Canvas Connections with Silver Vine Room, you can’t teach good energy.

05 Sep 2019
About Canvas Connections: Welcome to Canvas Connections hosted by entrepreneurs & Canvas Recruit Co-Founders, Jen & Matt Martinelli. You’ll find a mix of interview series with beauty industry top leaders, beauty career advice, personal growth, and emotional intelligence.

Our first interview with Manny and Mark touched on salon recruitment, dealing with egos, the importance of giving back, and tips for industry collaborations.

You can watch the recorded version or read the full interview below.

ok – So these guys are superstars! What’s even more amazing is that whether they know it or not they are leading with an emotionally intelligent mindset and therefore attracting major success!  If you’ve been following my personal journey you will already know that mindset and emotional intelligence has made me a better leader, a better mother – a better everything in everyday life. We are super excited to share this interview. See below for my commentary in blue on Mark and Manny’s answers. 

Question 1

Jen (Canvas Recruit): 1. How do you Recruit and Retain Staff?

Manny: In our experience, we sort of– It’s not the best method, but it’s like we put it out in the universe, like I actually I write these long kind of like Excel sheets, and in those Excel sheets, it’s like schedules and P&L’s, and all the business-related things. I’ll have a layout of who’s working on what days, and I’m like, “Oh, I need somebody else to work here.” It’s like person X. Then the world delivers person X. We have to go through the interview process, and it just so happens we are very lucky at the moment that people want to come into our space, but I think a lot of that is because we offer a good experience to the employee. We believe in the motto of, “Our staff comes first.” Where I think we’ve been taught traditionally in the business world that the client comes first. The client always gets exactly what they want and more, if your team is absolutely happy. We do our best to offer the best for our team. Outside of that, we use social media to kind of make ourselves look cool, even though we’re kind of dorky.

Mark: There’s not much any further explanations to it. Once you build something, things will come. The positive energy you give, you’re going to get positive energy back. It’s just as simple as that.

Ok let’s just stop right there. 1. They are trusting and believing that what they are looking for will come to them. They are thinking positively about the person that will come in and are already ahead of those thinking negatively about recruitment efforts. Mark wraps this up beautifully – “the positive energy you give out will be the positive energy you get back.” SO TRUE. 2. They put their employees first because, well, happy employees = happy clients. This may sound basic but it’s such a great reminder that our biggest asset/ally is the employee.  As we get deeper into the interview they talk to helping employees grow by being their biggest champion. [Jen commentary]

Jen (Canvas Recruit): 2. what do you do during the in-person interview?


1. They talk to one of us which is the most important step – because you can’t teach good energy.  You can sense if somebody is a fit for your space right away.

2. We ask them, “What do you want out of this industry?” The reality is I want somebody that dreams big too because positivity is infectious. If somebody comes in and they’re like, “I don’t know, I just want to do whatever,” it might not be the best fit for us. I want somebody who’s beyond ambitious and tells me they want to be the biggest hairdresser in the world. Tell me your most ridiculous dream, because that is like it’s communal growth. We’re going to do whatever we can to help you get that, and in turn, it will be like a reciprocal growth, right?

Amen Manny. Good energy and a positive mindset is an asset for business owners. Advice for anyone looking to work at a prestigious place like Silver Vine Room – work on your positivity and mindset. Hiring culture first and skillset second ensures that you keep the positivity flowing in your space. Mark and Manny also talk about hiring the next biggest hairdresser in the world – No fear, no ego. They are among the new wave leadership mindset that the bigger they help their staff grow, the more fulfilled and driven everyone will be. [Jen commentary]

Jen (Canvas Recruit) – “Most business owners are afraid to hire the next biggest hairdresser in the world.”

Manny: We were those guys, and the businesses that we worked for, were scared and didn’t know how to handle that, but the reality is if we were nurtured throughout the process, who knows how much further we could get. It’s like, “You know what, the next legendary hairdresser might work at our salon and we hope that they do. The other thing is, a dream doesn’t necessarily have to be so big that it makes you nauseous, your dream can be to have a job and sustain a 9-5, so you can be the best mother that you can be for your child and that person that tells me that, I’m like, “I love you too.”
It’s about having a vision and us being able to cross-collaborate. Help you achieve your vision and we’ll continue to achieve ours.

