Be Passionate and get out of Your Comfort Zone (Johnny Ramirez)Billee Howard
Johnny Ramirez, co-founder of Ramirez/Tran, is an artist who is marrying art + commerce to transform hair into the ultimate canvas of self-expression. Through his LivedIn brand people around the world are united by the passion the hair artistry he creates inspires.
Johnny is one of the Wecons who inspired Billee Howard’s book WeCommerce. You can read more about the book on this launch page and here is our Q&A with Johnny.
Billee: Would you consider yourself an artist of business?
Johnny: I hate the word artist. Everyone today thinks they are an artist, but true artists are rare, unique, original, and special. For me, I would prefer “mad scientist” over artist. I am someone who is passionate and takes chances outside the comfortable realm of things. I’ve been experimenting for 13-15 years to master the perfection of color. No two people have the same head of hair and I have to treat every individual as unique.
Billee: What is the role that change plays in your industry?
Johnny: In my business, it’s change and evolve or look like your grandmother. I see myself as a ‘hair caster’.To me, every client is a major make over. Everyday I create major transformations. I have to explain to my clients that their hair shouldn’t be the same color as the people they see in a magazine. In fact, I ask them to bring in photos of themselves as a child. Your color should be your own unique color that works with your skin tone, face size and eye color, like when you were a child. I like woman that come in with broken down hair. To me I see the finale before we even talk. The end result is always amazing. Not only for them, but for me to see the true happiness shine on their faces.
Billee: Do you feel that giving back is an important element to business models today?
Johnny: I get a couple of people that contact me a year saying how much they love the way my work transforms people’s lives, just by getting them to change their color and style. If I am lucky enough to meet these women, and I’m touched by their moving stories, I will do their hair for free, because I believe it’s important work, and an important gift to give to someone who deserves it and could really benefit from the change. Also, coming from East LA (the ghetto), I now hire and train people with similar backgrounds — inject them with my knowledge and craft. I invest in them. I feel they work harder and have a bigger dedication to me and to my shop.
Billee: How has social media changed the game for you in your business?
Johnny: We are all now reachable, from anywhere, at any time. I get contacted from women in Russia and Dubai asking me to come there to do their hair. I’m grateful for the platform to show my work.
Billee: What is your favorite Andy Warhol quote?
Johnny: I don’t like Andy Warhol
Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!
PS – You can download a FREE chapter of We-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy here!
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