Serena Bendycki, Studio Owner at Mia Salon Studios in North Royalton, Ohio, and Educator for ELEVEN Australia, is Premier Beauty’s December Educator of the Month.
Serena Bendycki, ELEVEN Australia Educator
, is Premier Beauty’s December Educator of the Month. Serena’s commitment to education is obvious in her passion to keep improving. Congrats, Serena!
How’d you get your start in education?
I’m always looking for ways to broaden my skill set and get out from behind the chair. I’ve always had an interest in education and things just kind of fell into place when I took on the ELEVEN Australia brand. My rep was looking for educators, and it felt like the perfect opportunity.
What’s your favorite product from ELEVEN?
It’s hard to narrow it down to just one. My no. 1 go-to is probably the Dry Powder Volume Paste
. There’s nothing else like it on the market that works as well to give that second-day, messy-but-put-together look. I also really love the Keep My Colour Blonde Shampoo
. It works to keep those brassy tones out of blonde hair. I use it all the time.
What's the newest, freshest approach you're bringing to education?
It’s important to break away from the typical lecture formula of classes. Education should be more of an interactive experience. Students learn much better when they can get involved and touch and feel the hair, instead of just watching, so I’m always trying to encourage interaction. Even when I’m just teaching product knowledge and not demonstrating a skill, I find it much more effective to have a discussion with the class rather than talking at them. It makes a big difference.
What are the common problems faced by stylists today?
The ultra-perfect images portrayed on social media networks like Pinterest and Instagram can be misleading. Clients can sometimes see these images and have unrealistic expectations about what can be accomplished in a single session, or how a cut might look on them. The images we see throughout the day are so polished, I think it can be hard to look past.
For me it’s all about the consultation; talk through what the client is looking for and educate them on the process and potential issues they might not have considered. I think once they have a better understanding of what they’re looking for, their expectations become a lot more realistic. You’ll have a much happier client with this approach as opposed to giving them what they think they’re getting and leaving them disappointed.
Sometimes this can be a difficult conversation to have, but it’s important to be ready for it so you can have the confidence to talk it over with them and show them that they can trust you.
What do you want stylists to know about education?
Education is so important. You can never stop learning. Continuing your education
and sharpening your skills is what will set you apart from other stylists. Regardless of the size or notoriety of a class, you can always take something of value away.
It can also be a great way to get out of your comfort zone and keep your skills and your creativity fresh. It’s easy to fall into a routine and let your skills stagnate. You have to be conscious of that and keep improving.
Any advice for educators?
It’s helpful for me to remember that we’re all in this together and we can learn from each other. It doesn’t matter what brand we represent - we all have the same goals. There is a lot of opportunities to help each other get better at what we’re doing by learning from each other.
What are your educator goals?
I don’t necessarily have any super-specific goals; I always want to keep progressing, working toward bigger shows and getting in front of bigger audiences. It’s important to me to always keep reaching higher.
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