I have been in the hairdressing industry for 10 years and can definitely say it is my natural calling! My favourite services to provide are Balayage and curly cutting. Overall, I love taking the time to explain anything I have knowledge of - why it will or wont work, what will suit you, and I just love listening to everyone's life stories.
I live with my husband and 4 year old daughter in North Hertfordshire and have run my own business since I was 19. I know nearly nothing else than relying on my own income to facilitate my lifestyle, and very proud of that I am too.
The short and the long of it.
My story begins when I was about 5 or 6. I got my first taste of business selling gravel from my mums front garden as 'lucky stones' on the playground to anyone who believed they were magic! I would sell then at lunch time for 5 pence and save the change up to buy sweets after school when my mum would pick me up.
I remember when I was about 7 seeing a girl in the year above me wrap-braiding (the colourful hair braiding you get on holiday typically) a girls hair at lunchtime with a crowd around her. I remember thinking, 'That, is very cool... I can do that - I can do better patterns - AND I can charge for it.' - at 7 years old!! The balls I had on me already in hindsight makes me chuckle.
So I set to work practicing on an old dolly block I was given from a local salon with all my embroidery threads until I thought - 'yep - I can do this!' and they were instantly in demand on the playground. I would start them at breaktime, clip and wrap all the loose thread in their hair for the next two hours and carry on ands finish in lunchtime. What a polava! I think I would charge between 75p-£1.25 per braid. Talk about child labour!! I wish I had some pictures, from my memory they weren't half bad.
Amongst all this I got a taste for earning money doing simple jobs for family and helping at the retirement home my auntie managed where the staff would give me the odd quid here and there for helping lay the tables, making beds and just generally being a joyous child, if I do say so myself! Hahaha.
I also began to love teaching from about 7 years old. I found it quite easy to relay information from maths lessons in simpler format and later in secondary school give analogies to better digest long multiplication and algebra to the chatterbox girls behind who were very clearly, not listening. (Sorry girls!)
Fast forward to 15 when I first started working at my local convenience shop. To pay for my dirty (but status enhancing) smoking habit but so as not to eat in to my wages, I would purchase a pack of Mayfair along side my v v cool B&H Silver (remember when they came in a slide box?) and sell the Mayfair at 50p a cigarette - which was the going rate.
£10.00 later I could replenish my stock and buy my own and keep all my wages for socialising and clothes!!
I didn't always think I wanted to be a hairdresser. I wanted to work in the care sector with hairdressing on the side, so chose to start AS Levels and gained qualifications in Law, Psychology, Sociology and Media Studies (Oh, and was diagnosed with Dyslexia) before heading on to study for my NVQ2 in Hairdressing.
I was expecting to be surrounded by a bunch of bimbo's and gain a really easy skillset minding my own business for a year until I headed out in to the world of work - I was SO WRONG! I found a new respect for what is essentially a combination of art, science and maths; I made lifelong friendships and after just one year was left in awe of the possibilities within our industry. And - hairdressing is hard! infinite possibilities of angles, tension, shape, colour formulas, dangerous chemicals and a fast pace of growing trends, mixed with a bomb of emotions and personalities through your guests and all in a timeframe?! that takes YEARS to master. I'm still getting the hang of it (hehe). Every day is a new revelation for one reason or another. But I must say, hairdressing skillset aside I was very grateful of my previous experiences to fast track me past 'all the gear and no idea' to 'Del-Boy Blagger Artist-come-Counsellor'!
I'll leave all the in-between out for now - but the important accomplishments are - I'm still alive and thriving in my career. It didn't all hit the fan, in fact I've done very alright. I've won awards, built companies, trained to become an FE teacher, grown a salon team who I love dearly, built relationships in the right (and handy) places, learnt the workings of business from the most brilliant mentors and overall have gotten to a point where I'm ready to pass that on.