We were lucky to catch up with Christian Iles recently and have shared our conversation below.
Christian, appreciate you joining us today. When did you first know you wanted to pursue a creative/artistic path professionally?
I was attending and studying Business at the University of Texas in Austin; really struggling with some of the classes like Micro and Macro Economics at the end of my junior year, when I got a call from my father informing me that my mother had stage four cancer. I finished the semester and moved home to Houston. I couldn’t really attend another University there as all my electives were completed, as well as most of the core classes. My mother was insistent that I continue my education. While having a heart-to-heart conversation; she suggested I attend cosmetology school. Within a few weeks I was enrolled and enjoying learning how to make people look and feel their very best. Now thirty-two years later, I’ve never look back.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
Fresh out of cosmetology school, I trained at luxury boutique salons like Jacques Dessange and Jose’ Eber. I quickly learned that I did not want to work for a salon, but rather as an independent contractor. Early in my career, I was fortunate enough to do the hair and makeup for a number of local celebrities and newscasters in Dallas, TX That quickly blossomed into working as the featured hair and makeup artist at ABC’s Good Morning Texas for a number of years. This platform allowed me to work on Hollywood’s A-listers, sport figures, entertainers, and even heads of state. I was probably most proud to have worked on Heath Ledger, Former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, First Lady Laura Bush, and Naomi Judd, just to name a few. I’ve also had the honor to work as a makeup artist, fragrance specialist, and skincare specialist at Christian Dior’s National Flagship Boutique in Highland Park Village in Dallas, TX But my greatest achievement today is being the CEO of Christian Iles Hair Care, a high-end luxury hair care line. My vision for the line was nothing short of majestic as I created the perfect regal look for any type of hair. My three products are the Bio-Repair Shampoo, Bio-Repair Conditioner, and Serum, made from all-natural ingredients sourced from all over the world.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
With the launch of my hair care company one year prior to the Covid-19 pandemic; I was preparing myself and my company for great growth and success. What I have learned most is to be resilient in learning and studying your competitor. It doesn’t do any good to be jealous or depressed because of the success of others. Rather one must look at what is making that person or that company a leader in the industry. Integrate what they do with what you know you do best. Like many other startup companies, the pandemic hit my company hard as well. I had submitted my products to hundreds of companies to only be either overlooked or not seen at all because of everything shutting down. Stores and boutiques stopped buying. I hope now that we are all through the hard part of the pandemic as stores are opening back up and making purchases. My best advice is to set up a special account with working capital funds for emergencies or unforeseen situations like a pandemic.
Is there mission driving your creative journey?
I think it must be said that for one to be successful in their creative journey; they must first discover who they truly are and what their passion in life is all about. In the beauty industry, my career has had many ups and downs. I learned early on that I must reinvent myself from time to time. This has helped me to not become stagnant and bored with my career. Focus on what you do best and constantly build on those successes. As I have been quoted in InStyle Magazine years ago, “Don’t be trendy, be the trendsetter.”
- Website: https://christianiles.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christianiles_/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christian.iles/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christian-iles-baaba71b4/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristianIles
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MrChristianiles
- Yelp: https://biz.yelp.com/home/QRREFxIgBkgHsLhIq9p8MQ/
All photos are by Dixie Dixon except the photo of me applying makeup on the model, that is Robert Swinson