3. Then we will bring in one or two models,” and we’ll just let jam out.

Matt (Canvas Recruit): It’s really understanding who you are, and what’s going to make you truly happy, and what that success is. I think by you guys understanding that, is making you even better leaders as you are.

Love everything about this. As owners, Mark and Manny take time to understand each staff members vision and goals. Not everyone has the same definition of success – Mark and Manny make it a point to understand the core essence of what drives each employee closer to their goal and pushes to make it happen. Setting their employees up for complete success. The employee feels secure and fulfilled – creating employees that want to show up to work every day and give it their all. [Jen commentary]

Jen (Canvas recruit):  3. How do you Eliminate Ego in the salon?

Manny: I think being, to Matt’s point earlier, having a decent sense of emotional intelligence, and just understanding how people behave. You coming in on your days off and I just let you have an off day, where you’re miserable and that’s my bad or our bad. Constantly approaching and talking to our staff is like, “Hey, what is it? Is it something in here? What can we do for you?” I just had a conversation with a staff member yesterday. He was upset about something. When we got to talking, it literally was like, “I’m not doing enough to make that thing that I want.” Then it’s like, “Yes.” Taking the time out and engaging with our staff, and understanding who they are and stuff like that. We can never be too busy to sit down and have a conversation with the team.

Mark: My biggest– My easiest way to kill the ego is to simply kill it with positive vibes and just be super skillful, but be even more humble. That alone will just destroy ego.

Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to understand emotion – your own as well as other people’s emotions. High level of emotional intelligence will remove ego and insert compassion and empathy for employees that are having an “off day.” At the end of the day, we are all human and odds are we have a bad day here and there. A leader that showcases compassion and empathy will win every time. [Jen commentary]

Jen (Canvas Recruit): 4.  I just graduated cosmetology school or I’m on the verge of graduating cosmetology school. What advice do you have for me? How can I kill it when I get out of cosmetology school? 

Manny: We actually have education in our salon every Monday. That’s actually for that person specifically. That person that just loves school, but my point is, education, go out and get more of it because cosmetology school is the fundamentals. Beyond that, you don’t want to be that hairdresser that’s doing the same hair cut that you did out of cosmo.

Mark: I think whether you’re doing hair for either one month out of cosmetology school or you’re doing hair for 20 years out of cosmetology school, the most important thing is that no matter where you go, no matter what job you walk into, walk into it saying, “I can bring you value because.” Don’t ever walk into a place saying, “How much are you going to pay me?” Walk into a place saying, “I will bring you value because,” and I swear to you, you’re just going to keep moving forward and forward and forward.

Jen (Canvas Recruit): 5. Should I consider doing a collaboration and where do I begin? 

Mark: I think collaboration should definitely be complementary to your own vision, but more importantly, collaboration should challenge your own vision as well, so that you can grow in the process. It’s really good to be able to work with all these different brands. I sit at a very unique position as a hairdresser, where I literally just collaborated with Nike and Under Armour, two, three months ago; & Johnson and Johnson. I don’t say yes to everybody, but if you say yes – if I know that it’s going to be complementary to my own vision but at the same time it’s going to challenge me to grow. Just keep that in mind when you’re considering to be able to collaborate with anybody. Also, know that– Go into a collaboration knowing that you’re going to bring value to the other person you’re going to collaborate with. Because if you’re going to bring value to someone else, in turn, you might not see it now, you might not see it two years from now, but maybe 10 years from now you’re going to realize that you helped this individual, and that’s why you were able to grow in return.

Manny: To answer that, to go deeper into that too,  I always think about collaboration like three tiers.

1. Collaborate to somebody who you can help, in a sense like entry-level cosmetology student collaborate

2. Collaborate laterally like Mark and I constantly collaborate

3. Collaborate above you too. If you walk with giants, you become a giant.

Always making sure that you’re reaching all three tiers, because lateral also helps you continue to sharpen your skill set, and beneath you helps you to grow that- that piece that’s coming up from underneath you as well. It’s like it’s a communal growth for the industry without collaboration, I don’t think we will, we become hoarders to knowledge, right?

