Angus Mitchell leaed the art of dealing with pressure from an early age, having had his every snip compared to that of his beloved father’s (Paul Mitchell) for the past 20 years. As fate would have it, I witnessed one of his first “pressure moments” when, as a new beauty school student, Angus was thrust on stage with Robert Cromeans and Jeanne Braa.
“I recall that day so well,” laughs Mitchell, shaking his head. “I was staring down at this model’s hair—which was incredibly thick and frizzy — and wondering what in the world I was going to do with it. Trying to calm my nerves, I tued her away from the audience and whispered, ‘Don’t worry, it’s going to be okay.’ The problem was, I didn’t realize that my microphone was on, so everyone in the room heard what I said!”
Fast-forward to 2011, and Mitchell is a styling force to be reckoned with. Yet, it’s important to note that despite his enormous talent and years of training, there’s much more to this man than immediately meets the eye.
Mitchell—along with his wife Michelle—are both incredible salon owners that have done what many beauty pros deem to be impossible: Open a Beverly Hills salon with 15 high-profile salons within a two-block radius; hire new graduates from Paul Mitchell the School; train and upgrade their young charges’ skills to the point that even the snootiest Beverly Hills beauty maven leaves smiling; and make them an the salon wildly successful. Oh, did we mention their goal was also to create a strong color cachet? “We opened 18 months ago, with seven new beauty grads and five stylists that were working at the salon before we bought, remodeled and restructured the business as a Paul Mitchell Concept salon,” notes Mitchell. “Only one of the original stylists remains. And out of the seven new-hires, five are now enjoying thriving careers. Over the past few months, we’ve also hired five new assistants who are currently undergoing our signature training process.
“One important aspect of our program is the strong emphasis we place on color education. In this regard, our efforts are paying off handsomely. Even though our staff is young in terms of years of service, their color expertise has reached the point that we’re now known for our color services in a city where client expectations run incredibly high.”
“We place a strong emphasis on color education and our efforts have paid off handsomely.” Angus Mitchell
Because their education process is so intense and expensive, the Mitchells have developed a clever way to hedge their bets when it comes to hiring the right people. “We have multiple interviews before deciding on giving a candidate the chance to work with us on a trial basis,” Mitchell reveals. “The ‘trial’ involves inviting a strong prospect to work at our salon for a couple of days. At the end of this period, Michelle and I have a staff meeting, where we ask our staff to give us honest feedback about the individual— if they enjoyed working with that person, was he or she a good fit and so forth. At the end of the day — or in this case, the end of the meeting — it’s really the staff who decides that gets hired at Angus Mitchell Salon”.
Mitchell has also developed a key reason for continuing to pour so much energy into his salon, the Paul Mitchell company and every aspect of his life. “There’s no doubt that I’m blessed in every way,” he explains. “I inherited a large percentage of a world-renowned beauty company; I have a fabulous wife and daughter who bring me happiness beyond what I can describe in mere words; I have my health; and have my priorities straight. Every business decision that I make must contribute in some way to the greater good of my community or even the world. I’m extremely active in supporting worthy causes to the point that I’m building a 9,500-square-foot structure to house charity events. And, I’m thrilled to be giving young stylists the chance to launch their careers with dynamite training that will give them rewarding and, hopefully, lifelong beauty careers.”