JAIME: Before we get started, we want to announce that we’re the featured educators in a virtual learning event, A Slice of Pro Beauty scheduled for Sunday, October 11th and Monday, October 12th is open to all license types.
ASHLEY: And if you’re a cosmetologist or nail technician in Illinois, you’ll be able to satisfy eight hours of your CE requirement. Bonus. Visit outgrowthpodcast.com/slice for more info and to register. Seats are limited. Now on with the show.
JAIME: Welcome to Outgrowth: A Slice of Pro Beauty with your hosts Jaime Schrabeck.
ASHLEY: And Ashley Gregory. Our normal routines have been upended, forcing us to adapt in ways that may extend beyond year’s end.
JAIME: We’re checking in with each other to discuss the challenges, the opportunities, and the next steps. Let’s grow together.
ASHLEY: Well, Jaime, we’ve been so focused these past six months, and I can’t believe it’s been six months, on how we’re bringing information to our listeners and to the industry at large, that we kind of need to take a step back and focus on what we each are doing individually and what that actually looks like going forward.
JAIME: It’s the perfect time to do it, Ashley, because as we’re transitioning into fall, I’m finding that many of the routines that I normally would be in aren’t my routines anymore. And I’m a little off balance because, as you know, I’m a planner.
ASHLEY: Yes, you are a planner, where I am very much a big picture person, and like to kind of just figure it out as I go a little bit more. But I agree with you, there are things that we would be doing like clockwork in the fall. We’d be wrapping up show season. We would have been taking at least 10 trips this year to different shows and industry events, and none of that has happened and so it sort of leaves you feeling like, what should I be doing? What am I supposed to be doing? I feel like I should be busier doing things, and I’m not really sure of the next direction.
JAIME: Before you know it, it’s Friday again. Week by week, my routine just doesn’t feel anything like normal. And it’s been like that almost from the beginning with just the rare exception of the few days that I was able to work in the salon.
ASHLEY: Well, take me through some of the things that you’re experiencing, and what you would normally be doing, and what it’s been replaced with, and I’ll, I’ll tell you mine.
JAIME: Okay. The first thing is my daily schedule. I am still getting up very early in the morning and still going to bed fairly early. So thankfully my sleep hasn’t been too disrupted, but I’m not able to go to the gym anymore, which was part of my daily routine. And as far as my work schedule goes, I was seeing clients on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. And the salon itself was open Tuesday through Friday with my employee working all four days. So now we’re closed. And again, we were only open for just a few days during that brief period where we were allowed to reopen. And though we’re allowed to be reopened outside, I have opted not to do that for any number of reasons that seem even more wise now that we have these wildfires burning in California like they are now.
ASHLEY: I guess if you break it down to like, daily routine, I’m relatively where I would normally be. I’d probably be doing, between two and four shoots a week and traveling to do them. One of my major clients is in Milwaukee and they have completely closed their photo studio down since March so I’ve not been on set since March. I’ve had a couple of things reach out to me as possible things in the works, et cetera, but everybody has having to adjust, and that means me too. That is my main source of income. So I’ve really had to pull back and kind of put in place some austerity measures, as I know almost all, if not all, of our listeners have had to do as well, and really focus on the things that I can do to generate income, and continue to be as involved in the industry as I normally would. But this podcast being number one, because I do edit the podcast and do all, well not all, but some of the social media for it, it does take up a lot of my time and I’ve found even though we’re not working in the traditional sense, I don’t think I’ve ever been busier.
JAIME: Normally how much lead time would you get if there were a photo shoot scheduled?
ASHLEY: Anywhere from two days to a couple weeks. So my schedule is very, it’s very fluid. Which I like because having been a retail manager for all of those years and having my life scheduled months in advance, I’m very averse to that now because I hated missing holidays, missing all of the things that now we’re missing for different circumstances. So I like the fact that my schedule is very fluid and I also have the opportunity or the option to say no to things. So I was very busy all last fall and winter, and now, absolutely nothing. So we’ve made a good effort at filling our time. Don’t get me wrong. We’ve been very busy in both what we’re doing together with Outgrowth, with Outgrowth Insiders, and of course, with our individual coaching and consulting businesses.
