Meet The Team
Cary O’Brien believes that if a team is to really be a team, they must have a common goal and all strive to achieve that goal. That is why every team member on the COB’s team has successfully completed the exclusive 100 Haircut Training Program. This is a series of cutting techniques that make up the foundation of a great haircut. Repeating these techniques in repetition on real salon guests and under the watchful training of Cary O’Brien is what develops this team to be experts in the art of cutting hair.
Cary O’Brien has four decades of experience in the professional beauty industry. Beginning as an apprentice in his mother’s salons in Poplar Bluff, Sikeston and St. Charles, MO. Cary was immersed in every aspect of salon life. Learning the skills from his mom where there was never room for error gave him the confidence to open his first salon in St. Charles at the age of 21. A salon move a few years later (1990) and chance interview with the Rusk Inc. product company is where his career moved into high gear. Working in the new salon was the new normal, combined with teaching classes on product knowledge and cosmetology in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, and Iowa. Having completed well over 100 in-salon classes got the attention of Irvine and Louise Rusk and a call from Louise with an invitation to work backstage at Rusk shows. Doing whatever it takes to make the show a success and extreme organization skills not only made him a good team player it also got him and invitation to the Master Designer level. Personal training from Louise and Irvine not only on perfect execution of the proven Rusk techniques, but also the skills needed to teach, and present his talents from the stage. Cary soon set his designs on becoming the best stage speaker on the Rusk Team. Another call from Louise, and Cary was asked to join the Creative Team.
This is the training to not only present from stage, but to lead the entire show. Little time to teach in-salon classes at this level as O’Brien would be in his salon Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and then be off leading a show Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The year is 1993 and Cary is out for another creative team training in Los Angeles, CA. Cary was offered a full-time position as Rusk Mid-West Education Manager. O’Brien had to leave the salon operations to his wife, Talisa. A promotion two years later to National Education Manager was without a doubt his biggest accomplishment. O’Brien would stay in this position until 1999 when he resigned from the full-time position and back to stage presenter. He and Talisa were about to open a new 3200 sqft salon and spa with their third daughter on the way. In his constant quest for knowledge Cary had been attending The Salon Association annual meetings and learning how to run a successful salon from the industry’s best. Again, opportunity knocked, and Cary was asked to join The Salon Association’s Board Of Directors. Serving on the board from 2002 through 2012. During the transition from the salon association to PBA the Professional Beauty Association was not only the biggest accomplishment of his life, it proved to be invaluable knowledge and skills that have serve him to this day. O’Brien served as President of the salon section for PBA from 2009-2011. Today Cary O’Brien spends his time in the salon training the team, serving guests, and running the salon. He is also an avid runner, completing 34 marathons and ultras, a hunter/ shooter and be can be found spending time with his wife and four busy daughters, camping with Talisa and friends, and enjoying red wine.