Terry Ritcey is an internationally recognized industry leader and entrepreneur.
Where did you grow up?
I lived in rural Nova Scotia. At a young age I saved my allowance money to go to Halifax, an hour away. I wanted to get my hair cut in the big city. Ironically the place I went was called the Golden Clipper, part of the Head Shoppe group at the time. I intently watched every snip they made. I watched everything. Then I went home and would try to duplicate that haircut on my friends. I started cutting and even colouring their hair. My mom and sister were guinea pigs too. I thought there was nothing about going into the industry and I was completely fascinated by it.
Do you remember when you first became interested in hair?
I don’t know where to start but I was always fascinated with hair. My mom would take me to her hairdresser when she would go. And it wasn’t long before I began to take an interest in my own hair.
Did you have any other aspirations growing up?
Yes, I was really into music and had grown up studying piano and voice. I was supposed to become a music teacher. I decided to go to hairdressing school. I thought at the time, I love this hair thing. I’ll use this to work on weekends and evenings to pay my way through university to become a music teacher. However I went to hairdressing school and never ended up pursuing music.
Can you indulge us by describing a special memory that you recall vividly?
There’s several actually. But here’s one. I remember buying my first tube of Redken shampoo when I was a kid. It was like I bought a brick of gold. It was expensive and very special. I bought it from my hairdresser. I remember the smell and everything about it. It was a big deal and I still have cool memories from this.
Where did you go to hairdressing school?
I moved to Halifax where I went to a private hairdressing Pivot Point school called Mario’s School of Hair Design. He was an amazing teacher, and passionate about his craft. I was always the one asking the most questions in class… LOL!
Where did you end up working after this?
I worked in Halifax. I ended up having a chance to come to Toronto on vacation with someone who was moving there to work with Redken. One of my previous assistants in Halifax had already moved to Toronto and was working at Martin Parsons. So on this trip it ended up that I went to meet him. I was offered a job and moved to Toronto three months later. I ended up working with Martin Parsons and became his head colorist and technical adviser for the next 6 years, which was an incredible learning experience.
Terry this sounds like an amazing sequence of all the right doors opening for you.
It was incredible at that time. I was in with Redken and went to the International Symposium with Martin Parsons. Following this I was asked twice by Redken to represent Canada in Anaheim and Honolulu. I was given an international achievement award for overall contribution to the industry with education. It was an exciting time for me being recognized by my peers from artists around the world.
I spent many years as a Redken Performing Artist and did a lot of work in Canada and the US. Many years I decided to stop teaching and open my own salon.
In 2002 I attended a Redken leaders retreat in Montreal. I met Dorianne Dalati who was scheduled to take over the Redken brand. She invited me for an interview as a Redken Education Manager and I got the job. In September 2002 I divorced my life as I knew it. I left my condo, my salon and family and ventured into unknown territory. There were many unknowns but I was truly being guided by my love of the industry and a passion for Redken.
What an amazing lifelong passion you have had for the industry! Are there any pinnacle moments you’d like to share with us?
Absolutely. In 2010 Paula Kent Meehan had an envelope hand delivered to me one weekend. It was her personal invitation to her private 50th reunion at the Beverly Hilton in California. I’ll never forget that experience. It was exclusive and fun and such an honor to be included in her special event.
Other highlights include doing editorial work for various publications. I worked with supermodel Coco Rocha for her Elle Canada cover. Editorials can be an adrenaline rush because you are given projects with very little notice. Due to my commitments and responsibilities I’ve had to step away from this. It’s too bad, I really miss it. It helps you to make that connection and aligns you with credibility. I love capturing the beauty of a style through the lens of a camera and I’ve found that doors open with that.
What’s on your bucket list?
I’d like to do a bike trip through Europe and pick a few cities to visit.
What is your current role?
Basically my role is National Education and Events Director for Redken Canada. I’m responsible for creating the vision of Education and Events for Canada. My role is to develop and align my department with the vision of marketing and sales so that we are all aligned with telling the same story through our respective channels. Ultimately it’s all about helping salons and stylists become more profitable. That’s ultimately what I do and why I do it. We know this fact about salons and stylists: more education equals more profits. Learn Better, Earn Better and Live Better.
Has it gone full circle? Your aspirations, your career, your work fulfillment?
You know it’s funny that one day I had this vision. I always knew I would be in a role like this with Redken Education somehow. I just knew and believed I would be, and sure enough here I am. One of our beliefs is that when we teach something we have learned to someone else, we are basically learning it all over again and anchoring that information. This is a constant in my life and keeps me going. I am a lifelong student, and I am a true living Redkenite. I am meshed with the companies’ values and principles to Learn Better, Earn Better and ultimately Live Better. For this, and all of who and what I have become, I am truly grateful!!