T Gordon Salon Talks



T. Gordon Salon Talks: A funny, raucous, kitchy, conversation about what makes salons tick! Laugh, learn & love what you do.


  • Are you High Performance? Jason Everett Gives Free Advice

    12/02/2019 Duration: 39min

    High Performance Salon Academy co owner Jason Everett gives some free advice on social media marketing and salon operations while talking with Tony Gordon from Gordon Salon and T. Gordon Salon Talks. Jason is a new voice in the industry as un like other consultants he comes from outside the business. He is not a hair designer. And because of that, he has a special perspective. He sees our industry from the outside in. Many of his clients show some rather dramatic results. But after seeing his presentation at the Millennium conference and using and speaking with salon consulates for many years, I think his big take away is absolutely engaging way of handling people and an audience. Not to say his presentations aren't packed with great info, they are. But he is just super fun! Jason is one of those guys you sit to have a simple talk with and end up with belly rolls of laughter. He is a great personality and a new welcome fresh face for this industry. Tony GordonGordon SalonT. Gordon Salon Talksgordonsalon.comFr

  • Hollywood Hair-a Discussion with Kathrine Gordon

    07/01/2019 Duration: 25min

    My sister Kathrine Gordon is a champion among hair stylists, she votes for the academy award winners in hair and make-up and has been doing Hollywood hair for 40 years. Like many Gordon's before her, Kathrine Gordon chose the hair industry, but with an entirely different take than the rest of the family. She is a Hollywood Hairdresser. As her family, we are all so proud of her -- she has "made it" in an incredibly tough part of the industry. A specialty like no other: hair for film, television and theater. She has done it all and to a level that has made her a judge for the Academy Awards. She and I talked about doing a podcast for a long time and her own humble way, she said, "why?" What Kathrine does is what many young stylists want to do, but like many young people, they have no guidance on how to achieve their goals. What are the pitfalls? What is the job really like? In this amazing discussion we talk about what it is really like to work on superstars, A-list celebrities and the extras on a film set. Wha

  • Eufora: The Next Generation

    17/12/2018 Duration: 44min

    Eufora: The Next GenerationHow do you find your own voice in an industry where your father had such a huge impact? It is something I deal with all the time, but think about the young Sam Bewley. Sam now works for the company his late father founded and doing it great justice. As you can hear in this fascinating conversation with an important new voice in the professional salon industry, Sam Bewley is deep into his business and making new things happen. Eufora has been around since the 90s, slowly gaining steam, focused on the benefits of aloe vera for hair and scalp. Sam grew up in this crazy world of products and beauty shows, but made his way in the tech world at first. After his father passed away he made his way back to the family business and is now full time, with his wonderful mother and CEO Beth Bewley. In our conversation we discuss a wide range of topics, including the threat of Amazon. I love Sam's take on it, "we are in chapter 2," but if I jump in with Amazon what happens in chapter 6, 7 & 8?

  • Salon and Retail Environments of the Future: A Conversation with Leon Alexander

    27/11/2018 Duration: 58min

    Salon & Retail Environments of the Future: A conversation with Leon AlexanderLeon Alexander from Eurisko Design is one of a hand full of people in the beauty business who has visualized the future. In this podcast he describes his background that has led to his current thinking on where the service industry and specifically the salon industry is heading. "People are social," he says. He is right, and yet the technology marches on. Leon and I have met up many times. Last time at the high tech Millenium Experience, a conference put on by one the top makers of salon industry software.  He gave a one hour talk to a packed room describing the future of retail and salon environments. Of course it had plenty of the scary discussions we see and hear in the business press: Artificial intelligence, robotic this and that, Amazon Go and all sorts of other wiz bang dire predictions. But Leon knows the salon business. He started with Sassoon at the beginning and reinvented himself many times over as a salon owner, prod

  • Aveda's New Leadership Speaks Out-A Conversation with April Anslinger

    22/10/2018 Duration: 28min

    Throughout my time with Aveda and the beauty industry, I can't remeber a time we weren't going through enormous change. Who knew that we would end up in this place at this time? Aveda  has seen its big changes:  from Horst to Estee Lauder, from Dominque's group to a lot of new faces. April Anslinger is the new North American Senior Vice President for Aveda. We met as Aveda Congress was ending two weeks ago in Minneapolis. It truly amazes me how someone can come from the outside of a company as tight as Aveda is and learn its underpinnings and issues as fast as she has. In our conversation we talk about Aveda's view on booth rentals. Aveda's new e-commerce approach called "A-Commerce," is the first in the industry.  We discussed the containment of Amazon. The structure of the relationship and how decisions and reporting flows from Aveda and Estee Lauder. And of course we find out who April Anslinger really is: her background, her home life etc. 

