Becoming a Wella Studios Signature Stylist is something that requires a lot of training and dedication. Traveling around the world, educating about the brand and testing products is something that requires stamina, knowledge and years of experience.
Michele Catalanello remembers playing with her doll’s hair when she was a child and doing hair and make-up on her friends as a pre-teen, trying to imitate looks that she saw in magazines. Her career started in her play room and then her play room became her career.
From being a key Sebastian Design Team Member, she has had a life of travels around the world to work fashion shows, TV shows, videos, press junkets and beauty show tours. Aside from the glamour, her expertise is requested in Research and Development and Curriculum. In New York, she plays the role of a Studio Artist – inspiring and motivating stylists to be the best at their craft.
“I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most iconic and talented hairdressers who have taught me so much. I am passionate about paying it forward and sharing everything I have learned through the years to motivate and inspire others.”
How did you begin your journey in education?
“I started my journey in education as a Sebastian Advocate.”
When was the moment when you thought, this is going to lead to something?
“The moment that I thought that educating was going to lead to something is when I started going to other salons to educate; people would tell me how motivated and inspired they were, the excitement and passion that is shown through education is so incredible, words cannot do it justice.”
What role do Wella’s Artists play in terms of education within the company?
“Our role as artist for the company is to awaken passion, challenge perceptions, stimulate creativity and make a difference in the industry. I constantly strive to make these things my mission as a Signature Artist.”
Tell me a bit more about your involvement in Research and Development and Curriculum?
“I had the amazing opportunity to test new products coming out on the market, as well as test our brands vs. competitive brands. This is what really made me committed to the Wella family, because I saw for my own eyes how well our products performed.“
What do you think sets Wella, as a company, apart?
“Besides having amazing products that perform and great education, it is the people, we are like a family!“
What are the key trends –in terms of color & cut– for Summer 2016?
“Creating contrast and dimension in the hair is always trending. We always find new and different ways to do things, taking some inspiration from the past and thinking how can I approach this differently or tweak this to look new to the eye?“
What do you think has made Wella so adaptable?
“The range of brands we have available to us with Wella help create a balanced portfolio, enabling stylist/owners to have something for everyone and customize their services in order to adapt and grow the business.”
What is your perspective on the hairdressing industry and education?
“Education is the key to success. This industry is constantly evolving with technology and trends if you are not staying on top of these changes through education, you will get left behind.”
- As a member of such a prestigious team, what is the question you get asked about most by stylists?
- “The #1 most asked question by stylists is how do I get to where you are at?“
So, what have you done to stay on top?
“Practice my skills; there is no end to learning and growing. Stay connected with like-minded people. Research what’s new by going on-line or looking through magazines. Keep my mind open to be inspired by everything and everyone around me.”
Tell me about your latest inspiration?
“Besides being inspired every day by the people I mentor and coach when they come to the Wella Studio. Recently, I had the honor of presenting an award at the Hairbrained Video Awards (#HV3). I was so inspired by all the amazing videos. It made me want to start videotaping everything!“
In three words, how would others define your personal technique/specialty?
“I don’t know how others would describe me but I have heard that I am “a triple threat” because I am good at Cut, Color and Style. Working at the Studio we have to be well versed in all so that we can confidently facilitate any seminar that we have on our calendar.”
In terms of the future and longevity with the brand, what are your long-term goals with Wella?
“I am so blessed to be a part of this amazing group of artist, sharing, learning and growing my craft from such talented people in the industry. I have had opportunities to fulfill many dreams that I had as a young stylist such as; traveling the world doing shows, working fashion week, doing photoshoots, creating videos and touching people’s lives in a creatively positive way. I don’t see myself doing anything else.”