JAIME: The structure that I was working from working those three days a week, those three days were typically filled with clients with standing appointments that were planned sometimes 18 months prior. I like structure. I like the routine of knowing on a particular day I’m going to be seeing these clients, and so even when we do get the opportunity to go back, which I hope will be soon, my plan is to not worry about scheduling standing appointments through the end of the year because that’s likely to get disrupted anyway. So I’m going to have to be more flexible, not only with how much time I allow for each client individually, but how much time lapses between appointments, and then if they need to cancel or change an appointment, I will need to change the policies that I have.
ASHLEY: Yeah, and I think that will be an adjustment for your clients too, because they’re so used to the structure of your schedule and what it means to be a client at your salon. So I understand that’s going to be difficult for you just knowing what I know about you and how you like to operate. We are very much opposites in that I would, you said 18 months, I, my skin started to itch. I was like, I can’t imagine. I like the options and the possibilities that exist with a schedule that is very fluid because sometimes I’m just not feeling it and I don’t want to do it. So I’d rather move it to a day later in the week or something like that. And so, especially when I’m booked with a client for multiple days in a row and I have to stay in a hotel, or I have to travel back and forth between Chicago and wherever, I get a little restless and that’s not something that I’ve always done my entire life. I think it’s just because I’m so averse to retail, and being scheduled, and knowing I have to plan my vacation time for the next 18 months or whatever that is, but that’s just me being a weirdo.
JAIME: Well, that is a schedule that we impose on ourselves. So I would only have myself to blame if I felt trapped within that structure. What I feel now is that it’s just not anything that I can stick to. So why bother going through the effort of committing to that when it’s very likely that we’ll be making those changes?
ASHLEY: Well, and our clients and our listeners I’m sure are having to do the same thing, even if they had standing appointments or didn’t, or relied on a lot of walk-in traffic or whatever that looks like, we’re all in this different place now that’s kind of in limbo. You know most, if not all, states are open in some capacity, but with limitations to capacity, and the things we’ve covered in previous episodes with PPE and whatever. So we’re all sort of in this weird state of flux right now, and looking forward, we don’t know how long this is going to last. I think that might be the most often used phrase on this podcast. We don’t know when blank, blank, blank. But I think when we start thinking about what, going back into a routine or back into normal looks like, first of all, nobody knows. But second of all, the things that we just sort of rely on as steady staples of our industry may never come back. And the second thing that I would be doing, and we would probably be doing together, is being at beauty shows and teaching classes. There have been several that have tried to happen and rescheduled and rescheduled, just to completely say, you know what, we’ll see you in 2021, but I also wonder if that’s even feasible.
JAIME: That has everything to do with how early in the year it’s scheduled. So I am a bit concerned about some of the shows that would normally be in the first quarter of the year, but as you’ll note, even the Professional Beauty Association, which has its show typically at the end of January rescheduled for March for 2021. So that’s a blessing in that they have more time to plan, but they’re also hosting an event in a city that, being Long Beach, California, is Southern California, and unless that area can manage this better, that may be a risk.
ASHLEY: I have to say shows are what I miss the most out of this whole thing. I mean, obviously, beyond seeing my family all the time and things like that, but as far as work goes, I really miss shows. I miss being able to travel on a weekend, go to a place I may or may not have been before, and meeting all of the students in my classes, seeing some of my favorite vendors and the people who work for them and educate for them; you and I going out to ridiculous dinners and either having cocktails or dessert, not both; and just getting to really immerse myself in what’s happening in the industry right now. But the other big loss I feel is that I would have added thousands of new students to my email lists this year at shows. I would have had more name recognition. Shows and classes are really my number one avenue for marketing myself in my areas of expertise, which are social media and digital marketing. So without that, I’ve had to work really hard to try to rise above the rest of the Zoom noise to be something different, or better, or whatever and so I think that’s part of why this podcast has been so successful is that we’ve had the time to focus on it and really nurture it. But I really miss shows and I think that that’s going to be something that’s going to look different for a long time.
