MOP Products http://www.mopproducts.com Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:26:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.mopproducts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/favicon-32x32.png MOP Products http://www.mopproducts.com 32 32 Richard Calcasola’s Musing on Modern Originality http://www.mopproducts.com/richard-calcasolas-musing-modern-originality/ Tue, 14 Nov 2017 19:10:36 +0000 http://www.mopproducts.com/?p=4788 Click on the link below to view Richard interviewing himself on Creativity and Modern Original thinking!

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Click on the link below to view Richard interviewing himself on Creativity and Modern Original thinking!

The post Richard Calcasola’s Musing on Modern Originality appeared first on MOP Products.

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Modern Original People: Richard Calcasola http://www.mopproducts.com/modern-original-people-richard-calcasola/ Wed, 25 Oct 2017 18:06:05 +0000 http://www.mopproducts.com/?p=4691 Salon industry revolutionary Richard Calcasola serves as MOP’s Cultural Advisor, an expressly created position tapping his creative and management talents, plus his industry influence. A stroll through his career accomplishments reveals why there may be no one ever-so-strongly suited for such a unique position. Richard’s earliest years growing up in Corona, Queens made him a [...]

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Salon industry revolutionary Richard Calcasola serves as MOP’s Cultural Advisor, an expressly created position tapping his creative and management talents, plus his industry influence. A stroll through his career accomplishments reveals why there may be no one ever-so-strongly suited for such a unique position.

Richard’s earliest years growing up in Corona, Queens made him a street-savvy kid. His parents moved the family to Long Island just as he was starting freshman year of high school. Earning instant and increasing popularity among his classmates during the next four years, he was overwhelmingly elected senior class president. As his yearbook memorialized, he won the Class Leadership accolade…but to this day, dapper as ever and always donning a stylish hat, he is still somewhat disappointed that he didn’t earn the secretly desired, best-dressed award.

Back in the 1960s, military enlistment for men turning 18 was mandatory. Following his time serving with the National Guard, Richard enrolled in beauty school, “It sounded fun, and the thought of being surrounded by beautiful women and fashion all day was an added incentive.”

An early salon job in Far Rockaway placed him as the 16th pro within a staid 15-chair salon where he was in awe of the surrounding talent. Its owner’s management techniques and intimidating tactics were another matter, leading Richard to glean an important lesson: it is hard to be creative when working in a fear-filled atmosphere.

Ever the tastemaker, Richard had his vision for operating a salon: where the environs are professional but fun…where stylists and clients communicate with appreciation and respect…where current aesthetics and décor define the working space, and à la mode looks echoed the most recent pages of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and the Rolling Stones comprised that era’s soundtrack.

In 1970, he opened what would be the first incarnation of Salon Maximus, its name inspired from several factors concurrently whirring in Richard’s mind: maxi skirt fashions, Circus Maximus and iconic pop artist Peter Max, whose animation for The Beatles’ movie “Yellow Submarine” made him a household name.

Much to the initial dismay of loyal clients following Richard from his first job, he quickly ditched the old-fashioned hair-dryers. His next move was to create an atmosphere of visually-explosive sex appeal, bold and in-tune with the times for his 8-person styling team. Reminiscent of his class presidency, his management style was “emotional vs. mathematical, where mentoring and caring for employees as much as for clients, was a priority, yet at times, a double-edged sword because I took my eyes off profitability and focused on growth.” He would eventually open four salons.

In just a few years, Modern Salon magazine anointed Maximus “Salon of the Year” (1980), with the tri-state area’s top-tier beauty talent wanting to work for him after seeing numerous credits in the hottest magazines and featured guest spots on television. The salon expanded its space, evolved its design and repertoire of offerings, making it the East Coast pioneer for first-of-its-kind spa services (hello oxygen facial!) and an eponymously-branded makeup line. Richard then opened Maximus’ second Long Island location. From 1985-86, he was named Intercoiffure’s North American Creative Director.

With so many of his clients enduring the hour’s drive to Long Island from New York City, Richard opened Maximus’ third outpost (Modern Salon’s 2001 Salon of the Year) in SoHo, when on a sunny late-August afternoon, Cathy Horyn popped in. No one at the salon knew she was The New York Times recently-appointed fashion critic, nor did she say anything during her visit. An oh-so-rare front-page rave review in the paper’s Sunday Styles section resulted in nearly 900 appointments booked for September. Then, not two weeks after Cathy’s story ran, 9/11 devastated America, and the salon’s downtown location was impossible to navigate as only first responders and residents were permitted access. After several years of trying to keep the space open, Richard eventually had to sell the NYC space and its furnishings to concentrate on his Long Island locations. Needless to say, it was a very difficult time for everyone.

