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Ignition Switch

When it comes to passion, Luis Alvarez wants you to fan the flames.

Fall 2015 Find in
Fall 2015

Anyone who has spent any time with Luis Alvarez, cofounder and VP of Creative for Aquage, knows that his passion for an idea or project can be infectious.

How does he consistently accomplish this when so many beauty pros' ideas fall flat with their team members or staff? To master the art of not only being passionate, but also to impassion others, read on!

"It's a given that you need to have a great vision and be surrounded with people who are capable of doing what you want to accomplish," says Alvarez. "But unless you not only share your passion, but also impassion those around you, whatever you want to accomplish is usually doomed for failure. This is why one of my most important mantras when dealing with our artistic team is to add a "t" to the word passion: pass-it-on.

Without doing this, passion becomes meaningless. "I also think that one of the most powerful ways to share passion is to actually show others what you feel so strongly about. One example is Beyoncé. When you see her in concert, she not only emanates energy, but also passes it on to the audience to create a powerful experience for all concertgoers, even those who aren't initially all that passionate about her music."

Corporate Passion

"From a manufacturing point of view, I experienced something not too long ago that illustrates how I share my passion. I had employed a new lab to create a product that I believed would change important aspects of how we, as stylists, do hair. Prior to our fi rst face-to-face meeting, the new chemist and her immediate staff were given a description of how this groundbreaking product needed to perform. After we received the initial batch of samples, I flew out to the lab to have a face-to-face meeting.

"When I fi rst walked into the room, I could feel the tension in the air. The fi rst batch I tested wasn't anywhere near what I wanted the product to do and the chemist and her staff knew it. But, instead of saying what they expected to hear—'It's too this or that; it doesn't have enough of whatever,' I not only launched into why it was important for the new product to do certain things, but also demonstrated what I was saying by walking them through the styling process with a live model.

'These are the steps we go through when styling hair; this is how you can improve the quality of work done by thousands of stylists across the country.' By taking this approach, it didn't take long for our chemist to change from believing that what I wanted was impossible, to becoming passionate about using her knowledge and resources to turn my concept into a reality."

Team Passion

"Our Aquage Artistic Team members are renowned for their dedication and passion. You only have to attend a workshop or watch us on stage to know this is true. But this energy and passion didn't just happen; it was created. I admit that I've always had the advantage of choosing our members from hundreds of stylists who've approached me to join our team. And, I've always been clear about the qualities that I wanted most in our educators, starting with a burning desire to share their knowledge with others. Even with these advantages, though, it's still up to me to continually impassion my team. It's at the core of our culture and what makes us so successful.

"I do this by sharing and showing my passion. Team dinners also drive our passion. It's during these times that we talk about the music, audience, what we want to accomplish and the energy we want to project during an upcoming event. We talk about what we've accomplished as stylists between education stints and how we want to share our new experiences with stylists through our academy workshops, shows and our ongoing video series."

Salon Passion

"From a salon point-of-view, an owner or manager's ability to impassion others is at the very heart of a successful business that's continually positive, growing and united. A great example of this is Salon Etch in Scottsdale, Arizona.

When you walk into this salon, the passion exhibited by the stylists— whether they're 20 or 60 years old— is palpable. The business is located in an area that's rife with salon suites and booth rentals, but there are still more stylists wanting to work at Salon Etch than there are chairs. Why? Owner Jack Torres not only built his salon based on his passion for hairdressing, clients and success, but he has also been successful in passing on his feelings to those around him.

"I believe that you can do this in your salon by not telling your fellow stylists or staff members what's wrong, but rather talking about and showing them your passion, whether it's something as simple as a better way to drape clients for ultimate comfort to mastering more sophisticated ways to dress hair. You can also do this by truly allowing other people to impassion you.

"These qualities not only define your ability to succeed, but to also be a true influencer of positive actions that will help others to succeed in their careers, master new skills and keep their passion for hairdressing burning bright."   

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