JAIME: Getting ourselves to shows was not that complicated other than making sure that we applied to teach within the framework of their deadlines, and then getting approved, and then making all the arrangements. But imagine what this must be like for brands that would be selling products at trade shows. Perhaps this has been a bit of a blessing that they haven’t had to spend that money during this time, because now everything has switched to digital, virtual sales, education, whatever it is. Whereas for us as independent educators, we were sort of mean and lean going in, and now that we’re not in that space anymore, we are having to transition to doing things virtually as well if we choose to pursue that. I actually feel as if this podcast has served as our opportunity to educate, which is a different thing than branding ourselves as either Ashley Gregory Coaching or Precision Nails for myself.
ASHLEY: You raise a good point. I would be really interested to see how sales are working for brands that are an omnipresent presence at a lot of these shows. And if, you know, because we both know for a brand to go and exhibit a show, it is incredibly expensive from shipping the product, to buying the booth, to staffing the booth, to all of the travel and hotels and all of those things that we don’t necessarily think about when we’re shopping. So I’ve seen some brands do a virtual trade show, but I just really wonder number one, how successful that was for them? And secondly, because they don’t have that expense this year, are they breaking even? Are they doing better? And will we see them at shows in the future if they know that they can operate this way?
JAIME: What it’s meant for me is that I’m not traveling. After I came back from New York, I will not be traveling through the end of the year. And I, like you, really enjoy traveling to shows because that was my vacation, and if my clients were listening right now, they’d be thinking, what do you mean vacation? Well, it’s a way to have an experience that’s beyond my normal routine day to day in the salon. And it gave me the opportunity to come back completely energized even though I’d been working the entire weekend. It wasn’t, I don’t want them to think it was a vacation in terms of, I went somewhere and I was relaxing and shopping. And as we well know, you know, a show weekend when you’re working a show weekend is jam packed and you feel like there’s still things left to do, even by the end. So I will not be taking any vacation through the end of the year that would be not industry-related. So there’s just no travel period.
ASHLEY: Yeah, and it starts to get itchy. You start feeling like I should be getting on a plane right now and I should be going, you know, to Birmingham, or Long Beach, or Vegas, or wherever it is. It’s not even the travel that I, I miss and kind of more in the loss of, it’s just what you were talking about coming back, feeling energized. I love being in front of a large group of people who want to hear what I’m saying. I love talking, especially to beauty school students, because they’re so full of hope and the industry hasn’t beaten them back yet, and that eagerness and excitement of people really wanting to improve themselves, make a change, improve their businesses. It’s contagious, and no matter how jaded or how long you’ve been in the industry, you really can’t help but catch that feeling. And because we’ve replaced that great feeling with uncertainty, and loss, and anxiety that I think maybe it’s not the shows I’m missing. It’s just that feeling of being around people who share the same vision. They get it, and they all just want to do more and be better.
JAIME: Teaching a live class in person, you get that immediate feedback. You can change the way you’re presenting midway. You can answer questions directly. There’s so much more that you get out of it that I’ve always advocated for that. But now, knowing that that’s not nearly as feasible for lots of different reasons, not the least of which might be that you want to protect your health and not necessarily interact with a bunch of people you don’t know, going virtual is something that we’ll be doing more of.
ASHLEY: Well, it just makes sense because while teaching a class in person is 100% my favorite thing to do, the thing about a virtual class is that could just reach that many more people. We talk a lot about barriers to entry in our industry, and that’s a conversation that happens a lot around deregulation that having to go to school and be licensed keeps people out of our industry who may not have the means, and I think the same thing applies sometimes to shows. People may not live close to where a major show is happening and travel just isn’t in the cards, or the entrance fee, or whatever it might be. So the thing I love about being able to teach virtual classes, and we will be doing a lot of those coming up, is that we can just reach more people. We can reach more people. There isn’t the huge cost incurred, the travel, et cetera. And while you don’t get that immediate feedback, I think it is kind of a nice lifeline for us to have as educators, but also for students to have, because we still have to stay current and educated.