In addition to being Long Island’s hottest salon, during the past 15 years, Maximus often served as the continuing education epicenter where Richard would host inclusive gatherings of other salon owners and beauty professionals, sharing best-practices benefiting everyone. This cultural provocateur initially believed he was retiring in 2016, but when MOP called, he was excited to share his knowledge with the sales and style professionals as the industry’s most audacious and arguably, influential innovator.

To learn more about Richard, follow him on Instagram at @RichardCalcasola and check out Richard’s latest “musings” on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrtByzAm_0g&feature=youtu.be

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Modern Original People: Candy Shaw http://www.mopproducts.com/modern-original-people-candy-shaw/ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:55:17 +0000 http://www.mopproducts.com/?p=4503 Candy Shaw considers herself a street punk. “I was born with the desire to be somebody,” says Shaw, “but I had everything against me going in.” Despite being the daughter of Jamison Shaw – a salon veteran who didn’t let the fact that he only had an eighth-grade education keep him from building a multi-million [...]

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Candy Shaw considers herself a street punk. “I was born with the desire to be somebody,” says Shaw, “but I had everything against me going in.” Despite being the daughter of Jamison Shaw – a salon veteran who didn’t let the fact that he only had an eighth-grade education keep him from building a multi-million dollar salon – Candy Shaw was a female in a profession that put men “onstage and in the boardroom,” not women. Still, she accepted the challenge of making it in what she calls “the world of suits” when the deck seemed to be stacked against her. Dyslexic—a trait she inherited from her father and has passed on to her daughter—Shaw never went to beauty school. Instead, she apprenticed for her father.

Like a lot of hairdressers with a calling, Shaw began cutting hair for her classmates in high school. Woodward Academy in Atlanta, a former military school that went co-ed, had a hair code—above the brow, above the ear and off the collar. As a visual learner who struggled with traditional book learning, Shaw traded free haircuts for help with homework and essentially became an entrepreneur at an early age. “Let’s just say that I found a way to parlay my personality and leverage my relationships to get where I wanted to go,” she says.

Shaw considers her dyslexia a gift, one that she’s used to her advantage. “I’ve started at the back and gone forward in everything I’ve ever done in my life,” she explains. “Knowing what the end game was, being able to visualize the end result and backing into it, has made me a better hairdresser.”

Shaw, who still sees guests at the salon she bought from her father when he retired three years ago, has used the same approach in business as well. An academy and a successful product line, Sunlights Balayage, are the direct result, she says, of seeing the end and coming up with a roadmap to get there.

For Shaw, education holds the key to success in a business her father described as a fast-moving train. “He always told me that you can get on at any station,” she says, “but the secret is to stay on the train. If you get off, the view never changes. Life goes on without you.” Shaw began teaching French haircutting and hair-painting techniques 20 years ago, long before most of us had ever heard of  the word balayage. For years she approached leading manufacturers about making a lightener that would hold onto the hair, and each time she was met with resistance. “They told me that balayage was a trend that would go away like everything else,” says Shaw, whose instincts told her that balayage, like the little black dress, wasn’t going anywhere.

“My father used to say that when you’re green you’re growing, but when you’re ripe you rot,” says Shaw. Not one to wither on the vine, she preaches the gospel of balayage to anyone who will listen. “I see businesses that are paralyzed because they won’t move forward. We’ve gone from frosting caps to foils to freehand balayage techniques, but some salons are losing staff right and left because they won’t embrace something new.”

Shaw is dismayed by what she sees as a trend in our industry to make icons out of hairdressers who have 400,000 followers on social media, but have only been in the business for a couple of years. “It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up,” she says. “For so many of these young people, being an original means doing something so outlandish that you stand out, but for me, shock value isn’t original. Being an original means changing someone’s life for the better, being a mentor, engaging with someone in person, not just liking something they posted on Facebook.” Want to foster originality in your own life? Shaw’s advice is to be touchable. “People need to relate to you,” she says. “Let them live in your story so they’ll celebrate your success with you when it comes.”

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Modern Original People: Wendy Marantz Levine http://www.mopproducts.com/modern-original-people-wendy-marantz-levine/ Mon, 28 Aug 2017 20:03:49 +0000 http://www.mopproducts.com/?p=4380 Melissa Nealy was just 28 in 2005 when she lost her battle with a degenerative neuromuscular disease. “She got sick in December, 2004, and we lost her exactly a year later,” says her sister, Wendy Marantz Levine, who remembers Melissa, as a “fiery redhead” and someone who loved to travel. “She got engaged to her [...]

