Last year we featured Tiffany Bernard, Los Angeles based Hairstylist and Makeup Artist, in a Style Fix Spotlight. Here is a follow up post on how she is giving back to her craft through mentorship.
“Mentorship across our industry is one of the most valuable gifts we could give people – it’s really what is at the core of the beauty industry and how we bring up the next generation of stylists.” Fabio Sementilli
Hairstylist/Makeup Artist/ Blogger
Union Salon South | Pasadena, CA
Let’s start off with the most obvious question. How did you two connect?
Brittany was a house assistant at the salon already, we connected when she worked NYFW with me. She wanted to be a personal assistant at the salon, I was in need of one and I loved her vibe and here we are.
Tiffany – I believe that not every stylist, no matter how gifted they are, can be a mentor – it’s not an easy job. What does it take to be a mentor?
First off, a lot of passion and patience. You have to love what you do and have a passion for it, other wise it just falls into a job category.
Being mentored and finding myself in the industry is what gave me the passion to give back. I want to be known for inspiring others and impacting their lives.
You are breaking habits, and creating a whole new mold. Extended hours and education is definitely a big part of it, you can’t just mentor behind the chair with your clients. There is so much more after hours you need to invest in being a mentor. Making sure you not only let them absorb you with a sponge, but prepare them so they represent you.
Lastly, pick them wisely. You invest in these individuals and you want someone that is going to appreciate your knowledge of the craft.
Tiffany – How has being a mentor changed you as a Stylist?
Being a mentor is something I always said I wanted to be when I was in hair school. Getting inspired by guest speakers is what drove me to where I am today. While I was getting mentored as a stylist, I never knew why certain things were said to me, or why I worked so much. Being able to mentor a stylist and experiencing their “ah ha” moments is something every mentor appreciates. I want to give back to stylists, show them the way to success, and be able to watch them bloom learning from my techniques.
I see things differently, I am very humble and want to share my knowledge and inspire all generations of the industry.
Brittany I read a quote from Steve Washington, Co-Founder and COO of Casentric that said “Mentoring is a two-way street. You get out what you put in.” Do you think that is true?
I completely agree with Washington and believe he makes a great point. Being a well rounded mentor is a reflection of what kind of stylist you are. Because my mentor puts in so much time and knowledge encouraging me to be the best stylist I possibly can, I in turn give her my best effort.
You get what you give in this industry.
Tiffany, in our last interview you spoke of Brenton Lee – how he had been a mentor to you but you also said you opened a lot of doors for yourself. You have been very successful at building your brand – making your own opportunities instead of waiting for them to fall into your lap. What advice do you have to young stylist who are looking to establish their own brand?
Get your name out there.
Attend every hair event possible, network and be involved. As for me, competing has opened many doors – which has got me known in the industry. If competing is not your thing, be professional. Create a brand that you want to be known as, a website and build your strongest platforms.
I also like to stay active, as far as my social media I like to travel and let people know what I’m doing. Let people know what you do at all times. Even if it’s that person sitting next to you on a flight, you never know if they will change your life.
Brittany I’ll ask you the same question – I think you can offer a different perspective as someone coming into the industry.
I myself am a fresh stylist looking to build my own brand. I feel the most important advice I can give to anyone in the same position is to stay true to who you are.
Developing your own signature and sticking with it is essential.
Having something no one can duplicate is creating a brand for yourself. Separate yourself from the rest and maintain good self motivation — that I believe is key.
You are both passionate about hair. I know the list is probably long but what do you admire most about each other?
I admire that Brittany can take my sense of humor. Even though internally I would say I am a shy person, I am very blunt and keep it real. Brittany has come a long way in being confident in what she wants. We mesh, and that’s important to me.
Being able to be a mentor, but also be their friend and travel together. That would be my all time fave thing about Brittany, she’s down for whatever, all my crazy adventures.
There’s one thing I admire most about my mentor Tiffany Bernard and that is her self motivation. She’s such a hard worker and always gives 100% of her effort. Even at times when we’re working in the salon till midnight and totally exhausted she still goes the extra mile to finish her client AND hit the studio for a mini photo shoot.
Tell us about your trip to Chicago for TrendVision. What was it like to have this experience together.
Being in Chicago, working side by side with my mentor for the 2017 Trend Vision Regional hair competition was an awesome experience. I’m so lucky to be exposed to all different sides of the hair industry. Tiffany and I work so well as a team I was overjoyed when she asked me to be the Make-up Artist.
Collaborating and working together to achieve her creative vision is a memory I’ll never forget!