Q&A with #GlossBoss & Modern Salon 100, Fiorella Castro
We chatted with Florida native, Fiorella Castro, Hairstylist, Bridal Specialist, Sexy Hair Artist, #GlossBoss and Modern Salon 100 artist where we got to know more about her journey to becoming a successful hairstylist. This Q&A is loaded with advice on how to get noticed in our industry and tips you can do now to make Modern Salon 100 yourself!
Fiorella, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today! You’ve been a part of our community for years and we’d like to take it back to how it all started for you! How did you start your path as a hairstylist and begin specializing in bridal?
I became a hairstylist in 2008 after the market crash. I was looking into what sustainable industries there were and my friends were telling me to go to hair school. After going to hair school I ended up moving across the state and found a salon that was departmentalized so I actually started specializing in only cuts. That’s where during our bootcamp training, they wanted us to learn things like up-styles and my trainer was just amazing! She really taught us how to dissect updo’s and be able to approach them without being scared so I think that’s where my passion for doing weddings came into play.
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This isn’t my usual post but I wanted to tell you guys my story. 2017 was a super tough year for me. I lost my dad unexpectedly within hours of finding out he was sick. My fairytale relationship turned into my worst nightmare. After that I was forced to live on my own for the first time in my life,and within all of that I had an epiphany or quarter life crisis and quit my job to open a salon suite. . . Crazy much?! In the transition phase the nerves started to creep up on me and I have this manifestation notebook that I constantly write in. I was shaking in fear wondering, “How am I going to pay my bills? How am I gonna eat? How am I gonna feed my dog?” . . . I took my book out and started to write affirmations that thereafter I would recite to myself daily. . . . Fast forward to now. It’s been so long since I’ve picked this book up to look back at old manifestations and I cama across this page. This same page that i wrote with tears in my eyes because I was so scared yet so determined to accomplish. . . . Well guys, I can PROUDLY say, in 2018 I brought in 6 figures. I support myself FULLY through my own hard work. I believe in my limitless possibilities and I have goosebumps even writing this because that scared new business owner now is realizing the possibilities of believing in yourself and planning your work and working your plan. . . If you’re scared, don’t be. Tell yourself everyday that you can. That you will. That YOU ARE. Anything you want you can speak and write into existence. This industry of ours is what you make of it. So BEST BELIEVE, it’s possible to make it great✨ . . . . . . #fiorellacastrohair #entrepreneur #glossboss #glossgenius #solasalons #solapalmbeach #modernsalon #americansalon #licensedtocreate #cosmoprofbeauty #saloncentric #behindthechair #hairbrained #girlboss #southfloridahairstylist #wellingtonflorida #inspirationalquotes
We absolutely loved your six-figure-stylist Instagram post and thought it was so powerful and inspiring for you to share. Can you tell us more about your journey to becoming a six-figure-stylist?
You’re giving me goosies! That whole moment when I wrote that, it was the year my dad died, I was in-between a breakup, was still living with my ex and I had just started the lease to my studio. I remember thinking “oh my god, I don’t know what I’m going to be able to afford, I don’t know what’s going to happen.” So my sister who is a very manifest-destiny person told me to write down what I want. So I wrote that down and I think it’s one of those things that if you write things down, get it into your head and if you want to do it you’ll start taking the actions to make things happen.
I went out to dinner with my good friend and was crying to her about my ex and she kicked me in the butt and told me “girl I love you but you have a business to run — you don’t have time for this!” From there, she said “let’s make flyers, let’s do this, let’s do that!” The salon I used to work for had a lot of business building instilled in me so I used what I knew and ran with it. I know what I do well and that’s working so I took that to be my safe haven and it’s what’s worked really well!
We all need a friend who can give us a boost like that, don’t we? What is it about hair that you’re most passionate about?
I think the coolest thing about doing hair is seeing how excited they are about their hair when they leave. They are so animated and I love seeing the glitter in their eyes. It’s a feel-good thing!
Absolutely! Who do you look up to in our industry?
Celebrity Artist, Justine Marjan! I am completely obsessed with her and she is such a badass! I love that she shares her journey, everything she does and you can just tell how humble she is. I DM her even when she had a smaller following and now she has a larger following — she’s always been responsive and I love that she’s so interactive with her community regardless of how busy she is.
And also my really good friend, Jessica Domoney. I worked with her 10 years ago in a salon while I was in hair school and she has grown so much and I have seen her creativity just fly. She took me under her wing and I look up to her so much. She’s always just been a mama bear to me in the industry!
Seeing your every day clients vs. your brides the day of the wedding must be such a unique experience as a stylist — how would you say your role changes with each environment?
