Introduce yourself to our readers! What is your occupation and location? Hi. I am Cynthia Aherne, CEO and Executive Recruiter at Aherne Executive Search. I am a matchmaker in the fashion and beauty industry. Or more eloquently put, and appropriate for this interview: I am a head huntress…
How did you get into the beauty/fashion business? I am the daughter of a former Associate Fashion Editor of Seventeen magazine who then became an Interior Designer. Fashion was always around me from the days I paired up my Garanimals to dressing McCall paper dolls. As for Beauty, my great Aunt Marge was my big influence there. She often reminded me to “apply a bit more red lipstick, dear.” When I graduated from Georgetown University and learned that I could spend my days at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street and get paid for it, I jumped at the opportunity. I was assigned as a merchant to the Home division but spent all my lunchtime in the Cosmetics department. I finally convinced the Home team to allow me to transfer to Beauty merchandising.
What made you shift to owning your own firm? Confidence. Plain and simple. I felt the confidence and others around me felt it. I had both internal and external motivation. I was certain that I could provide a differentiated, modern and intimate service that would resonate with the industry.
What do you love the most about your career? I know that it will sound like a Miss America contestant answer but it is true: I love connecting with people. I love the authenticity of their stories. And I love being able to impact peoples’ lives for the better by offering career opportunities.
When you were younger, how did you feel about your natural texture? My hair was thick and coarse, I wanted stick straight, thin, shiny hair like Laurie, my next store neighbor.
What is your Ouidad story? How did you discover our brand? About a year ago, my stylist was towel drying my hair and he said that I had the most amazing curly hair. I told him that I had thick hair, not curly hair. I had been blowing my hair straight for thirty years! We let it go and do it’s natural thing. I loved it and immediately went to buy Ouidad products I was hooked.
What is the craziest thing you’ve done in the past to tame your curly hair? I wrapped my wet hair in a low bun and slept on it. Except for the crease at the back of my head, it looked pretty good. Not….
What is one word you would use to describe your hair and what do you love the most about it now? Confident! My hair aligns perfectly with the way I am feeling about all of my life right now. Bold and confident.
What are your favorite Ouidad Products? Hands down: Moisture Lock Define & Shine Curl Styling Gel-Cream!
There is a lot of discussion in the curly hair community about wearing their natural hair in the workplace and whether it gets them hired or effected their career. How do you feel about this? Have you ever experienced this in your career? In the fashion or beauty industry, what you look like portrays your fashion sense and individuality. There are a lot of successful curly haired women leaders in our industry. I think that it is a positive to have people see you as you really are. In the modern workplace, authenticity holds value. Since I transformed from straight coarse hair to naturally curly, I am getting only positive enforcement in the workplace.
What is a piece of advice that you would give to other curlies trying to embrace their natural texture? Let it all down! Success will follow if you let you be you.