Abell Oujaddou was born in Morocco but spent most of his childhood in France after his family moved there when he was five. At the age of 17, Abell Oujaddou moved to New York to attend acting school, while working in a hair salon to pay his bills. After graduation he moved to Los Angeles to follow his dream to be an actor. After several years in Los Angeles, Abell returned to New York where he started working in theatre, producing two documentaries: Haze and Rendevous in Summer Camp.
Eventually, Abell Oujaddou decided to continue with his other passion in life, hair design and beauty, opening two lavish beauty salons in New York and Miami Beach which he currently still owns and operates today.
Why did you decide to create your own business?
After spending time pursuing my passion for acting and theatre for many years, I wanted to take the opportunity to follow through with my other passion as well: hair design and beauty. Knowing this and with the experience I had in the past, I decided to open up my own salon, the Marie Robinson Salon.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
I love the creativity and artistry involved within the industry. I have always been artistic and being able to express that creativity every day is something that I have always wanted to do.
What does a typical day consist of for you?
My days start by making sure my six-year-old is up and ready for the day as I prepare his breakfast and take him to school. At work, my days are normally spend ensuring that everything is on schedule and completing my daily list of tasks that need to be done while interacting with my clientele.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I got my inspiration for hair design from my girlfriend when I was a child in France. At the time, she was going to a school specifically for hair design and training and I had wanted to quit high school. My parents let me switch schools to the Cosmetology School and it was the best choice I could have made.
Nowadays, I get a lot of my inspiration for new hair styles and designs from my connections within the industry and seeing what other high-end stylists have created.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I maintain a solid work life balance by ensuring that I finish the work I need to do at the salon and then once I am done for the day, I disconnect from work as often as possible. While I know that this cannot be done everyday or a variety of reasons, I am to ensure that most of my time outside of work is spent with family, rather than fielding phone calls or emails.
What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?
I believe that the traits that make me a successful leader are my communication skills. I am very good at communicating with both my clients, employees, and suppliers and I work hard to ensure that they all enjoy working with me. Communication also helps to diffuse potentially harmful situations for the company before they occur.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment is a tie between the two documentaries I produced and the two hair salons that I have opened up. I have been fortunate enough to be able to pursue not one but both my dreams and find success in both industries that eludes many others.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?
I would tell others to follow their dreams. I believe that an individual has the most success when they are doing something that they are passionate about and they will enjoy their career that much more. I have followed my dreams my entire life and I have no regrets about my life. It is my hope that more people are willing to forsake the traditional route and follow their passions.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
The biggest life lesson that I have learned is to never look at errors or problems as failures. I have faced struggles at times through my professional career but if you consider them failures you will not learn as much from them. It is important to understand what happened but then realize that you cannot change the past, but you can influence the future.
Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
I see the company continuing to be successful in the upcoming years. We have recently had seen significant growth and success and hopefully the upcoming years continue that trend at Marie Robinson Salon.