ASHLEY: Welcome to Outgrowth: A Slice of Pro Beauty with your hosts Ashley Gregory Hackett.
JAIME: And Jaime Schrabeck. Whether we challenge assumptions or share something new, we give our Outgrowth listeners a distinct advantage, relevant information from reliable sources.
ASHLEY: In case you missed it, we revisit the most controversial topics Outgrowth covered during this most unusual year. Let’s grow together.
ASHLEY: Well, Jaime, as 2020 has been full of surprises, most of them bad, and some of them pretty good.
JAIME: It just so happens that the launch of Outgrowth coincided with the awareness of the start of the pandemic, even though we realize now that it likely had already started in the United States before we launched.
ASHLEY: Exactly, and we really got thrown into the thick of it all being in New York the week before everything started to get shut down, and as Outgrowth grew, so did our awareness and knowledge around COVID-19 and exactly how it would shape the industry for this year and beyond.
JAIME: Reflecting on the episodes that we recorded this year, COVID definitely took a starring role.
ASHLEY: Agreed, as it should have, because it touched every part of our industry and really every part of our lives. And for us, it gave us a really clear vision and mission with Outgrowth to make sure that we serve our audience, our listeners, and our industry at large by providing fact-based information directly from the source, whether it be the people making policy, the people writing regulations, what have you. We wanted to make sure we got direct information without really any interpretation or opinion attached.
JAIME: In many ways, it might’ve made it easier to get that information because with a ready audience of listeners, those sources knew that their information would get directly to their ideal audience.
ASHLEY: Exactly. I’ve really enjoyed working with you throughout this, well, I’d say, what is it 10 months now? Making sure that we’re providing information that isn’t spun in one direction and getting it into the hands of the people who matter which are beauty professionals so that they can make informed decisions about their livelihood.
JAIME: One of the blessings, we didn’t have to compromise our mission at all. In fact, I think our mission was built for this kind of circumstance.
ASHLEY: Oh, I totally agree. And we’re seeing some of the same questions pop up continuously. And so we thought it would be really important to put together an entire episode called In Case You Missed It to really show that no matter what kind of question you have throughout this really uncertain year, we’ve got an episode for that.
JAIME: Sometimes more than one episode.
ASHLEY: That is true. Seeing as though most of our topics revolve around something having to do with COVID-19 and how it affects your business or your life, we have just a ton of information to share. And so whether you joined us recently or you kind of skip around to different episodes, we wanted to highlight some of the really important episodes that get a lot of great information out there and speak to questions that we’re seeing really every day.
JAIME: Repeatedly, every day, in multiple places. We see these questions on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, private emails. We see them everywhere and as much as we may have known going into this situation, sometimes our listeners need to hear it from someone else.
ASHLEY: Definitely, and I don’t blame them for that. Make sure you get your information from a good reliable source. So I’d like to start with one of the first things that is pretty apropos from our episode last week, but I’ve seen lots of discussion online about how it’s not our responsibility to keep track of what is redeemed or spent on gift cards or gift certificates. That it’s a chore. It’s boring. It’s not our job, that our clients should really keep track of that information themselves. We obviously covered that last week in our episode titled What You Need to Know to Sell Gift Cards. That just came out on December 7th. But this attitude is really surprising to me. I don’t know about you, Jaime, but I feel like if I were to walk into a Starbucks or a Target, and present a gift card, and say, I don’t know how much is left on this. And they said, well, that’s your problem. I would be pretty turned off to giving that company my business.
JAIME: Where we get ourselves into trouble is comparing our small businesses with much larger businesses and thinking that because we don’t have the resources, we don’t have the systems in place, we don’t have someone telling us how to track gift cards that somehow we shouldn’t have to.
ASHLEY: Yeah, that buck starts and stops with us, especially if you’re an independent beauty professional. It is up to you to keep really good records, as we covered in that episode, of all aspects of gift card transactions, from the initial sale of it to redemptions whether those are incremental or for the whole amount, because what’s to stop someone from continuously redeeming that gift card well beyond its value if you’re not keeping track.
