When Scott Buchanan – hairdresser, educator, beauty industry pioneer – was a teenager, his life unraveled. In quick succession, his mother died and he dropped out of high school. Aimless, he decided that the best way to help himself was to help others. He started working in a nursing home but quickly realized that nursing wasn’t for him. What to do? After getting his GED, he enrolled in beauty school and became a hairdresser. Seven years later, he was running a salon, and years after that, he scored an exclusive: the first Aveda Salon in New York City.
Through the years, Scott has thrived on elevating the art of customer service, of embracing the concept of education and even embarking on becoming an educator. That little voice that pushes you to the next level of success? Scott has it. His philosophy is simple and profound: Through trial and error, learning the beauty business one step at a time and surrounding yourself with the right people, success happens. And Scott Buchanan knows success.
Today he owns four Aveda salons in New York with over 200 employees. He travels the world as a global educator for Aveda and serves on the Board of Directors for the Professional Beauty Association. He has been successful in nearly every aspect of his beauty career thanks to good instincts, a heart for service and a thirst for knowledge. He attributes a good deal of his business decisions to going with his gut and uses running and meditating as a way to tap in.
In his conversation with Patty Schmucker on Radio AMB, Scott was open and honest, disarmingly funny and warm. He told his story, about how he got started and how he continues to focus on the customer experience. His constant question: How do we, as an industry, create a more unique experience when it comes to the salon?
How indeed. It might have to do with a little something he calls living the dash. “You’re born on a certain date, your grave stone will have another date, one to be determined later. How you live in between is what matters.”
It’s amazing what you can accomplish in a lifetime. Just ask Scott as he continues to live his great American beauty story.