I COULD HAVE BEEN A LIFEGUARD

I could write another tale of the mischief and disorder where Kathyrn and I led a group of 15-20 students from Columbia, South Africa, Canada and other places across the world on a misleading Dundee street tour and pub crawl whilst under the cover of two knowledgable Tour Guides. Naughtily telling tales of ‘Auld Dundee’ and completely convincing them our friend Adam Weaver played heartthrob Menzies Scrotland in Dundee’s very own soap opera ‘Benvie Road Street’. Our façade sounding anything but plausible, we managed to sneakily secure free entry into pubs and clubs for the group, treating them to our inside knowledge of ‘Mine Sweeping’ and flamboyantly finishing the tour by dancing drunkenly to Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ whilst boisterously wrestling a brute of a bouncer for our place on the stage…

holly

But life isn’t just one big party, I have a day job which I work hard at too. I have a career in hairdressing, a career I’ve been working at for 5 years.

I looked around at the competition. This was going to be tough.

I was in Manchester for the Generation Now 2013/14 audition. An opportunity to compete for a place on Wella’s art team described as an effective launch-pad for young professionals who want to to become key players in the competitive hair industry, which also provides an excellent platform for inspirational, up and coming talent. In its third year Gen Now was fast becoming the Team that everyone wanted to be on and now I’d been given the fortuity to make it happen.

I’d always felt a bit of a fraud as a Hair Stylist. Starting late at 24, I only had 4 years experience. A mix of training and little natural ability. What I certainly wasn’t lacking was enthusiasm or determination. Once I set out to do something, I do it right. I blame my dad for that, actually I thank my dad for that. Growing up I was pushed, pulled and chiselled to stay at the top of the game. Actively encouraged to work hard and train hard to the best of my ability. An outlook that has sculpted and crafted my sisters and I into the successful young women we are today. My dad once told me he could get a job as a life guard even though he couldn’t swim, and at a young age I knew instantly that he was enlightening me in the knowledge that with plenty hard work and a bucket load of determination I can do and have anything I want.

My look was inspired by the attitude and movement of late 70s punks, a subculture I’m naturally drawn to through an educated grasp of their passion, outlook and their not-so-silent revolt. A way of life I could subconsciously mirror, shadowing discreetly and applying to my way of life where necessary.

I made my way in front of the judging panel, game face on. I shared with them my inspirations, thoughts and ideas of progression. I gave them numerous reasons why I’d be the perfect candidate for the creative team.

Reflecting back on my year with Gen Now, I had the most amazing opportunities including: A Sassoon creative colour and cutting workshop with Gareth Vance; A fashion photo shoot with Robert Eaton; Session styling master class with Kai Wan; and stage training with Colin McAndrew, all in my intense action-packed boot camp week.

Other events I’ve worked on throughout the year include: A presentation on the fellowship stage at Salon International; Assisting D&J Ambrose and The Hob artistic team backstage at Trend Vision UK Final; Cutting and styling for London Fashion Week with star stylist Gary Gill; An ‘In the Spotlight’ evening at the Wella World Studio, Manchester; Assisting Tom Wright and Jayson Gray whilst launching Instamatic colour at Wella’s internal yearly conference; and finally a presentation evening working alongside Bruno Marc and the 2014/15 Gen Now Team at the Wella World studio London.

An eventful year which has seen me grow dramatically as a stylist, giving me the ability and confidence to grow in skill and demeanour. Allowing me to have faith in my work and to build a positive relationship with clients, colleagues and industry experts. So much so I have been asked to return to London this October to once more assist Gary Gill and Tom Wright at this years Wella Trend Vision, UK and Ireland final, held at The Round House in Camden.

Opportunities in this creative industry are what I look to uphold and since I’ve already built a steady relationship with hairdressing hierarchy, I plan to set my goal even higher. After all it’s hard to beat a person that never gives up.

Long live the VEF and short, back and sides for the Queen.

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One thought on “I COULD HAVE BEEN A LIFEGUARD

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