JAIME: What frustrates me about this topic? No one’s forcing you to sell gift cards. You’re not required to do this. You are required to track your income and your expenses. So at a minimum, you should be doing this anyway. This just adds a layer of complication that I think after listening to our episode, some people may be questioning whether it’s even worth doing.
ASHLEY: It really made me rethink whether I would offer gift cards in the future. But also, the big point I think that comes from that episode is that the purchase of a gift card doesn’t count as income on your books until it’s redeemed. So you can’t just accept their money for a gift card, and raise your hands, and say, okay, it’s on you now. That stays as a liability in your accounting until it’s redeemed, which is something I don’t think a lot of us knew beforehand.
JAIME: I don’t think the accounting is something that most people even consider. They just think of it as a cash-basis business and that money just flows. And once they’ve collected the money, they seem to forget about it later when that gets redeemed because you hear others complain about having to work for free. You’re not working for free if someone claims a service or a product and pays for it with a gift card. You’ve already accepted the money. You are meeting your obligation by servicing the client.
ASHLEY: Exactly. I highly recommend especially this time of year and moving into the next few months when people will be redeeming their gift cards. Definitely take a listen to that episode. It’s really going to help you get the big picture of what your responsibility is surrounding gift cards.
JAIME: The top of my list was a no brainer for me. I had to start my list with the question that was repeated so often that it made me want to scream, which was, why doesn’t state board advocate for us?
ASHLEY: Ah, yes, that old chestnut.
JAIME: We saw this repeatedly and we still see this, even though the message is starting to seep through to some that didn’t know before, that the state board is a government agency and it operates under the authority of the legislature and the governor’s office, regardless of which state you’re in. And it was never meant to be an advocacy organization. It’s a government agency tasked with regulating its licensees.
ASHLEY: We talked about this in an episode, State Board: Straight From the Source back in August. And it seems like there’s this weird relationship between paying a fee for your license or for your renewal fee, and then expecting something in return. And we’ve already received that. It’s our license or a renewed license. That’s kind of where the relationship ends, unless there would be some type of disciplinary action or something down the line. But I don’t understand why we equate state board with something like an industry association.
JAIME: That’s why the analogy to having your driver’s license or even a business license from your city. That’s not an expectation there of having paid for any kind of advocacy. You’re paying for permission to operate legally, and that’s all.
ASHLEY: Yeah. And I know when this episode came out, it caused quite a bit of controversy, especially since we’ve put out audio grams on social media each week. And the response to that 50 second clip or 58 second clip was, so what? This person is saying they don’t advocate for us, so what? And it surprised me, honestly, that there was such a harsh reaction to this episode. I think this was one of our most controversial episodes, really. In that speaking directly to Kristy Underwood, the executive officer of the California state board, she laid it out in black and white and did it very pleasantly. But the conversation surrounding that episode was really surprising. So if it’s an episode you have not listened to, I highly recommend you go back and take a listen. It really helps spell out the big picture for what the role of any state board really is.
JAIME: Her job is very complicated by the fact that the licensees don’t even understand what the role of the board is. I can’t even imagine the revelation, and I know that’s something that Kristy pointed out was that this entire pandemic has drawn attention to the fact that the board. Apparently hasn’t done a good enough job reinforcing what its role is, and for that, I go back to the beauty schools. Beauty schools should make it clear what the role of the board is.
ASHLEY: I agree, because they’re our introduction to the board. They’re the ones preparing us for our first official transaction with the board which is our licensing exam. And so that is their responsibility to help us understand what role the board plays in our professional relationship with them. And then, yes, I do think the onus is on the state board to maintain that level of awareness, but it seems just based on participating in some of the state board meetings that I have this year, whether it be in Illinois or in California, that lack of understanding, just perpetuates.
JAIME: It exemplifies how little our industry understands about how government functions.
ASHLEY: And boy, do we have a few episodes on that. So I think in 2021, we’ve agreed that that’s something we’re going to focus on as a podcast is helping bridge that gap between expecting the state board to advocate for you and really what your active role can be as a beauty professional in protecting our industry and advocating for it.
