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The Wrap: Joico Global Destination Education 2018

Genuinely joy-filled, Joico Global Destination Education brought together an industry united by passion and a brand promise that brings the Joi to healthy hair, the Joi of connection, the Joi of learning and entertainment. From corny to crusade levels of connection – here’s your insight one of the industry’s most unique global events, writes Cameron Pine.

Spanning over a somewhat illustrious seven nights and not 3 or 4 like most industry gatherings, GDE was a special breed of its own right from the outset. I don’t think many guests, including the 30 plus from the Joico Australia and New Zealand network and myself, had ever been to a conference for that long especially not in the Caribbean, and there’s been plenty, so how exactly did Global Destination Education exceed expectations?

It wasn’t just the all-inclusive package and that also meant unlimited tequila (yes, you read that correctly) – there had to be something more in it than that for so many Australians in particular to travel more than 24 hours to an isolated island. Too much of one thing is never good but just the right balanced brings joy – and Joico knew all too well about that – they called it the Joi of connection. Connection and education were perfectly married but most importantly the recipe to party – it’s a core basic for every hair conference and Joico simply nailed it. To capture people’s attention for that long, the agenda needed to span far and wide with a mix of salon commercial tips, fused with inspiration and most importantly that gut-wrenching emotion only the industry’s best can bring to the fore – for even the most critical of guest. A proven and successful product, Joico is a brand that needs to be truly experienced for its potential to be seen, heard and felt. As Grafton salon owner in attendance Kerrie Dimattia puts it, “I’ve tried so many other products but nothing is as good as Joico. We have to grow the education in Australia so more people can see what incredible opportunities the brand presents globally,” Kerrie said.

From the outset with a seemingly typical format, it wasn’t long before guests realized they were part of something very unique from the idyllic location to the long-winded format, there was time to take home something more than most expected, and that they did. Most importantly time to reflect and re-energize their business for 2018 and go home with a new approach to making money, but mostly how to do it with integrity. At the start of a new year the timing of GDE could not have been any more perfect. Guests had time to really soak up both the sunshine and the lumishine (Joico’s business boosting colour portfolio) – and now as a Henkel beauty care brand, the directive was to make sure that wherever you were in the resort the Joico DNA was with you.

The eight day event was led by technique-driven presentations including a highly valuable ‘expert panel’ on how to become social media savvy and ultimately unlock a creative passion and desire in each and every guest to achieve more. Jenny Strebe, Phil Ring, Larisa Love, Ricardo Santiago, Olivia Smalley, Denis DeSouza and Marissa Marino are at the top of their game – each with super strengths in their chosen area of specialty – if there was one thing GDE taught every guest, it was to pick your prose and go for it!

Expert panel

More than 1,000 hair professionals from 28 countries indulged in this tropical paradise meets world-class education experience with fun additions like a social media scavenger hunt (that ended in the biggest foam party you’ve ever seen), a Brazilian pool party, a fashion rocks party, live music, dress ups and a kaleidoscope of real-life Willy Wonka style fantasy as well as a classy finale event with guests wearing their whitest of whites for a beachside bash. There was something for everyone – those wanting a bespoke boldness or to sit in the background and avidly take notes.

Fashion Rocks party

It was the mix of cultures that made it such a unique experience, and not a hard sell. While Joico was in the veins of everyone in attendance it came from a place of passion and leading by example – and not preaching a product prose.

“We have made the promise to you, as our VIP guests that we will give your first access to the next GDE in 2020. What we have seen is nothing short of an extravaganza of hair delights and networking – the memories made are lasting,” said Joico Senior VP, Sara Jones.

Fashion Rocks party

We have the Canadians to thank for making it all happen – they were the first country to develop the education platform, not only did they have the largest numbers in attendance, Joico continued to remind us of how this Canadian concept has been realized as a global phenomenon on the hairdressing calendar.

