Serious Business

28 Jan

Picture yourself in a New Orleans’ conference room with 1200+ salon industry professionals. If you are thinking that you would be constantly worrying about how your hair looks you would be correct. And despite my Vermont fashion sense (more functional than fabulous) I was welcomed with open arms by a wonderful group of salon/spa owners that we are building relationships with.

How did I end up there? I was fortunate enough to be involved in the Neill Corporation’s 2011 Serious Business event this year – an annual gathering focusing on business education in the beauty industry.  Amongst other things, Neill Corporation is an Aveda distributor, serving a seven-state region in the southeastern United States, and their connection to Aveda is why I was there.

Neill Corporation invited me to attend to speak directly to the salons about the Aveda and Hope For Women partnership that is supporting artisan families in Colombia. I loved sharing the back-story of the Aveda and Hope For Women partnership and talking about some of the real people that the Aveda 2010 Holiday Gift Set program helped support.

A tagua seed pod known locally as a "cabeza"

It was particularly fun hearing people say “No way! THAT is where the tagua comes from?!?” after seeing the tagua seed pods that I brought with me, and seeing them energized to want to continue the partnership with the tagua artisans. I also got to meet salon managers that we already work with face to face for the first time – a real treat to finally be able to put a face to a name.

"Rosa" one of the top selling Portraits of El Salvador cards

Our Portraits of El Salvador cards were also extremely well received by the salon owners. These cards have found a great home in salons across the country and we are excited to work with many new salons that we met at Serious Business who want to feature this product.

I hope to have the opportunity to be around such a great group of people again in the future. Many thanks to the folks at Neill Corporation for having me there and for treating me so incredibly well – you made a flannel wearing guy from Vermont feel completely at home at a fashion event, which is no small feat.

-Evan

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