JAIME: I look forward to those episodes because it gives us the opportunity to interact with people, playing different roles in government and making it more, I don’t want to say the word personal, but just making it more real and concrete rather than just accessing a website and reading a piece of legislation. It’s so much more interesting when we can actually have a discussion with the person who drafted the legislation.
JAIME: Or the regulator who’s in charge of actually implementing.
ASHLEY: Yes, so more to come on that, but definitely check out State Board: Straight From the Source from back in August. Something else, Jaime, that I have been seeing really, since the beginning of my beauty career is asking someone on Facebook, what’s a good commission rate for joining a new salon, or what’s a good commission rate for starting off as a booth renter? And this just has its fingers in so many different parts of our industry from misclassification, to not understanding how to price correctly, to just I think the naivete, a lot of us had when we first started, but I see numbers flying around 50%, 60%. I know I see a lot of these threads because you go in and say, well, if it’s straight commission, it’s a problem. It gets into employment misclassification and things like that. But if this is something that you have been asking yourself or your peers, definitely listen to Money Matters: Accountant Answers Part 2 from in September. And then of course, Re-Lease Me: Salon & Booth Rental Contracts, which is one of the appearances from Amy Toepper from Legal In A Box. We asked accountants, attorneys, people who are well versed in the ins and outs of these types of relationships, what exactly you should look for, prepare yourself for, what’s fair, and what’s legal in these situations.
JAIME: If you’re in the position of offering that to someone because you’re the salon owner, we’ll have more episodes for you next year about how to expand your business and do it legally. Because I know there’s this thinking that in order to generate more income, you need to involve other professionals in your business. There’s a legal way to do it and there’s an illegal way to do it. And what we see predominantly in our industry is that most salons don’t do it legally.
ASHLEY: That’s right. And that’s a dangerous precedent that’s been set. And so we may be leaving a situation that wasn’t doing it correctly and just moving from bad situation to bad situation because, well, that’s just how we’ve always done it. This way you can arm yourself with some actual correct terminology, correct legal information, to make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success because there should never be a trial by fire when we enter this industry. And I think that a lot of these situations contribute to the attrition rate within our industry. It is a difficult transition moving from beauty school to being a practicing beauty professional. And this just makes it harder. So if we can remove that extra layer of difficulty by arming people with the right information, we can really improve not only the quality of life of beauty professionals around the world, but maybe even the perception of the beauty industry from outside.
JAIME: We don’t want you to be a victim or an offender. Otherwise, this just perpetuates. If you got into the industry and this is how you’ve been treated and you didn’t know any better, I don’t blame people for opening up a business and thinking that they can somehow replicate that same kind of compensation for the professionals working in their salons. So we really do need to address this from the level of student right on through to the veteran salon owner because there are some very famous people, in fact, who operate salons and don’t do it the right way.
ASHLEY: I want to give a shout out to you to an episode called the Luxury Lie wherein we spoke with a manicurist Gracie J who explained exactly how misclassification and labor exploitation worked in one of the most famous nail salons in New York City. So check that one out as well.
JAIME: Consumers have a role to play too.
ASHLEY: Boy, do they. And I think we’ll be talking about that next year as well.
JAIME: Going back to a more COVID-related topic, we’ve seen this question come up and maybe it just encapsulates how we don’t understand where we fit into the larger society. The question is, why aren’t we considered essential? Why is Home Depot open and we’re not?
ASHLEY: Well, why is Home Depot open and we’re not, Jaime?
JAIME: Oh, my goodness. The false comparisons, this entire pandemic has been about false comparisons about the nature of our work, the length, quality, and content of our training, what our licensure means. There’s so much that’s been said in order to protect our right to do business that a lot of what gets said is not only not accurate, but it’s actually laughable.
