William Collier: Synopsis of a Memoir, Pt. 27 - Salon 1500 Welcomes Gene Juarez

February 18, 2016

Gene introduced himself and we chatted awhile, his demeanor was that of confidence along with a genuine passion for the hair industry. He explained that he had been on vacation and upon his return Mr. Emil was aware of his plan to open his own salon. Gene had been a loyal employee for many years. Mr. Emil decided to avoid a conversation with clients that might impact his salon adversely and cut his losses. Losing a talented, high revenue producing employee is difficult. Out of respect for the deceased, who is remembered as a genuinely kind and thoughtful salon owner, it seems honorable to, as they say “let bygones, be bygones.” May Mr. Emil rest in peace. My conversation with Gene ended with a hand shake, confirming our agreement for Gene’s business to continue at Salon 1500.

Gene’s first day completely blew my mind. Since he had been on vacation, with no reason to monitor his appointments there was chaos involving clients that were booked and clients calling to be booked. Due to the confusion, although he managed the circumstances in a very cool way his first day was overwhelming. There were clients in every chair, a couple sitting on the floor, and one or two walking around outside. I felt a tidal wave had hit. I was stunned, even though I knew about the confusion and that it would take a week or so to settle down, on that day all I could think was “What the f…?”  I hung in there for a couple of hours and then instructed my receptionist to cancel all my clients for that day. I remember checking in with my receptionist periodically to see if the onslaught has diminished. She was also in shock. I instructed her to support him the best she could. He handled those first few days amazingly well. By the end of the week it was settling down and the oxygen was beginning to redistribute. This was going to be an incredible challenge, one that would impact the course of my future indefinitely. (In a positive way).

Anyone reading this information that knows Gene at all, knows he is a very dynamic person. My personal experience occurred before he had opened his first salon at the 801 Tower Building in downtown Seattle. He was relentlessly committed in a manner that was all consuming. We enjoyed conversations on many topics, some of which were C19 – H 28 – O2 driven, as two strong willed young men would respectfully enjoy. The ambiguity of the last sentence is intended to protect our innocence. Haha. We became close, respectfully sharing our individual commitment to an industry we both care about deeply. Gene stopped by a couple of months ago, a most delightful surprise, and his charismatic presence has only been further amplified by his successful journey. The years passed have been kind to each of us in our own ways. There was much excitement in the air upon his exit from our salon. Having known Gene at a time when the success he has enjoyed was in its a firsthand view of its genuine efficacy.

There are many stories, most of which will remain private; Let’s just say we had a lot of fun. The next blog will share our trip to London where we shared a flat in Kensington, while attending the Vidal Sassoon Academy on Davies Mews.

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