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Melissa Nealy was just 28 in 2005 when she lost her battle with a degenerative neuromuscular disease. “She got sick in December, 2004, and we lost her exactly a year later,” says her sister, Wendy Marantz Levine, who remembers Melissa, as a “fiery redhead” and someone who loved to travel. “She got engaged to her college sweetheart right before she was diagnosed, and they decided to go through with the wedding anyway. Theirs was a true romance, a total love story.” A girly girl who loved a good spa day, Melissa eventually became too sick to leave the house and enjoy having her hair or nails done so her family arranged for her to have those services at home. “It was frustrating that everything became about her quality of care and not her quality of life,” says Wendy, who admits that arranging for these at-home visits wasn’t as easy as it sounds. “For one thing, it was really expensive,” she says. “You have to pay for someone’s travel time as well as their fee, but it was also difficult to find people willing to take care of a young person who was really sick.”

Still, those moments meant so much to Melissa that it got Wendy wondering if there was an organization out there that provided the kinds of services that had brought such joy to her sister. When she couldn’t find one, she had the “crazy idea to start one” herself. After enlisting the help of her cousin, Alicia Marantz Liotta, she co-founded the Beauty Bus Foundation in 2009.

“We saw 11 clients that year,” says Wendy, who reached out to social workers she knew at the ALS Association—“They really helped my sister,” she explains—and asked them to vouch for her fledging non-profit. “They were incredible about introducing us to their clients.” Once she’d partnered with the ALS Association, Wendy was able to approach other organizations, including City of Hope, Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which quickly came on board.

“Once we started, it just took off very quickly. The need for what we do was astounding, and the response from the beauty industry, which donated products and time, was overwhelming.”

To date, Beauty Bus has seen more than 12,000 clients. Last year alone they provided 2,089 services free of charge, including hair care, makeup, manicures/pedicures and facials. Their annual fundraiser—“We need to raise $400,000 a year to operate,” says Wendy—is not your typical rubber chicken dinner. Instead, volunteers are on hand to provide beauty and grooming services for attendees and about three dozen clients, who experience a day out that also includes food and drinks plus a silent auction with items ranging from beauty products to theatre tickets. “We also give a Lifetime Achievement Award to someone in the beauty industry,” says Wendy. Ann Mincey was the first honoree. This year they added a Spirit of Life Award to honor someone outside the industry and help raise additional funds.

This spring, Steve and Ceyonne LeDesma attended the event to talk about how much having someone pamper her meant to their daughter Bella, who was diagnosed with cancer when she was 18 months old and passed away earlier this year when she was just 14.

“We saw her at the hospital right before they sent her home from hospice. Bella had a manicure, her mother had her hair cut and her grandmother had a facial,” says Wendy, who also provides services for caregivers. “These services do so much to bring dignity and joy into people’s lives. Our clients tell us that we make them feel human again.”

Levine, who had been Director of Litigation at one of LA’s largest legal service organizations, admits that lawyers “aren’t exactly known for being the most charitable group.” Beauty professionals, on the other hand, choose their profession precisely because it allows them to “touch people, to transform them, to make a difference.” It was that “aha” moment, which Levine experienced after observing how those at-home beauty treatments transformed her own sister, that prompted her to give up law to pursue a career helping others. So why did her idea take flight when it might have crashed and burned? Her firm had provided services to the elderly, the poor and the disabled, and it is that experience coupled with her desire to transform her family’s loss into something positive, that holds the key to her success. And so it goes when a uniquely qualified person comes up with a Modern Original idea, great things can happen.

To learn more about the Beauty Bus Foundation, please visit: http://www.beautybus.org/. We encourage every person who reads this story to make a donation. Your contribution will mean a lot to them and us.

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Modern Original People: David Kinigson http://www.mopproducts.com/modern-original-people-david-kinigson/ Tue, 18 Jul 2017 18:51:36 +0000 http://www.mopproducts.com/?p=4133 As an artist, David Kinigson has always taken his cue from Leonardo da Vinci, whose areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science and music. The gifted hairdresser studied ballet, jazz, tap and acting in high school where he was also captain of the gymnastics team (he has four varsity letters). He earned a [...]

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As an artist, David Kinigson has always taken his cue from Leonardo da Vinci, whose areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science and music. The gifted hairdresser studied ballet, jazz, tap and acting in high school where he was also captain of the gymnastics team (he has four varsity letters). He earned a degree in writing from Nassau Community College, but went to beauty school on the advice of his hairdresser, who reassured him when he wondered if he had talent. “You like poetry, and you studied acting and dance,” he said. “Don’t worry, you’ve got talent.”

