We had the good fortune of connecting with Ayumi Matsunami and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ayumi, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
A habit, I feel, that has played a significant role in my success is being organized; both in my personal life as well as my professional life. As a hairstylist, my approach to organization has taken me from an associate position to an educator in the 6 years that I have been in the industry. It is important to me to not only have short term goals but also long term goals written down, and to actively dedicate time to reflect on how to better contribute to my goals. I believe small daily habits such as going into work early to have my tools prepared is essential in setting me up to have a productive and successful day; equally important is applying these habits consistently. By staying consistent, I am able to provide each and every client the best version of myself and the level of service they have come to expect and deserve.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets me apart from others in my industry is that I am constantly learning and furthering my training. Currently, during COVID-19, I have changed my focus to working on my business rather than in it. With more time available now than ever, I have taken multiple amazing virtual classes from some of the top names in the hair industry and I am so excited to apply these techniques to my clients once it is safe to go back into the salon. I believe trends are ever changing, no one knows everything, and you can always improve to be better than you are. Going from an associate to an educator in the 6 years I have been a stylist, I have devoted a lot of time and passion into my craft. I am so grateful to be at a salon that has continued to push me toward achieving my dream. As I’ve grown in this industry, a lesson I’ve learned is the importance of short term and long term goal setting; being very intentional with my goals and setting clear plans for achieving them. Working in a creative industry that is constantly changing, it’s important for me, professionally, to always be striving for more.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Believe it or not, I am actually a homebody, but there are definitely some amazing places I can’t wait to visit again once Shelter-in-Place is lifted. With that being said, if my best friend was visiting, I would definitely start in Downtown Saratoga. I would start the day with a cup of coffee at Sue’s Gallery Cafe, a cute aesthetic spot that serves coffee and tea in homemade pottery mugs. They also have a small extended space where they display all of the homemade pottery that are for sale. Then, I would follow up with blow out appointments at my personal favorite spot, my work, Michael Anthony Salon. I would then grab to-go lunches from Big Basin Burger Bar where you can build your own burger or, something I like to get, their salmon nicoise salad. With our to-go lunches in hand, we would head on over to Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino hills. At Ridge, we would enjoy one of their many amazing wines while enjoying the beautiful view overlooking the Bay Area. Hockey is my favorite sport so we can’t end the day without catching a San Jose Sharks hockey game, followed by a bacon wrapped hot dog right outside the stadium! I would definitely make sure we enjoy the nice weather that the Bay Area has to offer with one of my favorite hikes in Saratoga, Castle Rock State Park. Here, you can spend hours if you want hiking trails and seeing some amazing views of the Saratoga hills and wilderness. Another area I personally love is Santana Row, an outdoor mall where you can find many shopping and dining options while enjoying the nice weather. My absolute favorite spot in Santana Row to decompress and get a great sweat sesh on is at Barry’s Bootcamp, so I would definitely take a workout class there and introduce my best friend to all my favorite trainers. Then we would follow it up with the best french toast and brunch at Left Bank and obviously some retail therapy. Another restaurant I would recommend in Santana Row would be Pizza Antica where they change their menu depending on the season; guaranteeing the freshest ingredients. There are definitely way more things and places to visit in the Bay Area but those are some one my personal favorites.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to Michael, Sharon and Connie, the owners of Michael Anthon Salon where I have been fortunate enough to work my entire career so far. They have supported and invested in my growth, as both a stylist and an educator, and I could not be more thankful. By creating a salon culture that inspires and motivates stylists to achieve their full potential, I have been able to further my education and training. Education has always played a huge role in molding me into the stylist I am today and, when I approached them with my decision to become an educator myself, I was fortunate to have them believe in me and provide me with a platform where I can hone my skills while pursuing my dreams.

Instagram: @hairbyayumi

Image Credits
Sarahi Hadden @sarahihadden