ep25 – Leah Freeman

This week, I’m really excited to sit down and chat with my dear friend Leah Freeman. Leah is one of the industry’s top recognized colorists, a successful salon owner, and the Global Healing Color Director for L’ANZA.

  • Leah shares how she struggled in school, turning to beauty school on a whim. Turns out, that decision was a life-changer
  • Because she had such a hard time learning as a student, she was driven to start teaching for brands so she could help others who might be struggling
  • Learning about money and financial choices is very important, and Leah thinks it should be taught in high school
  • Everything is changing so quickly in the hair industry that education is essential. Listen how Leah compares education to working out.

Complete Transcript

Chris Baran 0:00
How great would it be to get up close and personal with the beauty industry heroes? We love and admire and to ask them how did you learn to do what you do? I’m Chris Baran, a hairstylist and educator for 40 plus years, and I’m inviting all our heroes to chat and share the secrets of their success

Well, welcome to head cases. I’m really excited about this week’s guest because her work has been featured in dozens of industry magazines. She has been recognized in our industry as one of the top 20 most recognized colorists. She’s a successful salon owner of Fuse salon out of the Chicago area. I’ll catch this voted Citizen of the Year not many people get that won by her community. She is She collaborates with the L’ANZA global creative team to forecast on trend color palettes and techniques. She is the global healing color director for L’ANZA she’s a teacher, mentor, visionary award winner and a dear friend. So let’s give it up for this week’s headcase Leah Freeman. Leah Freeman. It is going to sound weird for the people that are watching or listening right now. Because you know sometimes I don’t know the people that are on here. I’m meeting them for the first time so they’re becoming my new best friend. But Leah has been a best friend of mine for a while got an eye on 100 years you can tell by looking at me but not my her. Lea. It is a pleasure. I mean, we used to work together all the time. And I missed that so much. And it is such a pleasure to have you on here.

Leah Freeman 1:51
Yeah, and I just want to say it’s an honor to be on here. I think when I got the initial invite I was taken aback so you are my very first international audience I ever actually does as a facilitator I did with you in Canada and I have some great memories or stories about that but

Chris Baran 2:10
that was good that was for chatters wasn’t it Yeah, why did chatters there was we’ve done many a thing together so I you know, I just want to say it’s a pleasure. I’m gonna I just want to while I I want to just relive a couple of those things together because before we really get into some of the meat and potatoes because I can always remember back at this is when just as an intro, you heard it in the introduction that you know she’s the grand Pooh bah with with Long’s and now but we’re in our read can days together at the red can exchange it was always color no why cut know why that went on together? And forgive me if it was it not was you Patrick and George? Yep. Yep. And, and then there was myself and, and either Sam or whomever else it was with, with the cut and dry group. And it was just the you know, the fun was, I think we always challenged each other to you know, who could get the most flip chart pages up on the walls and what and see if we could wallpaper that but it was also, you know, what was so much fun was yes, the teaching was there. But the camaraderie that happened between all of us, you know, and how, you know, you’d go out and have a drink after and you know, just have laughs and stories. And I think that’s the that’s the part that I think that most people never get to see.

Leah Freeman 3:35
Yeah, I have to agree. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times they went back and they went back to your house and Rita would make you know, appetizers and we’d have lemon cello. And, you know, it was always such a such a great, it’s just yeah, it’s the friendships, people don’t realize that we really are friends. And I think that’s the thing. I think when people work together in a lot of industries, my experience has always been what you see on the outside looks one way but on the inside, is it really the same. And it was really the same. You know, it’s like, what you saw there is what you saw at home too. So

Chris Baran 4:07
and I think it was you know, it’s also the, the values that you have, you know, and I think that’s one thing that I’ve always admired about you is you’re a super strong woman and you you always gave a good, clear and honest and really respected opinion on everything that you have in our classes. You know, and when when we would because for those of you who didn’t know the always everybody that was at the exchange saw the class, they saw it from 930 to five and then they didn’t they didn’t see the debrief that went on for like sometimes two hours after that, while we were all learning what to do and learning to become better. And then sometimes it was it was people had to hear stuff that we didn’t always want to hear it on how to make it better, but you were always there and just always saying okay, good. What do I need to do to be better at what I do and that’s But I always admired about you, girl. I appreciate that. I really do. Yeah. So I mean, let’s face it took two times have changed. Yeah, you’re now with with and won’t want to talk about your career as it’s going now because yes, I do stalk you, we get to see for everybody watching and listening right now we do pass in the dark, when we’re at shows together. But I want to, I want to go back so that the people that know you on here are going to know your history, they might not know the the stuff that got you there. But I want for the people that who might be the first time that have this incredible opportunity to meet you is to know a bit of your background where you came from. So I want to know, did you was hair always the gig? Did you like wake up? And you said, I’m going to be a hairdresser? Or was how did it start off? What took you to it?

Leah Freeman 5:51
So crazy. So I struggled my whole life in school. And I found out very late in life that I was dyslexic. And so right before I was getting ready to graduate from high school, I was the lower 10% of my class, huge class. And I had found out like a week before I was going that I was not graduating with my graduating class. And I remember like having to go home and tell my mom and dad that. And I knew at that moment that college was not going to be an option. Like all my friends are visiting these universities and all this stuff. And my parents always knew that if I were to go to college, it was going to probably be State College. So I went home talking to my mom and dad and I was just expressing to them my heart everything was and and then I had to tell them this devastating news, they weren’t gonna see me graduate, and I’m their only child. So it’s not just like going up against and saying, Hey, I’m not graduating, but oh, by the way, I’m the only one that you have. And you don’t get to see it happen. My mom was like, who cares? It’s okay, who cares? Do you try your best? I said no leash, you’re honest. So there were times I probably didn’t try. But let’s just be honest. And we were times I probably didn’t do there. So um, yeah. So I told my parents, I want to backpack through Europe. And my dad said, Well, that would be awesome if we were wealthy, but that’s not the case. So you need to go to college or get a full time job. And I thought, full time job. So I went to college, I sign up for state school. I went there for about a week. And I realized that it was like high school, but way harder. And I knew I was like so far behind already. So I had a friend that was going to Beauty School, and her mom’s like, watch, go to beauty school. And I thought, okay, so I signed up. And at the time, it was like $5,500. I remember like going thinking, wow, like I was looking at college, and it was 1000s and 1000s of $5,500. And I signed up and I got my nurse’s uniform, because back then, you know, you were all white. And I got my white nurses shoes. And I don’t know, I just shipped off there with a mustache and an eyebrow and never painted my fingernails. I mean, I was nothing at all that was you know, that represented beauty industry at all, not even fashion focus for nothing. And I don’t know, three, four weeks I was there. And I’m like, it’s a pretty good gig. And I like it. And you know, it took me longer than most kids get through it. I mean, because of my own struggles. But once I started getting the hang of stuff, I think that’s why for me teaching is where I end up turning next, because I saw like, how hard it was for me. And I think I realized I could relate to other people that have the same problem that I do. So that’s where I think my turning point my career wise, but yeah, going to Beauty School was just on a whim. And I had nothing else to do and I happen to talk to the right person that day. So