JAIME: And as educators, we need to be aware of what is most needed in terms of the subject areas. As we transition from this year to the next, no doubt, we’ll still be talking about this. What would happen if we did need to close again? What would happen if we need to pivot, or perhaps return to school and get licensed to do something else in the beauty industry? There are so many different avenues this could take and I’m feeling pretty confident that the kinds of topics that I covered before will still be relevant, maybe even more relevant, just with this added focus, and I hate to say it, but like the COVID edition of a particular class.
ASHLEY: Well, and that’s where I think you have, or we as educators, have the upper hand, because if you look at something like print media, where they have to plan content months in advance, we could just fire off a tweet based on what’s happening right now. And I think, honestly, that’s why I’m going to brag a little bit here, but that’s why we’ve had so many people download our podcast and interact with it because we can deliver information that is very current and very of the moment, and what’s on the beauty industry’s minds. And so I think that’s another thing that we’re going to see totally change going forward is the industry magazines and the rest of the print media. First of all, editorial content is not being created. No one’s doing shoots. And if they’re doing shoots, they’re doing them virtually, which I’ve not really seen work well and, or socially distanced, which is definitely possible, but it’s just not happening the way it used to. So the content isn’t being produced and that ranges all the way from what brands are able to do for their upcoming collections. Will we see brand collections come less frequently? Are they dealing with supply chain issues? Are they not liquid enough to come out with a collection every season? That’s really going to be very interesting too, to see how the brands and suppliers pivot into, I hate that term, the new, normal, but that’s where we’re at. It’s what is that going to look like from the top of the pyramid down, from the major brands that are owned by huge conglomerates and private equity firms, all the way to, you know, the shop on the corner and the stylists that work there. It’s going to be very interesting to watch. I just hope that we don’t lose brands as time goes on.
JAIME: If brands didn’t see a big return on investment for participating in trade shows, they’re less likely to see it with print advertising relative to digital advertising. So it only made sense that coming into this year, we were already losing some of the avenues, the different publications, as there’s more consolidation happening. It doesn’t surprise me that those brands were pulling back on their advertising and those publications that were still being printed on paper were just getting thinner and thinner and thinner from the point of being almost like a pamphlet, not something that required like the normal binding that you’d see on a magazine of a hundred or more pages.
ASHLEY: It’s a trend that’s been slowly creeping up on print industry media for a while, and some have been better at adapting than others, for sure, with web presence, and social media, and things like that. But as these consolidations and sales have happened over 2020, I’m for sure starting to see just as personnel changes and priorities may change for these new owners, a real decline and as well as a big question mark for brands for return on investment, like you mentioned. So we will be seeing more digital content, a reliance on influencers for content, or user-generated content versus big shoots and productions and things like that, as well as more virtual training, more virtual, just basically everything will be done virtually. And it’s I think going to create, if it’s not already, a very crowded marketplace for everyone.
JAIME: This pandemic has accelerated some trends. We could argue that trade shows were already in trouble before this year, that the numbers weren’t there and that they were anticipating lower attendance and less participation from brands. And we certainly saw it in publishing, but other trends like the role of the influencer was escalating. It was accelerating, I think, before this happened. But now that it’s sort of leveled the playing field, we’re going to see a new wave of influencers for the very reasons that you stated. It’s cheaper and there’s more reach doing things digitally. There’s no downside.
ASHLEY: The only downside I could foresee is just when it comes to technique and learning something new, trying to learn that virtually can just present a new layer of challenges. I don’t think it’s impossible, but especially for someone who has maybe less experience in the industry and doesn’t have maybe the experience or technical know how to back that up, but we will find a way to make that easier, better, more effective as we continue to learn the opportunities and limitations of the digital training medium. We’re all here. We have no choice. We’ve got to make it work. And so it’s pretty cool to see how some have really fully embraced it, and moved forward, and just like didn’t skip a beat, and then those who are struggling because maybe they weren’t really tuned in or dialed into that medium before this all happened.
