Q&A with Beth Minardi


Often referred to as “the Queen of Modern Haircolor,” Beth Minardi graced the Gallery stage at Art of Business in May, much to the excitement and delight of over 150 stylists in attendance. We caught up with Beth and asked her to share her story with us from her humble beginnings to the present day.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Pittsburgh and from the age of 10 raised in Coco Beach, FL.

What was it like for you growing up?

My mother was a stay-at-home mom. She was a great role model for how to present myself and expecting the best from myself. I spent a lot of time with extended family, at least prior to my parent's divorce during my teenage years. Growing up I was passionate about horses. My family owned them and I rode competitively. I always loved animals, and I still do!

From a very young age, I learned to notice and appreciate color in all things. I really started 
to comprehend and understand the color in things in everyday life—nature, horse's and dog's coats, eyes, and hair.

Both my parents insisted that I go to college, where I majored in education and theatrical arts. After college I started pursuing a master's degree, but I backed out to go to beauty school. Both my parents were furious. My father in particular didn’t understand. So I put myself through beauty school by working during the day, and I went to beauty school at night.

When did you know that you were destined to be a stylist?

Never. I was never going to be stylist; I was always going to be a COLORIST! I learned that early in beauty school in Orlando. Everyone knew a little bit about color, but nobody really understood it. This was the time of great cutting education—Paul Mitchell, Vidal Sassoon. Color was something everyone was doing in the back room, hiding, wearing big, ugly black gloves, sort of like hiding the fact color was even being done. Nobody did it with pride let alone artistry.

What was your first job in a salon?

While in beauty school I started assisting and doing publicity for a well-known salon owner named Douglas Marvaldi, who owned the most elegant salon in central Florida. I did all his paperwork, filled out his Intercoiffure applications, and assisted him when he went on the road doing hair for his local celebrity clientele in Orlando.

What would you define
 as your “Big Break”?

One day I was at a Clairol beauty show in North Carolina. I was just supposed to assist on stage...until the featured artist completely froze during the presentation! People were staring, I felt terrible, so I just started talking for her. Well, the big Clairol bosses were there and at the end they said, pack your bags, you’re moving to New York!

What’s the most meaningful piece of wisdom you ever received from a fellow beauty professional?

Vidal Sassoon (and Winston Churchill) both said to never, ever, EVER give up!

Who would you describe
as your mentor(s)?

Vidal Sassoon of course. He was the consummate gentleman, both in terms of appearance and professionalism. My riding teacher, who taught me discipline and the expectation of excellence from myself. My mom in certain ways, such as her passion for beauty and excellence. Paula Kent, for leading a large company and for having the integrity to talk clearly and honestly with customers. Hillary Clinton for her never-ending perseverance.

What inspires you?

Nature. The people I teach! The colors in nature. Trees. Flowers. Animals and fur. New York City. My daughter. My clients.

What industry trends do you envision changing the landscape
 of how salons operate?

I fear for our future. There’s the threat of independent contractors not needing a license. The absence of practical testing.
 I fear for the demise of the industry unless those of us that admire and protect
 it bond together.

Beyond the basics, what services should every salon be offering?

Corrective hair color. Very targeted hair treatment options, that may sometimes include the use of steam. The “art” of the shampoo, which is basically a scalp massage. It is such an important bonding experience for the client. The art of customer service, which includes everything that clients see, smell, taste, feel and hear in the salon: everything that affects the senses. All aspects of the visit from the moment the clients enter to the moment they leave. Attention to detail!

You recently took the stage at Art of Business to share your wisdom and expertise. What were your takeaways from the models you did?

First of all, no show can be great without great models and we had tremendous models. As far as the work goes, the variety of color from the blondest of blonde to the deepest brunette with shots of ruby red. I was also very happy to be able to demonstrate new ways to paint hair. Hair painting is not your mother’s hair coloring method. And the products I used provided tremendous color quality, condition, and shine.

The attendees were some of the most interested, passionate, and aware people that I’ve seen in a long time. Thank you, Art of Business, for inviting me to spend the day on your stage with your fabulous group of staff and customers!

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