Chris Baran 8:45
I guess you know, when we were having our glasses of lemon cello, I should have been asking more questions. Because we share a lot in common and you know, only child. I always say I put mine a little softer than yours. When I say that I was in the half of the class that made the top half possible. I was I won’t say which part of the bottom half I was, but I never I never graduated either. And but one thing I want to be really clear about because one thing I have found is there are there are a lot of dyslexic people in the hairdressing industry. And I think that one thing I really want to put down on this is word or to challenge is some people, they, they think that your intelligence is lower, because your grades aren’t good. And that is the farthest thing from the truth. And I will I will honestly say that, you know, I think I am dyslexic to a small degree or Well, I had somebody told me that you’re either dyslexic or you’re not. And there’s various forms. However, I didn’t realize until I started to teach that I was actually intelligent and I was actually Mark, I always thought that I was that because I didn’t finish grade 12 Because of that dyslexia that I was stupid. And I think that’s what the myth even though there wasn’t a name for it when I was there, it was just your grades were low, therefore, you’re stupid there, you’re not going to mount anything? And what the hell, you might as well be a hairdresser, because you can’t be anything else. Yeah, and, and I think that’s one thing I want anybody listening to this program is that people are dyslexic, you know, have the same level of intelligence, they just need to be trained and taught differently. Yeah. And I think that’s where people like yourself. So, you know, like right now is that with that dyslexia? How, if you had to say to somebody has that helped? Has it hindered, as it helped you in the degree when you’re on the road teaching now? What would What’s that like for you?

Leah Freeman 10:48
I think, a couple of things to be honest, as I’ve gone further in my career, and emails are more present. Now the number and text messaging obviously to I do way better communicating via talking versus reading. So my, like, if I’m work with another director, or my, you know, my head of education, if her and I are talking, she knows, like I struggle with like long, ongoing emails. So I’m always like, really open about, hey, cues, break that down and bullet points and just make it a little bit easier for me. So that kind of stuff. Yeah, it’s hard. But I feel like, as a facilitator, I feel like, I’m really strong because I can touch the audience that has a hard time falling along. Yeah, you know, it’s like, I have ways of bringing humor into it, or I have ways of expressing ways of learning differently than just like being very black and white. Like, I find little gray areas, and I throw a little color areas and all that stuff that I feel like everybody understands, even though like I’ll use examples that have nothing to do with hair at all, and I’ll bring it back. And people are like, Oh, my gosh, I completely understand it now. Yeah. And it’s like, because I learned the way you learn. And that’s something for me. So yes, I think long term, it’s helped me. But there are things I do struggle with sometimes still.

Chris Baran 12:05
Yeah. One thing I noticed that a lot when in teaching with you, that you have that ability. Let me back this up a second. I think sometimes what happens to people that are good with words, they tried to memorize stuff, and they try to they try to say here’s my bullet points, what am I one of my subs that are going to talk about a nice bullet bullet point. And then they it becomes like a script that they want to read in their brain. And then they fumble, because it’s just that, and I Well, this became super evident to me was, was some videos that we were shooting we were having to was I believe you were there. We were having to do voiceovers on this color, video, etc. And I remember George being there. And they had, they had all these scripts that were written out on a flip chart paper. And then you had to sort of look at him, grasp them, and then say them. And then I remember that George, who is of the same ilk as we are, and is dyslexic, and he’s he just could not do it. And then the, the guy that was smart enough that was on the audio engineer said to George, hey, listen, just say this. And he would read the script to them. And he would just say put that in your own words. Yeah. And then George would just spout it off, because it would it was to him it was a visual or, or a thought and was a thought process he could just talk about rather than trying to get every word out verbatim. So you know, I guess to that point is that anybody that is out there that is, is struggling with dyslexia, or if you’re just starting in hairdressing school, and and you’re saying I’m dyslexic, and they’re having a harder time? No, there is, and there is a road at the end of the tunnel. And you just have to find teachers or your own self that can help you with, with the struggle, and teach you in the way you needed to be where you need to be taught. It just

Leah Freeman 14:06
it’s interesting, because we address adult learning so much differently than how kids learn. And I feel like going through so much training with you and Sam, and you know, the whole crew, you know, the way we teach to adults, we never consider that for kids. And it’s funny, because if we could touch kids like we do with adults and learning, it could change everything. But we go back to the old school way because this is the way we’ve done it for 100 years. And it’s like it would it works for 60% of people and the other 40% get left behind. It’s like so

Chris Baran 14:41
yeah, it yeah, don’t get me started on that whole one of that. All I had to say is that if we could, if we just treated everybody in adult learning like they were kids again, and the people that were in the audience could put out of their brains, the stigma that they have that you’re going to be judged. There’s so much of that crap that goes on in our world that if we could just leave that stuff alone, and just come into a class just with an open brain, and just like, Okay, I’m going to draw something and just have fun with it, and screw it if you’re going to make a mistake. Whereas we up we always know that we’ve always been judged, we move up higher if we’d been if we score well, we were seen badly if we score low, just like it wasn’t school. And so we tend to protect ourselves. And I, and I think that that that’s one thing, I’m so glad that we have people like yourself in our industry where you understand the difference, and you can make people feel worthy when they’re teaching and they’re learning. Yeah, so let’s so I want to take just push forward now, like where I want to talk about you went and you went to school, where did you did you work for people? Did you just start off and then want to have a salon? What? Well, God, no.

Leah Freeman 15:59
So I worked for this lady. Her name was Vivian D’Amato, she mentored me at first, she was my very first mentor. And she opened a second location that which at the time was in Frankfurt, and then I went to go SIS to under a woman named Jennifer Seward. Chesky. And the best way to describe Jen is like this beautiful blond hair blue eyed super smiley, everyone loves her. She just, you know, has beautiful kids and her husband’s amazing and all these things. And then there’s me, you know, you know, serious all the time. What’s wrong? Why don’t you smile, blah, blah, blah. I always wear black, a lot of dark lipstick, you know, totally anti cheerleader. And I remember i Sister Jen and man, she, she had so much belief in me. And it’s just, it’s crazy to look back at how many times like, she would just make me redo something or she would, you know, walk in the back room. And she was like, I’ll get you to smile one day. And I just remember like, one day I was leaving the salon, and I could hear her calling my name in the parking lot. It was like 915. And I was getting into my, my, my two door. What was that Pontiac GrandAm. I just found it. So yeah, it was hot car. And I remember I could hear Jen yell on my name and yell at my name. And I just kept ignoring her. And she goes, Lee I can I know you could hear me. And I thought I turned I said, What? And she’s like, You know what, if you don’t believe in yourself, no, no one will ever believe in you. And I thought I do believe in myself. And then I got the car. I’m like, but I don’t. And I that was like the turning point for my career. And I and I don’t know, I walked in the salon the next day, and I wore a bright pink shirt, and I still have black pants on. And she’s like, Oh, you’re wearing color today. And it was like the turning point for our friendship. And I’m still to this day. She’s still one of my best friends. It’s awesome. Yeah. So I worked there for about seven, eight years. And then I decided to move about 20 miles south. And my parents and I decided to go into business together. And we opened up our very first location, which was fuse. And we were there for about this isn’t the same cities. Yeah, no, this is like 20 miles south. Oh, gotcha. So we open up that location. We were there for about 13 years, and then we decided to move our location back up north. I had gotten gone through some changes in my life and my parents had had moved so we decided to go back up north. So we built a location while we took a salon over in the meantime, and our whole staff came along. They were super excited. So we opened our newest location, it’s going to be eight years in November. And then three years ago we opened up an apparel store so I own an actual huge clothing store with we actually have a clothing line to now that we just started selling online. And then we have the salon still so the salons been