ASHLEY: Even today, I saw a very pandering post from a social media coach in the salon space putting her hand on her chest and pointing at the camera and saying, you are essential. And I, I almost pulled a muscle rolling my eyes because while it is difficult to be told that your business is not essential, I think deep down we all understand that it isn’t. And I’m not talking about cutting toenails of the elderly or providing a self-confidence boost to our clients. That’s not up for discussion or debate. But we sat down with an expert in epidemiology, as well as in procedures for operating safely, and that’s in our Clean Hands, Safe Salons series Parts 1-4. So that’s a little bit of homework for you, but in that we go over exactly what the hierarchy of industry means. And I don’t know about you, Jaime, but I don’t wax people’s faces in Home Depot.
JAIME: I think it’s born out of the frustration and we uses that word a lot this year, the frustration of not understanding why things are happening, not understanding how to make it better, not understanding how to explain yourself. And I don’t know if we’re all expecting participation trophies or what the issue is, but we just don’t seem to grasp that this is a health crisis, not a beauty crisis. Is it impacting us negatively? Absolutely. Do our clients love us and value us? Yes, that’s true. But even as we’ve been able to reopen, we’ve discovered that we’re not as, I don’t want to say not as valued, but clients, not all of them are coming back. So they are finding that they’re able to manage on their own. And I think that hurts a little bit. I think that stings.
ASHLEY: Of course. There has been this confusion between the terms essential and valuable, and understanding that you have a non-essential business can feel like someone is saying what you do is not valuable. That’s not the discussion here. nor has it been the entire time. And so I just think about it. I think I mentioned it in one of the episodes. You know, I love the part of the Walking Dead where they go and get food. They find a water source and then they make sure they have a haircut. Like it just doesn’t, it’s not the same thing. Essentials mean essential to live. A hardware store contains things that are essential to live. Whereas whatever we’ve done to pivot and provide for ourselves, it doesn’t mean that your business is not essential to your livelihood. It just means it’s not required for survival in the bigger picture. So until the purge siren rings, I think we all need to just settle down with that conversation and stop conflating essential with valuable.
JAIME: And stop over-inflating our education. We have a very basic vocational education. Did it take a long time? Did it cost a lot of money? Yes, yes, to both of those questions. But that being said, we’re not health and safety experts by any stretch and in no way, should we be comparing ourselves to the level of training, and regulation, and cleanliness that a medical or a dental office practices.
ASHLEY: I think that also goes back to just trying to understand where we fit in the world. And I don’t blame members of our industry for being frustrated, but I think that this essential versus valuable conversation creates a slippery slope into another topic that we’ve both seen quite a bit, which is asking, what are the consequences for continuing to work if we have a stay at home order or a shelter in place order, or our county has been shut down? There’s been a lot of kind of bombastic conversation on social media and beyond saying, look, they can’t shut us all down. I’m going to encourage you to continue to work because yes, you need to earn a living and they can’t shut down or take away the license for every person who continues to work. We covered that, of course, in the state board episode back in August. We talked a lot about it during Filling the Leadership Gap: A Call to Action, also in August. And then importantly, we discussed it with Tracy Donnelly in Exclusions Apply: What Your Liability Insurance Won’t Cover Parts 1 and 2.
I think that’s a great place to start understanding that. Yes, you may not face ramifications officially from the state board if they don’t know about you continuing to operate, but if something were to happen, your liability insurance absolutely will not cover you during that time. And that’s I think more than just something to consider.
JAIME: I can imagine a scenario in which someone doesn’t necessarily get injured, but claims to have been injured and could still sue you. Because as we know, from talking to Amy Teopper repeatedly, and even in our own experience, that someone could sue you for anything. They don’t actually have to have suffered an injury to clai ,to have, and to create a huge headache for you that can be very costly to defend. So there’s that. And we haven’t seen exactly what state boards are going to do. We haven’t necessarily seen the extent to which local authorities, whether they be the health officials or the district attorneys, are going to impose consequences and it may be that those consequences come months after the behaviors that violated the orders.