So Kinigson enrolled in beauty school in New York City where he met Mary Brunetti, who has since become an industry icon. “She’s my oldest friend in the industry,” he says. When he graduated, he decided that the only place to work was at Vidal Sassoon on Fifth Avenue in New York City. “This was in the ‘70s, which I call the ‘silver era of precision haircutting,’” says Kinigson, who got to work alongside the greats, including Christopher Brooker and Roger Thompson. Other mentors from those early days include Mary Lou Green and Allan Vernon Keech. Eventually he became Education Director at Pipino Buccheri, which he calls the “last great editorial salon in New York City.” One of his colleagues there was Edward Tricomi, who went on to open a salon in Manhattan that became a magnet for celebrities. Then in 1988, Kinigson opened Salon Dada in Manhattan. The name, of course, refers to Dada, the avant-garde art movement in early 20th century Europe that has been called the “noisy alarm that woke modern art from its slumber.”

“Hairdressing is the best day job in the world because it gives you the opportunity to do so many other things. When I was deciding what to do with my life, I knew that I wanted to be able to express myself creatively, dress however I wanted, meet women, have cool music playing and travel around the world,” says Kinigson. “There are only a few other jobs—actors and rock stars come to mind—that afford you those opportunities.”

Kinigson is what you might call a renaissance man. Deeply curious and enough of a perfectionist to expect nothing short of excellence in any endeavor he pursues — he has been known to regularly push himself out of his comfort zone. Case in point: In 1983 when he was 29 years old, Kinigson entered the New York City Marathon. Despite the fact that he had never run a marathon before, he finished in the top 10-percent. A few years later he began studying Taekwondo, eventually earning a black belt. Then, at 36, he decided that he wanted to learn how to play the guitar and began writing and recording his own music. He became so good at it that he started a band, which he called Bag One. “It was the name of a portfolio of illustrations that John Lennon had done,” says Kinigson, who secured Yoko Ono’s permission to use the name. “I found out she was coming into the studio where I was doing hair, and I asked to meet her.” By 1998, convinced that his true destiny was music, not hairdressing, Kinigson closed his salon to pursue music fulltime, becoming part of the anti-folk scene on the Lower East Side of New York. An amalgam of punk, rock and avant-garde styles, the genre could be described as the antithesis of the politically motivated folk music of the 1960s. Kinigson calls it “acoustic music that’s played aggressively.” Finally, as a songwriter, it made sense to move to Nashville where he met publishers who shopped his songs. He still gets royalty checks from The Voice for an instrumental he wrote called We Can’t Say Goodbye. “They played it when contestants walked on or off the stage,” he explains. Oh, and you might just hear one of his compositions, including Pot of Gold and Show Me the Way the next time you go to Petco.

Eight years ago Kinigson once again became a salon owner, opening a boutique salon called The David K Space in West Palm Beach, FL. He has since added an academy where he applies the lessons he learned leading transformational seminars in the 1970s to protocols for excellence in salons. “It’s been an ongoing study of the human condition,” says Kinigson, who continues to write and record music. Recently he released two new songs—I Don’t Love You and Hands Up, Don’t Shoot. His advice to his fellow hairdressers is simple: Strive for excellence and don’t settle for being mediocre. It’s advice that has served this Modern Original Person well for the past 40 years.

Please visit David at: https://thedavidkspace.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/thedavidkspace/

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Modern Original People: Patrick McIvor http://www.mopproducts.com/modern-original-people-patrick-mcivor/ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 20:19:55 +0000 http://www.mopproducts.com/?p=3873 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas in 18 minutes or less through short, powerful talks that are posted free online. TED talks became so popular that an international community began organizing TEDx events based on TED’s format and rules to celebrate locally driven ideas. Celebrated hairdresser and educator Patrick McIvor [...]

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TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas in 18 minutes or less through short, powerful talks that are posted free online. TED talks became so popular that an international community began organizing TEDx events based on TED’s format and rules to celebrate locally driven ideas.

Celebrated hairdresser and educator Patrick McIvor and his wife Leah attended one of these events in Lehigh, Pennsylvania, in 2006. Nine years later, they attended a TEDx Global Simulcast in Allentown, Pennsylvania where McIvor was approached by a woman who asked what he did for a living and if he had an idea he’d like to share on the TEDx stage.

McIvor’s answer—“Why does having your hair done feel so good?”—was delivered without hesitation, though he admits that he couldn’t answer that question himself at the time. “I knew that grooming was one of the most common experiences in the world, as universal as being born, breathing, eating, drinking, sleeping and dying,” he says, “but I still hadn’t made the connection to the power of human touch yet.”

During the grueling process of auditioning for a spot on the TEDx stage, McIvor’s talk would begin to take shape. “In the age of Instagram, a lot of people think that doing hair is about posting an after, and they’ve gotten very good at using filters and taking photos from a certain angle,” says McIvor, who notes that in the past few years more than a few young hairdressers have made careers out of posting pictures, which, for McIvor, is missing the point of why they got into this industry in the first place.