JAIME: Yeah, as a consumer of that, the downside is what you’ve alluded to, which is the quality controls aren’t there. So when you level the playing field, everyone can play. It just means that for those who are consuming that media, you just have to be that much more selective about what you do.
ASHLEY: Because of all of this and everything being moved online, not having shows, not being able to see what’s kind of coming down the pipeline at shows like Cosmoprof or anything like that that is designed for distributors or buyers, it’s very hard to do one of my favorite things which is trend forecasting. That’s something I like to do by kind of reading between the lines, and looking at what’s coming up, and seeing what people are working on or interested in on social media and beyond, to sort of see kind of what’s coming next. I’ve been featured in several industry magazines talking about what the trend is for next year and if they were to reach out to me, I would have to decline participation because I don’t know. I don’t think anyone does and anybody’s guess is as good as anyone else’s. I really enjoy that aspect of this industry is trying to figure out, sort of by reading the tea leaves, what’s next, but that for me is just a big question mark. The cool thing about that though is it creates opportunity, to your point, that there’s going to be sort of a new awakening of people who maybe don’t know have the traditional markings of influencer which is a huge social following or whatever. That’s a topic for another time, but the door is opening for people to kind of emerge into their talent, and really show the industry what they have, and create new trends that we’re all just desperate to see, and try, and have the creative side of us awakened again, or brought to the surface because we’re all just buried under debt, anxiety, and dread.
JAIME: Well, forecasting goes beyond a publication just sharing the information that’s provided by brands. I think what you’re talking about is that analysis, you know, it’s what the brands are putting out, but then just like you looking at that with a critical eye and understanding where things are headed, not because you’re simply sharing a new color collection or some new product that a brand is introducing. It’s understanding what they’re saying and what they’re not saying, what they’re pushing, what they’re not sharing that makes it more interesting, and to look for those opportunities. So if these brands are in a position to keep doing what they had been doing in the past, which is churning out collections, or introducing new haircuts, or whatever that might be, what’s different now is that the traditional avenues of us finding that have changed. So we’re not going to be seeing that at trade shows. We may not be seeing that in print publications. We’re either going to have to go looking for it, or it’s going to get delivered to our inbox through newsletters and emails, or ads that pop up, right? Because I imagine these brands are going to shift their advertising dollars away from what they normally would be doing to online advertising. So we might be seeing these ads even in places online that are not beauty related.
ASHLEY: Yeah, like podcasts.
JAIME: Like podcasts. Sponsorships welcome.
ASHLEY: Well and that brings it back to just everybody’s finances. I saw a think piece that was like, holiday shopping is starting earlier than ever. And I’m thinking, holiday shopping? The traditional seasons of retail are no longer a thing. Because most of us, first of all, don’t even know if there’s going to be the holiday season, let alone thinking about gift giving and things like that.
JAIME: Do you even know where you’re spending your holidays?
ASHLEY: Right? Are we going to be able to see our families? Are we going to be able to travel? I don’t think so the way things are currently going. Between brands, and salon owners, and our clients, and consumers, I think it’s just going to be wild to see what’s happening. I know some stores had announced they’re not going to open on Thanksgiving night for black Friday deals and I’m thinking, how is that going to work?
JAIME: Looking to gift giving and the things that people would be thinking about now, whether it’s shopping for their family or shopping for gifts for clients, I don’t know that any of us would be in a position as a salon owner to think about spending any extra money beyond what we’re already doing on PPE.