Chris Baran 18:59
outbid for dyslexic girl finished in the top 10 In the bottom 10% of the classroom 10%

Leah Freeman 19:04
I know crazy to think I swear I think my parents for a while thought she’s gonna live in our basement forever. I’m pretty sure every moments my dad’s like, we’re gonna see her forever she knows she can’t leave and she can be one of those kids

Chris Baran 19:23
so what was so let me so you got there now when opening the first salon to the second was there. You know, I think that everybody in what I hear nowadays is from everybody and I know I’m not going to go down the rabbit hole whether things should be independent or whether they should be commissioned or whatever. But I want to take it back to when you started the first salon and did you when you first went in there what was it like is it was it everybody says I’m gonna put my shingle up there and the money is going to come rolling in and everything’s going to be golden and I’m going to be able to drive Corvettes and have airplanes and etc.

Leah Freeman 20:00
Yeah, that’s the way staff thinks too, though. I could say, I mean, I’ll, I’ll be completely transparent with you, in a 13 year time period that we were at that location, there’s a reason why we changed locations. You know, they say locations, everything it is we over took a space that was really, really big was like 4000 square feet, this lawn was 2000 square feet, I didn’t utilize the space appropriately. I really let I let my dad not take hold of my spending. Or, you know, I was traveling a lot. The salon wasn’t getting busier, I was never really big on accountability with people, like I look at now and look at like how, you know, I look at a very good friend of mine, Jason Morgan, who I know, you know, when I look at the success he has, and like he taught me he’s like, Leah, you guys have to have rules. And I never wanted to be the girl that gave the rules. And so the 13th time, time period, my parents put $1.3 million in our location to keep it open. Wow. And I just think like, the reason why we moved to Zoo because my dad was done, he was like, I’ve had it this this, this is bullshit. We’re done here. I’m this is a, this is a nonprofit double. I’m, this is my retirement we’re talking about now. So my mom at the time, she was still alive. She’s like, Michael, we have all these employees, and we’re gonna let them down. And my dad, like coming back to human kindness was like, You know what, you find a location. That’s, that’s better. And you promised me that you’re going to let me help you run this. And we’re going to have equal opportunity here, we’re gonna have some rules. And we’re going to have to start like creating like boundaries. I said, Okay. So, six months later, I found a location, my dad chose to fund it. We opened in downtown historic Frankfort, and this one location when we built our other one. And within three months, we were profitable. Nice. So when people talk about hardship on life, there was a lot of hardship to it. But you know, I always think about Jason and Jamie, I had so many conversations, I’m talking crying evening for my dad, and I’d be screaming at each other. My parents talk about getting divorced. I mean, it was a thing. And not to get likes down some like sad road. But we were at that location for a year, we moved into the new location the second year, and I always say what do you believe in God or the universe, whatever it is, I know that my mom stayed alive long in a long enough to make sure that we were successful. Because if we weren’t my dad, and I would have no relationship whatsoever, because it was that bad. So I feel like my mom was there as long as she needed to be and then she knew I can leave them now they’re in a good place.

Chris Baran 22:43
Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. God bless your mom for that. The end your your dad, and you now like because he it now? I because I quote you on other programs that I’ve done here, and I’m hoping that it was you and not somebody else. But I always remembered, wasn’t it your dad said that he called staff meeting staph infections and infections. Yeah, he would he wouldn’t. He said, You can’t come in. There will be no staph infections on our meeting. You have to come in with a solution. Yeah, it would just problems. Yeah,

Leah Freeman 23:12
just problems. Yeah, we still had that same. We had that same mantras. So everything is problem solution solve. We don’t allow staph infections, which means big break rooms that are just a lunch a bunch of drama and nastiness. Like you participate or sit in a conversation that someone’s being a jerk. You are a jerk to so yeah, we are very transparent with our staff about that. And I feel like we have a good relationship because of that with our staff.

Chris Baran 23:37
You and your dad. Oh,

Leah Freeman 23:38
they love there’s a lot of Michael. I’m like Michael can be a jerk just so everyone knows. No, you’re against the best. I’m like okay.

Chris Baran 23:50
Oh, yeah, well, God bless him for that too. So the so that now I want to jump forward so you’ve got that the salons profitable. You’ve since then opened up the the clothing store Yep. And it’s just a little off topic from where I was gonna go but what I I love and I hate about the what I love about our industry and what I hate about the reputation of our industry is that people can’t make money in our industry. And and I I’ve went down this road many times about how just I’d love to be able to just share I can share my tax records. I want to just and I don’t mean that and look comparison look what I have, look what you look at how the when applied properly in our industry, we make as much or more than most professionals and I’m going to use if you’re not watching, I’m using air quotes with my fingers now, that people I know it’s not it’s not No, it’s not unusual for people to be able to make six figures There’s I mean, that I know, I know people that that, that generate I know one person and generate on his own men. Daniel Jones, on his own generates a million dollars himself.

Leah Freeman 25:13
Yeah by himself. Yeah.

Chris Baran 25:15
And and so tell me what would you say to? If somebody was like, your parents? And when you went to talk to your parents about becoming a hairdresser? Yeah, or, or somebody else, what would you say to that parent?

