January 2009

A Beautiful Balance

By Anne Moratto

“How do they do it?” we ask ourselves when we admire the seemingly effortless juggling act so many in our business perform every day. Finding time for work, family, friends and self can leave us feeling pulled in too many directions. So, to begin the year in a more organized frame of mind, I sought some guidance from fellow beauty professionals.

My friend Scott Cassettari owns a busy salon, The Guest House in Sherman Oaks, Calif., where his skills as an extension artist are in constant demand. I admire his family-friendly approach to creating balance.

“The best way to keep it all together in the salon business is to keep it close to you,” said Cassettari. “I have two teenage sons and a partner of ten years. I get my sons every other weekend so they work with me at the salon. They get paid and I get to spend quality time with them while they’re learning responsibility and social skills. And, I no longer have to pay allowance; they work for it.”

“My partner works with me on weekends when I do not have my boys by answering phones, sweeping, doing the coffee and tea service and offering assistance on the occasional hair extension. All other family and life odds and ends are achieved while base colors are processing and when there are no men’s haircuts booked at that time.”

And best of all, Scott said, “I love my family, I love my salon and being a salon owner and I love my busy, busy life.”

Michelle Bouse recently opened her own spa in Burbank, Calif., and she credits “a great husband” with helping her keep it together. Between her clients, her work on photo shoots and her responsibilities as spa owner, she does have moments of feeling overwhelmed but she handles it by finding the humor in the midst of the madness.

“Working in the beauty industry and owning my own spa takes a lot of multitasking. What’s funny is when I am waxing someone’s brows and I look in the mirror and to my horror see that my own brows need waxing. So as soon as they leave, I quickly apply the wax on my own, while of course making a new list for my tasks, replenishing supplies and returning more calls. Some days I don’t know how I do it all.”

Hollywood celebrity manicurist Marsha Bialo takes a common sense approach to organizing by always keeping a list of tasks and then crossing them off as she tackles them. “It gives me a feeling of accomplishment and keeps me going.”

Bialo spends a lot of time on the set and close to the temptation of the Craft Service (the food) table. So, she eats healthy when at home, which in turn gives her more energy to maintain her hectic schedule, and she organizes her pantry and refrigerator carefully.

“When I come from the market, I immediately cut and bag my lettuce and wash my fruits and vegetables so they are stored nicely. If I have all this fresh produce on hand, ready to use, it makes it easy to eat healthy.”

Another in-demand artist, manicurist Melissa Bozant, is kept running during the awards season in Hollywood. Bozant carves out pampering time by retreating to a Los Angeles spa “for at least three hours, taking a hot tea bath and an oxygen sauna to relax and detox.”

She follows the adage “to get ready, you need to stay ready” by always having a neat, organized manicuring kit. “I am always prepared for last minute requests, which is something you have to expect when working with celebrities and entertainers. In my car, I keep a supply of black shirts, smocks and pants plus a white set for the Bel Air Hotel. If I am paged and asked to go somewhere immediately, I show up ready for anything.”

Balance certainly is beautiful.