This is just awesome! Know who you are before you collaborate to make sure you are staying focused and true to your vision! Love that advice. Sometimes we get inundated with so many things going on around us – staying true to your vision and goals will make it easier to turn down initiatives that don’t fully align. 

“If you walk with Giants you become one.” wow. I think I need a sticker of that. Love the concept of giving back and collaborating up. [Jen commentary]

Jen (Canvas Recruit): 6. Did you always know you were going to be an artist? Was this always your dream or did your dream end up becoming bigger? 

Mark: I think we have a pretty similar story where we both started doing hair at 12, 13, 14 years old and I personally never had another job since. Since I started doing hair at my parent’s garage in high school. No, I didn’t realize it was ever going to take me this far. No, I didn’t realize I was going to become a global artist or anything but you keep moving on in your career and in life to telling yourself, “I didn’t get this far just to get this far, so you can just keep on going.”

Manny: I think at about 18 years old my mom questioned what I was doing. I still didn’t know what I was doing, but I had been doing hair for all those years. She was like, “Why are you doing this?” She’s like, “It is not going to amount to anything.” and I was like, “You know what? I don’t know why but I just know you are going to see me on TV and bright light and people are going to fly from all around to watch me do hair.” It was just a toll– I didn’t even say to do hair, just to do what I’m doing was a toll order but I put it out to the universe that this is my dream, that this is what I envision for myself and one of kind of practices that I do is every step when I realize like, “Whoa,” I have this deja vu moment, like I said I was going to do I did it.
I don’t stop there it’s like Mark said, I didn’t get this far to just get this far. It’s like I reassess my goals and set new ones and think. I didn’t know that I was going get here, but that I’m here, I’m like, “I don’t know what’s next but I know what I think is coming,” It may not [unintelligible 00:06:35] but yes I’m constantly doing it. [laughs]

This is amazing. Dream Big because once you get there your dreams get even bigger. Believe in yourself and trust the universe. [Jen commentary]

Jen (Canvas Recruit): I love that you touch on the whole manifest. You totally manifested that your career where you are because of those positive vibes you’re putting out there, but I think also just in terms of that positive mindset and then whenever you get– They also say which I’ve been kind of into a lot is that yes your dreams are big, but then once you get there, they get even bigger. You don’t even realize how big your dreams get. Which is really where that question was coming from.

Jen (Canvas Recruit): 7. What do you want people to do when they watch this video. What is our ask?

Mark: Everything I do revolves around charity. We give back and no it’s not like a marketing thing or anything like that, but when you do good things the direct result of doing good things is going to be good things and more good things. Just being able to inspire other people to share what they have is my main thing. To be able to share with everybody.

Manny: My ask is wherever you’re at

1. Stop for like 10 minutes,

2. Close your eyes for five of those 10 and ask yourself, “Where am I going to be in one year? Where am I going to be in five? Where am I going to be in 10?

3. Be as audacious as you can, make your self as uncomfortable as possible with the answer, write it down. It’s accountability to what you believe you are capable of.

4. Stash that paper somewhere. When you get there, revisit that piece of paper and acknowledge your journey, what it took to get there and once you get to that destination, set a new goal. It’s not about the destination anyway, it’s about the journey. If you set a destination you’ll have a fun journey.

These guys are living their dreams and proof that a positive mindset, a mission to make a difference and an emotionally intelligent leadership style attracts major success. I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to sit with these guys for 20 minutes. Thank you Mark and Manny!  xoxo

About Manny & Mark:

Manny Rolon /Co-Founder

Native New Yorker and third generation hairdresser, who has been in the industry for 2+ decades. Manny has garnered the attention of many brands who use him both for global education and to create an educational curriculum. When not behind the chair Manny can be found on set at photo shoots or working with many different celebrities. His latest venture brought him into the VAMM partnership to collaborate on the back end of the business development and creation of the educational program.

Mark Bustos /Co-Founder

At the age of 14, Mark discovered the power of human interaction through his passion for cutting hair. He has dedicated the last 19 years honing his craft and also sharing his talents all over the globe. Founder of the 501c3 non-profit #BeAwesomeToSomebody, Mark treats the celebrity and the homeless person sitting in his chair with the same level of respect. Multi-featured in publications and tv, Mark has amassed a very extensive network. He spearheads marketing and events on the VAMM team.


Matt & Jen