Leah Freeman 25:33
You know, I had this conversation to be honest with you all the time. And it’s funny, because I think people automatically assume because you own the salon, you’re the one making all the money. But there have been many of times, my staff has made more than I have, as a salon owner, you know, because you do invest a lot back in your staff and your business and keeping the place update and all that stuff. But I always say like, look at my staffs, cars. I mean, look, I mean, let’s, let’s really look at like, all my girls, almost all of them except for they’re really young ones live on their own, they own houses, they get their own mortgages. Like, there’s not a prouder moment, though, when I get a phone call from a bank, you know, it’s like, I have a girl that’s almost 100% debt free. And she’s like, 25 years old. So I think that perception comes from not the people in our industry, of course, I think it comes from the people outside of our industry. But I also feel like to where the perception perception comes into play too, is how people claim their taxes. So we do have a lot of people that work and I’m just, you know, I’m a taxpayer, I get it, it sucks. But the reality is, if we continue to allow our industry to claim 15 $20,000, for taxes, people are going to continue to believe that that’s what people make. So it’s like, there’s that too. So, you know, I don’t know, for me, I think you said it perfectly. I think you can go into any business and make a ton of money. There are tattoo artists making a million a year, there’s a husband paints, cars, I mean, he had a $10.5 million car in his garage last week, people would have their head would have blown open and like he’s just a car painter, you know, but it’s, it’s how the perception of the field is, is I think it’s been a behavior allowed by a lot of people. And whenever that conversation happens in my salon, I shut it down really quickly, especially with a parent. And I basically walked them through, like, let me share with you a couple things, you know. Yeah, you know, so I have girls that make more money than their husbands?

Chris Baran 27:32
Yeah, well, yeah. And that’s not uncommon. Yeah. That’s not uncommon. You know, it’s it’s, yeah, I think that’s what I that’s what I do love about our industry. And I’ve said this and other programs that I’ve done, but I want people if they want the shortest answer of what when people say, what, what can you expect to earn in our industry? And I’ll just say to them exactly what you deserve? Yeah. What do you want to put into it? If you put the time and the energy in? And if you think of it, like a it’s gonna sound weird. But if you think of it, like an investor, you know, is that you have to be able to make money? And if you’re, if you’re just putting yourself on the clock, and most people if you have an employee mentality, nothing wrong with that. Absolutely. But if you have an employee mentality means how much money can I make during the hours that I have in my business, whatever business that is. And if you can take that, and then you can say, Okay, I’ve got that amount of money, but now I’m going to be able to pay certain amount of things off. And then I’m also going to take a certain amount of that money and invest it for my future. And I’m, I’m being a bit of a hypocrite when I say this, because I never did it when I was young. Because I had to do it 10 times fold when I’m older, because Chris taught it we’re not yet bingo. If you know that same kids that come to work, you’re at 25 in their in their you know their it’s I don’t care if you’re independent if you’re working in a commission base, but what are you doing to set aside money for yourself? So because you know, is I was teaching a program last week, and I just put it in, I hit somebody between the eyes with a two by four metaphorically. Because we were talking about, oh, well, this long gets all of this, I said, look at your job is if you’re working in a job, your jobs is take care of you and your family. That’s your job. And if you if you do it wisely, and you’ll work in a place that helps you and you work in a place that will help you guide you financially so that you can not only pay off your debt, but you can put money aside and you can put money aside so you have it for your future or you can invest invest in something where you have passive income. Yeah. And that may be a salon. It may be another business, it may be just that you’re going to just have something that you can make money while you sleep. And I think that if we would have those programs in our industry that’s that that wouldn’t change anything.

Leah Freeman 29:59
cuz that’s my, I use that terminology all the time make money while you sleep. I’m like, it is my goal in life like I, every year, I have another goal of how much money I want to make or what I want to achieve. And I know people say money doesn’t buy happiness. But it definitely helps. So yeah, I mean, it definitely helps. I don’t want to work till I’m 80. You know, and my whole thing is like, to your point. And it’s people like you that I feel like having these podcasts and talking to our industry about how important it is to set aside and things that we did wrong, because I didn’t start setting the side either. And here I am a dad, that is a frickin financial genius, but he’s not going to tell me what to do. My husband other hand, he has a lot of opinions on my spending. But you know, it’s funny, I’ll sit there and talk to somebody that will have a $3,000 handbag, but doesn’t have a savings account. And it’s just we have to address this in school like this should be a program in beauty school.

Chris Baran 30:58

Leah Freeman 30:59
it should be a program in high school. I think to myself, how many kids leave. My husband, I listened to these things all the time. They leave high school, they go to college spend there, we listen to a guy that had a million dollars in college debt. What bank would give somebody a million dollars for college? Or 500,000? And we’re talking they’re having six and $7,000 a month in college debt. It’s like, oh, my gosh, yeah. But our credit card debt, I can go on and on. This is talking about the rabbit hole.

Chris Baran 31:34
Yeah, no, and but it’s true. And I think that if we can, if we can help people in our industry understand what that is to be debt free, and to have money on the side and investments so that you’re making money while you sleep. And that takes care of your family. Yep, you know, so at the end game, you can sleep at night and all those things. That’s a, you know, you and I have to collaborate on something, I

Leah Freeman 31:54
love that I would do that with you in a heartbeat. So

Chris Baran 31:56
let’s just because I want to jump subjects here, just a bit on there. And, and I want to talk to you, because this is always I know you as a super loyal person. And you worked with Redken. You were read come through and through. And then you have this great opportunity to to advance when you went to Monza. And I’m sure that everybody wonder what’s what’s it like? What was that transition? Like, of moving from one to the other? Not only I mean, you can think of it well, I don’t want to learn a new color line, but it’s way more than now. You’re with different people in different cultures. And so yeah, what was that like for you at the beginning,

Leah Freeman 32:36
I first want to say that I tell the story in every class. So I want to start with I was with Redken for 13 years. And because of Redken is where I’m at because of Chris Baran is where I’m at like, because of the people that laid the path and taught me is why I am where I’m at. The reason why I left Redken to come to L’ANZA was just opportunity, it was an opportunity to do something that there were three people in seat at Redken, that I knew still had a long time to go. And this company needed help. And I was going to help build a bridge and I’ll never forget David Berglas and I were on the phone. And he’s like, listen, L’Oreal is a great brand. He’s like, but they have built some of the strongest bridges. He’s like, I’m looking for someone to help me build a bridge. And I thought, Damn, that’s a really cool way of saying it. Like, I want to help build a bridge. That’s just really cool. So when I moved over, at first, it was a struggle. I’m not gonna lie, like, I had so many good friends at rockin that going L’ANZA I knew nobody it was like walking into a classroom when school’s been in session for years, and you’re brand new to the community. You know, it’s like, there were certain people that took me under their wing like immediately like brandy heater, the Vice President, she became like, my soul sister almost immediately, I am in and I like we went back like carseats Matt and I was a little more of a struggle, but it was fine. Maxim more earned the right type of guy, which I get it, you know, I was brand new, and he was protected with the brand. But overall, the experience was, it was challenging. You know, I had to make sure when I went onstage, I would say L’ANZA Potter to colorizer not up to seven, you know, it’s like, oh my god, like you’re literally deprogramming

everything you gotta remember being up there. And I’m like, that’s a cat trick. But don’t say catch up and don’t say catch up.

