ramos has put a team in place and learned to let go. “I would never walk away but you learn to trust.”
And her advice for interested, aspiring entrepreneurs? “Remain hungry, remain teachable, because that is how you grow, you learn and you create. And over the years it becomes second nature.”