Tracy Ftacek is the Founder and CEO of The Pretty Convenient App and Pretty Set Go. As a Paul Mitchell International Trainer, Tracy’s mission is to empower beauty stylists to take control over their beauty businesses while being disruptive in the process. She is currently disrupting the beauty industry through The Pretty Convenient App, an on-demand beauty app where her all-female team consisting of some of the industry’s top professionals deliver a convenient and stunning beauty experience to your home; and Pretty Set Go, a virtual beauty box that comes with beauty education.
The beauty industry has evolved so much in recent years; what was once seen as cutthroat and quite literally one size fits all is aiming to be more inclusive and representative of all people. How have you noticed these changes in your own career?
Sadly, the industry has been cutthroat when it comes to having voices seen and heard. However, there are micro changes that are currently taking place which inspire me. Sue Y Nabi, an inspirational leader and transgender woman, became CEO of Coty in 2020 and garners a higher pay than her predecessor. I encourage all consumers to vocalize their demand for more diversity and inclusivity. This will allow us to not just see change for the minute but experience change that will stand the test of time.
Your entire team walked out in 2016. Can you describe what that felt like and how it helped you grow into the successful leader you are today?
So many emotions rushed over me the day they all left. Those emotions continued for the next few weeks afterward. My initial response was anger, betrayal, disappointment, and fear. Looking back, I do feel my emotional response was justified. However, as I have evolved into the leader I am today, I have come to the realization that [the decision to walk out] must have been an emotional journey for them, too. Once I became fully aware of the two-way street of leadership, I actively implemented respect for those who have joined my beauty brand at any level. This includes, first and foremost, relentless communication. As an entrepreneur, you dream, develop, and process information at a rapid pace. Not all people that work with you will have a similar pace. If we are communicating changes quickly and effectively, a trust develops with those you lead. Once that trust is developed, hard and fast change is easier for the team to navigate.
You went from living in a trailer park to being a successful entrepreneur and CEO. Going through rough spots in life can have an obvious toll on our mental health and ambitions—how did you power through and get to where you are today?
I was raised by a single mother in the ’70s and ’80s when women were just discovering their right to ask for equal pay. While we were broke, I never took on the mindset of being poor. Many times, the motivation to move forward, lean into the edges of struggle and find a way to achieve my version of success was thanks to the love and support I had from my family and friends. This led to having a strong belief in myself. Personal belief as an innovator in an industry is paramount to success. However, if I am going to be truly honest, the negative voices of Who does she think she is? can creep in if I am not vigilant in understanding my value.
Now, you’re in a position to give advice to other beauty professionals and salon owners. What advice would you give to any business owner or women with big dreams who have faced major setbacks due to the pandemic?
Find other powerful female entrepreneurs inside and outside [of your inidustry] and support one another. Find opportunities for collaboration. The beauty world, like many industries, can become a bubble of information. Reaching and stretching ourselves to make new connections provides diverse viewpoints. We need to appreciate and understand other perspectives and apply that knowledge to our brands to ensure all voices can be heard.
As we’re all starting to reemerge into the world, I doubt I’m alone when I’m looking through my drawers and pulling out crusted mascaras and eyeshadow palettes I haven’t touched in over a year. Do you have any quick tips for a beauty routine for those of us who feel like we’ve forgotten!?
This gives me a chuckle, as even we, the beauty professionals, have items in our drawers that we haven’t touched in a year. I so miss wearing my signature red lipstick. Firstly, throw them out as they are most likely expired or harboring bacteria from being in those dark drawers. Secondly, please treat yourself to a few items that you truly missed. As we venture out to gather together, having beautiful, glowing skin will garner you many compliments. Products such as UOMA Double Take Contour Stick, Fenty Matchstick Contour and Highlight Stick, and Anastasia Powder Contour Kit are great products to spruce up your routine, which are all available in our Pretty Glowing Box from Pretty Set Go to achieve that healthy glowing skin. We get to come back home to our beauty routine. We get to reemerge confident and feeling our best.