Chris Baran 34:27
You know, and then as soon as you didn’t say don’t say it, then your brain wants to

Leah Freeman 34:30
know. So, you know, I think the thing was is, you know, at first I thought really disloyal because I see a lot of artists that jumped to brands, but, you know, I felt like when I left, you know, I talked to Sherri Doss. It’s such a great conversation with her. Suzanne Sturm reached out to me. Everybody was so kind about it. Sam, you You texted me right away. Ruth Roche saw me on the road and she’s like, you bitch. I said, Why? Because you’ll never have to do energy ever again. It’s

always like, what do I do for energy? Because that was the thing that made me so nervous. I could talk to 1000s. But tell me to go do energy. I’m like, What am I doing to go to the gym? What am I doing? Yeah. So, you know, that was funny, but like, people really, genuinely, were nice about it, and supportive and it wasn’t like, I don’t know, it wasn’t like I was leaving religions. You know, everyone it’s like, and I think Justin Isaac says it all the time. It’s like, we’re not having a hair war. There’s so much business and it’s like, I just love like, it’s so collab with everybody. And like Jay saw me at the airport a few weeks ago, and video of me walking through the airport, and, you know, did a secret video and posted it. I just liked the fact I still have those people, you know,

Chris Baran 35:49
yeah. You know, what I love what you’ve just said there is that there’s, there’s people in our world that come either from scarcity, or you come from abundance. And, and I think that even if, if people in their goals that they have in their values that they have, one of my teachers just said a short while back, and I was redoing my notes, and I made sure to write this one down again, is that if you don’t have abundance in your life, that you are doomed to a life of frustration. Because it’s always about woulda, coulda, shoulda, you know, well, what would have been like there? Or, you know, let’s face it in our industry, it’s got to be hairdressers first. And it’s not about, you know, is there a there’s plenty of great manufacturers out there. And there’s plenty of great artists out there. And just because you’re working for one brand doesn’t mean that you can’t be friends with somebody else or share something because our whole goal is that what do we do to make hairdressers better? Yes. And if in we can just share and then say in just we elevate our industry for elevate all of our artists, we elevate our industry, if we elevate our industry, our perception goes up? Yeah,

Leah Freeman 37:02
I just did call a world in the UK last week. And I sat on the couch with four huge manufacturers, and all of us were an artists from the manufacturer. And we all sat down. And at the end of that, we all became friends. And we all had a drink afterwards. And we all do that now on social media. And I think, Gosh, 20 years ago, I don’t know if I would have been able to do that. Because we weren’t supposed to, you know, but yeah, I love that too. So right. So

Chris Baran 37:30
so, so let’s let’s kind of switch that because we kind of got a good segue there from going from a manufacturers and the camaraderie that we actually can have, you know, the I was call it the hallway talk. And but now there’s another social media, because I think even from the time when you had that opportunity to go to Lonza. In the last whatever it’s been five, six years, social media hit us really big. Influencers hit us really big. They punched us in between eyes, it took the world by storm. So and it is what it is. But I want I because you know, I think then we had all of that. And I was you know, I was stalking and I read some things that that interviews that you had done in the past. And you brought up a really interesting point on one of them about how social media has its its pros and its cons. And I think that there’s this passive aggressiveness that can happen in our social media that contributes to the the, what am I calling the mental well being of a lot of people that are out there now. Yeah. So what’s your what’s your take on that

Leah Freeman 38:50
funny? So my husband just read a study on Harvard University that talked about kids being on social media for two hours a day, that they’re seeing a 60%, decrease decrease in mental health, and how kids are on the rise of anxiety and severe depression. And it’s like, I get it as an adult, I get it, and I got thick skin, like, you really got to kick me in the door to hurt my feelings. Like it takes a lot. But I’ll tell you, you know, the one thing that I think people really understand is, it’s like Yelp. Same thing. Like to me, Yelp is like a form of social media. It’s like, someone can take your work, they could put it out there. They could say whatever they want, and people can just tag on and be nasty, and they just think it doesn’t hurt their feelings. They’re fine. You know, because because they have a following or because they work for whatever. It’s absolutely insane to me. How it’s one thing where I can control my page. This is what I was talking about. There’s one thing where I can control my page. I can post something if someone becomes a complete jerk. I can block them. I can remove their comment. But it’s another thing when a larger platform takes my work. Post it And then let somebody take me to the field and just it’s like a firing squad. And it’s like, I’ve recently went out to a very large platform with said, I find it to be horrible that you let this happen artist, like, I don’t think you understand what does for people long term. And they don’t have a response for me. And it’s like you took my work, and you let the firing squad take me and it’s like, I would do anything for anybody. I wouldn’t write a review on anybody, no matter how pissed off an airline gets me a restaurant, whatever, to go down a rabbit hole and mention people’s names and do a Yelp review, like that can affect somebody for the rest of their lives. And I just think like, that’s the part about our industry. That’s so sad to me is are we all on the same playing field? Are we all? are we all doing hair? Like it’s no different than when a customer comes in? They’re like, I think the stylist the last one I went to I think she asked my hair up, don’t you think? Don’t you think they’re trying to get a response out of me in reaction? I say, I don’t. It’s taste factor. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean you should comment. If there’s anything that comes from your social media, that’s where I’m challenged with. It’s, it’s hard, because I just think that people think that people like you and I and anybody that’s been doing it a long time. Like it’s okay, I could be an asset to them, you know? So? Yeah,

Chris Baran 41:25
I think it’s, it’s you bring up good points there. And I think that I don’t know what what’s going to happen is going to have to happen to it just to be kind again, we’ve got to get Yeah, you know, sometimes I think we’ve we’ve had so much shit that’s been filed on us over the last couple of years with COVID. You know, everybody’s wondering where things are going. And I don’t, you know, I think that people get a lot more emotionally involved than then not not that they than they should, but they get very personally involved and attached. And I think that my model is, is if I’m not going to say something to your face, then I shouldn’t put it on any social media. Yeah. You know, and by the same token is that if you? If you do want to say something, then coach it in something about I like this. This i i don’t understand helped me to understand it. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that would make it so much easier for people, etc.

Leah Freeman 42:30
I think in coaching, I always I always say this in coaching and I and I know I had to learn from one you guys, but it’s like, is it going to help them? Or is it going to hurt them? Yeah. Because if you’re if you’re telling me to help me, then tell me, but if you’re telling me to hurt me, don’t tell me anything.