ASHLEY: As well as the perception of clients and potential clients that if you’ll let this slide, what other safety protocols are you willing to look the other way on? This isn’t taking into account the fact that we need to put food on the table and a roof over our head, you know, the actual essentials. This is more a conversation of what’s the worst that could happen. And I think we’ve answered that in those past episodes. Definitely something to keep in mind, but it’s almost as if we’re kind of goading each other into playing this really strange game of professional chicken. And especially on behalf of those who are higher profile in our industry, taking these stands knowing that they’re encouraging the industry at large to partake in some behaviors that are potentially very damaging, where they will face none of those consequences. So really also thinking about who it is we’re putting our confidence in as leadership in our industry and kind of this do, as I say, not as I do mentality, that’s just damaging to everyone.
JAIME: I like the way you phrase that they can’t shut us all down because I can look at that at two different angles. I could look at it from the, from a practicality standpoint. They don’t have the resources to go out and find everyone who’s working behind papered windows or working from their garage when they shouldn’t be. And then the legal angle, which is they don’t have the right to do it. That somehow this violates my constitutional right to pursue happiness, and make a living, or whatever they want to throw in there. So I think on both counts they’re wrong because it’s not that they necessarily have to catch you physically doing something. Just the act of advertising that you’re doing something or posting that you’re doing something is enough to get attention.
ASHLEY: Well and they can’t shut us all down after shutting us down.
JAIME: Did they not just shut you down?
ASHLEY: You’re either shut down or you’re not. There, there’s no in between here. And so it’s interesting to see that that’s the terminology used when it’s like they’re almost saying you can’t shut us down twice., like super double secret shut down. Okay.
JAIME: Or three times, in the case of California.
ASHLEY: Exactly. But yeah, being shut down while you’re already shut down, that’s not a thing and so that conversation just gets ridiculous very quickly.
JAIME: To extend on that, my next question, or it wasn’t even so much a question, but it was a series of suggested actions or calls to action, whether it be signing a petition, or protesting, or defying the orders. Those were all things and still are things that we’re being encouraged to do either from quote unquote industry leaders or from our colleagues that I hate to think about what this will mean for us in the long term if we were to follow it, First of all, we’ve talked about how those things aren’t effective in bringing about the kind of collaborative change, the trust that we would need to move forward. So right there, it’s, it’s not really worthwhile. It’s like writing an angry email and just like, don’t send it. Like you can write the email, just don’t send it. I think people should think twice about taking these actions and then not understanding what would work. So they’ve wasted all this energy, this, this anger, much of it being anger, on doing these things and putting themselves into a deeper hole. You’ve talked about that often, you know, digging a hole. We would be digging ourselves a huge hole if as an industry we earned the reputation for non-compliance.
ASHLEY: Yes, and that fuels the fire of deregulation conversation down the line. We covered this extensively in Filling the Leadership Gap. We talked about it in Government Affairs: Get Involved and of course, Outside Influence: Speak for Yourself from this summer and early fall, wherein we spoke to actual advocates for our industry and talked about what’s going to be constructive versus what’s going to be destructive whether it’s in the short or the long term. And we have to understand that whatever action we take now could potentially be held against us later. Putting a bandaid on a bullet wound as far as defying an order and saying, well, if you take my license, I’m still going to work. How can you then say, we need licensure to protect public safety in a year when we’re facing a deregulation bill?
JAIME: If you don’t respect the license, why should anyone else?
ASHLEY: So, yeah, I think that that’s a really good conversation that we will definitely continue just because it all sort of lumps together in knowing how to be an advocate, and kind of play the game, and understanding how government works, the role of the state board. It’s sort of this tree with many branches, but in order to understand it, we’ve got to get to the root of it actually and see how these things fit together.
JAIME: We’ve learned that the loudest voices in the room often don’t have the smartest things to say.
ASHLEY: Whoops. I can think of a few.
JAIME: Like, yes, yes. They’re in my head right now. What’s happening behind the scenes is much more impactful.
ASHLEY: Definitely. And there’s so much happening behind the scenes that doesn’t get publicized, or celebrated or there’s things that we just don’t know that are happening. And we’ve been able to offer some insight into those processes through those episodes, but it’s not loud. It’s not flashy. It’s not even really that, what’s the word I wanna use here.
JAIME: It’s work.
ASHLEY: It’s work.