ASHLEY: I would normally agree with you on that. And I just saw a post today about someone trying to source small gifts for their clients, not just for holiday, but for all the time. And I thought, first of all, where are you located because the money must be growing on trees. But secondly, I think people are just going to go to the extremes of really wanting to make the holiday makeup for the rest of the year. And so you have to really sort of take the temperature of your clients, both literally and figuratively, and find out are they going to be seeing you? Are you going to have to order more retail product to sell to them? Or are people just still being responsible hermits and trying to just stay out of the public sphere? For as clueless as we are about what’s going to happen, our clients aren’t thinking beyond next week or next month. So they’re really definitely not necessarily thinking about how a salon service fits into their holiday right now. So maybe it would behoove us to bring it to their attention or get them to start thinking about it. But if you’re counting on making a great November and December makeup for a slow January and February, I think we’re all going to have a pretty rude awakening about that.
JAIME: This would normally be a time when salons would expect to earn a lot of money from gift card sales. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that. In fact, I had stopped selling gift cards at the beginning of the year because I felt that knowing that I owed those services to clients who had purchased them. I didn’t want to get so ahead of it that I felt like, boy, there’s all this money floating out there that I’m obligated to fulfill these services for. That’s not something I want to do. And what’s interesting about that is the timing is such that the trend in gift giving coming into this year was experiential. And those are the very things that we’re not able to do as freely now are those experiences where you’re in person doing something. So does it get back to small gifts? Does it get back to something that’s even more basic which is just cash?
ASHLEY: Your guess is as good as anyone else’s on this subject. I know it’s going to also vary wildly based on where you’re located and how long you’ve been able to be open. I think we all saw the initial bump after we were able to reopen our salon spaces of people who needed rather urgent attention and then we saw a tapering off. And now hopefully it seems like it’s a little bit more back to normal as far as client flow and how full your books are, not taking, of course, capacity limitations and things like that into account. But as far as next year, or states like California, for instance, who are going to be hopefully opening indoors with restrictions very soon across the state, again, you’re going to see that initial increase and then maybe a slow down at the worst possible time of year. I know we’re going to be covering this in future episodes, but I think our finances are really going to take center stage for all of us if they haven’t yet already, because of the fact that we really can’t forecast the normal things that you would be able to say. Okay, I know February is going to be slow. March is going to pick up, and then I’ve got prom season, and et cetera, et cetera. The rules are out the window. So I guess I would just caution our listeners. If there are things like old standard standby things in your business that you are counting on, you’re probably going to have to keep pivoting through 2021.
JAIME: I have to mention that this is the longest I’ve gone without product on my fingernails since I’ve been an adult. It’s been an adjustment. It’s been easier than I thought it would be. And I have the wimpiest nails ever, and not because I’ve been wearing product. I just naturally and genetically have very flimsy, natural nails and I’ve made do just with traditional polish and being extra careful. That saves me some time, by the way. I don’t have to do my nails on, I was doing them on a weekly basis. I would normally wear a clear, hard gel and my nails grow so quickly that I would be doing them every week.
ASHLEY: Well, so if you’re thinking that way, and you have the literal tools in your house to do them in a professional way, done by a professional, just think of how your clients are feeling. That they’re saying, what does it even matter? I’ve gained so much perspective this entire pandemic that I’m just happy I have hands and feet. I’ve been known to go pretty far between color appointments, just because I have the most hair of anyone alive right now, and it’s very expensive for me to do my full highlight and balayage. But I haven’t been in, oh my gosh, almost a year. I’ll go next month and that’ll be that, but my priorities have completely shifted cause I would always get color done like before a show before, before show season, et cetera. So at least I look like I belong in the beauty industry. But without sort of that catalyst, it hasn’t been a priority for me. And I know that a lot of our clients are feeling the same way. So I guess for those of us who are expecting that once there’s a vaccine, people are just going to snap back into normal mode, you might find that their priorities have changed, and you’re going to have to go back to marketing yourself again, and that can be a pretty scary proposition for a lot of people.
JAIME: As I’ve said previously, I am high maintenance, but self maintained so that I’m able to do my own nails, my own waxing, my own hair color. I even cut my hair this morning, apologies to all the hairstylists that may be listening. I was only getting my haircut maybe once a year as it was before. And not because my hair grows slowly, quite the opposite. It’s just that I would get a rather extreme, short cut and then just let it grow out, and extreme for me meant it was still like hitting my collar bone. So not to get too excited. I had short hair all through high school, so I’m making up for lost time in my old age.