“TED gave me a platform to share my belief that we’ve forgotten how important human touch is,” he says. “A quick haircut does not give someone sitting in your chair what they need emotionally. It doesn’t get their endorphins moving. Our clients come to us not only because we make them look good, but also because we make them feel good.”

Case in point: Let’s say you work in an office and your boss walks over to your cubicle, places a hand on your shoulder and tells you what a great job you’re doing. “It feels good, doesn’t it?” says McIvor, “but what if you work remotely and all you get for your hard work is an email with a smiley face emoji? Not the same, is it?”

The question is rhetorical, but it supports McIvor’s theory that in the age of smart phones we are becoming more disconnected than ever. “Digital is the hieroglyphics of today,” he says. “It lets anyone put a drawing on the cave wall, but it isolates us.” That isolation, he says, didn’t begin in the digital age, but it’s gotten much worse. “We’ve been around as communal people for a lot longer than we’ve lived in small apartments where we may have no contact with anyone else,” he says. “Just 10 years ago you’d go out to dinner and actually talk to each other. Now we stare at our phones, scrolling through emails or checking Facebook, and that takes a toll.” The antidote to staying present and original, he says, is the services that beauty professionals provide, and he doesn’t just mean cut and color. It’s looking your clients in the eye, putting your hand on their shoulder, really listening to what they have to say. “That’s what matters.”

To see McIvor’s TEDx talk, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCJoMzM_s3g

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Modern Original People: Seiji Yamaguchi http://www.mopproducts.com/modern-original-people-meiji-yamaguchi/ Fri, 31 Mar 2017 14:55:28 +0000 http://www.mopproducts.com/?p=3327 A born entrepreneur, Seiji Yamaguchi was just 15 when she created her own line of makeup after discovering that she was allergic to the harsh metals and chemicals found in most consumer brands. Growing up in California, she had also become deeply concerned about the amount of plastic that was being found in the Pacific [...]

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A born entrepreneur, Seiji Yamaguchi was just 15 when she created her own line of makeup after discovering that she was allergic to the harsh metals and chemicals found in most consumer brands. Growing up in California, she had also become deeply concerned about the amount of plastic that was being found in the Pacific Ocean every day. Seiji decided to donate two percent of her net profits to Ocean Champions, a nonprofit which works with members of Congress to pass pro-ocean laws, and the Clean Ocean Project, an NGO which raises awareness of the dangers of ocean pollution.

The daughter of famed hairdresser Billy Yamaguchi, whose cutting, coloring and makeup techniques are informed by the five elements of Feng Shui, and energy therapist & motivational speaker, Melissa Yamaguchi, Seiji grew up in a home where product formulation was a regular topic of conversation. “My parents have owned salons for 20 years and have their own haircare line so I learned about hair and skin care by osmosis,” says Seiji.

“I told her she could rely on us to help, but that she had to be involved and that she had to put up half the money,” says Melissa. So after a modest investment of $2,000, The Seiji Collection became a reality. Initially, it was sold at her parents’ salon at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village, CA. As luck would have it, Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington noticed the line when she came in to have her hair done. When she found out that Seiji was only 15, she decided to include her in a feature on teenage entrepreneurs. Seiji’s blog, “Who Says I Have to Wait on My Life?” was published in August, 2015.

Seiji is nothing if not determined. Fiercely independent, she asked her mother if she could test out of high school so she could devote more time to her business. “I’ve never taken the traditional route with anything,” says Seiji, who got her diploma at 16 and began taking college courses in philosophy, psychology,  anthropology and history.

Her latest venture is a line of six intention candles. “Each intention comes with a certain aroma and crystal that has to do solely with that intention,” says Seiji, who meditates over each crystal before placing it at the bottom of the cement container.

Circling each lid are the words, “Joy is like a light. Its strength will not be diminished by sharing.” Because of mounting evidence that soy production has a negative impact on the environment, from soil erosion to damaging fragile ecosystems, Seiji made a decision to use coconut wax instead of soy wax in each hand-poured candle. The Innersage candle features her signature scent of Arabian rose and spiced saffron with a heart-shaped rose quartz crystal at the bottom. “With every light, place your prayers, meditations and wishes,” she says. “When your candle is finished, carry your quartz and wishes with you.” When cool, the wax can be used as a fragrance. When warm, the oil may be used for massage. “Nothing is wasted.”

Concerned with the global impact of animal agriculture on the environment, Seiji has embraced a vegan lifestyle, and she’s already convinced her parents to follow in her footsteps. Her brother, Nobu, has proved to be more of a challenge, but she’s working on him. Browbeating anyone into submission is not Seiji’s style. Instead, she prefers to “lead by example.”