Chris Baran 42:45
Yeah, you know what, and I think that’s the other thing is that people, if people truly truly understood coaching, it’s different than opinion. So if you start off something with I think you should, then that’s an opinion. Yeah. And it just means that’s what you should do. It doesn’t mean that that’s what that’s not good coaching for that person. But I think that if we can just if we can help our industry along just by number one being kind number two, you know, you can frame things in a way that you don’t have to be hurtful or that can be said in a way that is that can be taken as proper coaching in a positive in a positive manner. I realize I’m kind of jumping around here a little bit, but I I saw a post that you did, and I think this is probably was in COVID time. Okay. No, and it’s all good. It’s all good. It’s not I’m not gonna jump

Leah Freeman 43:40
from now. So naughty post so Okay, yeah,

Chris Baran 43:43
well, you know, what, I won’t I won’t give the the image that was along with it. But what I, what I here’s what I wrote the quote this. And, and you started off, he says, yesterday was a tough call. But I feel it was the right one. I stood outside our fuse family, and realize that if we want to change if we want change to happen, we have we have to make change. At that moment, we decided to take a pause at the salon. Our staff is our number one priority. Without them there is no fuse. And then you wrote, We got this. And so what I loved about that, was that the that I pictured you sitting outside your salon, you know, I know that you probably got a different car than that. Pontiac Grand and GrandAm or whatever it was, but the is just the mental thing of saying, look at if something’s not right, or if something if times are shifting, we’ve got to make a change. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Leah Freeman 44:51
Yeah, so that was COVID. So to be honest, Jason Morgan and I were talking the day before and do They sent talked about closing his salon. And he’s like, Leah, you guys have to really think about doing this. This is a real big problem and in Chicago wasn’t being talked about yet. So I called my dad on Wednesday, because I had just flown back. And people were starting to wear masks at the airport. And I called my dad and I said, What do you want to do? And my dad’s like, what do you what is your gut telling you? And I said, I think we should close until this country has a whole lot of what’s going on. We were the very first business that I know of, in the state that closed that Wednesday. It was the following Friday or Saturday when the governor finally made the call. And we didn’t even know the call was going to take place. But we knew at that moment until we knew how to control it was going on that if we didn’t put our staff first, we kept putting the expectations of what the country thought we should do at that moment, like you should stay open Sunday, my hair, Dawn, it’s like, no, my staff is important to me. And we’ve saved money for if anything ever happened. And right now, if this looks like we’re taking a few days off until we know that we can wear a mask or anything because we didn’t know anything, if you remember at that time. So we had to take a pause and just reconfigure and find out what was more important. And it was our it was our salon people.

Chris Baran 46:16
Yeah, yeah. And I want to, just to for clarity on this. This is this happened right at the beginning of COVID. Before everybody really knew what was going on. And I know there’s some people that are very strong opinion on both sides. Yeah, like what the hell we’re closing on the one side with doesn’t matter. And the other side, it was very, an regardless of where you stand in it, what I really loved about what you did is you took a stand for your team, and that was your call. And I’ll never forget, one of my mentors that I don’t get a chance to talk about often enough was Bill Ross. And one of the WHO to me was like your best friend that that helped you along when they walked outside. And you said you don’t believe in yourself no one else will. And I and I just remember, Bill having a very strategic meeting with all the team. And he said, look at I have to make some decisions here and want your input, but at the end game, I’m the one that put all the money in. So I’ve got a I would. The Is that what he said was I have to make decisions. So if you have ever got to make a decision, some are going to be right, some are going to be wrong. If they’re right, we’ll move forward. If there’ll be wrong, then I’m going to I’m going to pause what we’re at. I’m going to stop right there. I’ll admit we’re wrong. And we’re going to go in a different direction. Yeah. And so I would just pardon me if I paused a little bit there. I just got a note from Lee, who is our producer, etc. And he just said I like the word pause instead of shutdown. And I, I think that’s critical that we do is that, that when that all everything that we all had to do was it was a pause we had to take in order to make proper decisions. Yeah. And that’s what I really respect you for on that, you know, that was something that I thought was really amazing. This episode is sponsored by the salon associate accelerator from trainers playbook.com. Are you struggling with the time and cost of associate training? Do you feel like your salon is running you will get your associates on the floor, all with 90% Less time from you. So you can get back to building your business. Get them world class design, finishing color, and client care skills they’ll use every day for the rest of their career. While you focus on realizing your vision. Go to trainers playbook.com and get the salon associate accelerator. And now back to the show. While we’re on the salon, I just want to hit on there like what salon education? What what I mean, obviously, we came from this and I have kind of a throwaway question to you, but I wanted more from other people. Your perspective on education that happens in the salon? What like what is that like for you? Why How is that important? And why should other people do it?

Leah Freeman 49:29
Yeah, I think I mean, there’s 1000 reasons why I think that education is so important because our industry is constantly evolving. And the thing is, I think it’s like anything else. I always I describe education, like a piece of workout equipment. Everybody should work out, right. Get your heart moving, get your heart pumping. So you buy a piece of workout equipment. I mean, can you imagine if you bought a treadmill for 20 years ago or 10 years ago, things evolve so quickly that we want the newest and best and the greatest so that way Do we stay on trend? We stay focused, stay inspired. The reality is what we do is draining. I mean, let’s just be honest. I mean, the customer itself, I mean, we are a lot of times the only people they really can talk to, you know, or so it’s like, being able to keep that door constantly. You know, going in a circle is not the direction I want my staff to be. And I want them, you know, constantly failing, like, every time you open a new door, it’s an it’s a new, it’s a new space, you know, so yeah, I think education is key, there’s no, even if I wasn’t an educator, I can tell you education is key.

Chris Baran 50:37
Yeah. What do you and what do you run into problems? I mean, even let’s face it is you’re one of the, as we said, in our introduction, and one of the 20 most recognized colorist that there are in our industry and and and you come back to the salon, and then you’re going to talk about how important education is. But they they just put in, what, six 810 hour day? They’ve got kids at home. Yeah. And we want to get them on extra education. How like, what is the I think we’d be lying if we said that there wasn’t some negative negativity, but some pushback. Yeah, of course. So how do you how do you if you had to talk to an owner about that pushback? How do you deal with that?

Leah Freeman 51:17
It’s boundaries, I cannot express boundaries. When I do an interview, there are things that I’m very, very, very onpoint about, these are things that we do at Fuse, and if these don’t align with your beliefs, we’re not the right place for you. And that is, okay. So, to me, boundaries are everything. And that’s where that list of rules come into play. That way, nobody’s disappointed, you know, because I think what happens is, we’re so afraid, it’s almost like think about this, it’s like, doing a client consultation, but not telling the truth about the price. Right? It’s the same thing. It’s like, this client is mad, well, why are they mad? Well, I told them, I had to do all this work to tell them the cost will know, now you’ve set them up to completely fail. So it’s like, you need to be very, very, very specific on what are those five or 10 things that you expect your staff to do when they work for you? The other things I can maneuver with, or I can push aside or I can help you get through these, but these 10 things are a must have in order to work here. Yeah.

Chris Baran 52:24
Yeah, you know, and it’s to the point is that, like, I remember my teachers always saying that there’s three things that you have to have great culture, and hope I’m going to remember them all. One is they have to speak the same language. Number two, is that they have to believe in the same thing. You know, you have to have Konsum a belief in that. And, and that third one is, is is gone for me right now. But I think the thing is, is that about a belief system, is that when you interview people, we’ve got to make sure that they have the same values and the same belief system that you do. Because if they don’t, and if they vary, they’re going to be gone straight away. Yeah,

Leah Freeman 53:02
no, it’s it’s church, you have to look at business like church, if the church doesn’t fit what you believe in, you wouldn’t go to that church. Right? And that’s okay. You’ll find a church that fits for you.

