Episode 088

Ted Gibson & Jason Backe

Podcast Length: 1hr 14min | Date Published: 4th May 2021

Most people I interview on the podcast fit into a specific category, they are either an editorial or celebrity hairstylist, a colourist, a barber, the founder of some new industry technology, or perhaps they have founded a new business model, or are an educator, a product developer, a salon owner, or represent some other industry niche where they have achieved success.

But my guests on today’s podcast are Ted Gibson and his husband and partner Jason Backe who have pretty well ticked all those boxes successfully… And Ted also has this other accolade that follows him around of being the most expensive hairdresser…   

In today’s podcast we discuss:

  • The Ted Gibson salon business model
  • The decision to close the Manhattan salon
  • The Amazon Salon… and
  • Salon design and the client experience

And so much more!

In This Episode:

[01:44] Welcome to the show, Ted and Jason!

[04:30] Jason shares his background and his journey to where he is now.

[05:51] Ted shares his background and his journey to where he is today.

[07:59] How do you divvy up responsibilities in the businesses you are partners in?

[10:49] Ted talks about being a beauty instructor and who he could work closely with.

[13:57] Ted, when did you transition into editorial work?

[16:36] Jason worked for John English before moving to New York for an opportunity for Ted.

[19:30] Jason was able to get a job in New York working with Aveda and soon became an instructor.

[21:07] Ted discusses the transition from editorial work to becoming a celebrity stylist.

[24:35] Ted speaks about becoming Angelina Jolie’s hairdresser.

[29:56] Whose idea was it to open your own salons?

[32:32] Ted discusses why they closed the three salons that they opened in 2016.

[35:18] The changing culture in the beauty industry was a catalyst for them closing their salons.

[38:10] Jason shares when they told their employees they were closing the salon.

[41:48] They talk about what they did after they closed the salon.

[42:41] Jason speaks about their move to L.A. and why they moved.

[45:24] Listen, as they discuss the new salon concept they opened in L.A. called Starring by Ted Gibson.

[47:17] Jason shares about opening the first Amazon salon and the retail they sell online.

[49:13] They don’t answer the phone because they want people to book online; they rent chairs and only sell products by Q.R. code.

[53:20] What technology does the new salon have that sets it apart from other salons?

[56:24] They can change the light in the cloud by asking Alexa to do it.

[57:06] Who came up with the design for the salon?

[1:00:15] Ted shares how much he charges for haircuts across the board and why he charges that amount.

[1:01:52] Jason says that Ted wants to give women the Angelina Jolie experience and give them the chance to experience something unique.

[1:05:01] Most of the people who come to Ted are for special occasions.

[1:07:02] Jason shares the new non-profit he and Ted have created called The Worth up Alliance.

[1:10:27] During the pandemic, the beauty industry had very few resources, and it decimated many small businesses.

[01:11:39] Any final words to leave with the listeners?

[01:12:34] Jason shared his first thoughts when he walked into beauty school for the first time.


Find Ted Gibson and Jason Backe

Ted Gibson

The Worth Up Alliance

Starring by Ted Gibson

Ted’s Instagram 

Jason’s Instagram