Stephanie Vendetti Knows How To Be a Redhead

Written by Meg Seitz · Photography by Julia Fay

Some gifts and talents come to us naturally. In the case of Stephanie Vendetti, it comes as naturally as the hair on her head.

Stephanie and her sister, Adrienne are naturally-born red heads. And, together, they have turned that fact – and gift – into an empire as co-founders of and co-authors of a best-selling book about the topic.

For Stephanie, How to be a Redhead® wasn’t just about building a business – it was about taking on a personal journey of self-acceptance. {Continued below}

“I dyed my hair blonde for seven and a half years of my life because I hated being a redhead,” she admitted from Hygge’s CNE location. “It got to the point where [my hair] was so badly damaged from that process was just breaking off.”

Sister Adrienne had a totally different take on her red hair – she embraced it so much that it was part of her unique identity. One thing they shared though was this – the struggle to find beauty and fashion advice or products designed for young, trendy redheaded women.

The sisters – who both hold B.A. degrees in Business from the University of Miami – combined forces to create it.

“I think everyone has to deal with the lows to get to the highs and realize this is what I’m supposed to do.”

Coming at their naturally red hair from these two very different, yet very real perspectives, the sisters – based in NYC at the time – started to offer a unique, holistic and nurturing approach to being a redhead with content, product recommendations, and advice for redheads on their website. And it took off, garnering attention from beauty magazines and brands –  they were selected as L’Oreal Paris Brand Ambassadors in 2012 – as well as news outlets like the The New York Times. More importantly though, it captivated the hearts of women all over the world – from young redheads looking for product recommendations to moms who need words of wisdom to pass along to their redhead daughters, “We have a lot of redheads who write in to us – even mothers of redheads,” says Vendetti. ‘They write, ‘Oh, my redhead [daughter] wants to dye her hair!’ and that’s where I can give her advice about that.”

The success of the website led the sisters to write the 2016 best-seller, How to Be a Redhead: A Guide to Beauty, Skincare, Hair Care, Fashion and Confidence From the Sisters Who Started the Red Hair Revolution. As part of the book launch, they took off on a five-city beauty tour to New York City, Austin, Nashville, Seattle and Chicago.

“It’s nice to go through something like this with people who you’ve known your entire life,” Vendetti notes. “This relationship is just so important which is why this is about a lot of communication and being as honest as possible at all times.”

The brand has grown, no doubt, yet the sisters have consciously maintained it’s family-focus. The sisters continue to drive content and operations; their parents, proud and supportive from day one, visit Wilmington frequently to help pack and ship the subscription boxes on time.

“It’s nice to go through something like this with people who you’ve known your entire life,” Vendetti notes. “This relationship is just so important which is why this is about a lot of communication and being as honest as possible at all times.”

As much as the brand is about products and advice, it’s really about so much more – inspiring confidence in women all over the world.

And that’s not a hair color – that’s a lifestyle the Vendetti sisters live and breathe every day.

Today, both sisters live in North Carolina – Stephanie is in Charlotte, and Adrienne is in Wilmington overseeing operations at How to Be A Redhead’s warehouse where all monthly subscription boxes ship from. The brand will continue to grow – next, to include eCommerce with retail found in their H2BAR subscription boxes, as well as apparel and accessories.

Meet the Author: Meg Seitz is the Founder and Managing Creative Partner of toth shop, an agency with one goal: Elevate your brand’s content through powerful writing, creativity, and strategy. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor with Queens University and Founding Partner of the children’s book series, “Bea is for Business”.

She’s an English major with an MBA, so she can talk Homer’s “The Odyssey” just as well as she can talk sunk costs – though she’d much prefer the former.

Meet the photographer: Julia Murray, owner of Julia Fay Photography, feels most at home behind a camera with a story to tell on the other side. Her business began during her sophomore year of college, while majoring in radio and tv broadcasting. Now residing in Charlotte NC, she primarily shoots weddings and other local small businesses like her own. Her favorite part about her job is the connection it brings between art and people.