When does a hairdresser cross the lines between good and great? I decided to meet with Jude Grimm of The Real Beauty Salon to discuss this topic, but first a little background about Jude. Jude grew up in Southern California and for as long as she can remember she has been an artist. From dance to painting, sculpture to drawing the arts have always inspired her life. As a teen, one of Jude’s interests was looking at fashion magazines and making the coralation to hair as an “art”.
Her natural born artistic talents, curiousity and communication skills landed her at the right place at the right time. Jude found her doors open into the mentorship of the original Vidal Sassoon team in San Francisco. Her artistic path eventually led her to teaching and lecturing nationally for Toni and Guy of London. Jude created and developed “The Conversation of Retail”, a program designed to help clients connect to their salon and stylist. Jude has written her own book called “Get Real Beauty…the revolution begins with YOU” and has been a contributing writer for several Northwest publications and blogs. Beyond her amazing resume of experience one just simply needs to visit Yelp.com to read her raving reviews or speak with any of her local clients who will tell you, “Jude is Amazing”. Jude takes her work seriously stating that everyone should have a hair cut that makes them look and feel like a celebrity… and that is exactly what she is here to do.
Jude, thanks so much for speaking with me today. I hope that introduction wasn’t too over the top. I simply want to point out the fact that people who work with you – Love It!
Thank you Shields, I am deeply honored by your interest and your introduction. We are excited to be celebrating being open for two years here in Ashland after relocating from Washington State.
Jude, will you tell us about some of your your early inspirations and how they have shaped your style and commitment to the services you deliver?
I give credit first to my father who was a cutting edge health practitioner before it was “cool”. He was one of the first founding Chiropractors practicing in Southern California in the early sixties, that believed nutition and eating organically was critical to self care. Vidal Sassoon, the “father”of modern hairdressing, was also commited to beauty from the inside out. He had an organic juice bar in his downtown London salon in the sixties. My fathers healthful influence has always given me keen sense of beauty from the inside out.
Haircutting is an act of sculpture. The art of sculpture is based on geometry. Hair will continue to stay in the same shape it was cut into being…be it wet or dry….good or not so good.
One of your customer testimonials reads: “Absolutely consistently the best cuts and colors I have ever had!!! I didn’t realize how easy sustainable beauty was for me…” Can you tell us more about this?
Connecting to the client is always our foremost intent. We do this through a personalized consultation that brings a mutual agreement that we collaborate upon. We send our new clients home with samples of our exclusive sustainable product line that is suphate, paraben and gluten free for a home trial. If and when they would like to commit to a purchase, they have sampled the performance in the comfort of their own home.
So far we haven’t mentioned your husband Robert Grimm in this interview but he plays a huge role in your salon. Will you tell us more about your partnership together and the roles you each play?
Robert and I have been married for 29 years and have grown three beautiful sons. We have always worked together in one capacity or another. When asked “How do we live and work together?”, my reply is how could you not? He is our finance director, visioner and colorist. He creates color based on the lowest maintenence upkeep for our clientle. Robert has always supported my passion to “change the world” of beauty through the message of sustainability. He has always been my biggest fan and does things like sending me away for the weekend to hole up in a hotel room and write.
Tell us more about this idea of “Sustainable Beauty” and also the name “Real Beauty” for which you have named your salon?
Indeed. Sustainable beauty starts with embracing what you look like today…not yesterday or ten pounds from now. It’s about embracing your face shape, profile, hair texture, curls or wave patterns and the amount of hair that you have now. Sustainable beauty also appllies to the personal care products that you are choosing at home to consume. What you apply on to yourself enters you. Your choices effect your personal health and beauty and our planets health and beauty. We know that “Real Beauty” comes from the inside but it also comes from our participation of our outside reflection. We feel good about ourselves when we are resonating in our real beauty! We are thrilled to own the trademark for “Real Beauty” and are proud to be our research and development mode for our sustainable personal care products.
l receive great joy bringing people into the mirror to see themselves as the world “sees” them. We are not one dimensional paper cut outs, we are three or more dimensional beings with a brain that sees all sides. I love getting people of all ages, to connect to their unique and individual beauty.
With each client you give a special complimentary consultation in which you discuss a few things. Can you tell us about this and why you do it?
Yes,I’m unique in my approach and I am grateful that this is the way that I was mentored. Approaching individual characteristics of each human being regardless of circumstance is not unlike an architect designing a new home on a piece of uneven ground (most of it is). It is about identifying what can and what cannot be changed. I can change the length, the interior and exterior mass but I cannot change your profile, face shape, hair texture, curls patterns or hair density. This personalized consultation brings a mutual agreement that we then collaborate and perform accordingly.
One expectation you have for your clients is that they receive compliments on their hair styles, even from random strangers. Can you please tell us more?
Our approach is that you should be getting compliments from random strangers. Compliments and functionality should be enjoyed until you, as the client, decides the “when” of setting your next appointment.
When we spoke on the phone you mentioned that if were a young person and thinking about getting into the beauty profession you would choose to go to the best school possible. Can you tell us more about this?
Experience always comes directly back to your education and mentors. You will not see a celebrity of any age, gender or ethinticity with a “terrible” haircut weather the photo of them is on or off of the set. Why? Because the professionals that are chosen to cut and color celebrity hair have the “credentials”! Remember…Hair is Art!
Those kind of credentials come from a great education and great mentoring.
It takes a certain kind of curiosity to become the best in any profession. You must ask yourself, “How far down the rabbit hole are you willing to go to become the best”? That’s a question that I encourage everyone to ask themselves.
Most people aren’t willing to find out what “the best schools” are for the beauty profession. By the way, the tuition for the top schools is not much more than the lesser quality schools. But what you are going to get out of going to the best school is a very intentional education. Your education becomes a tool in the tool box, then your mentor ship or apprenticeship should begin.This is not a hobby…it’s a profession.
We understand curls..and we love them. All hair stretches when it is wet and shrinks when it dries but naturally wavey or curly hair shrinks twice as much. I choose to cut all naturally wavey or curley hair dry, then shampoo and recheck my lines.
Jude, can you tell us a little bit about your book?
Yes Shields, every new client receives a copy of my guidebook. It’s my baby and a simple pictorial and overview of everything we discuss in our initial consulation. There are some gentle reminders of how to’s and what not to’s and sustainability is the bottom line. The book was printed on recycled paper and all soy based ink.
Finally any last words you would like to share with our audience?
Embrace your individual real beauty …because there is only one you.
The Real Beauty Salon
175 N. Pioneer St.
Ashland, Oregon 97520