Ali Yanez

“Find your tribe and love them hard,” and other wisdom from Ali Yanez, Director of Education, Aveda

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.



Leave a Reply