ASHLEY: I had short hair once in college when I was playing hockey and it was the worst year of my life. So I guess kind of the last thing that I really have been missing or having to pivot on is my own personal CE hours and my own personal education. I was very spoiled that I could just kind of dash into a classroom at a show and, or learn something at a booth, or talk to one of my many industry friends, and learn from what they’re doing. I don’t have the usual avenues to accomplish that. So it’s a lot, and I think a lot of us can probably relate to that just because for some reason, we like to put our own education and betterment to the absolute bottom of our priority list. I don’t know if that’s just because we do that as women, or we do that as business owners, or whatever, but I guess I would encourage everyone to really think of education as self care in this moment, and learning something new can kind of make you feel like there is a little bit of hope or a light at the end of this really long tunnel.
JAIME: Well, not only is it self care in your situation, but because of your licensure in the state of Illinois, it’s required, whereas where I’m in California, and I know you’re also a California licensed, we don’t have continuing education as a requirement. So any education that I would seek outside of what I was researching to actually present a class would be on my own initiative and not because I was forced to do it.
ASHLEY: Right, well again. Yes, I am very lucky to be in a state that requires CE. Just because I think I’ve seen the effects of someone who’s been in the industry for a very long time and doesn’t have that catalyst or the impetus to continue to stay current with trends and techniques and things like that because the state doesn’t mandate it.
JAIME: Fewer products being introduced, fewer new techniques that would match those new products, maybe it’s that we’re reinforcing what we should have known all along, shoring up our education. Maybe it’s remedial education, if we were to equate it to what we’d be getting if we were in an academic setting. And it’s given us a chance to catch up on things that we’ve either forgotten, or maybe we never really had a firm grasp on in the first place. Doing the podcast has been an education in itself, not only in terms of like how to put on a podcast, and how to market it, and that sort of thing, but the types of individuals we’re able to interact with and the kind of research that we do before we actually interview someone, and the followup, and then the questions we get asked. To me, that’s educational, not only for the audience, but for us as hosts.
ASHLEY: Definitely. Well, and as beauty professionals, we teach ourselves things all the time. You know, we’ll go to YouTube and learn how to build our own website, or we’ll figure out how to file our own taxes, or whatever, and we’re more than willing to do that because we either don’t want to, or can’t afford to, pay someone to do it for us. So we’re really willing to bring on this new expertise, but I don’t understand why that feeling doesn’t always extend to our own personal skills in the job we get paid to do. I really applaud those people who are in states that don’t require CE, but are still actively seeking out education because they just know that that’s the nature of the beast and they want to be the best at what they do that they possibly can.
JAIME: If your clients are in a routine of receiving the same service from you, and you’re using the same product and the same techniques year after year after year, and there is no impetus to change, there’s nothing driving you to seek that out other than perhaps your own boredom or your desire to introduce something new to your clients and stay on trend. I can see where everyone could be complacent in that situation. The client could be complacent. The salon could be complacent. The stylists and the individuals providing services could be complacent. And it takes something like this to shake us up. I was speaking with someone earlier today who was calling out the Barbicide certification as being so basic, and we’ve had that conversation with Leslie before. It wasn’t meant to be everything you need to know about disinfection. It was meant to be a reminder of what you should have learned in beauty school and you may have forgotten over time because we do get into these routines. And there are times when the routines serve a purpose and they add structure to our lives, and by purpose, I mean, actually giving us a sense of purpose. Like when you get up every morning, you know what you’re going to be doing. You know what kinds of interactions you’re going to be having. There is that level of certainty that I think gives people comfort. It certainly gave me comfort. So now I’m having to find comfort in other things, and maybe one of the highlights for me would be that the time that’s been made available by not working with clients providing services, I’ve been devoting to advocacy. And that’s been.