  • Is Sales the Last Frontier? A conversation with Carol Phillips owner of Beautee Smarts

    15/10/2018 Duration: 41min

    Are sales techniques the final frontier of service businesses? If you have tried  almost everything else to enhance your business, maybe it is time to dive into good old sales efforts. I have often thought about the idea of making sales training a bigger part of my company training, but I have relented. Not that we don't do some sales training, we do. Sales is often soundly rejected by so many stylists. Most stylists want to focus on artistic, design skills and definitely not sales. Even if the logic of sales techniques bringing more people to work on and more ways to make clients look and feel great. Why not then? Sales is simply uncomfortable for so many people. I asked one stylist on staff, she said "you risk rejection and worse it might make you unlikeable." God forbid any of us take the risk that we are deemed not "nice." "Nice" is one of those universal goods,  it is like a currency or an additional star are on some blanket rating system if yelp had one for individuals. She is so nice...., bless her hea

  • Passion, Energy and no Chickens!

    17/09/2018 Duration: 37min

    Going into an Inspiring Champions seminar is like culture shock, a jolt to the system. People implore you to "wakey,wakey" as they slap these clapper devices back and forth. The energy and passion is like a rock concert mixed with a pep rally squared. And Lauren Gartland is leading the seeming riot and spectacle before your eyes. At first I remember ducking for cover, but now I get it. Lauren is right, if you want to be a champion a whole lot of people in our industry need to "wakey, wakey."  Honestly they need to wake up, shaken up a little and get on with life. Lauren Gartland does that for salons and salon professionals. Take a listen to an inspirational talk and introduction to one of my favorite people in the salon industry, Lauren Gartland from Inspiring Champions. 

  • How to be a Celebrity Stylist-A conversation with Marco Pelusi

    03/09/2018 Duration: 31min

    How to be a Celebrity stylist-A conversation with Marco PelusiMarco Pelusi fits right in the Hollywood scene, effortless cool, velvety voice and loads of beauty cred. Marco does a lot of famous people's hair. He is especially focused  on hair color, he is what we call a celebrity colorist. He throws around names like James Brolin and George Clooney as if there all buddies, and he isn't kidding, they are. As a stylist you become quite familiar with your clients, as we all know.  I am a little familiar with this special world of celebrity hair styling. The celebrity world has its special considerations. Celebrity handling are stories of lore at Gordon Salon and in the Gordon household. Like when my father did Tipper Gore’s hair for the Democratic Convention in Chicago or my sister worked on this celebrity and that,  for various films, Walk the Line, American Hustle and many more. I like Marco’s philosophy when it comes to celebs, “ Just treat everyone like a celebrity.” The celebs do need some special considera

  • Outrageous Salon Sales Success

    28/08/2018 Duration: 38min

    Sales Expertise using NLPOne of things I love about Brian Gilbert is how he embraces the risk in every human interaction. He has this knowingness about him. The ability to convey that he knows the truth and is willing to share, but it is going to cost you! It will cost you effort, time and possibly money, but in the end you will be better off for it.I first met Brian when he was trying to do hypnosis on hairdressers that weren't confident enough, weren't creative enough and generally did not have enough of what it takes to be good behind the chair. I didn't buy it! A couple sessions to cure your career ills? Not possible!But I am always fascinated by the outrageous, the mystical, the short cut,  and so I jumped in with Brian. I bought a series of sessions for him to hypnotize me.  I wasn't interested in being a better hairdresser, I was already a great hairdresser,  but academics, that was a problem for me.I was always a C student. Yes I have a Liberal Arts BA, but I always struggled in school, even flunked 2

  • Bennie Pollard NAHA Winner-Salon Owner-Cool Beauty Consulting

    20/08/2018 Duration: 40min

    Bennie Pollard NAHA Winner-Salon Owner-Cool Beauty ConsultingBennie Pollard from Louisville, Kentucky he is a 6 time nominated NAHA entrant and 2 time winner. He has had a wide ranging career: salons, photoshoots, fashion shows, consulting, distribution, and product manufacturing. Bennie gives advice on NAHA and how to get started in photoshoots. He talks about how to really find the right photographer and the make-up artists. What to look for during the shoot. How to behave and find your dynamic while doing the shoot. How do you budget for a shoot? He goes thru all of this in this talk. He says photography will transform a stylist quickly from beginner to master level very fast. He has also became a distributor of products and salon educator. He talks about this great marketing method that I just love. Basically a seminar focused on clients, a free education for customers. It sounds like it works very well. Bennie gives us these bits of wisdom in this video. For example: "If you chase two rabbits they both g

