Beauty Launchpad Magazine

JUL 2016

Beauty Launchpad is everything beauty for salons & stylists! Stay on top of the latest hair style trends and products for hair, skin, makeup and nails. Get hair color ideas, business advice, education tips and beauty industry news.

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56 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | JULY 2016 Live & Learn/ Head of the Class Taking Flight Butterfl y Circus plucks social media stars to spearhead its growing education platform, featuring nontraditional teachers leading rapid-fi re, demo-style seminars nationwide. —TRACY MORIN W oodstock, Lollapalooza and Coachella may not be typical sources of education inspiration, but they helped prompt David Thurston, President of the L.A.-based salon Butterfl y Loft (butterfl yloft.com) and creator of Butterfl y Circus with wife Alexis, to brainstorm a new kind of learning. "Product companies have always been responsible for creating trends and educating and inspiring stylists, but with social media at its peak, I noticed individuals now infl uencing trends, and the industry wasn't noticing," Thurston recounts. "I also attended events where one educator spoke for three hours, and I felt there was a better format—like getting a bunch of bands together in a festival atmosphere playing their greatest hits." Butterfl y Loft already educated its own stylists and the haircare community at large, but Thurston decided to take his concept nationwide with the development of Butterfl y Circus in 2015. Six instructors—stylists with massive followings and innate coaching talents—teach live for 30 minutes each, creating fast-paced how-to overviews on topics like coloring, cutting, styling, braiding and social media savvy. When two initial classes in L.A. each sold out in three seconds fl at, demand was clear—and since then, sessions have crisscrossed the country from New York to San Francisco. "It's been an incredible ride, and we've been able to pay independent educators more than $300,000 in the past 10 months," Thurston enthuses. "Anyone with ambition, talent, a knack for education and a cell phone can become an educator and get a tidal wave of exposure." While educators already enjoy rabid social media followings (its core team boasts a combined reach of one million–plus) and prodigious personalities, Butterfl y Circus hones their talent through seminars on becoming better educators; they've even launched a color line, Pulp Riot, to complement their instruction. Meanwhile, industry giants like Robert Cromeans have hopped aboard, and copycat formats are changing education industry-wide. "This is going to happen more, where the beauty community shapes the industry and not the other way around," Thurston asserts. "It's not just the power of one—it's the power of many." STEVE KIM Butterfl y Circus' core team counts thousands of followers on Instagram alone: Jay Wesley Olson, @jaywesleyolson: 91.8k Linh Phan, @bescene: 191k Ash Fortis, @xostylistxo: 124k Iris Smith, @glamiris: 138k Laura Kaszoni, @lalasupdos: 239k Jenny Strebe, @theconfessionsofahairstylist: 305k Nina Kovner, @passionsquared: 31.8k Rickey Zito, @hairgod_zito: 234k Alexis Thurston, @alexisbutterfl yloft: 48.1k David Thurston, @davidbutterfl yloft: 4k Butterfl y Circus educator Iris Smith demonstrates styling techniques to a rapt audience. The Butterfl y Circus team aims to educate and celebrate the individual spirit of stylists everywhere. Circus Stars

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