Cindy Feldman, Mentor and Inspiration

It is a beautiful occurrence when work relationships blossom beyond their initial context. I first met Cindy Feldman, Founder and Owner of Progressions Salon and Spa through a common friend, the publisher of DC Magazine. He said we were meant to get along and work together. And he was right. I pitched her Alchimie Forever for her salon, and we started working together as vendor and customer. Under the pretense of this vendor partner relationship, we went to lunch. And then we kept going to lunch, and somehow she is becoming a mentor of mine (she might not even know it yet!). I have learned much from her already, and look forward to more lunches. In the meantime, I have much to learn from her answers to the below questions.

AP: What city were you born in? CF: Takoma Park, MD.

AP: What city to do you live in? CF: Brookeville, MD. I live on 3 acres that back up to Rachel Carson Park Land. She was the first woman environmentalist.

AP: What year did you open Progressions and to what do you attribute its continued success? CF: September 4, 1984 is the day that Progressions opened. What I attribute to its continued success is the understanding of the “why” we do what we do. Innovation and marketing are the fundamentals of any business success and growth. The “why” is the intention to transform and make a guest day through the modality of the beauty industry. Love is our competitive edge. I deeply love those I serve inside my business (my team) and those I serve as our guests as well as our community.

AP: What is your astrological sign? CF: Pisces.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? CF: I have a diploma from the Institute if Integrative Nutrition.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? CF: Happiness.

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? CF: The 80/20 rule works for me! Eat 80% of the time healthy mostly organic fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts and lean protein. 20% allow for the rest!

AP: What do you do for exercise? CF: I have a personal trainer 3 x a week come to my home because it is effective and takes the thinking out of exercise. She provides a variety of workouts, weight training and cardio. The other two days I go to a boxing class. I also enjoy bike riding, running and hiking.

AP: What is your favorite thing to eat and drink? CF: I love great food. Seven-layer dip, freshly made guacamole and chips are amount my faves. I love great wine as well as IPA’s from local breweries.

AP: Botox or not? CF: Botox in moderation.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? CF: Work/life balance to me is all integrated into just enjoying what I do so there is nothing to “get away” from. It’s about creating a beautiful life that gives purpose and great satisfaction to those I touch. I travel a lot with my chosen profession so it integrates both work and pleasure.

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? CF: I have no idea how many miles I travel but it is more then 1000 and less then 100,000 per year!

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? CF: Drink lots of water, be prepared for all temperatures, in a plane never touch your face and adapt immediately to whatever time zone you are in by just adhering to the time that is.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve? CF: Judgments.

AP: What professional beauty/fitness/wellness experts do you have on your speed dial. CF: My personal coach, intuitive healer, great friends.

AP: What conferences did you attend in the last 12 months, why, and with whom? CF: The last 12 months I have attended a multitude of conferences and business teachings.

Serious Business – Industry leaders and various other speakers that gave insight to life, business and our industry. I also was honored to be a part of a panel of industry leaders. I shared our strategy for creating a growth minded coaching culture with a tiered, goal oriented compensation plan.

Strategic Coaching in Toronto – A coaching environment started 25 years ago by coaching guru Dan Sullivan. Our group of entrepreneurs from all different business including retail stores, doctors, financial advisors, web based businesses etc from all parts of the world gather to learn new innovative ways to transform our businesses and learn skills in order to 10x our efforts. It is a year commitment of quarterly visits and coaching throughout the year to review new skills into practice. Each visit builds on another. It is like going to business school as well as sharing with others our successes and challenges ultimately creating excellent outcomes by the use of tools we implement from this program.

Tony Robbins 5-day Business Mastery in West Palm Beach – Same message different messenger. Again, skills, advice and knowledge shared. I also brought one of my young leadership team members with me so they could be mentored on leadership and be exposed to business skills.

Social media conference from Goldwell led by Patrick McIvor and Jeff South – Using social media for the greatest good and building community.

Scott Buchanan Aveda-sponsored Leadership and Culture- Industry advice on leadership taught by Scott who also uses daily in his salons what he teaches.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? CF: I wake up between 5-6 daily. I usually need between 6-7 hours of sleep per night.

AP: Who is your mentor? CF: One of my mentors is my friend Cele, I have known her since I was 8 years old, that still works with me today as Progressions HR director. She has been in the beauty industry over 40 years as a stylist, she has survived breast cancer, the loss of her 30-year old granddaughter and has shown me what courage and strength truly is as a woman.

AP: What is your number one piece of advice when managing a large team? CF: My number one piece of advice when leading a large team is having a leadership team that is broken into the main parts of the team’s culture: HR, Sales and customer service, Education, Inventory, Marketing and financial. We meet weekly to discuss all areas and implement the “why” we do what we do to create a solid culture.

AP: What is your skincare routine (products, facialists, etc)? CF: Innovative purposeful high quality products like Alchimie Forever, facials as often as I can and protecting my skin in the sun.

AP: What do you do to relax? CF: I relax by my meditation daily, beach walks are my favorite place in nature and being with friends and family. I also enjoy being quiet in nature or reading. Time with my partner is also a sacred practice.

AP: Quote to live by. CF: All is well.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. CF: Be true to yourself, do not compromise your values. Love what you do.

AP: Describe your dream day. CF: I live my dream day everyday.

AP: What makes you feel beautiful? CF: What makes me feel beautiful is knowing I have giving my best to all I encounter and doing my best.

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