JAIME: It’s work. It’s building relationships, and providing information, and compromising, which is not something people want to be seen doing unfortunately. People don’t want to be seen struggling or making this effort when it’s so much easier to stomp your feet, and post a video, or elevate others who are taking on the kinds of actions that you’re suggesting, and the internet’s forever. Oh my gosh. I, I just worry for some of these people who have already, we’ve already seen this, Ashley, some of these people have already changed their tune.
ASHLEY: That’s right. Uh, pretty high profile people too. And so you’re big and bad when it comes to encouraging people to break the law, but then are you as big and bad, and loud and proud, and out in front of everybody when you rescind that later? Probably not.
JAIME: Or when you finally have to acknowledge that this is more than just a flu?
ASHLEY: Yeah. I think that again, holes have been dug and whether it is something that you’ve pigeonholed yourself into or it’s your own grave you’ve dug, I guess that really time will tell. But the other thing is you lose credibility and you lose standing in the industry when you waffle back and forth on these things. It’s like instead of taking a stand, and then getting more information, and changing your mind, why not start with getting more information, making an informed decision and you know? I don’t know.
JAIME: Well, we’ve seen our colleagues who are very skilled technically try to dabble too much into things they don’t know about when it comes to how the government functions and anything about regulations.
ASHLEY: Or get everybody riled up, start a GoFundMe, and then where did that money go exactly. That’s something I would be very interested to see is where did these legal defense funds and support funds, where did that money actually go? Maybe that could be a topic for another time
JAIME: Ooh, I like that.
ASHLEY: All right. Another question that we saw quite a bit this year is, do I actually have to pay my suite rent while there is a stay at home order? Or am I on the hook for my commercial lease when I can’t work? And unfortunately, in most cases, the answer is yes. You are on that hook. We covered this in Affordable Legal Advice for Beauty Pros back in May. Um, again in Re-Lease Me: Salon & Booth Rental Contracts from August, both conversations with Amy Toepper, the attorney who we love to speak to on matters like this. We also talk about different things that you can do to be proactive, to try to negotiate, whether it’s a rent abatement or getting out of your lease, renegotiating your lease. There’s so many different things that you can do that you may not be aware of, and clauses in your lease and alternatives that you can turn to to try to find a way to get through this.
JAIME: One of the suggestions, and we’ve been repeating this, is to communicate with your landlord. And we know that if you were talking about your own home, you’re talking about whether you needed to pay your mortgage or your rent for the roof over your head, you’d be screaming about, well, that roof over my head’s essential. I can’t help but notice like the hypocrisy of, well, oh, that’s essential, but now you want to call yourselves essential, but somehow paying your rent on your business space is not. Like I don’t understand how any of this aligns, but we have hammered the point that, you know this is coming in terms of your cash crunch or your inability to pay. You can’t avoid it. Ultimately, you’re going to be held accountable somehow. So you need to have that conversation whether it’s a matter of trying to terminate your lease early or work some sort of terms where you can delay payment, but those conversations need to be had.
ASHLEY: Absolutely. Don’t avoid it. Don’t procrastinate. And if you are in that situation or you want to avoid that situation, definitely go back and listen to those episodes, just a ton of great information and legal advice. And if you do find that you need to consult an attorney, that information is included in those episodes as well. But I think something that we didn’t really talk about in those episodes is just how many of us are in that boat and strategies that have worked for some, may work for others. So even if you’re feeling the crunch of that, it, it can also just be nice to know that you’re not alone.
JAIME: I just heard from one of our Outgrowth Insiders today who messaged me that she had success renegotiating with her landlord.
ASHLEY: Oh, wonderful.
JAIME: So I was thrilled for that because I’m sure that this landlord is being asked this question from multiple tenants. And it’s the ones who come with solutions, the willingness to discuss it, they’ll have a better opportunity to actually resolve the problem.
ASHLEY: That’s awesome, and I love that we can support our Outgrowth Insiders even more with a one-on-one coaching and mentorship, as well as the community inside of the private Facebook group so that if there is a situation like this, that arises, we have more than one place to turn to figure it out.
