Beauty Pros

Mackenzie Gillis – Chatters Calgary Deerfoot Meadows

What location do you work at and how long have you been there?
I am the Service Manager at Chatters Calgary Deerfoot Meadows.  I have been a Stylist for over 14 years and at this location for a combined 8 years.

 What do you find different about working at a Chatters than your last salon?
Chatters is a big company, which means you have room to grow and expand, thanks to the education and opportunities that are provided.  For me personally, Chatters has made it possible to advance in my career as a Stylist and a Manager.  I personally felt I out grew the last salon I was at, my skill level was advancing and I was looking for the opportunity to share my knowledge and further grow my skills.

Tell us about that, where did you start in this salon?
I originally started at the Deerfoot Meadows location as an apprentice with 4 years of service experience. Even though I tested the waters at other salons over the years, Deerfoot Meadows has always been my home. And now as the Service Manager, I can use my overall experiences to help lead and coach the newbies that come into the salon.

How many stylists are you on your team right now?
We have 14 full and part time stylists in our salon right now.

Tell us about a couple of your favorite hair care products?
Label M Diamond Dust is a new favorite of mine. It is a godsend for tangly hair with an amazing conditioning aspect. I also love the Moroccanoil dry shampoo, it’s very soft and doesn’t leave the hair feeling gritty.

Tell us why should someone looking for hair services should choose you as their stylist?
I start every service with a detailed consultation, I listen and clarify with all my guests in order to understand what they are looking for, to help them achieve their desired look.  I pride myself on my customer service standards, it is very important to me that my guests are comfortable and at ease in my chair and trust that I am looking for the same perfection as they are.  I am in the business of growing relationships, so that every visit is like having coffee with a good friend.
I excel at blondes, I am confident in calling myself a blonde specialist.

Can you share with us a couple of your favorite hair trends and eras?
I’m the Ombre_Queen. I love ombres, balayage and entensions. I love how guests get instant gratification when they get extensions put in and the confidence it gives them.
For my favorite eras, I adore the flapper style with the Gatsby style finger waves, jewels and polishes.

Tell us something you’ve learned from working at Chatters.
Attention; I’ve learned to slow down and remember that every guest is important.  Many of our guests have busy lives, and this is where they can come, relax and be pampered and I can be the positive affect to their day. It’s also important to listen to my guests and hear what they are saying, getting to know their daily routines and lifestyle, so we can create a functional style for their life.

If you could style anyone’s hair, who would you pick?
Giselle Bundchen because she always has that cool lived in color.

What do you do on a day off?
I am an active mom, so spending quality time and making memories with my daughter is important to me.  When it comes to just Me Time, I drag myself to spin but also find a glass of wine at the end of the day rewarding J

If you could give your younger self advice, what would you tell her?
Just believe in yourself and you’ll be fine.

How do you get pumped up, inspired for work?
I run on Starbucks coffee and loud music in the car, that’s where the energy is created.  Knowing what guests I have in my chair that day, that’s what motivates me. Plus, where I work I can see the mountains, and just love the landscape and greenery.

Advice to someone joining the industry?
This industry is all about being social!  It’s about talking to people, if you are comfortable being social, you can be a great stylist.  If you are curious and enjoy the ever changing fashion trends, I would encourage anyone to look into this as a profession, it can be extremely rewarding.

Describe a challenge you have faced on the job.
I had been a stylist, working alongside many great stylists, in which I formed personal relationships with.  When I was promoted to a management position, it was a challenging transition into a leadership role, but I knew how stylists function, what motivates them and their limitations/fears, so I was able to communicate with them in a way an outsider may not have been able to.  I was also very fortunate that I had a great team that helped make the transition easier by showing acceptance and humor.

How did you know you wanted to go to hair school?
Ironically, it wasn’t my first choice or even a thought of being a hair dresser really.  When I was fourteen, I did my mom’s hair for a special event she was going to.  She made such a fuss over what a good job I did, she decided there and then that this was what I was meant to do.  Mom knows best!! Never regretted the push into this direction, she believed in me and that made me excel.