When Missy Peterson (@mmpete24) took on the role as global director of education and artistry for Malibu C, one goal was clear: to help elevate and uplift her industry counterparts through mentorship and hands-on training. “You can learn something from everyone,” shares Peterson. “When I was looking for a mentor—which I eventually found in Malibu C’s senior director of global sales Jerri Jones—I wanted to find someone who was both successful and understanding. Having a strong mentor who will listen when you need it, but who will also keep things honest, is key.”
At trade shows and online, Peterson and fellow team members connect with emerging artists who are not only eager to show off their skills in a public forum, but also to learn. “As my role has continued to grow with Malibu C, our artistic team has expanded to include emerging talent,” relates Peterson. “I think getting artists to move out of their own way, whether it is reeling in and redirecting energy, or putting themselves out there, is where I come in. I would never put anyone in a position in which I didn’t feel they could succeed.”
Enter Katherine Maddox (@katherineraehair) and Savannah Milner (@blondinggenie), two young artistic team members who work closely with the rest of the brand team on photo shoots, events, education and more. “I took Missy’s class while I was in beauty school at Nashville Fashion Focus in Tennessee, then again at the Malibu Academy in Indianapolis,” explainsMaddox of how she first connected with Peterson and the Malibu C team. “I learned so much from her and asked a ton of questions, which she readily answered.” Connecting with the team took an entirely different route for Milner, whose introduction occurred via email with Peterson five years ago. “I reached out to Missy about a job as an educator,” smiles Milner. “When she called me back after our initial emails, I began training with her over the phone and she flew me to my first show in Nashville. It was actually my first flight ever! Missy knew I was nervous and she was waiting for me in the car lot when I arrived. I immediately felt comfortable with her.”
Although their introductions to the brand were different, they each now share the common bond in that they’re fully supported by Peterson and her team in both their brand and individual artistic endeavors. “I look to Missy for advice and input on business decisions,” says Milner. “No matter what the situation, she is always willing to help. She would give up opportunities for herself if it meant her team could be more powerful or educated. I appreciate the time she takes to understand each member of our team and what route we want to take professionally. She’s someone who just wants the best for all of us, and would push us however hard she needs to, to make our dreams come true. It’s almost like having a work mom!”
And as Mother Hen and advisor to not just Maddox and Milner, but to all members of the Malibu C team, Peterson blends tough love and constructive criticism with genuine affection and personal responsibility to help them succeed. “Patting each other on the back is nice, but lifting each other up so we can all move up is vital,” asserts Peterson. “I have a strong intuition and I can usually feel when the relationship is right to work with an artist and when that happens, I feel that my role is to help guide him or her to grow. There were times when the only thing that got me through a presentation was knowing that my mentor had my back and supported me; that’s who I want to be for tomorrow’s leaders.”
Beauty Launchpad asks:
How can emerging artists and educators share their voice with the industry?
Missy Peterson: “Educate yourself. If you want to work with a brand, learn the brand, use the brand, talk about the brand and stay consistent. I don’t look at how many followers an artist has as the deciding factor to bring him or her on; I look at the individual’s potential for growth. Be open to learn new things and humble enough to listen.”
Katherine Maddox: “Stay active on social media—that’s one of the best ways to get your voice heard. Be real and authentic; don’t just post hair-related photos. People want to see the real you behind the scenes, not just behind the chair. And don’t be afraid to rock the boat.”
Savannah Milner: “Overcome your fears. There is power when you overcome fears that hold you back professionally. Share your knowledge. Speak to CEOs. Introduce yourself to anybody and everybody. Social media is a great platform to share your voice and ideas; plus, it’s free!”
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