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Female Disruptors: Tracy Ftacek of Pretty Convenient Salon On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

I believe we need to see a diverse representation at the C-Suite and level the pool for mentors and coaches with the experience, heart & ability to bring women disruptors into the spaces that allow their genius to be seen and recognized.

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tracy Ftacek.

Tracy Ftacek, the beauty industry disruptor behind Pretty Convenient Salon, one of Chicago’s preeminent hair/makeup studios, a Paul Mitchell National Educator, and the founder of The Pretty Convenient App, an on-demand beauty app where her all-female team, of some of the industry’s top professionals, deliver a convenient and stunning beauty experience to your home. From living in a trailer park to being a CEO of several salons as well as two beauty tech companies, Tracy’s mission is to empower beauty stylists to take control over their beauty businesses.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I began my career almost 30 years ago as a cosmetologist working behind the chair, as a freelance hair & makeup artist and international trainer for a global beauty brand. I truly loved all three paths and soon realized many beauty professionals desired the opportunity to carve out their own financial path.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Approximately five years ago I launched the Pretty Convenient app for on-location beauty services which provided an option for licensed beauty professionals to grow their income in a supportive environment while also supplying consistent and quality results for busy female professionals at their convenience. However, like many other beauty brands, 2020 created a pause in our business flow. This pause inspired me to launch Pretty Set Go virtual beauty box. Every hair and makeup box comes with a hand-in virtual education to learn how to enjoy your new products.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

At the time, social media, Facebook specifically, was only a few years old. I was the Campus Director for a cosmetology school. Two of the students, (lets call them Ashley & Emily) were extremely disruptive and in a heated argument. I was counseling them in my office and inquired what was the root of the problem. Emily proceeds to tell me how Ashley had written horrible things on her Facebook wall. I took her literally and thought this was the outside wall of her home. I was shocked and appalled someone would do this and encouraged Emily to contact the authorities to report this crime. She then proceeded to educate me on what social media is and at that moment I realized we now have media at our fingertips that could evoke an emotion amongst the audience. At that point I began watching closely and when I chose to launch my first beauty tech company, I built the entire customer base from social engagement.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I’ve truly been blessed with many beauty industry mentors however when I began shifting into the beauty tech world I struggled to find a mentor. I most recently was on a Clubhouse panel with the founder of Hint Water, Kara Goldin, and she summed it up beautifully; “If you are the first to disrupt an industry, finding a mentor may be difficult as no one has attempted your journey. Learn what you can from those around you.” I realized it was more beneficial to have a circle of trusted confidants and team members that believe in you and what you can accomplish.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

In response to the financial devastation to the beauty community I have chosen to create a Beauty Ambassador referral program through the Pretty Set Go digital beauty box. By providing them with 25% of the profits on any referral sale this will infuse an additional stream of income for licensed beauty professionals through passive income. Currently there is no other beauty brand offering such high commissions.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

I believe we need to see a diverse representation at the C-Suite and level the pool for mentors and coaches with the experience, heart & ability to bring women disruptors into the spaces that allow their genius to be seen and recognized.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking?

No, I do not have a specific one. I honestly believe the following is a mark of a thought leader and disruptor: you are impacted from every nook and cranny of your life, from those whose voices you bring into your life including family, friends & children.

Can you share a story with us?

Generally I have a very positive attitude however one day as I was driving my youngest to daycare; it was just before dawn and pouring rain. I gave out a huge sigh and my daughter asked what was wrong. I shared with her that I was tired and didn’t like when it rained so hard. In her chipper upbeat voice she said, “I like the rain mommy, it makes everything sparkle.” At that very moment not only did my perspective change but I realized that if a four year old has the power to shift my mindset to joy, we as leaders possess that power as well. To bring out the rainbow before the rainstorm passes is my definition of a disruptor.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

To create a movement that initiates equity for all. Every conversation has potential to connect those inside and outside your circle. To become the person in the room that says, “I’ve got someone who can help you with that” and allow that opportunity to pass through you to lift others up. That can build major change. You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

In the beginning of my career I believed telling people what to do and how to do it defined myself as a “boss”. I have grown to realize the moment you, not just share your passion, but assemble a group of individuals with equal passion and then teach them how to lean into it truly defines you as a leader.

How can our readers follow you online?

Linkedin @tracyftacek

Instagram @tracyftacek

My beauty companies: & Pretty Convenient app in the apple or android store

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Female Disruptors: Tracy Ftacek of Pretty Convenient Salon On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.