Dina Elliot, the President and founder of Exit One Solutions, a well-respected industry marketing, communications and brand development firm, is a true leader with business focus and a keen vision.
Estetica USA got the opportunity to get up close and personal with Dina and she gave us some great tips on how to be successful in this industry and even a glimpse into Dina’s world…
What influenced you to decide to work in this industry?
“I began my career working corporately at Wella. I was instantly drawn to this amazingly creative, energetic, ever-changing industry. I knew from the very beginning how fortunate I was (and still am) to work in an industry I love and to be constantly inspired by the talent that surrounds me.”
When you decided to start your own business?
“I started Exit One Solutions almost a decade ago (I can’t believe it!). After several years of corporate industry experience, I decided it was the perfect time for me to branch out and be able to work with diverse clients of all sizes and their brands. It was always a goal of mine to start my own company.”
What companies are you currently working for?
“I am privileged to work with a wonderful combination of hair, skin, spa and technology clients that includes Keratin Complex, SureTint Technologies, Macadamia Professional, E-Cure Treatment, AuNaturale Cosmetics, Raw Hair Organics, Rodz Men’s Haircare and Ellen Hunter Accessories. Even though my background and passion is in beauty, we have clients in other market sectors as well.”
What inspires you?
“I find inspiration everywhere – from the talented people I meet and work with, to my travels, nature, music and art. My family inspires me daily – they ground me, challenge me and support me in all I do.”
What does your team mean to you?
“I know this sounds cliché, but they truly mean everything to me because I could not be free to do what I do best without them. They are so talented, dedicated, and always deliver exceptional work. Each person brings such unique, distinct talents to the Exit One Solutions and to our clients.”
Share with us one of the most memorable moments since working in this industry?
“Only ONE? There have truly been so, so many. One of the highlights personally was meeting and having dinner with the remarkable Vidal Sassoon. I was so nervous beforehand and his incredible kindness and humor put me at ease instantly. It is a moment I will always cherish.”
How has this industry changed in the last 10 years?
“I would say the industry has evolved, rather than changed over the past decade. The methods we use to communicate and market to our target audience have completely evolved thanks to advances in technology, the explosion of social media, bloggers, online communities, etc. E-commerce and online direct sales sites by manufacturers are changing the sales landscape as well. Salon owners, managers and stylists now have immediate access to information, trends, education, news and products on Smartphones or tablets. I see this evolution continuing to impact the industry in coming years.”
What is your definition of a leader?
“A confident leader recognizes the strengths and capabilities of every team member and knows how to best motivate, empower and foster them. I believe a leader should be transparent, accessible, set and share very clear objectives. Lastly, one must always lead by example.”
What are some of your strengths?
“I possess a good balance of corporate skills and experience along with a creative background. Executionally, I can say I always deliver on a promise.”
- What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs who are up and coming in this industry?
- “Be patient, be consistent, be genuine, over-deliver and always be honest. What you put into this industry will come back to you in spades. One of the things I love the most about this industry is the fact that it is so personal. It is full of entrepreneurs who are achieving their dreams and support one another in the process. Whatever your goals are you can find mentors willing to share their experiences and lend their support – just ask.”
Describe a regular day in your shoes?
“The beauty of what I do is that every single day is different. New goals, challenges, projects, interesting people and lots of coffee! There truly is no “regular” day.”
What is your vision for the future of this industry?
“I think it will continue to grow and evolve in terms of technology, communication methods, business efficiencies, sales channels and the types of brands coming to market. We are seeing more modern, fresh, personality-driven brands again (which I love) and believe we will see more and more options in the future that cater to healthy, holistic or organic salons and spas.”
What is something most people may not know about you?
“It’s a little known fact that prior to starting my career in PR and Marketing, I was an opera singer!”
What is the secret to longevity in this industry?
“Be consistent and be consistently abreast of trends (business and style), fashion and products. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in business. What matters is that you deliver quality work, backed by positive results, each and every time.”
If you were to choose a book title about your life what would it be?
“Covering 50 Shades of Grey!”