New York City in the fall is fabulous, in particular during the weekend of Intercoiffure’s Fall Atelier , which is the perfect occasion to connect with old industry friends and make new ones. Fancy running in to Ali Yanez here, the Director of Education for Aveda. I met her a number of years ago when she was heading operations for LifeTime, and have loved her ever since. She is petite, perfect, fierce, and fascinating. We caught up over a glass of wine last night…
AP: What city were you born in? AY: Minneapolis, MN.
AP: What city to do you live in? AY: Golden Valley, MN, 5 minutes from Minni. (The weather has not driven me away).
AP: What is your middle name? AY: Marie. And my real name is actually Alexandra. My family always called me Alex and then I got the nickname Ali in preschool – there were three Alexs in my class, and the other two were boys.
AP: What is your astrological sign? AY: Virgo.
AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? AY: I speak Spanish, people are always surprised at hearing a blondie speak Spanish. Also, I am a tap dancer – a really good one!
AP: What is your most prized possession? AY: My family, namely my husband and my two girls (2 and 8 years old).
AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? AY: Mother Theresa. I think she was an amazing giver and I have wanted to meet her ever since I was a little girl. She has taught me that care should be at the root of everything that we do.
AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. AY: Classic. Trendy. Upscale.
AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? AY: Yes. I have many. My TAG is my favorite but I tend not to travel with it.
AP: Diamonds or pearls? AY: Diamonds.
AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? AY: Confidence.
AP: What fragrance do you wear? AY: Aveda Chakra #2.
AP: Botox or not? AY: Botox is in the eye of the beholder.
AP: Hair color: natural or not? AY: Not. I have been coloring my hair since age 10, and I have tried pretty much all colors!
AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? AY: Everything in moderation.
AP: What do you do for exercise? AY: Group fitness classes and lifting heavy weights – I love lifting heavy weights. I try to exercise seven days per week…
AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? AY: Eggs. Almond milk (for smoothies). Coffee creamer (for coffee).
AP: What is your cocktail of choice? AY: Titos and soda with both lemon and lime.
AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? AY: Love what you do. And then balance is not even a question.
AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? AY: I am in the field a lot and I fly every other week, for shows, for market tours, for education. I probably fly between 75,000-100,000 miles per year.
AP: What are your three top tips for travel? AY: 1. When traveling short tips, I use my contact lens case to create travel sizes of my favorite beauty products. 2. I pack dry shampoo to I don’t have to pack hot tools. 3. I always travel with protein bars.
AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. AY: Ellie Goulding On My Mind; Fergie, LA Love; and Sims, Pay No Mind.
AP: What book are you reading right now? AY: I just finished Gangland by Jerry Langton . It is about gangsters in Mexico. I am obsessed with the cartels in Mexico and totally fascinated by their operations. It is insane how they control everything and anything that happens in Mexico.
AP: Quote to live by. AY: Let your inner badass run the show. Find your tribe and love them hard.
AP: What is your worst pet peeve? AY: I have more than one! I hate knuckle cracking. I hate long nails and unkempt nails. And it really bothers me when people chew with their mouth open.
AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? AY: I usually wake up around 5 am and I try to sleep at least six hours. I have to workout in the morning.
AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? AY: The people.
AP: Least favorite thing. AY: The people. Ha ha.
AP: Who is your mentor? AY: The technical team members I have worked with and our customers are my mentors. They have taught me everything I know about our industry. If you listen to them and meet their needs, everything becomes easy.
AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. AY: Work hard. Take any and all opportunity that is in front of you. Exceed every expectation. Always do more than what you are expected to do. When I worked the front desk, I didn’t just work the front desk. I swept hair, I made sure the stations and salon looked great, and more. Finally, do what you love, find your passion. The rest will follow.