“I have never felt as though I had to follow convention. I don’t pay as much attention to what is popular as I do to what I feel is right,” says this Modern Original Person. “I decided to become a vegan at 13. I decided to forge my own path and start a makeup line at 15. I decided to write for The Huffington Post.” More important, perhaps, this is a girl who has “never listened when someone told me, ‘You can’t do that.’” Thank goodness.

To see what Seiji has been up to lately, visit yamaguchi-generation.myshopify.com.

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Modern Original People: Hairbrained.me http://www.mopproducts.com/modern-original-people-hairbrained/ Thu, 05 Jan 2017 17:44:29 +0000 http://www.mopproducts.com/?p=2345 The name alone—Hairbrained—is genius for a website created for people who think about hair 24/7 and the beauty professionals for whom hair is a magnificent obsession. “We have about 400,000 followers now,” says Gerard Scarpaci, who with Randy Taylor, co-founded the website that created a community of hairdressers where none existed. Let’s face it, before [...]

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The name alone—Hairbrained—is genius for a website created for people who think about hair 24/7 and the beauty professionals for whom hair is a magnificent obsession. “We have about 400,000 followers now,” says Gerard Scarpaci, who with Randy Taylor, co-founded the website that created a community of hairdressers where none existed. Let’s face it, before they were posting photos of mermaid hair or braids or well-manicured facial hair on Instagram, hairdressers were uploading their photos to hairbrained.me.

Scarpaci met Taylor in 2006, when he was already talking about building a new social network for hairdressers.

“I didn’t even know what that was,” says Scarpaci, who admits that he was barely using email at the time.

Taylor, on the other hand, had been a photographer so he was familiar with what Scarpaci calls the “tech stuff,” and he was hell-bent on building a platform that would help stylists all over the world “share, connect and grow together.”

Scarpaci, who had taught full-time for over a decade before moving back to New York to open his own salon, and was passionate about education. In 2005 he was tapped by another manufacturer to teach at their brand-new advanced academy in Manhattan where Taylor began taking classes. The way Scarpaci remembers it, Taylor “showed up for everything. After a while, the two became friends and began to talk about things they could do together. “Randy’s idea was to let me do online what I was already doing in the classroom, but for thousands of people at a time.”

Taylor began experimenting by pre-building a network on myspace.com. “It was the only platform that was wide open, so we started asking hairdressers to follow each other and comment on each other’s photos,” says Scarpaci, “but it was super messy.” So Taylor asked his nephew, a computer programmer, to help build his own social network. By 2008, after tinkering with the technology for more than a year, they were ready to launch. Scarpaci admits that they struggled to find a name that worked. Style List, a play on the word stylist, was owned by Vogue.

Hairbrained came to Taylor in a dream. “He literally woke up and wrote it down,” says Scarpaci. “My job was to spread the word by calling all of my friends at every company I’d ever worked for.” It took a year to get 1,000 people to use the platform. Now they reach over a million people per week.

So what’s next? “We want to bring hairdressers together in the real world now,” says Scarpaci, who began hosting live events, or Teach-Ins, with Taylor at trade shows a couple of years ago. Earlier this year Scarpaci hosted the first in Tokyo.

As for the future of our industry, Scarpaci believes that the rise of the independent hairdresser has shaken up and disrupted the status quo. “Hairdressers are learning from each other and forgoing strictly brand-centric education,” he says. “They’re searching for diversity and authenticity.”

It’s no surprise then that Scarpaci believes that it’s more important than ever to be an individual, to develop your own approach, as a Modern Original stylist once you’ve mastered the fundamentals. “Hone your eye and taste level,” he says. “Truly personal style is so important.” The payoff? No one will be able to duplicate the kind of work you do.

To explore the network, visit hairbrained.me.

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Modern Original Person: Lord Ashbury http://www.mopproducts.com/modern-original-person-lord-ashbury/ Fri, 11 Nov 2016 20:53:14 +0000 http://www.mopproducts.com/?p=1900 In the age of all things social media, it often feels like everyone is presenting themselves as the next big thing. That’s why NYC-based Simbarashe Cha (known to the public as Lord Ashbury) chose to separate himself from the pack, cleverly referring to himself as a “fashion recorder” vs. a photographer. “When I first started [...]

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In the age of all things social media, it often feels like everyone is presenting themselves as the next big thing. That’s why NYC-based Simbarashe Cha (known to the public as Lord Ashbury) chose to separate himself from the pack, cleverly referring to himself as a “fashion recorder” vs. a photographer.