  • A True Artist is the Master of the Basics

    14/08/2018 Duration: 47min

    It is really all about being cool! Hanging out with cool people and being part of a  cool scene. James Griffith describes his foray in the hairdressing world with one word-cool. Horst Reckelbacher from Aveda was the top of the mountain. Aveda was just getting started and James was there, along with many other greats of the time. James had a classic upbringing in the industry about to be disrupted. He met some important people while hanging out with Horst, that changed his life. He came across Lauoret, a French master of the Jacque Desaage hair cutting technique. James went on a haircutting journey that led him to Paris and continues on till today. In pursuit of craft, he is now opening his own training classes in the French Haircutting method starting in 2019. James reminds me of so many guys I have spoken to from this era. Obsessed with the movie "Shampoo" they thought that being a hair designer behind the chair was happening, a place to meet girls, and something akin to being in a rock band. The industry wa

  • Salon Altering Technology a conversation with John Harms

    06/08/2018 Duration: 48min

    Salon Altering Technology a conversation with Millennium founder John HarmsInterviewing John Harms made me think about all the passionate people in the beauty industry. There are the people who create beautiful shapes with hair, people that love to be “day makers”, many who love to create products, run great salons, but software? Computers have left no business unturned, everything has been disrupted, salons have not been exempt.John Harms was one of the first to our industry, he loves creating software for the salon business. He owns Millennium Systems International, one of the leading computer programs for salons and spas in North America. In my podcast with John, he  talks about wide ranging subjects, but in so many ways technology has transformed our lives, his software has changed the lives of over 100,000 salons and spas. Yet, John is a very down to earth guy. The guy you would have a beer with at a barbeque. In the podcast he talks about his family that are in the business with him: Jennifer and Micah.

  • The Secrets of Van Council

    31/07/2018 Duration: 47min

    The Secrets of Van CouncilI had the opportunity to interview one of the top salon owners and salon personalities in the world,  Van Council, owner of eight Van Michael Salons in Atlanta and 42 salons in Japan. He and his salons have won various awards including 4 times North American Hair Stylist of the Year awards, Best Salon in Atlanta from various publications and much more. He is the Artistic Director for Intercoiffure North America, considered one the 75 top educators by Modern Salon Magazine, Aveda Global Master and the list goes on. He is a tour de force, a hairdresser's hairdresser, a leader in business. I have seen Van speak many times and for full disclosure, I have been enamoured of his great success. So it truly was an honor to speak with him, yet he is humble and real. It is always interesting for me to observe how unassuming Van is. As an example,  he tells me how smart his kids are, and then says, “not sure where they got that from.” His voice is full and sure and he qualifies everything. Becau

  • A Conversation with Neil Ducoff

    10/07/2018 Duration: 01h23min

    My first experience with Neil Ducoff was at a dinner on the corner of Clark and Fullerton in Chicago. My father says, "you gotta meet this guy." The three of us go to this tapas place, half a block from my father's salon, slightly elevated above the street, so you can see all the surrounding businesses. We are eating, drinking, and Neil is talking. Neil is always talking. He was talking about the philosophy of Team Based Pay and how screwed up the salon businesses are. It was in 1989, I was a new stylist, young, opinionated, know-it-all and there was only one way to run a salon, and that was the way I knew it-commission. Across the street from the restaurant was a Super Cuts and a Hair Cuttery. The two businesses were practically side by side with one non related business in-between them. When I think of the stupidity of that landlord, it makes me want to scream. Who would put two of the same businesses in the same small building. I saw a movie trailer where two guys had guns pointed at each others heads in a

  • Geno Stampora

    01/07/2018 Duration: 38min

    Geno the great! Talking to Geno Stampora is like listening to a moving freight train of motivation and inspiration. Any and all hair designers should take a listen to one of the great hair industry speakers of our time. He will entertain and also energize, inform and influence you to be your best. Geno says, if your a "nice, happy, fun, a networker" your success is guaranteed. He says in the debate of technical vs non technical: the answer is 20/80. "Talent is way over rated." He says, "I was a terrible hairdresser"  but lat the same time he loves the salon environment. When he goes on vacation he finds a salon to hang out in. After selling his last salon in 1991, he became  a professional speaker for the salon industry, inspiring and motivating everywhere he goes. One of his founding philosophies, is that stylists can make "quantum leaps," in their careers with just the right mind set and focus. See, there is no real quality control for hair stylists, but if your well read and intelligent, the sky is the lim

