The following Blog entry was created for “Beauty Changes Lives.org” and will be appearing soon on their web-site. It is addressed to those thinking about entering this fabulous industry and those who are in it but feel a little stuck. Please feel free to send this to anyone who needs a little inspiration in their lives. Best All Ways! Tamara
“Oh the Mountains You Will Climb” Dr. Seuss
Today is the day, the day that you’ll start….. This is the beginning of a famous poem by Dr. Seuss and it’s also the beginning of my message to all those who are embarking on a career in the field of Cosmetology. This is a fantastic industry! The whole picture of what you can do with a cosmetology license has grown into unlimited opportunities. Ahh but that’s the beauty of life, open doors and opportunities. Throughout your career you can work behind the chair, as a platform artist, on movie sets, in salon management consulting or you may even decide to create your own product line. Who knows, through salon ownership, you may develop a whole new direction for salon and spa operations! The possibilities are endless. Of course all this comes from getting you license and always participating in continued education.
For me, a career in Cosmetology all started with a fascination with hair, mainly mine. I wanted to know how it could be cut, styled and colored. So it was an easy decision for me to go to Cosmetology school. I really didn’t know how much I’d grow to love the profession until I got started. That’s the great thing about being open to trying new things; you never know where your adventures will take you. Over the last 25 years, I have spent fifteen behind the chair and at one point I decided to compliment my license by getting a Bachelors degree in Business as well as a degree in Interior Design. I’ve spent the last part of my career working as a Distributor Consultant, helping salon owners in all aspects of running a salon and managing a design studio for a salon equipment manufacturer.
But the adventure doesn’t stop there! With the economic downturn in 2008 came a new opportunity to increase my field of expertise by obtaining an MBA in Sustainable Business and LEED-AP in Commercial Interiors. I am now building a career transforming our industry from earth plunderers to Eco-Friendly stewards of the environment. Every day is a new adventure with new mountains to climb! You never know where your path will lead you, and I wish you great success in all your endeavors. Allow me to end with one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Seuss: “You’re off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”
Best All Ways,
Tamara Jercha, Salon & Spa Sustainability Consultant
Gun Control….I think we’re going about it the wrong way. The minute you try to take something away from someone the more they want it, even if they didn’t really want it in the first place. In the wake of the “Sandy Hook” tragedy, the issue of gun control comes front and center once again.
The fact is, as a country we will always be divided on this issue. I’m personally not a gun enthusiast BUT I do get the fascination many have over guns. Taking away a person’s right to purchase guns of any sort does not keep them out of the hands of criminals and the chance that a criminal’s prey may be carrying will however deter some criminal acts (note the words may and some).
But gun ownership is not the problem. The problem lies in the idealism attached to owning one. As long as we make gun ownership exciting, cool, and sexy, we will continue to feed the desire to own one, or two, or many more. So many people say they want peace, yet they are compelled to watch acts of violence on TV, Video Games and at the Movies. The truth is people love violence and the proof lies in the fact that promoting violence is a billion dollar industry.
Its crazy how many everyday citizens, most well educated professionals, have been stocking up on enough firepower to withstand a massive attack on their homes and communities. It’s scary that people actually believe they need these weapons in order to insure their own personal safety and the safety of their families. Of course I believe if you are convinced of something strong enough, you will bring it upon yourself. If you build it, they will come. So for that reason, I’m sad to see this trend continue. Just today on the internet I read a story about people buying their children armored backpacks. I have two issues with this. One…it’s the best way to increase fear in your child and two…their backpacks are heavy enough, ten years from now they’ll all have back problems. Come on, let’s find a better way.
I don’t have an opinion on gun ownership being right or wrong. I also don’t think our fascination with them will go away any time soon. But I do think Anti-Gun Laws and propaganda is a waste of time and resources. Better to focus our resources on taking the glamour out of gun ownership and war games. Show the real truth about the mental anguish people who have been trained to actually be in violent situations go through. Then put energy and resources into showing ransom acts of kindness and its ripple effects. A person shouldn’t have to search far and wide to find people doing and acting their best.
Local and World News can play a big part in this transition by dedicating more time to positive acts and brief snippets of negative, giving the public options to get more information if desired. We shouldn’t be automatically and repeatedly bombarded with negative news, and then hear complaints that the public is desensitized to violence. News is news. Negative news fills the audience with despair; positive news fills the audience with hope. Which do you want to be responsible for?
