Long before she repped one of the world’s top cosmetics companies in one of the world's most famous cities, Genevieve Carmichael Thoris did hair in Champaign.
“I spent a lot of time working part-time as a hairdresser at Identity Hair Salon on East John Street, right underneath Bogart’s, to finance my studies at the College of Communications," says the Paris-based founder/CEO of We Do Hair and former brand director at L’Oréal of Paris,.
“The salon’s interior walls were painted a rather jarring purple and one of the stylists actually had purple hair," adds Thoris, who graduated with high honors and a bachelor's in advertising. "Nonetheless, I spent most of my days performing rather tame services like pale golden highlights and crew cuts. We had a wide range of clientele from the university — kids from the Chicago suburbs, international exchange students and engineering teaching assistants.
“It was a great place to experience the richly diverse student body of the U of I and to engage in real, albeit quick, conversation with a wide variety of students, cutting through stereotypes and unearthing the shared university experience — the stress, the self-discovery, romantic challenges, anxiety about post-graduation life — in the way that only your hairdresser can.”