This year would be my 50th year in the Hairdressing industry, for which has been for me an incredible and exciting journey. I knew even at the age of 10 I wanted to work in a career that was associated with fashion, music, cosmetics and above all, hair styles of the moment. So for me the catwalk covers every one of these aspects and can be reached through hairdressing.
As a teenager, I was having my hair cut in a fantastic salon which had a jukebox, coffee bar and gaming tables called ‘Guys’ in Chatham, and while having a haircut with Mick (my favourite hairstylist), he informed me that yet again Tobi had not turned up for his Saturday job, and I could clearly see he was upset how the salon would yet suffer another busy Saturday without him. At this point I took opportunity and said to him, “Well Mick, I’m sure I can sweep up and make tea for the guys, and if you like I can start as soon as you finish cutting my hair". At the end, the day went really well and was asked to come back the following Saturday, but over the weekend I received a telephone call from Mick. He said to me that he worded it with the guys and they asked if I would like to have an apprenticeship with them. Needless to say, I offered to start Monday morning. He jumped at the opportunity and I met with him on Monday morning at the salon. My hairdressing career began at that moment.
After several months I was head hunted by a leading salon in Chatham, where I worked for a year. But after gaining experience, I returned to Guys as a stylist where I stayed for another two years. Eventually, Ken the top hairdresser from a salon I previously worked at opened a new salon in Rochester, which interested me as Ken was a top competition cutter and I knew that this was the area where I wanted to develop my hairdressing knowledge. I enjoyed very much the competition work. I was used frequently as a model and got the buzz of the stage from that experience. So from there, I rented a small salon which only had two chairs in Chatham, which was called Mr Snips. I began cutting some ladies hair under the supervision of Phill Lacey, who had been trained at Vidal Sassoon, Who was working alongside me at that time. I then realised that ladies haircutting was definitely where I wanted to take my career.
I got a job at a ladies salon and much to my surprise the owner of the salon asked me to manage his second salon in Gillingham. After a year I was head hunted again by a London trained hairdresser who had his own salon in Gillingham, who trained me to a high standard of cutting. I was offered a partnership within the business, and continued to work there happily for 12 years in which time I met Antoinette who was working at the salon.
In 1989 we opened TAG. Within two years we expanded twice the size, but due to the recession and the severe increase in rates in the 1990’s we came back to our original sized salon to which we maintain to this day. In our time at TAG we have trained and employed over 25 apprentices, won many hairdressing awards and was asked to be a guest artist cutter for Toni and Guy at the Hairdressing Olympics in 1996, which was held at Olympia in London.
I am still currently attending advanced cutting seminars, and in January 2016, far from thinking of retiring have now taken up something new to me, Hair colouration!