Today we’d like to introduce you to Ted Medina.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Ted. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my career at Antoine du Chez as an assistant over a decade ago and then became a color specialist for them and eventually worked my way up to educational director for their company. I learned a ton about the educational aspects of my industry and really enjoyed working with the elite in this upscale salon in Cherry Creek. I was also one of their original artistic team members with my friends Bonnie Weigle, Charlie Price and Alan Coonrod. We had so much fun doing fashion shows for places like Neiman Marcus and doing photo shoots for various magazines. Our team helped start up some iconic shows in Colorado now like the Redball fashion show along with DFW which are both still growing and doing great after all of these years.
After leaving Antoine du Chez, I opened my own business and also worked at a couple of other salons in various areas of Colorado. I realized just how lucky I was to have been trained with such high standards and skills…one person who really stands out to me was my friend Todd Putman. If I remember right Todd was the creative director, I was the educational director and Charlie was the artistic director for the salon which had 3 or 4 locations with around 20 stylists at each location…it was a really strong team of hair designers to be a part of much less be in a leadership position.
I really got into the fashion aspect of the hair industry and started doing tons of local and national fashion shows and editorial work. My work got published in tons of stuff and I got to travel a bit but I had no idea what was about to happen to my career at this time. I was just a hungry stylist who never turned down an opportunity and I had a solid skill set both on set and behind the chair thanks to all of the training I had received to this point.
My life as a hair professional changed when I met Juan Juan and his global creative director Masaki Inoue. It was during a presentation for Juan’s company, J Beverly Hills, and Masaki was cutting hair on stage in a way that I had never seen before called “Sakasama” and it blew my mind. I quickly became an educator for their company and although my strength behind the chair had always been color, I decided to become a hair cutting educator just so I could train under Masaki…it was a dream come true for a technical, over-educated guy like me. I went to as many classes as I could and quickly rose to the top of Juan’s company as a haircutting educator. I made the global artistic team and started to help with the R&D team at the corporate headquarters in Los Angeles. It was awesome for a nerd like me to be working in an environment where I could test and develop hair products. I helped create a few products that are still thriving for their company like 5-in-1 and smooth re-alignment system. At this time I was promoted to the international technical director for the company and start my journey traveling all over the world teaching hair stylists and more importantly learning from them as well.
During this time I built the J Beverly Hills Design team which was a collection of the most talented stylists from all over the nation and we did fun runway and editorial stuff. I worked for Juan Juan for years and then decided to resign and start my own scissor company. It was a difficult choice because Juan is a very caring and loving man with a heart of gold and he took me in as one of his own, leaving his company was the hardest choice I have made so far in my hair career no question.
I have now been building my scissor company, Tiger Steel Scissor, over the last couple of years and have stayed focused on my family. I still travel…in fact I’m going to Japan in a couple of weeks…but now I have more influence on where and when I travel for work which is awesome. I am honored to have the best lady in my life anybody could ever hope for and a strong support team of people who are all dedicated to good things. It’s really cool to see some of the young stylists that I have helped and mentored over the years stepping into leadership positions the same way that people like Masaki, Charlie and Todd helped me. I truly believe that givers gain and to be a hairstylist is such a beautiful profession when I look back at my journey.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The toughest part about my journey has been the “frenemies” along with gossip and rumors that are rampant in my industry. My dad always taught me that the wind blows the hardest at the top of the mountain and it’s true. I have never been shy about confronting any issues directly with the source and although I stay out of most of the drama and funny business I have still seen my share of it and it truly breaks my heart. As a straight dude who is a “moose of a man” (as my buddy Gino calls me) people seem to be easily intimidated,o people seem to sometimes talk about me instead of to me. I’m a big teddy bear with a huge heart and will give you the shirt off my back if asked to so when I hear thru the grapevine about some funny business or gossip I always get hurt feelings and want to fix it even when there is nothing to fix…lol. I’m getting old now and have learned who to stay away from these type of people and I just wish I learned earlier in my career.
Please tell us about Teds Hair Studio.
My business is in three parts. The salon aspect is fairly straight forward and I have been blessed with a great clientele that keeps me busy. Another aspect is the runway and editorial which I have stepped back from for the most part unless a friend asks me to get involved. I am very proud of the educational curriculum I have created for my scissor brand. It involves cutting and color classes and really is set up to enhance a hair stylist at any level of their career. My scissors and my classes are truly next level as they should be with all of the years of experience I have accumulated during my journey. I’m also really proud that not one of the awards I have been nominated for or won was solicited…this means they all contacted me because of my work… I didn’t submit an entry or audition for them which is pretty rare with all the instafame in today’s world. I also believe in standards… I use the best metal I can find for my scissors instead of the stuff with the highest profit margin and this carry’s over into everything I do… I have an ocd way about the things I engage in with a need to generate superior results no matter how hard it is or how much practice it requires.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
This is a great question! I probably would have been more brand conscious. I see young people who are obsessed with their brand/name, tagging it on everything and I was never that way. Most of the big moments of my career helped to build other companies and other people. Everybody is dedicated to something and I was always dedicated to building a great situation for myself and the people around me and I never thought about creating a great brand. As I’m getting older, I recognize how important it is for success in today’s hair industry especially when marketing tools and products.
- Scissors start at $450
- Hair is usually $100 per hour
- Website: Tedshairstudio.com
- Phone: 303-903-4137
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Tigersteelscissors or ted.medina.12
- Facebook: Ted medina
- Yelp: Teds Hair Studio
- Other: Tigersteelscissors.com
Jim Wills, Hardy Klahold