So my role behind the chair, especially in my salon suite - I don’t double book. I feel like provide a really cool calm collected home-y experience when I’m with my guests in the studio. I have my coffee machine, magazines, they can bring their kindles, they can relax whereas the day of the wedding it’s insanity. All of the friends and family are there, everyone’s popping bottles, so my job is to keep everyone level and on-time. So in that role I feel more of a director and guiding everyone where to go. They’re similar in a sense where I have to keep everything calm but in a wedding situation, I’m making sure to keep emotions high. I always make sure to bring a portable speaker when I do weddings so they can play music if they want and keep everyone’s energy high.
So Emily and I have been doing makeup and hair together for 6 years. She’s my other half as the MUA in the wedding world and we work together so well. Whenever I had a bride inquire with me I always tell them if you love me, you’re going to love her. We both wanted to do more content for Instagram but she was a little shy to do her own stuff so we decided to do something together, Wedding Wednesday! At first it was super scary and thought no one was going to watch but every now and then we were getting great feedback and realized okay -- we have to keep going on here!
It’s so much fun to watch and there’s so much for brides to learn! What advice do you have for other professionals who are trying to master their own socials and create content?
It’s not about getting featured. Just do the work and do it because you love it. Don’t do it with the intention of getting featured. Create because you want to create. When you do it that way, it ends up looking better because you’re doing it for the love of what you’re doing and not just being shown off. Also, be social. If you want engagement, you also have to engage. If you want your community to be interactive, you have to interact with them too.
Also take advantage of all the features Instagram has, especially with videos. The one important thing to remember is that what no one else will ever have is you so everyone may be doing the same look but the only thing that’s going to set you apart is you. So put yourself in front of the camera — that’s going to be the extra special sauce that no one else can give.
“The one important thing to remember is that what no one else will ever have is you” - Fiorella Castro
You are amazing on camera! Let’s talk about what happens behind it. What tips do you have for taking photos of your work?
I recently switched to the Sony a5100 camera and I love it because you can easily transfer photos to your phone. I do have a ring light but I love natural light. It shows the color so much better and there’s not a lot of editing that needs to be done. Always centering your model in super important and don’t be afraid to go in on your day off to create. If you have a look or someone’s hair that you want to photograph — ask them to come in and let them know you’ll do their hair, they’ll eat it up!
There’s so much that goes behind creating content and we love that idea. How do you define your brand and keep it in mind when creating content?
So that’s one thing that recently I’ve been very focused on. You have to niche down, that’s important and you have to find what your thing is and focus on that. Reality is whatever you put out is what you’re going to get back. So if you put out brides and brides and brides — you’ll get brides back. If you put balayage out — you’ll get balayage back. So if that’s what you want to do then that’s what you have to focus on. This is how you become a specialist in the industry. It’s all about understanding who you are as an artist and what you want to come back is what you have to put out.
Understanding yourself as an artist is so important! What advice do you give yourself most often?
It’s very much a “it’s possible” thing. We kinda get into our heads and tell ourselves that we’re crazy, we’re not good enough, you don’t have enough followers, you don’t have the endorsements but everyone started somewhere. That’s my reminder. Everyone’s started somewhere, everyone’s had their rock bottom or rough beginning so we all started somewhere and keep your eyes on the prize.
The prize — you’ve recently become a part of Modern Salon 100! Congratulations! What advice do you have for other stylists who want to make the list? Go to Modern Salon’s page and see what the work looks like and see what you need to refine. Someone once said “In a world of white walls and ring lights, how are you going to stand out?” Figure out what your thing is that’s going to make you stand out and perfect it. Also be interactive with them. Send them photos, ask them for feedback on your photos, engage with their page and get yourself noticed!
And last question…how has GlossGenius helped you be successful in your business?
GlossGenius aesthetically has been progressive with understanding our industry and understanding that we’re a visual industry. When I started, I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t want to write appointments down and didn’t want to take phone calls. When I first started using GlossGenius I just thought it was so amazing and it’s so true for someone who’s independent. When I’m doing a foil or with a client, it’s so nice to be able to go home and approve appointments on my time and it makes my life so much easier.
And I think what’s so cool about GlossGenius is that you guys are so interactive with your community. I love being a part of it and I love that you guys do reach out and listen and that’s so important in our industry with everything changing so quickly. The more our industry changes, the more you guys are listening and I just think that’s really cool.
Thank you, Fiorella for your time and Congratulations again on making Modern Salon 100. We are so proud to have you as #GlossBoss and are so excited for even more success for you in your future!