Removing the glamour surrounding gun violence and fostering hope over fear will act to reduce the want and perceived need for guns, thereby keeping the right to bear arms in tack. This may not solve the problems that lead to tragic acts, but it is a start in the right direction.
I once heard a teacher tell me that in the world of technology, we (anyone over the age of 35, or probably younger) are technology immigrants and our children are technology natives. “We” get a new piece of technology and sweat over trying to figure it out, all the while probably not using it to its full potential. We pour over manuals and look for tech support where ever we can find it. But just hand the piece of new technology over to children and they jump in happily, whizzing through the process of using it in all its glory.
Yesterday, when I was speaking at the MPI-CAC (Meeting Professionals International – Chicago Area Chapter) knowledge share event, I had an epiphany. The topic was Sustainability, and even though everyone in attendance new about the term, they really didn’t have a handle on what it meant. I also noticed that many worked for companies with sustainability as some part of their brand, but the message and actions didn’t trickle down past the executive offices. My epiphany is that maybe “We” are sustainability immigrants and our children are sustainability natives! The Environment/Planet part of the sustainability equation is already deeply engrained in their lives. They learn about it in schools, on cartoons and through their role models.
On the larger scale of business, sustainability is only adopted if it produces measurable benefits to the bottom line. The U.S. doesn’t mandate carbon reporting and the rules set by the EPA are often fought by big corporations fighting change. The only companies participating in the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) are those who do business globally, because other countries restrict their business if they don’t.
I have seen and continue to see the sustainability movement thrive throughout all aspect of life, and I am convinced it will continue to grow. I just hope it doesn’t take another 20 years (when the natives grow into positions of power), before we bridge the gap between talking about sustainability and actually operating sustainably.
Since it is fall, I'll use football for my example:
Take football, the object of the game is to get the ball past the goal. In the game of life your goal is your dream, who or what you say you are or want to be.
In football you reach your goal when a receiver is passed the ball and runs fast to the goal. Or maybe the receiver catches the ball in the endzone. What makes it a game is the other team. In life the other team represents obstacles in life, challenges to overcome. What fun is football without the opposing team, what fun is life without the sense of accomplishment felt when challenges are overcome?
The game of life doesn’t have the same rules for everyone. We’re all different and we all place different challenges before ourselves. Maybe we feel the strongest sense of self when we overcome the biggest challenges.
Life gives us exactly what we need to be who we say we are. It is our choice whether or not to recognize the challenges as opportunities to be our personal best.
Go You! Touchdown!
Inspiration & Innovation: The birth of NAEFSS
I created the National Association of Eco-Friendly Salons & Spas because I felt inspired to do so. I thought…”How can I bring value to existing and future salons and spas of all shapes and sizes?” Going Green was my inspiration.
The first step was to design a model, specifically suited for the salon and spa industry. To do this I used firsthand knowledge of the industry, advice from a consultant in sustainable manufacturing, as well as knowledge gained from completing requirements for the accreditation of LEED-AP for Commercial Interiors.
The Salon & Spa Sustainability Model was the framework from which everything grew; from the website containing special member access, to newsletters and free eco-tips, ultimately leading to Salon and Spa Sustainability Certification.
Education never stops, I went on to receive and MBA in Sustainable Business, focused on Urban Planning and Sustainable Communities. Because “Sustainability” is a journey and not a destination, research is continual.
NAEFSS is not an “All or Nothing” association. My mission is to gently guide businesses and people in general to be their personal best. If doing one thing out of a hundred possibilities is all you can manage right now, then know it’s the right step and just take it. If going “All In” fits your personality, I’m here for you.
I would like to share with you my newest insights and inspirations. I’ve been working around the premise of the salon and spa industry doing the same thing it always has but in a greener way. But after listening to a Keynote Speech by Joel Makower, I’ve decided we need to challenge the salon and spa industry to do things differently by providing greener services. Now if that means designing haircuts that work well with styling products created organically or use little or no electrical appliances, then this may or may not be the solution.
I challenge you to innovate! Jim Hartzfeld, Managing Director of InterfaceRAISE, states that we have to stop protecting what we have and start inventing what we need. And I urge you to stay positive! I don’t believe in the end of the world, doing without or lack of any kind. I believe in the future of possibilities. I believe in the shear genius of the human mind and collective spirit. I call for us to stop using up finite resources, not because we’re doomed if we do but because it pays to expand our thoughts about what is needed to survive and thrive.
One last thought. We are creatives, destined for greatness. Let your mind run free…Innovate!