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Conversations with Ani Mantizian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ani Mantizian.

Hi Ani, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in Palmdale and knew from a young age that I wanted to be a hairstylist. I always had a passion for creativity and loved making people look fabulous. I was so restless to start my career that I actually started beauty school at 16 while I was still working to get my high school diploma. Coming from humble beginnings, I didn’t really have much to start with and my dad would drive me to my classes every day. Being so young, my options after getting out of beauty school were very limited. No one wanted to hire a young girl who was still in high school to touch someone’s hair. I ended up working at a salon for someone who was close to my family. It was definitely not glamorous, but I was able to do what I loved. I went on from there to work at various salons in Palmdale until I ended up at the InStyle Salon in JCPenny when I turned 18. This was a great experience for me and over the 7 years I was there I worked my way up to “Master Stylist” as they called it, and won a trip to Florida because I was most productive in the entire salon. I then moved into my own studio. After so many years of working for others, I finally decided to work for myself. I had gained some usual clients over time and had become more confident in myself and my abilities. Through social media and constant referral business through my clients, I have grown my small little business into something that helps myself and my family to have a better life.

Pre pandemic, I decided to expand my business into the greater LA area so that I can serve more clients. I have geared my business to what I feel I am best at which is color and extensions. I now also have a small studio in Salon Republic in Burbank that I work out of some days of the week and do my best to accommodate both LA and the Antelope Valley. The pandemic really made it difficult for people in my industry to make ends meet, but having great clients and some hard work I turned it into a success. I would drop off and send pre-packaged care packages to my clients so that they could still make themselves feel beautiful without the ability to visit me in the salon. Lately, I’ve been expanding into the production industry to help clients both on and off set to look their absolute best. It has been many years that I have been working at my craft and I’m personally very proud of what I have been able to accomplish doing a job that might seem mundane to most people.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My schedule is definitely packed at the moment, but it was not always this way. It took a lot of effort and struggled to make it in this industry since there is a lot of competition. 15 years of working 6-7 days a week, mostly on my feet, have not been easy. I do appreciate all the clients I’ve had over the years and really can’t see myself doing anything else. It is true that doing what you love every day takes the “job” feeling away from what you are doing. I think the hardest part was making the decision to leave a salon and put everything on myself. You really have to put yourself out there and be confident in what you do so that it reflects in your work and brings you back more and more clients. Like any small business, I have to wear multiple hats and do everything from styling, to cleaning, to customer service, to marketing all by myself. Covid was the biggest hiccup I have dealt with since there was someone telling me that I was not allowed to operate anymore. It really did create an unknown since week to week I had to wait and see if they were going to extend our closures or finally let us back in. I think people underestimate how much the beauty industry really had to go through during that time, but I’m grateful that I was able to make it and come out even better afterward because I made sure to get back on track immediately.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a hairstylist and I specialize in color and extensions. I look at my work as a form of art instead of a business. It takes a lot of time to hone your skills and get exactly what the client wants. I also get a lot of customers that need color corrections since what they currently have is not looking so great. Just like an artist would, I have to figure out how to take someone’s damaged hair and give them a look that will help them feel gorgeous and confident.

I am most proud of my ability to adapt to new products in our industry. There are many different types of extensions a client may want and I do my best to educate myself on how to not only do what they want but achieve the look that they are looking for. Nothing can come close to the feeling of wowing your client when they see the final result.

Experience and knowledge are what sets anyone apart in this industry. You need to take the time to try new things and adapt to what the changing times are bringing. I always try to stay ahead of new trends and help clients to take a leap of faith to try something new when they are stuck in one style. Feeling good about how you look can really change the way you go about your day. If you feel great, then you can do great things.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
It’s really hard to come up with a favorite childhood memory. One thing I will never forget was being able to get my very first car on my own. I was not a child, but looking back at it, I definitely feel like I was much younger and it was a turning point in my life.

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