1. What has been your proudest career moment?
I’m incredibly fortunate in that there have been so many highlights and I’m grateful for each and every one. I would say the proudest moment is opening my salon in August 1998, and to be celebrating 23 years after the challenges we’ve all lived through in the last 18 months makes me very proud.
2. Who has been/is your biggest mentor?
Paul Edmonds. Paul encouraged me from the very beginning. He is great friend and mentor. He always supported me sticking to my core value of opening a salon inclusive of all hair types. I have always admired that he was expert in afro and textured hair from the very start too.
3. What’s the most valuable piece of advice you have ever received?
Don’t cut corners or take short cuts – it turns out to come at a cost that is, in fact, the long way round. Consistency wins.
4. Which training body would you recommend for someone wanting to enter your area of the industry?
There are many avenues for building a skillset in our industry, and they can be added throughout your career as you become clearer on the specific areas of hair that really ignite your passion and creativity. The NHBF is a great umbrella source of advice and information on the courses available. I also really love The Hair Project, which our salon assistants attend, and the NVQ is another good place to start. At the salon we have three NVQ teachers including myself.
5. How do you make sure you stand out from the crowd e.g. up-skilling, research, social media?
I think Social Media is a great way to give an audience a window into your personality and aesthetic and to showcase your work in real time. Say “yes” to shoots and events where you get to work differently and with new people. Enter awards categories that match the skills you wish to showcase. Skill updating should be an on going discipline, an open mind and a curiosity for new ways of looking at things and executing looks is key.
6. If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting their own business, what would it be?
Start with one product or skill and make it a calling card. It’s a great way to build a business with a customer base that has clarity on your offering, and celebrates with you from a place of trust and reputation when you add new products or services.
7. What’s the best and hardest thing about your job?
The best – people. The hardest –People! The talent in my industry inspires and uplifts me every single day. Sometimes bringing together multiple personalities and creative visions in a team or project can be challenging….but ultimately it’s a challenge that I secretly love and the rewards are worth it.
8. How do you switch off after a difficult day?
I swear by a deep tissue massage, meditation and inspirational podcasts. I have a quest for knowledge, and that actually relaxes me.
9. Desert island 3 course meal?
Spinach Soup, Chickpea Curry and Pineapple, watermelon and mango bowl
10. Which 5 people (dead or alive) would you have at your dinner party?
My Mum and Dad, Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Greta Thunberg
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