With colour the hallmark of most salon bottom-line profits, it seemed only appropriate to kick off the formal education components with celebrity Beverly Hills colourist Denis DeSouza alongside Joico Canada Guest Artist, Melissa Duguay.

With a more commercial and classy approach to colour in contrast to bright and bold, Denis and Mel talked through the business of blonde and the art of glossing every colour client with lumishine colour glosses.

“My clients want their hair to be trendy, they are at work, they don’t want a line of demarcation and they want the hair colour more on the natural side. Low maintenance blondes are a real thing at the moment.” Denis said.

Most importantly the educational content launched with the concept of sharing ideas rather than merely preaching techniques. As Denis said, “We grew up as stylists without the internet, we didn’t have any of the ways to see content online – back when I was at beauty school I wish I had videos that I could look back on and create from,” Denis said.

Next up was all about colour intensity with social media sensation and salon owner Larisa Love – concentrated pigments with over the top vibrancy deserves supreme creativity or if not that – fool proof techniques to add excitement to colouring . Judging by the hair throughout the room, it was evident that Joico salons go crazy for colour intensity and it continues to be a top selling SKU in the Jocio portfolio. Alongside her was creative colour stars Ricardo Santiago and Phil Ring – creative a dynamic on stage that was entertaining and informative. “Because you have to have fun with hair,” Phil said.

Colour Intensity

“Working with Joico is one of the best things I’ve done in my career. The dynamic is like being with family and we really encourage and love on each other like nothing I’ve ever experienced,” Ricardo said.

Larisa gave some secrets away for her Insta-famous techniques; “Technique of application is just as important with intensity as with lightening the hair – when you are working with intensity in a foil make sure to brush side to side with your techniques, it’s almost as if you need to surround and smother the hair as much as possible,” Larisa said.

Vivienne Mackinder – the legend, the creative, the business leader and pioneer of online education ,drew a tear in the eyes of almost every guest as her role throughout the conference spanned several days, from unlocking creativity inside of you, to commercial cuts and business advice, there aren’t many people in the industry with the versatility of Vivienne. There were two key themes to her presentation each revolving around marvelous layers of mastery within a woman who remains a success thanks to her willingness to change.

Vivienne Mackinder

It’s no wonder her most commonly asked question wonders how she stays motivated 40 years later.

“Creativity is like a muscle, if it’s not used it gets smaller and smaller. The more you flex it the stronger it becomes. I’m here to help you find that wealth of creativity that lies within your heart,” she promised the eager audience.

But first she had to crush some myths to creativity like, ‘you have to be born with it’ but really the only difference between some people who are creative and those that are not, are those that think they aren’t creative generally limit themselves – food for thought in an audience keen to be better in all aspects.

“Every generation has something beautiful to give – honour your generation if you want to dive deeper into your creativity. Let history be your teacher and be open to visionaries,” Vivienne said.

“To be successful you need to be unapologetically yourself- think of the amount of people that have money and success but have blown it. Personality takes you to the top but character keeps you there,” she said.

It seemed some of the greatest learnings came in the form of realization, by checking in with yourself but also by sticking to goals and being open to learn.

Australian attendees celebrate

“I knew only one look when I started at Sassoon’s but if you don’t step forward you are always in the same place,” Vivienne almost had to be told by industry legend Trevor Sorbie that she wasn’t a hairstylist to open her mind and learn more about dressing hair and not just cutting hair. “Fear is temporary and regret is forever – while discipline wears out, regret weighs tonnes,” Vivienne said.

Walking guests through intuition, the laws of attraction and empowerment – indeed the greatest barrier to creativity is fear. The room was left with new levels of confidence.

“You have to marinate creativity, it’s not an Instagram moment, it’s a process.”

Vivienne praised Angelo Seminara as one of the most creative people she has ever met before taking guests through the sensibilities of different eras and periods and facing them with the challenge of mastering more than three different textures on one head of hair. Guests throughout the room randomly picked different eras and styles that Vivienne masterfully created into one seamless style.

