I have worked within the hair and beauty industry for my entire career to this point, although my work within this sphere has been extremely diverse and has been characterised by my role as an educator, coach and mentor. During this time I have developed a strong work ethic, and have acquired leadership and management skills from working in a family business, which grew to nine outlets before disbanding in 2004. My primary role here was in education and training and from the age of 19, I was responsible for coaching and training younger apprentices as well as professional hairdressers.
Outside of the family business, I have been an educator for a large international product research organisation, representing their European subsidiary. I was selected for the company’s International Artistic Team in 1992 and in my time with this organisation I reached the level of European Artistic Director. The role involved leading, mentoring and coaching a team of hairdressers as they represented the company’s artistic division both nationally and internationally. I liaised closely with international distributors in Finland, Holland, Italy, Belgium and South Africa to produce and deliver education that was consistent with the needs of the manufacturer, distributor and hairdressing industry. Our work was consistently published in the international trade and commercial press in Europe and the United States, as we strengthened and broadened our educational programme.
During this time, I joined a business partnership and opened a salon of my own, where I took responsibility for training and development, as well as marketing and P.R. It was here that I truly honed my management skills, arguably because of the need to make a success of the business and maximise my own personal investment. This enhanced my empathy for all who make such an investment, strongly informing my current work ethic.
When I returned to my family business I continued the role in education until the business was sold. At this point I considerably reduced my professional commitments to concentrate on my family, who were challenged by serious illness and needed a great deal of my time and attention. I used my professional skills to establish a small hairdressing concession in a beauty therapy business which had been set up by a friend. My role here was to attract and introduce new clients, recruit and train, coach and mentor staff, and to generally be involved in marketing the business as a whole.
In 2007, I decided to formalise all my qualifications by gaining my N.V.Q Level 3 Hairdressing qualification, and embark on a two year Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector. I completed this while working as a freelance hairdresser and once qualified, began work in a teaching role for a Wirral based training provider. Here I was responsible for the planning, delivery and assessment of N.V.Q Hairdressing and after a year, was promoted to Head of Faculty. My role expanded to one which involved liaising and negotiating with stakeholders, including awarding bodies, suppliers and placement providers; the student body was further expanded via the company’s contract with local secondary education as part of the ‘Alternative Curriculum’ provision.
I continued in this role while at the same time beginning a Master’s Degree in Education at The University of Wales, Bangor. At the end of the summer term 2013, I resigned my teaching post to concentrate further on my studies, which continued to be financed by my work as a freelance hairdresser, and in 2014, completed and submitted my dissertation.
I am currently in a freelance partnership within the Anne Roberts organisation, where I am proud to continue my craft and to deliver services to my clients.