JAIME: Getting back to my point about your home versus your business, there have been places where there’s been an eviction moratorium on your home, but not on commercial businesses. So that’s where if we’re waiting for the government to come in and resolve this problem for us, it’s again kicking the can down the road because a moratorium doesn’t mean that your rent is paid. It means that you’re not going to be evicted for nonpayment, but you’re still accumulating that debt.
ASHLEY: Right, and again, digging a hole.
JAIME: Digging a hole.
ASHLEY: Digging a hole. So hopefully something in that episode will provide you a shovel to be able to fill that in a little bit and get out of that hole, but again, good information directly from an attorney to help you strategize in that situation.
JAIME: Even before the pandemic, Ashley, we had planned a robust schedule around topics that dealt with equity issues. We had a list. We even ended up talking to many of the same people we had hoped to in addressing these issues, but those issues of worker exploitation, and diversity versus inclusion, and gender and pricing. And so I found it interesting that while we’re trying to deal with these topics, the fact that the pandemic was impacting these different communities more seriously than it is in the community that I identify with, it almost didn’t do these topics justice because they would have been topics on their own. We will be revisiting these topics because I think during a year where so much of this intersected with the coronavirus pandemic, we need to give these topics more space to have these conversations.
ASHLEY: Definitely, and they’re some of my favorite conversations that we’ve had so far on Outgrowth just because I learn so much in each of these conversations, but it gives me kind of a renewed motivation to focus on these equity issues, and you and I coming from really a position of privilege, the privilege that we have to have this platform, and the ability to share with so many different types of people, and put some of these topics in front of a listener who may or may not have run into this conversation elsewhere.
JAIME: It also gives us the opportunity to broaden our advocacy beyond issues like deregulation, because the types of bills that would address these different types of equity issues may not even mention the word cosmetology.
ASHLEY: Right. It also helps us understand that when we advocate, we need to advocate beyond ourselves and ensure that all members of our industry are included in those advocacy efforts.
JAIME: I’m so glad you said that because it gives us perspective. It helps mold our approach. It helps us involve more people. It actually can change how we view our role in the industry. The interaction that I had with Kristin Rankin when I met them at the Dresscode Project’s class at ISSE Long Beach. That was back at the end of January. This was before any of this went down. I left their class so excited about this topic and thinking about legislation that could be brought forward that would address this issue of gender equality and pricing, and just the treatment of people according to gender. And then within weeks, coronavirus pandemic. And it’s hard to come back to these things. It seems like w, we’ve been distracted and not by little things. We’ve had to shut our businesses down and we’re scrambling to survive. And I don’t want any of these individuals to feel like we haven’t been thinking about them because we have been thinking about them, and we want to connect, and stay connected.
ASHLEY: If you’ve not been able to listen to these episodes, again, a little bit more homework for you, but these are some of our favorite conversations we’ve had starting with Industry in Crisis, where we spoke with Luis Gomez about labor exploitation, especially in the New York and New Jersey nail salon industry, speaking with Kristin Rankin of the Dresscode Project in Beauty Has No Gender, and then speaking to colleagues, Shauna and Angel in Race & Inclusivity in Beauty & Beyond. All very important conversations to have and very eye-opening conversations, and so I think that’s why I count them among our favorite conversations we’ve had so far.
JAIME: These are the conversations I’d want to have privately, but I get to share them with you, Ashley, and with a larger audience. And I’m, I feel blessed because I feel in doing these podcasts, I’m expanding my understanding of how our industry functions and how we can improve on it.
ASHLEY: Absolutely. Well, I totally share your sentiments there. I think that when we have something structured like this where we sit down every week and have a conversation, put out an episode every Monday, and ruminate on what’s happening, what’s coming up, trying to anticipate what our listeners are going to be dealing with in the next few weeks, it helps me stay laser focused on our industry and the pain points as well as the things that are going well and how we can help support and facilitate that this year and beyond.
JAIME: Shall we talk about Outgrowth Insiders?
ASHLEY: I really think we should because it’s really exciting. And it’s something that doesn’t come around all the time, but I’ve also been really enjoying interacting with all of the Outgrowth Insiders members, and just learning about their businesses, their goals, and how you and I can help support them through this amazing community that we’re building.