Chris Baran 53:14
Yep, exactly. So this is another thing that I get a question that I get asked as, you know, an industry leader and then having to go and do ordinary work. Yeah. Because there’s, you know, I think the people that look and they’ll see, see Leah on stage, in whatever country you’re in, and they say, oh, must be so nice to be able to do all this creative work all the time. And then, but what’s it like when you’re you’re I mean, let’s face it in the position in your tasks to come up with palettes that are new trends that are new, and you’ve got to get that out to the masses. And yet we have our customers that come in, and some of them been with us for 1020 years? What’s that like, for the mix for you?

Leah Freeman 54:01
So let me let me make sure I’m answering the question, right. So you’re asking, like, how do you go back to the salon yet, when you’re on the road? Still stay creative? Is that how you’re saying it?

Chris Baran 54:12
Yeah, I mean, let me What’s the toughest thing about and I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, of course. But I know for like, for me, when when I’ve kind of, you know, I’m a little bit of different situation, because I’m on the road all the time creating stuff that are going out for whatever reasons, and I don’t have to be in the salon all the time. Whereas you’re in the salon all the time when you’re not on the road. Yeah. And so I can just be creative and I don’t have to worry about doing lengthened layers and abolish on, you know, 75% of my clientele when I come back to work. Yeah. What is it? What’s it like and how do you how do you work around that? creatively?

Leah Freeman 54:50
That’s a great question. So whenever I teach technique in general, for me, because cutting is way different than color, so I always tell people, what makes something commercial versus editable reel is the shades you choose. So you can do something that’s completely editorial. That was anabolic Yash. Right. So the principles still apply how you apply to color and the shade you choose and how light you take it is basically going to determine if it’s editorial versus commercial. So basically, to me editorials taking your commercial field, and just putting more gas behind it. Yeah. And I teach that from stage two, because what will happen is people will say, Well, I have guests that would never do that. Well, let me share with you what this looks like if I didn’t do vibrancy all over as a final place. And they’re like, oh, wow, I never thought about that. And I feel like in cutting to a degree, it can be the same way too. Because if you’re cutting just a basic lob, right, but you’re doing internal texture and doing a short crop top. If this is, you know, Betty Lou, that one to lob, here’s how I’d create the lob. Now, if they want to do a little more editorial, here’s how you take the twist.

Chris Baran 55:58
Yeah, I saw on your Facebook page. When you were doing this technique, obviously on whiffed. And it started out gonna have the colors mixed up. But I’m a designer, so forgive me. But you started off with a red and then it went to a blue and then a purple, and then an orange, and then back to another blue. And then it was like more of a, a fuchsia color on the end. And then But then the last clip, it showed you putting that in there, and it was vibrant. But it also had pieces cut out of it, et cetera. So what what I think would be really interesting would be is to show that because it was literally stripes. Yeah, you know, whatever it was to three stripes of color that were horizontal across it, and not blended together just one rate against the other. But then to show it with commercial colors to see, you know, look at here’s this is, this is complete, right, here’s the complete left ones more commercial ones more editorial, you know, and you can see that because I think that, you know, once you hit that stage of learning and your technique driven, so you know, okay, well, look, I’m using take that, but I’m going to use more powerful colors. We’re going to use less pronounced colors.

Leah Freeman 57:13
Yeah. That’s a good point. I yeah, I do that from stage. I’ve never done that on social. That’s, uh, I’m always looking for content. So I appreciate it.

Chris Baran 57:21
Oh, there you go. Well, you know, I would even go back on that one, you could remix that one and show that with, you know, different tones. Yeah, that’s a great because to me, that’s always like when I look at when I look at your eyeshadow right now, and I see it go from a strong and then to a little bit lighter, smokier. And then to a light, you know, the same thing can the same thing can happen there. I want to just want to hit you with this one here is because you’ve been doing a lot of international work, and as as an artist of traveling and teaching. So what do you is there a difference that you notice? I mean, I have my opinions. But you go ahead. Is there a difference when you’re traveling from country to country or going across the pond? As we say,

Leah Freeman 58:05
oh, yeah, I feel like yeah, I Yes, I definitely see a difference. I feel like the US we have pockets of people that are very editorial, where overseas, there’s a vast community that is very editorial. You see women of all ages wearing multi colors in their hair very commonly overseas you say very aggressive super cool, ripping texture haircuts, and really like over the top like colors that are still very stunning, but very considered editorial, very fashion forward there. But yet worn still beautifully. That’s where I feel like the point of difference is I feel like the pockets that here are definitely more driven to a certain age or their hairdressers, right. They’re either 25 and under, or they do hair. Were over there. They can work in the parliament. I don’t know, you know, it’s like so crazy. Like just it’s such a difference when it comes to self expression. And I think it goes back to also judgment I don’t know, it’s like, it’s interesting. Like I’ll go over there and I work with artists that don’t make mistakes and they’re not even they’re like I made a mistake and they’re not even upset about it. You know, like I mixed the wrong color where over here you make a mistake you’re like waiting to get you know snack or you don’t even mean like

Chris Baran 59:33
going out the door.

Leah Freeman 59:34
It’s definitely different. A different Yeah, feeling for sure.

Chris Baran 59:39
Yeah. What what countries do you find were the most challenging for you to teach in?

Leah Freeman 59:46
Oh, gosh. Rush Russia is a good one. Because they’re married. They don’t laugh nothing. The whole time. And I’m like, they they hate me Chris. They hate me. You know, it’s like And I’m talking to the late like, no, no, no. They’re listening. I’m like, sure. The Germans, they’re they’re very, the whole time. Yeah, I would say probably Russia, Russia, Germany. The UK is Britain, UK is a lot like us. I feel like I was just in Sweden. And there was a circumstance that happened. It’s, it’s kind of it’s really funny if you want to hear it, but I’d love it. It’s not appropriate. So everyone knows.

Chris Baran 1:00:34
Okay. We can cut it if we don’t show up. But I still want to.

Leah Freeman 1:00:38
Okay, so mark Dolan is on stage and he was going to break everybody for this sweetest dessert. And I think it’s called Feed god. I’m not sure the name of it, but I think it’s called Feed God. It’s like in the middle of the afternoon. So Alexandra is behind me, she obviously speaks the language and I’m standing next to her and marks on stage and marks like, oh, it looks like it’s 230. It’s time for some sweet feet guy. And all of a sudden, Alexandre grabs my arm. She goes, Oh, my God, he just said sweet placee. By belt out this, and everyone turns and they look at me, and I’m like, do you think they didn’t hear it? She goes, Oh, no, they heard it. They’re just embarrassed. Yeah. I realized, Oh, my God, it happened with Amazon and I to Amman, was onstage in Brazil. He speaks Portuguese. And he’s talking about braids. And he’s talking about how he loves braids in the back loves braids in the crown. But he, he or he loves braids in the front loves braids in the crown. But he really loves braids in the back. And all of a sudden, the audience is just dying. laughing Well, I don’t speak Portuguese. So the interpreter I’m using is gone. I can’t find him anywhere. And he comes back. He’s got tears running down his eyes, we have a huge audience. And he goes am and what are you trying to say? It was I’m trying to I’m trying to talk about braids. How I love braids in the front. I love braids in the crown. But I really love braids in the back, is that that’s not what you said. You said you’d like to fuck in the front, you like to fucking the crown would really like to fuck in the back. And Hammond goes, Well, it’s true.