“When I first started lordashbury.com, I was unclear if I could call myself a ‘fashion photographer’. After all, I didn’t have any fashion clients back then. I didn’t like the term ‘blogger’ either because all of the ‘fashion bloggers’ were writing about fashion shows I hadn’t been invited to, or they were pretty rich girls posting photos of themselves”

The story behind his moniker, Lord Ashbury, is a blend of California cool mixed with British sensibility. “I wanted it to sound like something you could wear.” he chimes in. “There’s a neighborhood in San Francisco called Height-Ashbury that’s pretty famous, and for a while I lived pretty close to Ashbury Street, so the name Ashbury has always been a part of my identity. Lord Ashbury just made sense.”

Interestingly enough, Cha’s love affair with photography began as another was ending—he discovered his passion in the midst of a divorce from his ex-wife. Still friends at the time, he asked her to sit for a few portraits in Bryant Park. Amazed that she agreed, he spent what he describes as a “perfect late autumn day, where the leaves had all turned and it was cold, but not too cold” taking photos. While bittersweet, Cha realized that photography gave him a sense of calm that he’d never felt before. “If I could photograph someone while in that situation, I decided that photography was probably for me,” he shares.

Cha rarely posts photos the same day they occur—even street style photos. “When I was in high school in there was this song by Radiohead called “The Tourist” and the chorus said, “slow down.” And I heard that song and went into my adulthood doing everything on my own time.”

His personal style is equally as straightforward. “I don’t have a mantra for personal style, but I appreciate and can easily spot when someone else does. Which is why I’m behind the camera and not in front of it.”

In his downtime (which is rare), Cha loves studying fashion photography — Peter Lindburgh, Alexander McQueen, Helmut Newton, and Vivian Meier are favorites. “My entire universe is wrapped around photography.”

Cha also takes a unique approach when vetting his subjects. It’s more about the energy they exude versus their look. “I learned within the first 6 months that it’s not worth photographing well-dressed people with bad attitudes. I walk away from the transaction not liking that person, I’m going to continue to not like them when I render the photograph at home. And my website and social media space will not be full of people I do not like,” he shares.

“To me a Modern Original Person doesn’t look like anyone else,” Cha reminds us. “Original people are the ones we see on the street and think, ‘That person must be crazy’.”

To learn more, follow Lord Ashbury on Instagram @lordashbury or visit his website: www.lordashbury.com

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Modern Original Person – Castillo http://www.mopproducts.com/modern-original-person-castillo/ Fri, 28 Oct 2016 20:18:22 +0000 http://www.mopproducts.com/?p=1787 While slightly clichéd, the saying “never judge a book by its cover” rings true in 2016 more than ever. There’s a major shift toward embracing originality instead of conformity. We profiled one of the industry’s “mane” men, Castillo, who beauties like Ruby Rose, Priyanka Chopra, and Halle Berry count on to keep them looking red [...]

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While slightly clichéd, the saying “never judge a book by its cover” rings true in 2016 more than ever. There’s a major shift toward embracing originality instead of conformity. We profiled one of the industry’s “mane” men, Castillo, who beauties like Ruby Rose, Priyanka Chopra, and Halle Berry count on to keep them looking red carpet-ready. Read on to discover more about this stylist to watch.

At first glance, the young, heavily tattooed Los Angeles-based stylist’s ink might overwhelm you, however, each work of art has a story behind it. Castillo decided to pierce himself at the age of 11 to rebel against his parents’ separation. “[I was] piercing my ears, piercing my lip—all in different ways. As soon as I got to the age where I was able to go get a tattoo, I started expressing myself more.” Naturally, his first tattoo was on an unconventional place. “I was like ‘I’m going to do this. I’m going to rebel. I’m not going to conform to society. I’m going to be an artist,” he says.

Castillo, in a sense, used his tattoos and piercings as a guard—preventing others who didn’t understand his sense of style to simply stay away. “[I thought] it’ll keep ‘those’ people away. People that do want to get to know me, meet me and work with me are going to love art no matter what. It also separated me from the normal crowd.”

Over the past few years, Castillo has made many sacrifices to get to where he is now—and he’s no stranger to hard work. To stay focused, Castillo made a conscience effort to eliminate vices like drinking and excessive socializing, which opened up doors for him to take on more work. “Whether it was a test shoot, paid shoot, or unpaid shoot, I was there prepared and ready to work,” says Castillo. And his big break? Working with the budding Disney star, Bella Thorne, who didn’t have a stylist at the time. “Her belief and support in me really helped build my confidence to where it is today,” he adds.

Gratitude (Castillo is a firm believer in affirmations, prayer, and astrology à la Susan Miller) plays a major role in staying humble despite the big names around him. A man of his word, he even has “Sober is Sexy” tattooed on his wrist as a reminder to always think about the big picture. “It really keeps me centered to the goal. There are so many ways to be sexy. I think that people feel the need to drink and to do certain things that numb you, which is fine to feel sexy. There’s also a beautiful art in finding sexy in yourself naturally.”

