Our Founder – Pivot Point International

Documentary on the life and times of Pivot Point founder, Leo Passage. A journey of alchemy, passion, and inspiration.

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(Run Time: 1 minute and 18 seconds)

The Origin Story

In the heart of Chicago, during the vibrant 1960s, a visionary named Leo Passage dreamt of transforming the world of beauty education. Born with an innate passion for hairstyling and a desire to elevate the industry, Leo saw beyond the scissors and combs—he saw an opportunity to inspire, educate, and innovate.

Leo’s journey began in Belgium, where he was born in 1936. His early fascination with hairdressing led him to an apprenticeship that honed his skills and ignited his desire to explore the artistic and technical aspects of the craft. Eager to expand his horizons, Leo moved to the United States in the 1950s, bringing with him a European flair and an insatiable curiosity.

In 1962, amidst the cultural revolution and an era of change, Leo founded Pivot Point International. His vision was clear: to create a comprehensive, structured, and creative approach to beauty education that would empower students and professionals alike. He believed in a holistic method, where the fundamentals of design, form, and function are intertwined with creativity and innovation.

The cornerstone of Pivot Point’s philosophy was its unique curriculum, which Leo meticulously developed. It emphasized a deep understanding of the principles of hair design, encouraging students to think critically and artistically. The curriculum was not just about learning techniques but understanding the “why” behind them, fostering a new generation of thinking hairdressers.

Pivot Point’s first training center opened in Chicago, quickly becoming a beacon of excellence in beauty education. Leo’s dedication to his students and his revolutionary teaching methods caught the attention of industry leaders. His approach was refreshing, transforming beauty education from a trade to a respected profession.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Pivot Point expanded globally, establishing academies and partnerships worldwide. Leo’s influence was profound. He traveled extensively, sharing his knowledge and inspiring countless individuals. He authored textbooks, developed educational tools, and created a community of passionate professionals committed to excellence.

Leo’s legacy continued to flourish as Pivot Point embraced technological advancements, integrating digital tools and online learning platforms. The company’s commitment to innovation ensured that it stayed at the forefront of the industry, adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of beauty education.

Today, Pivot Point International stands as a testament to Leo Passage’s vision and dedication. With a presence in over 70 countries, it remains a global leader in beauty education, shaping the future of the industry. Leo’s dream of empowering individuals through education lives on, inspiring creativity, excellence, and a deep appreciation for the art of beauty.

Pivot Point is more than a name; it’s a movement, a revolution that began with a single visionary and grew into a global community. It’s a story of passion, perseverance, and the unwavering belief that education can change lives. Leo Passage’s legacy continues to light the path for future generations, reminding us all that with knowledge, creativity, and heart, we can achieve greatness.

The Reviews Are In!

“Anyone thinking about choosing Pivot Point should watch this!”

“One of my teachers in beauty school gave me this DVD. When I saw it for the first time it was like I had found a home. I got such strong feelings and a rush of ideas that I was crazy inspired. This Documentary brought up all the good reasons why in my heart I knew that being part of Pivot Point and Leo Passage’s amazing dream. It was and is the only place I want to be. Leo Passage is a spiritual mentor for me.”

“Leo has done a great service to the hair industry!”

“I loved this documentary. So inspiring and very motivating. Because of Leo’s hard work, I will achieve my goals and dreams.”

“Leo is such an inspiration! I cannot wait to start my career.”

“This was a very compelling documentary! To realize that we are lucky enough to be a part of this industry, Pivot Point alone has an incredible story of how one man created this way of teaching and now people worldwide can share these techniques! It was interesting to find out how this all started and what kind of man he was and where his beginnings came from! Very interesting!! I could go on and on but seriously take the time to watch this!”

“5 stars! I got to meet him in person and he was genuinely humble and very intelligent, so inspirational! He was a genius and is greatly missed.”

“Awesome documentary. I’m so surprised that a man started this but I’m glad he did.”

“An amazing gentleman that has contributed so much knowledge to the industry.  His gentle soul has touched so many across the world, and I am glad to be a part of this journey.”

“Very interesting documentary. What a legacy!”

“What an awesome documentary. He was an innovator, a mentor and a natural artist. I loved how he and his wife took a risk by coming to this country. What a true American dream. He leaves behind inspirations to all fellow hair stylists.”

“I watched this documentary years ago, inspiring me just as much as it did back then. Leo and his family worked day and night doing hair their entire lives and it reminds me of myself. I’ve worked in a salon since I was 15; it’s my home. This industry isn’t just a profession it’s much much more.”

“This movie really moved me and got me into teaching.”

“I could watch this video a thousand times!”

“Leo was beyond talented and inspired so many people. He went to Chicago with $75 in his pocket and a huge dream he wanted to achieve. He had up to 40 clients daily and always worked his butt off. He produced what he intended and had the ability to adapt if needed. He brought a revolution to the industry. It’s amazing the effect on the industry he has had and still to this day. He’s a true inspiration!”

“Wow! I had no idea that Pivot Point had such a rich history. Truly there is a legacy of hairdressers and educators that Leo Passage has made in the beauty industry.”

“I’m so honored and grateful that we had such a great leader, Leo Passage, to pave the way for where our industry is today. Where would the hairdressing world be without Pivot Point?”

“After watching this, it has given me a new outlook on hair design and a new passion for my creativity. Mr. Passage is an inspiration!”

“I love that we got to watch this video in class. His story is very inspirational.”

“I like the fact that the Pivot Point LAB is a product of such a humanitarian as Leo Passage!!!”

“Such an amazing documentary. Leo’s passion was always hair but never could stop at it, in a good way. He pushed his limits by competing and coming to the United States with no money and making his mark in Chicago. He became so successful, but he wanted to do more. He had so much knowledge so after he did everything from traveling the world for competitions to opening his own shop, he stepped back and became a teacher. Knowledge is power and Leo had so much to share with the world.”

“I love how Mr. Passage stayed humble through his journey and created something huge for future cosmetologists.”

“Education has no limits  ~ so true! I enjoyed seeing the story of Leo and his life in the industry. Very inspiring!”

“Leo is such an inspirational staple in the fabric of life itself.”

“The whole Pivot Point family is truly an inspiration to all of us that have chosen this craft as our profession. Thank you!”

“That’s so motivational, just to know he only had $75.00 to get started. To be successful in life, we have to be dedicated. It is never too late to achieve your dreams. It is not just about being a hairstylist; it’s deeper than that. It’s about treating each other with respect and being excellent team players. As I viewed this video, I realized something, Leo was determined and he had a passion for this. We already know that he worked hard to achieve his dreams. Remember the only time “Success” comes before “Work” is in the Dictionary!”

“I am honored to be learning the Pivot Point education and influence. I love the history behind the founder Leo Passage. A very interesting journey!”

“This documentary was more than inspiring. It gives an amazing insight into the passion and drive Leo had and how he shared it with any and everyone desiring to learn.”

“The Leo Passage documentary inspires me to do so much more. He came from Europe to the United States and was able to achieve it all with hope and perseverance as his best friends and that is what we should all practice.”

“What a beautiful story. The Passage family is deeply rooted in beauty culture.”

“That’s a beautiful family story!”


Would you like to learn more about Leo Passage and Pivot Point? Reach out anytime.

[email protected]
8725 W. Higgins Road, Suite 700
Chicago, IL 60631
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