  • Listen for the Whisper-The wisdom of Frank Warner

    26/06/2018 Duration: 46min

    “You need to listen for the whisper,” says Frank Warner from Frank Anthony Salon in Chester,  New Jersey. Frank has survived tough times in the beauty business and has sincere wisdom to share. My interview with Frank was profound for me in many ways. First he tells a story about how he was greatly impacted by my father. Second he discusses his love of marketing. Thirdly, and maybe the most important, is what he calls “the whisper.” Personally I call this “an inkling.” Frank’s Whispers and my Inklings, are born of the same sound, a quiet sound, a subtle voice that tells you what is next.. Listening closely to your inner voice can make all the difference in the world. Frank mentions how listening to the whispers has put him in the right place, in the right situation to hear the right information at the right time. He has a morning ritual that sets him up to hear “the whispers.” His ritual, is prayer. Frank has his ear attuned to the quiet voices and it has served him and his staff well.The Frank Anthony Salon w

  • Therapy or Coaching?

    18/06/2018 Duration: 37min

    Therapy or Coaching?Coaching, mentoring, consulting, therapy— which one do you need? Brigette Sobus from Salon Soca and Empowering You Consulting, can help you! Everyone needs help sometimes. In fact I believe that almost everyone needs coaching at some point to take careers to the next level. Mentoring brings you to a higher place. Brigette is an expert as she is a certified coach with a national accreditation. She coaches various businesses, hair stylists and more. Brigette has been through a lot. She’s dealt with health issues, divorce, and runs marathons; but her knowledge and experience will help you get from point A to point B.She talks about how people can control how they react to salon drama. You can't control any other aspect of the situation than your own reaction. How can we stop being victimized?What is the difference between therapy, coaching, mentoring and consulting? Brigette defines each, completion and closure. These two key terms are what people get confused on. “Don’t let these past items

  • Reluctant Clients: A Conversation with a Salon Customer

    11/06/2018 Duration: 40min

    In this podcast I talk to Reid Zurlo, she is the Reluctant Client. She reviews her funny, kitschy hair salon history. If your in the salon business or if you can simply relate your salon histroy. Please take a listen.  BlogThe Life Cycle of a Reluctant Client My freind Reid is a classic and yet reluctant client. She is the type who doesn't want to commit to doing her hair regularly. “it is too expensive, too time consuming.”  But the salon environment offers so many more benefits for her, the friendship, camaraderie, the calmness, the rejuvenation, the downtime from the daily grind, release from the psychosis of life, of family, divorce, drug addiction and more. Reid doesn't just come to the salon for hair, she comes for solace.Reid like so many others wants the results of coming to the salon but not the commitment. At least that is how she intellectualizes the experience. “I hate it.” I didn’t go to salons for years she says, I was young and I let my hair go wild. This is when she was young with three young

  • Karie Bennet-Labor Laws Killing California Salons and Small Business

    01/06/2018 Duration: 44min

    California Labor Laws Causing Consternation in SalonsI had a podcast conversation with my friend Karie Bennett of Atelier Salon & Atelier Barber Shop in San Jose, California. She  has been dealing with all the labor law changes that are coming at small businesses rapid fire like shots from an AR-15. It seems like a survival game for small businesses across California, because of the feeble attempts to fix unethical farming rules going back to the 1930s.  From well meaning but incompetent legislators, many businesses, including salons, are reeling. Sitting in Silicon Valley presents Karie with advantages and disadvantages in dealing with these death defying issues. She says, “Commision, the traditional model for paying hair stylists is dead in California!” With her business like so many others in the Golden State under assault with new work rules,  you may be fearful as to whether this could spread to the rest of the country.Karie has an amazing salon organization. She is in the heart of Silicon Valley, do

  • Salon Drama and More with Amy Carter from Empowering You

    28/05/2018 Duration: 37min

    Amy Carter Owner of Empowering You Coaching talks about Salon Drama & More One of things that is really interesting about Amy Carter is her understated but huge breadth of experience in the salon world. She runs a salon consulting company called Empower you and speaks with owners of different types of salons. She has helped with every conceivable salon crisis.  On top of that she has had multiple salons and currently owns Solaris Aveda in Evansville, Indiana. Amy makes some strong points and expounds on her philosophy:Salons are filled with drama.Drama has a direct impact on the bottom line.Some top performers can sometimes be the most dramatic.It is ok to be Interested vs interesting with the client.Spa techs can be dramatic as well.If I have to think of you more than twice, you are gone.Different clients may want various environments: calm, edgy, etc.Some salon owners are running two pennies together to make ends meet.The laws of supply and demand don’t necessarily apply to this industry.Owners need to

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