JAIME: And that’s something that I wouldn’t have had this time to do under normal circumstances. What’s the downside of that? It doesn’t pay.
ASHLEY: No it sure doesn’t. It has benefits and you’ll reap the rewards of it, maybe not right away, but it definitely does not pay. I love what you said about it taking something like this to shake us up. I think we have gotten comfortable being uncomfortable, and being outside of our comfort zones, and having to adapt, and react, and be, and do different things in order to just survive, whether in this industry or not. I really admire your advocacy work because you’ve taught me a ton about it. And now I’m very fired up about advocacy as well. And I think that that is very contagious and if there’s a silver lining of this whole situation, it is that that we have the free time and the ability to pay attention to what is happening in our own cities, or states, or in our country with our industry and how we actually have a direct hand in affecting that.
JAIME: One of the advantages of having been involved with it for as long as I had is that it did give me a different perspective going through this process, which we are still going through, and I can see where the immediate concerns of beauty pros and salon owners were clouded by the inability to understand the process and how these things normally would work. So to understand how it’s working under these extreme conditions just makes it seem like people are flying by the seat of their pants when in fact there is a process. And so that gives me the perspective of understanding what needs to get done in the more immediate term, and then what that will impact later, the long term consequences of that, because there are some long term goals that we have as an industry, whether it be reinforcing the value of our licensure, or perhaps bringing CE requirements to more and more states, lowering the barriers to entry so that more individuals can actually enter the industry. As an aside, I’d like to see a lower barrier entry to get into the industry, but once in, more requirements to maintain your education by getting continuing education on a regular basis.
ASHLEY: I wholeheartedly agree with that. And I’m curious if there are any other items that you would normally be doing that because of all of this, you can’t.
JAIME: Planning for next year. By this time I would have had a schedule. I might have even bought some airfare for trade shows next year already. And everything has been shifted. So what I am curious about is how much effort are individuals going to put into trying to force what’s to come into the mold of what was before? And you would think that I would be one of those who’d be working as hard as I could to get back exactly what I had before. And actually it’s been a bit freeing to not do that. And I don’t feel like it’s worth it because those are the things I cannot control. I cannot control other people’s behavior, for example, as much as I’d like to. I can only control what happens in my own immediate surroundings as much as I can. And so I don’t want to set myself up for the disappointment of a trade show being canceled. I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment for a client who has to cancel an appointment. That’s something I can anticipate needing to happen so I just need to embrace the fact that I need to be more flexible and adaptable. That’s something I’ve learned through this. So even though I come into it loving structure, I am not as rigid in that way as I was before because I can’t be.
ASHLEY: No. Yeah. None of us can. Well, on that hopeful note, that seems like a good place to end for this week, but I guess I’m hopeful, cautiously optimistic, I guess, and hopefully next year we’ll be able to presume some semblance of normalcy.
JAIME: One of the things that we won’t be experiencing is the fear of missing out, because if something were to cancel, everyone’s missing out.
ASHLEY: Totally. This is 2020. No FOMO.
JAIME: No FOMO.
ASHLEY: All right. Well, please subscribe, rate, and review us on your favorite podcast platform. It really actually does help us reach more listeners just like you.
JAIME: If you’re enjoying Outgrowth, please head to Apple podcasts and leave us a review. We may read your review on our next episode. And today we have a review from Amanda. She has written: The best beauty industry podcast. I value every episode. Thank you for all of your hard work with your podcast. Thank you, Amanda, for listening.
ASHLEY: Yeah, that’s, I mean, we’re always gonna read the nice ones, but this really makes it all seem worth it so thank you, Amanda.
JAIME: When we accumulate enough bad ones, we can do an entire episode on the bad ones.
ASHLEY: I am down for that. I don’t want there to be enough that would necessitate an entire episode.
JAIME: Years from now, years from now.
ASHLEY: Yes, years from now. As always you can follow us and comment on recent episodes on Instagram at @outgrowthpodcast.
JAIME: Until next week, Ashley.
ASHLEY: All right. Be smart.
JAIME: Be safe.