I remember one time Fabio and I were in Berlin, and just finished the Trend Vision show.
I can’t remember what year it was. The hotel we were staying at was right downtown and the Americans, Canadians and the Irish were all staying there.
Ireland had won that year, so the party in the lobby of that hotel was something special. Imagine 300 Industry people all partying the last night In Berlin with the Trend Vision champion. I bartended for most of the night, just to help out, then hung out with everyone for a bit.
When it was all said and done, Fabio and I were starving. We heard about a famous food truck that was serving Turkish food about 20 minutes away. Without a thought we were on our way.
Fabio and I had become very close because he was real with me.
Hanging out with him felt like you couldn’t be in a better place with a better person at that moment.
I think that’s why Fabio touched so many people with his personality. You actually felt special being around him and if he loved you, then you were doing good and being your best. He truly wanted the best for you. The kind of guy, who gave his heart to you so you can go and be the best version of yourself.
If only we could do a little of what he did and gave to each other as he did. This world would be a little bit of a better place.
I love you Fabio and I am grateful for the many times we shared and the lessons you taught me. I can hear your voice now:
Oh Rammer, to what do I owe these kind words, I am humbled.
I admire what you did. You met people and left them with an impression, as is always the case when we meet people. Sometimes we leave them with an impression that’s positive, sometimes negative and sometimes it’s just a weak impression, they hardly remember meeting you.
After meeting Fabio you were left with an impression that this guy had a personality that’s positive, larger than life, motivating, loving, accepting, genuine, caring and fun. He simply made you just want more of him.
His charm and charisma was infectious.
He did this so easily that I just wanted 10 percent of what he had, so I could do the same to people. Leaders and successful people in all areas of business and politics have this gift. It’s truly a gift that comes with great responsibility and Fabio understood this responsibility and carried it proud for Wella and his fellow stylists.
You will never be forgotten or replaced, but if I ever meet another one like you, I will tell them about you and give them the guidance that you had given to all of us.
You will live in my heart forever Fabio.
Here is a repost of the interview I did with him last year. This was one of his few personal interviews. I’m so glad I did it. It really shows Fabio’s personality, his passion for our industry and for life.
It’s been a long distance friendship. One that’s been tested and tried, yet it keeps on going. I may not speak to Fabio for a few weeks then we talk and it’s back to that first day that we met in San Diego 15 years ago. Meeting Fabio was awesome.
He gave me life when I needed it.
I was ready to give up on this industry all together. I had made some bad moves and didn’t want to continue. I was new to it and didn’t know the business. I was a hairstylist, an artist and I didn’t have any business knowledge. Then I met Fabio and realized that there’s a way to be happy and still do this as a lifestyle and career.
Fabio you have inspired so many in an industry that needed it. It needed someone. It was calling for you and you didn’t even know it. You were, and are, just being you and that’s what makes it work. So happy to be part of your journey and looking forward to the next 15 years.
Thank you for just being you.
As long as I have some money in my pocket and keys to a nice ride – life is beautiful.
I’ve listened to you as often as I could and I took your advice. I grew my mind and grew my craft. I’m much more than a hero with scissors now, but you know me. At the core of it all, I’m still a hairdresser, a rebel and I’m always going to use my scissors to live the life I want.
No matter how successful we become. We are always rebels with scissors. That’s how we got here.
Love you Fabio. See you on the block bro.
Vice President Education – North America, Coty Professional Beauty
We both got our start in the industry working in barbershops – we also have family members that are in the industry as well. Do you think that you got into hairdressing because it’s in your blood – or is it something deeper than that?
In my blood for sure but more importantly in my heart. My sister Mirella was a hairdresser a few years before me and used to work in the coolest salon at that time and then did hair on Sunday in our basement. I was probably more of a pest but with a room full of beautiful women, cool music playing and a pocket full of tips what’s there not to like.
Fabio with his sister Mirella Rota Sementilli.
You have been a great mentor to me throughout my career – your passion for our craft is inspiring and your passion for life is infectious. Why do you think having mentors in life is important?
Ramsey you have been so generous with me over the years and I appreciate you so much.
Mentors are important but I feel today it’s the most overused term these days. A mentor shouldn’t exclusively be the most popular or the wealthiest but should be someone who really knows you and can guide you honestly, when you lose your way or give you a kick in the pants if needed.
What is the biggest lesson you learned from being a salon owner.
The biggest lesson I learned — great question Ramsey and one that I have made part of my life.
Today I refer to it as Creative Intelligence which is the balanced pursuit of technical excellence with business education. If I could go back I would balance my professional pursuits to include business education right from the start. Most salon owners open their salons on charm and hard work which gets you through the first year, but its business coaching and/or a business mentor that can enable you for long term success.
To be successful in our industry you need to have the technical skill and knowledge, that’s a given. But our profession is all about connecting with people – if you don’t have a personality or charisma – you won’t have a long career. What do you think it takes to be successful in our industry?
Another great “Ramsey style” question and my point of view on this is unwavering:
1) A Blueprint, understand and believe in your own worth, a blueprint is your compass.
2) You said it Ramsey – It begins and ends with people.
3) Honesty/high moral character, if you cheat, break trust and use people, your reputation will get half way around the world before you wake up in the morning.
4) Supporting the Next Level of Greatness, whether you’re recognized as a great leader in the salon world, or corporate world – how well your people do is the ultimate measure of your success.
5) Capacity to translate a vision into inspiring results.
Where did you get the nickname Big Daddy?
I can’t answer that because it may incriminate me.
What inspires you as an artist?
Truthfully, its changed over the years but it used to be about the newest shape or coolest vibe executed perfectly. But, today I’m also inspired by the Instafamous stylists with huge followings, and Stylists who have demonstrated longevity and consistency in the industry with bullet proof reputations.
What was the philosophy behind Fab Fridays?
Rammer, so many of my friends and associates ask me to share my experiences, and share any golden nuggets that I come across which I’m more than happy to do and feel it’s also my responsibility, as a leader in our industry.
You travel a lot – Toronto – LA – New York City – Europe. How many airplane selfies do you think you’ve taken over the years?
Lol, outside of counting them one by one I would guess 50-60 flight segments per year, X 5 years so approximately 250-300 airplane selfies.
It’s amazing how popular the selfies have become and I always enjoy taking them – even if folks on the plane may think it’s strange.
By the way Ramsey they will become part of my book one day – The Accidental Executive.
Funny story, a flight attendant recognized me on a flight to Dallas and wanted a selfie to send to his mom, because his mother was a hairdresser and asked him to keep an eye out for me.
It really is all about the people.
2015 Behind The Chair – Stylist Choice Awards
FABIO SEMENTILLI PROFESSIONAL MENTORSHIP SCHOLARSHIP
The Beauty Changes Lives Foundation established a scholarship fund to honour Fabio’s legacy as an educator, mentor and visionary. To find out more and how you can donate click here.