JAIME: Our podcast listeners may be receiving this information, but not necessarily acting on it or even interacting with us, even though we encourage them to leave us a review on Apple podcasts, or comment on our Instagram, or go to our Facebook page and drop us a comment about a recent episode. We have this conversation and what we really want to do is to get more people involved. And that’s where Outgrowth Insiders comes in because through their membership, these individuals who are our colleagues and they come from all different parts of the industry, some of them are even manufacturers. They’ve stepped up and said, I want to be part of a solution. And each of them comes with their own set of skills, and knowledge, and really interests because I’m learning a lot from these people, as you’ve just suggested. They do come with these different skill sets and how we can come together and form this cohesive group that’s supportive of each other, and opens up opportunities for the kind of work that we want to do which is advocating for the industry as a whole. We can’t do that if we’re just two individuals with our limited perspectives.
ASHLEY: Because you are a valued listener, we want you to be a part of this conversation. We set out to create the community that we wish existed at the start of our careers, where we don’t have to go through trial and error. We don’t have to guess and guess wrong, and then deal with the fallout from that, from bad decisions or poor decisions. And so this is a place where you can connect directly with myself, and Jaime, and other Insiders. We’ve got a private Facebook group, but one of my favorite things is putting together the monthly live video classes as well as the live Q and A sessions where we can speak directly with the Insiders and find out what is it they want to learn. What do they want to skill build? What experts do they want to hear from, and how can we support that, and nurture that effort while we come together ,and just try to elevate everything together? So we are actually launching Outgrowth Insiders starting January 17th. This is something that we have not opened up new membership since August and it’s for a limited time. It’s just from January 17th through the 31st. What’s to come in Outgrowth Insiders is really just going to get better and better every month.
JAIME: And the months that we’ve been active, we have all of that content recorded so when you join us in January, you’ll have access to all of those live classes and the Q and A sessions to go back and see what we’ve been focused on. It gives you this wonderful starting point to explore your own interests and continue on your journey. What’s so interesting about our industry, Ashley, is that when you join it, we have people joining us at a very young age and we have other people who are coming to this industry and it might be their third or fourth career. And there’s no time limit on how long you can spend in the industry. It’s not like you term out or you need to retire. So I’m always inspired by those industry members who’ve joined us who might otherwise be contemplating retirement if they were in any other industry, but that they are motivated to want to contribute and to grow, I think it’s really inspiring for everyone, even an older person like myself.
ASHLEY: I don’t know about that, but I totally agree. It’s very fun to see the Insiders interact with each other, and the types of conversations they’re having, and the connections that they’re making. Just independent of the Insiders membership. There’s lots of fun discounts, some really great information. We’ve talked about some good marketing skill building as well as some advocacy skill building and creating the system by which we can support beauty professionals on the road to whatever their goal may be. So more information obviously can be found at the link in the show notes, but we’ll be opening up enrollment in Outgrowth Insiders coming up in a few weeks.
JAIME: I would hope everyone would consider joining us, even if you don’t think it’s right for you right now, just go check it out. You may change your mind.
ASHLEY: Definitely. Well, if you’re enjoying Outgrowth, please leave us a review on Apple podcasts with just one click. Visit bit.ly/outgrowthpodcast. It really helps us move up in the charts. It helps new listeners discover us, and we would really appreciate it if you could take a few moments to do that.
JAIME: As always you can follow us and comment on recent episodes on Instagram at @outgrowthpodcast.
ASHLEY: Excellent. Well it’s been a really crazy year, but I think that we have found some silver linings and positivity through it through doing this podcast.
JAIME: I feel like we’ve been in training for this 10 months. There’s all this pent-up energy, and as we succeed to overcome the pandemic, I think there’s going to be a burst of progress for all of us.
ASHLEY: Totally agree. Well 2021 is going to be interesting, and I’m excited to take on this task, and go on this journey together.
JAIME: Excellent. Thank you so much, Ashley.
ASHLEY: Thank you, Jaime. Until next week, be smart.
JAIME: Be safe.