Chris Baran 1:02:21
But it’s funny, I’ll give you one back and that

Leah Freeman 1:02:24
you don’t hear the difference in the verb, like the verb is like, it’s a small doll. It’s enough. So I always tell people, I just stick to English because I’m probably going to say it wrong. And I’ll probably say sweet plus the two so it’s just better off I just stick to what I know.

Chris Baran 1:02:42
I was doing a show in Mexico. And we always have you have the interpreter in your ear. And so it’s not that I understand it. It’s just that I’m waiting for breaks just to know when I can speak next. And, and I would but I’m listening because every time and I’m probably gonna say it wrong again here and I apologize to any of my Spanish speaking friends. But I do but right now I’m holding up a a marker, but let’s just pretend it’s a comb. And I every time I took a I said take your comb and they would say the Spanish word and and so I get okay God that’s the word that’s the word for comb. So I’ve just I’ve always heard if you try to speak the language, that there’ll be more endearing for you so I went okay, everybody grab your and I’m probably gonna say comb now instead of the other one but it’s it was I said grab your PNA and and everybody started laughing and I guess one way you say it is comb and the way I said it was your penis

Leah Freeman 1:03:48
I know what you’re saying I knew that was going there.

Chris Baran 1:03:52
But I still don’t know which one is calling which one is the other. Yeah, that’s combs. Good. Gomez. Good. Oh, Lord Almighty. Okay, just a couple things before we wrap this up, but I this is a segment where I always do rapid fire. It’s just like, I’ll throw something at you and it’s just like one word answer two word answers or whatever. Okay. The things of things that turn you on in the creative process.

Leah Freeman 1:04:22
What excites you excites me the people that are hearing it.

Chris Baran 1:04:26
Good. What stifles it. stifles creativity what stifles mean stifle what ruins it for you

Leah Freeman 1:04:34
people’s negative opinions

Chris Baran 1:04:37
Oh yeah. event that event or show that you loved you probably had many but the first one that comes to your mind or vent or show that you actually love

Leah Freeman 1:04:45
probably symposium.

Chris Baran 1:04:47
Oh nice thing in your life the things in life that you dislike the most. Not necessarily in their street in life as a whole. I just like the most Eggs. Eggs What do you love the most? Ah ah, what I love the most in life in life

Leah Freeman 1:05:18
probably say all my like all my friends and family.

Chris Baran 1:05:22
Love it. Most difficult time in your life when my mom died, oh, we’ll pray or pray for things that you hate most about butter industry.

Leah Freeman 1:05:41
Probably you help

Chris Baran 1:05:43
you help love it. person you admire the most?

Leah Freeman 1:05:47
Ah my husband,

Chris Baran 1:05:52
awesome person that you wish you could meet I mean

Leah Freeman 1:06:09
I would probably I mean, honestly, if I can meet anything or anyone, I would say if there was a God, I would love to meet God. But like before I die, obviously. Or if there’s like a leader in the universe that’s outside this world. I’d like to just have a few minutes because I have some questions.

Chris Baran 1:06:24
Yeah, that would be a really interesting conversation. Something people don’t know about you.

Leah Freeman 1:06:30
That I was a figure skater for 13 years.

Chris Baran 1:06:35
Oh, I did not know that. Okay, I’ve just month off. Where would you go? What would you do? Can’t be in here?

Leah Freeman 1:06:46
Or where am I going? I would do I would go to Mexico and I would drink a lot of liquor in a pool and get very dark

Chris Baran 1:06:54
things you’re terrified of. Oh, hi. Oh, me too. Favorite curse word?

Leah Freeman 1:07:01

Chris Baran 1:07:03
favorite comfort food?

Leah Freeman 1:07:05
I’ve so many

Chris Baran 1:07:09
French fries. Oh, yes. Pizza. Something in the industry? You haven’t done but want to?

Leah Freeman 1:07:16
Somebody says your I haven’t? I haven’t done but I want to go to like, like somewhere in Asia.

Chris Baran 1:07:23
Oh, nice. Do you know what that in Canada? We call it a do over? Do you know what to do over is know if you could do something? If something you did in the past? If you could do it over again. That’s a do over so if you had one do over what would what would it be?

Leah Freeman 1:07:39
Ah probably don’t think I would choose anything. Like everything you everything you do, even if it’s a bad experiences experience. That creates some path of greatness. So

Chris Baran 1:07:58
yeah. Okay, tomorrow, you couldn’t do hair. And you had to have a profession of some form or something you had to do, what would you do couldn’t be here,

Leah Freeman 1:08:06
I would love to be something in the criminal industry, whether that is being on Dateline. But on the other side, like talking or being like a forensic scientist, something along those lines, I find it

Chris Baran 1:08:19
fascinating. You and Maria would get along really well on that one. Okay. One last question. Yes. If you had one wish for industry, what would it be?

Leah Freeman 1:08:33
I wish that everybody could look at our industry, like all industries, with respect, and the level of kindness that we give to everybody. And just like I think, instead of judging us for making a decision based on the fact that we couldn’t do anything else, it’s such a poor thing to do. And I just wish that people could just look at us like, that was a good decision. Yeah.

Chris Baran 1:09:02
Yeah. It has been far too long since you and I chatted, I want to have the day when we can break bread again together and have some more lemon cello and nothing I’d like better than come out and I want to see one of your husband’s cars that he’s gonna be there when he paints it. While I’ll send you some pictures. Yeah, I want to see them because and I want to just sit one thing, because when you said one thing you said when they talk, my husband is just a paint car painter, but your husband is an artist. Yeah. And and he is a magnificent. The cars that they build are just absolutely phenomenal. So I just want to say thank you. Thank you. I want to say thank you, to you to your parents for helping you put all this together and being new and it’s been a real pleasure and honor having you on here and thank

Leah Freeman 1:09:55
you, Chris. I just want to thank you for always being so kind to me, you’ve all always been such a great mentor to all of us. I mean, I know for those of you that don’t know this, and I don’t know if they still call him this, but Papa Bear is what we always call them and he’s always gonna be there it is. He’s always our Papa Bear. So, just thank you for just, you’ve just loved this industry in such a great place. So

Chris Baran 1:10:18
thank you. Thanks. As always great pleasure. Thank you

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