If you know anything about hair, you’ve heard of Marie Robinson’s bustling NYC salon. Home to a full house of talented hair and makeup artists, colorists, and eyebrow experts, Marie Robinson salon is the go-to celeb hot spot in the big apple. If you haven’t heard of Marie, you most definitely have seen her work on some of her dedicated clients (Michelle Williams, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, and Ryan Gosling to name a few!). We had a chat with Marie about what it takes to make it as a salon owner and the few tips she found that set her apart through her career. Take a peek below to see what she had to say.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I started when I was 18 years old. I’d just gotten out of beauty school and headed for all the major color salons for an apprentice position, but everywhere was full! Pierre Michel was known for cutting, but they took me in. While there I worked with an amazing group of both colorists and stylists, such as Danilo Dixon. They put me out on the floor and helped me begin doing what I love most….hair color.
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
Starting out so young, I struggled with confidence. I knew what to do when it came to hair color but my lack of years and experience made me think that I wasn’t good enough to do major color changes. I realized that starting young wasn’t a bad thing but gave me an edge. I was different because I wanted to try and learn everything and was open to everything.
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
Besides Danilo and Christophe Robin, my present business partner and husband Abell Oujaddou has been a huge inspiration. I have always appreciated all of the opportunities that have come my way, but he has taught me patience and to open my ears more than my mouth. When you listen, you learn a lot about your peers around you and your clients.
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
Everyone now thinks it’s for platinum hair and years ago they would have said brunettes. I really don’t have a style or signature and I think that’s great! I just always aim to be a good colorist that helps you look and feel your best. As long as it’s going to make you look and feel beautiful, I want to make it happen!
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
I love Wella color, especially the Magma collection. It’s a fun product for painting or any special effects you want to create. Usually a pink tail comb, pink clips, ink combs, foils or saran wrap.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Servicing the client has always been important, but you need to remember that sometimes clients can have bad days too. Approaching them with a little more patience and softness will help you build long-lasting client relationships. It’s not just the product you’re giving them but also the way you deliver it.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? What advice would you give to new stylists?
The best piece of advice I’ve received and also the advice that I would share with new stylists and colorists, is that you are only as good as your last cut, style and color. Always keep giving it your all.
What is the next chapter for you?
Maybe I’ll open more salons? You never know! Right now though my focus is on continuing to provide a great environment for clients as well as staff, try to become the best mentor to our employees, and help them become the best possible colorists and stylists so that we can help them achieve their personal and career goals.
How would you describe your beauty and hair philosophy?
Service, service, and better service!
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