What interested you first about your profession?
I was born into hairdressing. My whole family are hairdressers – you could say it’s in my blood.
What were your early years in the industry like?
From the first day I started I have always been actively involved in every aspect of my salon and worked incredibly hard to achieve my goals. For me now is no different from the early years – I’m as passionate about hairdressing today as I was when I began.
Where do your style ideas come from?
My vision comes from my everyday surroundings – a building, art, global fashion inspiration and even movies, cartoons or Japanese magazines.
Whom do you admire in the industry today?
I admire London based hairdresser Akin Konizi and John Rawson, one of the world’s best hair photographers, with a Sassoon background.
How do you see the styles you create changing in the future?
The styles I create will only need mending. That’s the beauty of my industry – a small change in colour can give you a total change.
How do you keep up to date with the latest creative trends?
I keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on globally. Being artistic, I have always pushed the boundaries in everything I do, especially with my clients. We all need a new ‘do’ and let’s face it, a great cut and colour is cheaper than surgery!
What is fashion for you?
Fashion for me is about what you can wear and wear well. It’s not about the next trend. Having your own style is fashion.
What turns you on about this profession?
What turns me on? I touch people’s hair and that’s per
Personal – having your hands all over their hair, that’s sexy…
What’s been your guiding philosophy?
It’s not how much you take off, it’s what’s left that counts.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my awards achievements such as winning the National category of the Oceanic Masters, Australia, AHFA Queensland Hairdresser of the Year, AHFA Artistic Team of the Year and also being nominated as a finalist for numerous awards such as AHFA Australian Hairdresser of the Year and a National Finalist for AHFA Men’s Hairdresser of the Year.
I am also very proud to be part of educating our next generation of hairdressers through my roles as International Manager & Artistic Director Australian F.A.M.E Team, Ambassador and Educator for Terre A Merre Natural Hair Therapies, Kaaral Hair Care and Maraes Organic Salon Products and formerly National Educator for MUK.
Along with key salon contracts for parades at a number of major fashion festivals and fashion weeks, I have held long term contracts with two major television networks, mastering the art of hair for the camera.
What’s your secret to keeping clients happy?
My clients are happy because I’m into their hair. I make it my business to love them and their look.
What are your personal goals for the future?
My goal for the future is to own my own premises and to mentor more next generation hairdressers. I want to be part of the future of hairdressing.
What are the main differences between a hairdresser and a successful hairstylist?
A hairdresser is happy doing everyday basic work which limits their client base. A successful hairstylist remains up to date with latest techniques and cutting. They have a larger client base and are strategically more active in the media.
What is the secret of your success?
My secret is to have my finger on the pulse 24/7 and to never say NO to any opportunity.
What is it that inspires you the most?
Life inspires waking up every day. I feel great knowing I’m responsible for clients smiles.
In your opinion, is it necessary to travel, to stay at the top of your profession?
It’s great to travel every couple of years to meet and exchange ideas with fellow hairdressers. You also have to be actively involved in your business to make that grow.
What has been the biggest satisfaction you have had in your career?
I am so passionate about my roles as product ambassador, educator and mentor to our next generation of hairdressing talent through my work with the Australian F.A.M.E Team, both here and overseas. This includes offering mentoring through key fashion events in conjunction with industry partners such as Hair Shots 2 The World ‘Star Spot Opportunities’. Most recently, three young regional hairdressers from New South Wales and South Australia won the opportunity to be mentored by me as Artistic Director at this year’s Brisbane Ekka Natural Fibre Parades.
How do you name your styles?
I take pride in doing great work. I make sure my clients who wear my work can achieve the same results at home. That’s my signature – looking GREAT every day.
How is the relationship with your co-workers?
I have a great relationship with my team and I am proud of my success in retaining staff for many years. My team have been with me from 6 to 14 years and that speaks volumes.
Why is hairstyling considered as the Cinderella of the arts and people’s general opinion about hairdressers is not so complimentary?
Hair is the first characteristic you notice about someone. It many ways it is the Cinderella of the arts and we can make or break someone’s look. General societal opinion doesn’t phase me – there are people out there who can’t live without their hairdresser!
What do you tend to recommend more frequently to your clients, cut or colour? And what do they ask you for most frequently?
I always believe that cut and colour go together as a total look. I am most frequently asked for blonde hair.
How often do your clients come to you?
I have a regular clientele who come in every week and the rest every six weeks. Re-booking is a big part of my exercise with my regulars.