Beauty Store Business

AUG 2016

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56 August 2016 | beautystorebusiness.com Images courtesy of Mustafa Avci ALL ABOUT THE FUNDAMENTALS "My passion for hair started when I went to school in my country, because I started drawing a lot," Mustafa says. Though mathematics and science were not his strong suits in school, he always excelled at art—and still makes it an important part of his creative process for making his hair creations today. "Drawing is what made me love this job so much … Though the focus is a lot on hair, art [will always be] in my heart forever. It has had such an affect on me choosing this as a career," Mustafa says. When he came to America at age 12, Mustafa was unfamiliar with the language and hardly knew anyone. His uncle's friend, who owned a salon, took him under his wing. Mustafa began help- ing out at his uncle's friend's salon on his free time, learning about the craft of doing hair for the time ever. "I didn't want to say no to my uncle 's friend and didn't think I'd work there— but I ended up working there for 11 years. I didn't know anything about Vidal Sassoon, but I thought, 'That's my job and I need to do my best to get it done.' I grew up there, hair washing and helping out. I [became] so into hair that I made a space for myself," he says. "My boss used to be like my father— he was my mentor, my everything," Mus- tafa says. "I try to do everything the smart way and just take my time, taking [impor- tant] steps slowly and gradually. I want people to talk about my business first. My boss always told me, 'Whatever you do, just give it your best.' So, I have that in my mind every time I'm doing something." With his early education starting at New York's Sassoon Academy, Mus- tafa learned the fundamentals such as ABC cutting, razor and creative cutting from Orlando Pita's up-do classes and Wella's cutting classes, to name a few. But by taking these fundamental skills and marrying them with a passion for drawing and taking pictures, Mustafa began putting his own spin on hair. It was then that he started incorporating imagination, accuracy and precision into his repertoire to create a signature look. A CREATIVE SPACE OF HIS OWN After 11 years working at his uncle's friend's salon, a 23-year-old Mustafa took a job at another salon in New York City. "People already knew my name and working in New York City is everyone's dream come true. I started working there, but after three months, I started feeling the need to open up my own salon, and do things the way I wanted," he says. When Mustafa opened up his own salon, Salon M, it was at first a place where clients could get "regular cuts and colors," Mustafa says. While he provided the usual services typically provided at a salon, it wasn't until his Instagram became popular that peo- ple started to take notice of Mustafa's uniquely creative looks. "Instagram started and people could see what you were capable of doing. Once they started seeing my work, [cli- ents] said, 'You can do this?' They never allowed me to do it before; they thought I was too young to be doing vintage styles from the olden days. I started focusing on that [old-school look] so much more and showing my work a lot so that little by little, I got a lot of people's interest on social media," he says. MAKING WAVES IN THE INDUSTRY Today, Mustafa's dedicated Instagram following has taken a liking to his sig- nature finger waves and elegant up-dos. But, he never intended to be recognized for those particular hairstyles; rather, this signature style evolved organically. "I can't believe how far one idea can go," Mustafa says of pictures he posts on Instagram. "After the Sassoon Acad- emy, I thought, why not do classic styl- ing? I stopped focusing on the roller sets of the olden days and I started research- ing a lot. I'm into drawing and art, but never thought about creating [certain] GAIN SOCIAL-MEDIA STARDOM Use Mustafa Avci's tips to gro your Instagram follo ing to form a loyal online fan base. • Get Inspired: Follow other hairstylists and beauty experts who inspire you, and let them fuel the creativity for your next posts so trends keep evolving. "Inspiration doesn't have limits. If someone thought about something you hadn't thought about, and you take that and represent it differently on another level, you're the one adding the salt and the pepper." • Represent Your Style: Spread knowledge and learn from others in the industry to develop lasting relationships and a specialized skillset. "I give other hairdressers a lot of recommendations [based on] things I've done … but it's all about quality work [shown on a] beautiful background that positively shows your skills, so others can see that and get inspired." • Stay in Touch: Mustafa stays connected with clients he teaches and regularly works with, as well as other big names in beauty. "As soon as [my clients] go home and practice on a mannequin head and tag me in their pictures, I get really getting touched by it," he says. • Become an Expert: People will follow you on Instagram if they believe you're an authoritative voice that they can trust. "A lot of people used to tell me not to post everything. But, I want to be one who's sharing what products to use and how much to use; I want to be the one showing comb techniques—not just someone who is teaching something, getting my money and saying goodbye; techniques [last] a lifetime." • Collaborate and Create: "Collaborations help me gain more followers, but collaborating with other artists, especially if you've already met them, makes the work so much more special. People know me for styling, so I've also collaborated with Lala's Updos, Painted Hair and Hair and Makeup by Steph. In the end, we all spend quality time together, and its nonstop sharing knowledge with each other." "Some people like messy looks; I'm the opposite. Even if it's full and big, I like [hairstyles] to look nice and proper."

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