Lauren Gramberg is a hairstylist from Philadelphia. She has been in the industry for 6 years now. Her career started right after high school where she earned her cosmetology license through a vocational program at the age of 17. Lauren works at a salon called Platinum Hair Company which is a L’anza Healing center, she has been there since the start of her career where she was trained by one of the top salons in Philadelphia. Lauren has a passion for education in the hair industry and is constantly learning a growing. She recently became an educator with L’anza Healing Haircare as a Healing Artist. Lauren has goals to be a salon owner one day and to mentor and grow her staff the way she was when she first started out.
”I met Lauren when I was teaching at a class last year, and her energy is just so contagious and she is such a doll. Watch out for her because she is definitely going to be doing some big things. As always, we hope this interview will motivate you, inspire you, and encourage you, to continue to share your love and passion for the beauty industry. Be sure to follow Lauren on Instagram and check out more of her work! Enjoy! #stylistssupportingstylists
What was the thing that shocked you the most when you started working in a salon?
The thing that shocked me the most when I started working in a salon is honestly the fact that you need clients to be busy. I know that sounds ridiculous and silly, but I work in a commission salon and I literally thought you had walk-ins all day every day. I assumed that people would call or walk in the day of for an appointment and that was the way it was.
I quickly learned that that is not the case at all!
Once I started to realize that, I knew I had to learn the right way to be a hairstylist. Thankfully I had an awesome work environment and I was properly trained and took my time learning everything the right way so that I can service my clients properly. From building the foundation of a proper skill set I was able to build a good reputation in my salon and area and I started building my clientele from there.
What is one piece of advice you give to a new stylist just coming out of school?
One piece of advice I would give to a new stylist out of school is EDUCATE!
I am one of those people that love to learn everything about hair so from the moment I was done school I did as much education as I could. I am fortunate enough that I graduated from school in 2012 in the era of technology. We are so fortunate that we have access to 24/7 education at our fingertips whether it's youtube, Instagram, online education monthly subscriptions, or behind the chair.com BTC University. Many stylists that are more seasoned in the industry didn’t have that kind of access to education like we do so I think it's really important to learn as much as you can when you're fresh out.
It's actually easier to learn and absorb new information when you're new versus when you get more experience because you don't know any different so learning as much as you can when you're new is the best way to do it.
What is your why? Why did you choose this industry? What drives you besides your passion and love for hair?
My why is I want to help young/new hairdressers in the industry. When I was starting out I loved getting education because I loved the educators and I loved that they were teaching me and inspiring me. I have always said to myself “I can't wait to gain more experience so I can help other hairstylists” I wanted to do just what they were doing for me.
I chose this industry honestly because it is the only career I ever wanted to do. Ever since I was really little I've wanted to be a hairdresser. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, I loved the scent in the salon, I loved getting my hair done and being in that environment. I loved how the hairdresser made me feel though, they were so nice and happy and being in that presence made me feel good and I wanted to do that for other people.
What really drives me is education, all I want in life is to be able to help others and I want to be that person that inspires, motivates, makes people feel good, and teach them what I know.
What is the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you started your first salon job?
I wish someone told me the job is a lot more stressful and intense than you think or even what they teach in school.
We work long hours standing, sometimes no lunch breaks, or really any kind of break for that matter. people/clients are not always nice to us, some may make you cry or even hate your job some days.
You don’t make that much money when you first start out.
Working in a commission salon, if you don't have clients you're not getting paid. We don't have health care, benefits, sick days, vacation days, 401k, etc…
You can’t call out sick, if you do it’s a domino effect. The salon has to call your clients and move their appointment, no one wants to have their hair appointment canceled so they might get annoyed with you. Your co-workers may have to squeeze in your appointments in their book to accommodate the clients. If you're booked up your clients that your moving may not be able to get in for a few days or weeks and that may annoy them as well.
You always have to be on point. You always have to be friendly and welcoming to your guest because if you had something going on at home and you’re in a bad mood at work your guest will notice that and pick it up and you may make them uncomfortable.
Your body may start to hurt at a young age, please take care of it. We only have one.
All of this is so worth it to me because I am so passionate and I love it so much I wouldn't want to do anything else!
How often are you posting on social media to attract new clients? How important is this in our business?
I'm constantly posting on social media. I'm always posting on my story on Instagram, and I post at least once a day if not more. I actually took a social media course taught by Jamie Dana called “Oh Hot Gram” its an Instagram course just for hairstylists and it has transformed my life! I get so many clients from Instagram.
It is very important in our business now because that is the way the world has evolved. Everyone is on Instagram and searching for services on there. I personally will look up other business such as restaurants, other services, activities in my area, and if their Instagram doesn't look presentable I won’t go there. With me being a millennial I know how our minds work now and that is to be branded on your social media and post good work and stay consistent.
What is the one piece of advice you would give stylists that are feeling discouraged?
The advice I would give to stylists who are feeling discouraged is find a mentor or someone you look up to in the industry and reach out to them. That's what I did, I was feeling discouraged and I reached out to people in the industry I looked up to and asked them for advice.
I would also encourage you to look at your surroundings, maybe if you're not in an environment you're motivated in maybe it's time to find a new salon or maybe even take some classes to get motivated.
What is most rewarding about being a hairstylist?
The most rewarding thing about being a hairstylist is getting to meet so many amazing people.
I am an introverted and shy person, so it's really nice that I get to work with people because I have the opportunity to meet so many people that I probably wouldn't have met if it wasn't for this career. Whether it be clients or people in the industry. I've made so many friendships from being a hairdresser. What I also find rewarding is making women feel like their best selves and giving them their dream hair.
What is the biggest misconception about our industry?
The biggest misconception about our industry is that “it's not a real job”.
It hurts me when I hear people say that or that their friends and family say that to them because they want to go into this industry.
This is a REAL career. People can support themselves and their families from being a hairstylist and I think that is so incredible because to people who know nothing about this industry don't think it's a real career it's more a “hobby”
“If you treat it like a hobby, it will pay you like a hobby. If you treat it like a career, it will pay you like a career.” I love that quote that I heard from Lisa Hart- Walker @lisalovesbalayage and it’s so true!