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Mary Zatarain Interview Transcripts

Posted: June 2, 2008, from the June 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 2 of 2

Where will I be in 10 years? I love what I do; hopefully, if I’m healthy, I’ll still be doing it. I love it. I’m more selective at my time and presence. These people have become part of my family. If you are going to spend an hour with someone, make sure it’s someone you like. If you don’t, you’ll be miserable. If it’s not in the same format, I’ll certainly do it in another format. I loved teaching and there may be some of that for me in the future.

The passion was truly by fate. I was working at this hotel checking out people, and the next people in front of me are Edwin Neill and Paul Mitchell, and I’m fresh out of college and they were being flirtatious. About four hours later, I get another call and they asked to meet me. I was so not part of it. But the interest that people wanted to know and didn’t have was the key. I think that I am proof that college—for me, what you get from college is not necessarily the degree, but it taught me how to learn, so you already had the skills to learn. When I went to France to learn about skin, I had to know my French.

Your effect on your client is so widespread. You see your client more than their family sees them and you probably know more than you need to know. I do believe that your personality attracts the same clientele.

My New Orleans location at Robert E. Lee and West End was right where the canal broke. We had water all the way through the second floor. It was devastating. We had gone to Hot Springs and I’m looking at the TV and I’m seeing where they’re filming and saying there is my office! I’m looking at a building and it is totally underwater. I went back in February. It was so depressing. Everybody was gone. The trees, the houses, the piles of debris up in the middle of the street. I can remember the first time when I didn’t come home depressed was when the Saints had their first game in the dome. Normally, if I had a client call me and say I’m waiting on the plumber, I would say this is not a good excuse. I started to say “I understand.” It’s very sad and every time I see a little blip on it and the people blaming … that misses the whole point of the pain and drama. That’s what still lingers. The incredible emotional drama that went on—I don’t think that’s ever gonna go. That’s just one of the crosses you bear forever. Christine Valmy was such a mentor for me and the pushing from Edwin. I don’t know that no is there … you just hit the wall and go, I guess I can’t do that.