U.G. Digital Magazine: Thank you so much for taking time out in your schedule. We’ve been working to connect, and I’m so excited for all you have going on. What really interests me is how many huge and positive things you’re doing in fashion and beauty. How has it been going with establishing yourself?
Grace Tartaglia: Building the brand has been interesting. I first began as a technical person, showing people how to color hair and get better results. It was important for me because initially, I couldn’t even get a job. People said you needed clientele, but I couldn’t have that if I couldn’t get a job. I’ve always had faith in myself. I went off an opened my own salon. Within two years, a lot of people were coming in saying how good I was in coloring. They would ask if I wanted to teach, but I felt like I was too busy. Eventually, I agreed that if they could guarantee more education as I went along, I would do it. I remember sitting with the general manager, and he asked for my resume. I said “I don’t have a resume, I’m here to see what you could do for me”. He liked that spunk, and could guarantee me $3000 - $5000 of education a year. Revlon made me ready. I was given the access to create shows and build interest in the products. I was a crazy sales person. I would sell out to the point where distributors were running out of product. I was known as that girl who took the basic or technical info the manufacturers gave you, and formulate it into something understandable for the everyday hair dresser. About 3 years into Revlon, I was giving an award and the producer came out asking about me. They came over and gave me an interview. It turned out they were from Cityline. Cityline is Canada’s longest running television show. It’s equivalent to Good Morning America. It’s a very big deal. I’ve been on the show now for more than 20 years, and have done over 10,000 shows. We just got back from Paris where we shot the Revlon Style Master’s competition, which is a worldwide competition. Every year it gets bigger and bigger.
U.G. Digital Magazine: I think it’s amazing how you have turned this into an empire for yourself.
Grace Tartaglia: I love what I do, and have sisters who are doctors and lawyers. I was expected to go in that direction. I wanted to do something that made me happy, and I’ve been making people beautiful. It’s been a passion of mine. I take a look at a woman and know what she needs, and I make sure to translate it into something that’s beautiful for her. That’s what made me popular.
U.G. Digital Magazine: Why was it so important that you center this around that concept of making people beautiful?
Grace Tartaglia: I think I like to help people to better themselves. My friends have always been that way with me. I want to see other people take good care of themselves. It determines how well you do in the world. People are very judgmental. If I can give people the opportunity to put their best foot forward, they will ultimately do better in their lives. At the end of the day, everyone wants to be more sexy, more handsome, and more beautiful. Nobody say “no I don’t want to look good” (laughing).
U.G. Digital Magazine: I love your humor (laughing). I do think it’s great though. You’ve done so much in that area of Canada. Do you see it expanding outside of Canada?
Grace Tartaglia: I would love to see it happen. If I were in the states doing this many shows, it would be crazy. Canada doesn’t have the same population.
U.G. Digital Magazine: I would be good thing to bring here. You’re doing great things for people.
Grace Tartaglia: I would love that. My concept of how people show look and feel is organic. If you look good, you feel good. The next phase is to take my business into laser. So many great things are happening with laser. That’s my next thing that I really want to do.
U.G. Digital Magazine: There’s not a lot of people doing this to your extent.
Grace Tartaglia: That’s my next step. It should be running in 2017.
U.G. Digital Magazine: When I think of laser treatment, it seems that would be very costly.
Grace Tartaglia: Not at all. Certain things may be several hundred dollars, and the first time you do it, there’s an 85% success rate. We spend money on so many things that this would be very affordable. It’s cold laser as well, so it’s pretty safe.
U.G. Digital Magazine: That’s good to know in terms of safety.
Grace Tartaglia: Oh yes. You have to be well-trained. The company I work with is very well-trained. They already have 5 clinics running.
U.G. Digital Magazine: You’ve been doing television for 20 years. How would you tie that into the success of your new ventures?
Grace Tartaglia: For sure. Being on television, basically, it has pushed me into the success I want, as far as traveling, having my home, and so forth. I’m so grateful. People come from all over to see me.
U.G. Digital Magazine: I love everything you’re doing. You’re making such a big difference for so many people.
Grace Tartaglia: My purpose is to make every person I touch feel good and look and feel ten years younger. That’s the experience they will get with me.
U.G. Digital Magazine: Is there a timeline in regard to your next thing coming out?
Grace Tartaglia: I’m looking at January 2017 to have it up and running fully. It’s just a matter of getting it in and set up.
U.G. Digital Magazine: I have to make it a point to get there to see it all in action.
Grace Tartaglia: I would love that.
U.G. Digital Magazine: Where can people check you out online?
Grace Tartaglia: My Facebook is www.facebook.com/imagemakeover. Instagram is GraceTartaglia. The minute I put my name on it, things seemingly exploded. I did the most expensive haircut last year, worth $720,000.
U.G. Digital Magazine: I saw that. How did that come about?
Grace Tartaglia: I believe because of the notoriety I have, I was asked to be a part of a campaign devoted to cancer, called the “no hair selfie campaign”. I would be their spokesperson. Harley was the vice president of Deloitte. He requested me to cut his hair if he could raise $500,000, and he actually raised $720,000. I’m pretty lucky. I also translate runway styles into an everyday look.
U.G. Digital Magazine: People are really gravitating to you, but it’s because you’re organic and not forced.
Grace Tartaglia: That’s right. You have to be happy, and natural with yourself. To cross racial barriers, I don’t see anyone different than myself. My approach is like that, and my girlfriends and clients are from every walk of life. I don’t make color an issue, and everyone gets it.
U.G. Digital Magazine: They also look at your history, and you’ve done some amazing work.
Grace Tartaglia: For sure. They’re looking at everything.
U.G. Digital Magazine: Are there any final comments or words of encouragement?
Grace Tartaglia: I believe everything is image, and it’s one of the most important things we forget about. We have to give space to everyone. When people come in, I adjust myself to them. Everyone is special in their own way. I’m not trying to get people to live up to my ego. The most important thing is to try and create your best self, whether it’s in your mannerisms, or whatever. Everyday has to be better.