Brad Mondo is one of this year’s American Influencer Awards finalists for Hair Influencer of the Year.
The American Influencer Awards celebrates the best in beauty, lifestyle, fashion and fitness. The winners will be announced by host Andy Cohen during a streaming show Nov. 3 on the show website, YouTube channel and on the USA TODAY News channel on your smart TV, Tubi TV or Roku.
Find more information about the American Influencer Awards here.
The following is an excerpt from the conversation with Mondo. It was edited for space and clarity.
Q: What are some of the things your father taught you?
A: My dad taught me so much. He was really into the business aspect, hence why he had his own salon. His advice was more focused on how to run a business and how to make money. I also had a lot of people in my life working at the salon who would also teach me the fundamentals of hair color. I would really just stand in the back room and wait until somebody came in and mixed up their color and ask, “what are you mixing up there?” That's kind of where I got my hair knowledge. He would tell me things like, “keep it simple, stupid,” or, “you don't get nothing for nothing.” I learned the fundamentals of money and building a company from him.
Q: You’re the founder and creative director of XMONDO, what made you create this brand and what is your mission?
A: When I was working on my father's salon, I was fascinated by hair products. I thought it was so cool that you could create something that would benefit so many people, and it makes people feel beautiful. After looking at all these ads that were going around the salon, I noticed that I didn't really relate to any of them. I didn't really see any that looked like me. So when I made my own line. I really wanted to create something that was very inclusive and showed every type of ethnicity and sexual orientation. That was always my goal and that's exactly what I did. Now I get to create products that I dream about and have them released to the world and people can have beautiful, glowing hair.
Q: How do you define beauty?
A: Beauty is really about confidence to me. Doesn't matter if your hair looks really messed up. If you feel confident in it and it shows, you can rock anything. Confidence is number one.
Q: What advice would you give to other stylists when it comes to staying active and being engaged on social media?
A: Consistency is definitely key with social media. In the beginning, it takes a lot of work, it's a full-time job. You have to go home from your full-time job and post that picture or take time to post that YouTube video. But social media has such a huge payoff. If you can make it work, you can make anything from your following. You can have your own hair care line, makeup line, whatever you want. I don't feel like my work is my work because I love social media and I'm constantly on it, so the lines are very blurred. I'm pretty sure I'm always working, but I love it. Then the other thing is just being true to who you are. Don’t be afraid to show the weird, quirky side of yourself. People gravitate towards that more than just someone that looks perfect all the time.
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This article originally appeared on USATNetwork: American Influencer Awards Meet the finalist with Brad Mondo