To him, Modern Original People are true risk-takers. “Not only just taking risks in being themselves, but taking more risks on every level—on what they do, how they speak, how they interact with people, how they dress, how they express themselves in a social setting.”

We couldn’t agree more.

To learn more, follow Castillo on Instagram @ castillo_13

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Modern Original Person – Mariea Huynh http://www.mopproducts.com/modern-original-person-mariea-huynh/ Fri, 28 Oct 2016 20:00:12 +0000 http://www.mopproducts.com/?p=1783 This month we sat down with Mariea Huynh, a Miami-based creative for our very first article in MOP’s  Modern Original People interview series. We initially met Mariea at a casting call where she stood out amongst the crowd. Mariea is a fashion forward Garment Artist / Designer for her hand made clothing line Nonsense, Co-Owner [...]

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This month we sat down with Mariea Huynh, a Miami-based creative for our very first article in MOP’s  Modern Original People interview series. We initially met Mariea at a casting call where she stood out amongst the crowd. Mariea is a fashion forward Garment Artist / Designer for her hand made clothing line Nonsense, Co-Owner of Square Meal Productions creative studio, as well as a model.

Below is a snippet of our conversation with Mariea. We hope that by highlighting Modern Original People around the world we will inspire others to connect with our modern original community. Stay tuned for more!

MOP: Where do you find inspiration?

MH: I find inspiration in everyday things, the things that are taken for granted. Catching a sunrise, having a really spontaneous conversation with a stranger, and most recently what gives me chills when it happens, is catching the clock at 11:11. All these little things, I take as the universe’s way of letting me know that  I’m on the right path and reinforces my creative vision.

MOP: What’s the best part of your day?

MH: Honestly, it’s hard to say as my days are quite random. I dabble in numerous things which lead to one day working on set for extensive hours watching magic happen behind a camera, and then another day, filled with quiet solitude. Time where I feel super creative and just design pieces. Those times are pretty special… to feel inspired, brainstorm an idea and manifest it into something physical right before your eyes.

MOP: What’s your go-to MOP product?

MH: When I got booked as a hair model for MOP’s event in Miami, the stylist cut my hair short and applied MOP orange peel molding cream. It had a refreshing scent and held beautifully. I really loved it!

MOP: What does being a Modern Original Person mean to you?

MH: Staying true to yourself no matter what others are doing. Fear is the only thing that keeps us from experiencing life, so be fearless and be the perfect version of yourself, because you can.

If you would like to learn more about Mariea please visit: SquareMealProductions.com or email her at popupshopmia@gmail.com.

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Bullied – A Poem By Buddy Feldshon http://www.mopproducts.com/bullied-poem-buddy-feldshon/ Thu, 27 Oct 2016 22:06:59 +0000 http://www.mopproducts.com/?p=1769 How does it feel, to go through your life Knowing things will be done and said to you, that will cut like a knife And you think to yourself, why is this happening to me You know you’re a good person, can’t anyone see And they will do things to hurt you,  it just doesn’t [...]

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bullied

How does it feel, to go through your life

Knowing things will be done and said to you, that will cut like a knife

And you think to yourself, why is this happening to me

You know you’re a good person, can’t anyone see

And they will do things to hurt you,  it just doesn’t seem right

For your tears and your fear, are with you day into night

And you start to think to yourself, am I really of no worth

Was it all a mistake, was I worthless from birth

And the thoughts start to dominate, Should this all come to an end

It seems all that I have is misery, as my true and only friend

So each and every day, I have this terrible feeling of dread

And I think to myself, am I better off dead?

Because I just can’t take the laughing, the insults and names

To them it must seem, as if it’s the funniest of games

So let me tell you all now, that the hurt you do is real

And I just can’t understand, all the joy that you feel

For putting someone down, just so you can feel good

Makes me ask the question, why anyone would?

And I now know the answer, it is as clear as a bright, sunny day

Because you are so unhappy with yourself, you figure someone else has to pay

As long as it’s not you, you could continue living the lie

But You will have to answer to GOD, on that very day that you die

So why don’t you all stop, and start changing your ways

So we can all live in peace, for all the rest of our days!

Buddy Feldshon is a Sales Manager and Motivational Speaker for FourSTAR Salon Services in New York & Connecticut. To learn more about Buddy Feldshon and his speaches please  visit: SalonExcellenceConsulting.com. We are proud to call him a member of the MOP family and appreciate him sharing his wonderful poem on bullying. Please visit: NotInOurTown.orgItGetsBetter.org, or HRC.org to learn how you can help stop bullying in your community.

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