From securing voting rights in 1920 to launching world-renowned corporations, we’ve come a long way as females! International Women’s Day takes place on March 8th this year. It’s a global day that champions the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women all around the globe. We tend to go full speed all year but for one day, International Women’s Day allows us to take a pause and applaud the baddies around us.
Here at Mane Addicts, we love celebrating women and their accomplishments more than anyone. This series will take you inside the lives and minds of some of the biggest female names in hair.
This isn’t Gail Federici first time at a rodeo. The serial entrepreneur helped launch John Freida and a slew of other household name brands, and now she’s the mastermind behind Color Wow. Here, she spills to Mane Addicts her winning morning routine and how she gets it all done.
MA: Tell us about your business.
Gail Federici: We are a problem/solution hair care company that is known for innovative products that help change women’s lives like our Root Cover Up that’s won 7 ALLURE Awards, our Dream Coat that transforms texture and has unparalleled anti-humidity protection. We are and always have been dedicated to making products that make a real difference which is why I believe we’ve been blessed with over 70 beauty awards.
MA: How did you get started in hair?
Gail Federici: Although I’m not a licensed cosmetologist I’ve been doing hair ever since college. I used to do all my friends hair before every formal. I got my first job in the beauty industry actually by chance. I wound up temping at Zotos Profession Hair Care and stayed there for ten years.
MA: What was the first step you took to start your company?
Gail Federici: I packed up my twins moved to London with my business partner Ann Bell to join forces with John Frieda who had his own line of bespoke products. Having already been in the hair business for 10 years and being a bit of a lab rat, I was armed with an idea for how to make a product for frizzy hair which I desperately wanted to make happen as that was the bain of my existence.
MA: What have you found useful to get through the hard times?
Gail Federici: I think I tend to function better when things get tough as crazy as that may sound. It brings out the fighter in me. Hard times keep me from getting complacent.
MA: What makes you unique as a female entrepreneur?
Gail Federici: Honestly, I don’t think I’m unique as a female entrepreneur. I think compared to our male counterparts all women entrepreneurs (at least in the beauty business) are unique because I think we deeply understand our audience and what they need. I think we have a unique ability to create compelling products and compelling communication that strikes to the heart of the matter because we are our consumers and we want to help make theirs and our lives better in whatever large or small way we can.
MA: What is the best advice you’ve received on your entrepreneur journey?
Gail Federici: I read a lot of books by other entrepreneurs or leaders and I’ve learned a lot of different lessons from them but someone told me once “The harder you work the luckier you get” and I think that always resonated.
MA: Do you have any tips for young females looking to get into the hair?
Gail Federici: Learn about the corporate culture and the product ethos to make sure your values align. It’s an exciting time with lots of opportunities. If you can, find yourself a mentor and immerse yourself in products.
MA: What is your morning routine? How does it help you kick off your day?
Gail Federici: I always start with a warm glass of water with lemon and honey then follow it up with a cup of coffee. Next, when I’m being disciplined (which is not often enough I head down to the treadmill for half an hour. Every other day when I’m washing my hair, I typically am testing a new product. Seriously, it is a rare morning that I am not testing something. Since we don’t typically nail a new product immediately, I’m often wearing a hat lol.
MA: What tech device or app do you credit for making you more productive?
Gail Federici: I tried the tool Sanebox to help me organize my emails quickly, but it turned into my Insane Box.