The closing day of conference with Vivienne saw a big emphasis on soft skills as she says a lot of the time we are so focused on technique and formula that we forget about the art of soft skill, “Soft skill is the gateway to being busy and that’s huge. Our entire industry has fallen short in soft skills,” Vivienne said.

“You have to know what you want and see what you want and then you need to believe you can have it and work your ass off to get it. If you love what you do it will be a wonderful journey – I’ve never known a successful person to settle.”

Richard Mannah elevated the art of cutting to a more fashion-inspired series of looks but while sticking to the mantra that “It’s not just about trends, it has to suit the client and there always has to be a why behind the what,” Richard said.

“What you see today is inspired by all my years of travels, from places I have been from Spain to Puerto Rico – I’m a massive believer that education equals motivation and sometimes staff get bored, it’s not because of a lack of money, it’s a lack of motivation,” Richard said.

Richard Mannah

“I want the hair to look expensive – Joico is more about healthy hair but I’m here to break the rules and add some more fashion inspired texture,” Richard said.

“If it ain’t broken, break it,” said Richard as he coined a new word moolay (another word for a designer mullet). Richard also created a ‘90s ghetto girl’ with some creative braiding inspired by youth and rebellion.

Mark Bustos is one very humble American hairdresser who has created a wave in the industry, not one built on ego but from doing haircuts on the homeless.

Every Sunday Mark gives out haircuts everywhere from Guangzhou to New York City, “I don’t do charity work to make money, I make money to do charity work,” he said.

Although trying to stay relatively ‘under the radar’, Mark graced the stage at Destination Education to portray himself as a humanitarian, a man of faith and a disruptor who just loves what he does.

Mark started haircutting to his brothers and friends at the age of 14 in his backyard – even though he didn’t know what he was doing he always said ‘I can do that’ when someone would ask for a style – self taught, it was haircuts for a few sandwiches and slices of pizza. Now he works at a high-end New York salon and charges top dollar for a haircut, not only this but he is about to open his own salon called the Silver Vine room. Mark’s story was an inspiring and for some tear jerking one.

“I’ve always wanted to make a lot of money and charge a lot of money but once I realized I could sustain myself, I found myself giving all of this money away. The more you give, the more you get.” In the Philippines where Mark is from, there are children living in tents on top of gravestones in a cemetery so he asked his aunt to organize a party for all the kids in the cemetery to celebrate his grandmother’s birthday, “Our problems are not problems – there are problems out there in the world that are real problems.”

From learning to put ‘problems’ into perspective to trying new things in a room filled with passion, to be pushed creatively with no limits, to be inspired and excited by those around you, to feel emotion like you’ve never felt it before, to party and laugh while making new friendships you realize a few things about life.

As Olivia Smalley (@omgartistry) said, “I cannot express the camaraderie of everyone involved in GDE. I felt like all the elements were aligned and everyone’s mind was open to meet and learn from one another. I personally re-affirmed that when you are green you grow and when you are right you rot. Not only this, but it was the most gorgeous lush green resort with some of the most inspiring hair stylists in the world,” Olivia said.

Joico implored everyone in attendance to be strong and raise the profile of the industry, to elevate each other and make a lasting impression on everyone they meet.

One resounding message from all speakers was to challenge yourselves and to view success as a holistic inertia and not just in one aspect of your life. Family, personal, financial – the Joico network certainly focus more on happiness at a complete level rather than personal accomplishment. “Being able to inspire hairdressers on stage is so rewarding but also being part of a week like this and to be inspired by others as well, is the ultimate – every 1,000 plus guest has something to give,” Denis De Souza said.

As Vivienne closed off her final presentation she affirmed that we need three things in life – someone to follow as your beacon of light, someone by your side to support you and someone who can give back to you. Three elements portrayed perfectly through the platform of GDE.

Give back, step forward and become another Joico advocate – you just might achieve as much as this energetic group of hairdressers and professionals that together have reached the world – life changing!

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