When Maryam Khan of Diva Beauty Salon received a phone call announcing that she won the Matrix "Imagining a New Store Experience" sweepstakes she thought there must be a catch.
"I never win anything and I thought I had to buy something," explained Khan. In reality, there were no strings attached-just a hot opportunity for the Los Angeles-based stylist and her mom to jet off to New York City to spend a day with Matrix Artistic Director and NAHA Winner Nicholas French. The duo experienced a one-on-one program that French refers to as "A Journey of a Lifetime - Back to the Future."
In an effort to transform the shopping experience for Matrix family members and potential Matrix customers, the "Imagining a New Store Experience" program recently rolled out in Salon Centric stores. Thanks to personal demonstrations, sampling and other interactive opportunities such as the French/stylist connection, the program brings Biolage and Total Results products alive.
Upon arriving in New York, Khan and her mom were whisked to their hotel in style by limousine and then the duo was treated to a delectable dinner and a walk around New York City. The next morning, the limo whisked them out to French's posh Hamptons home. Khan and her mom received a warm welcome and intimate breakfast with Nicholas and his wife Carol.
Following breakfast, French shared his fascinating history in the industry, which includes a stint with Vidal Sassoon, his NAHA awards and a long career creating some of the industry's most iconic hair imagery. French also demonstrated two of his favorite styling techniques and offered some insider tips and tricks as he shared stories and memorabilia of his father, Freddie French, a salon industry pioneer in London.
"Here we were spending time with a guy I always worshipped," says Khan. "He was openly sharing all of this information and history and his wife cooked for us! It was so amazing."
Returning to Manhattan, Khan and her mom were treated to dinner at the chic STK Midtown. Members of the Matrix executive team joined the duo as they spent their last evening in New York. "It was so well-organized and we were treated so well," says Khan. "Looking back, it almost seems like a dream!"
A longtime Matrix fan, Khan was eager to be generously gifted with samples of the new Biolage Exquisite Oil collection-Shampoo, Conditioner and Replenishing Treatment, however another takeaway proved even more valuable.
"Nick's advice, which really stuck with me, was to always challenge myself to take risks," says Khan. "He said, 'Your world begins where your comfort-zone ends.' I think about that every day."