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Meet Trailblazer Marina Pivonka

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marina Pivonka.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Growing up, I was always doing everyone’s hair but hadn’t quite realized it was my calling. I didn’t have a WHY attached to my motivation for wanting to make everyone look beautiful. It wasn’t until I was 20 years old and my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer that I found my why. I watched her tirelessly go through chemo treatment after treatment and slowly lose herself. When she lost her hair, I realized she lost a big piece of her and I wanted more than anything to give her something that made her feel beautiful again. It was then I realized I wanted to be in the beauty industry and make people feel as beautiful on the outside as they are the inside. And if that time in my chair they were able to laugh and feel free and uplifted, then I had done my job. A month after that, I enrolled in Paul Mitchell the School Phoenix and as they say “the rest was history”.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In some ways, I have had a smooth road but in other ways not so much. Right out of school I was offered a job at a commission salon and had the opportunity to learn under someone with 30 years experience who taught me nearly everything she knows. Yes, I was given a tremendous opportunity, I wanted to take full advantage and learn as much as possible. I worked very long hours, made a lot of mistakes and hardly no money for two years. I knew my hard work would pay off one day, but wasn’t quite sure when the breakthrough would be. One day, the owner of the salon told me she would be closing her salon in the next two weeks because she was unable to make ends meet. Of course, I was upset because I was concerned about how I was going to make a living and what to do with this clientele I have built up! What seemed to be one of the scariest moments at the time turned out to be the best thing that happened to me. I decided to make the leap over to a salon suite and be independent. I remember for the first few months, I just hoped everyone would show up to their appointment. Luckily, they did! My best advice to young women doing hair and starting out is to be strong, persistent and don’t lose sight of who you are. There will be a lot of influences and obstacles that will try to get in the way but stay the path. I have had a couple of business partners that have gone south and have broken my heart along the way, but if you keep your core self, you will continue to persevere.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sarti Studio – what should we know?
I tell others I’m in the business of people! I say that jokingly of course. I work very hard to make every person in my chair feel special and I would say that is what I’m most proud of. Yes, I have worked very hard to hone my skills and am very proud of the looks I am able to accomplish. But for me, the beauty industry is so much more. It is my goal to have every client leave happier when they leave than when they walked in. I choose not to double book myself because a lot of my clients have expressed how much it means to them that I am focused on them and they feel they have my undivided attention. I sacrifice things to be able to make this happen but it is very important I remind myself what day WHY is. I am proud of the brand I have built and the experience that is attached to.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I feel that the biggest barrier today for female leadership is the mindset. I believe it is important to create your own path and block out any noise outside of that. There are some days that we are able to accomplish this and other days, it’s a lot harder to keep your head up.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Salon Boutique
    17570 N 75th Ave
    Glendale, Az 85375
    Room #1
  • Website:
  • Email:

Image Credit:
Missy Wilson

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