MODERN SALON Media was treated to a very special announcement on November 13, 2012 in New York City that has our Facebook community (nearly 100,000 of you!) extremely excited—and for good reason! Wella’s latest program, Hairdressers at Heart, is just that—a program uniquely designed to empower stylists through absolutely every stage of their careers.
Hairdressers at Heart features programs and opportunities that support the stylist at four critical stages of his or her career: prospective student, young talent, stylist and salon owner, says Fabio Sementilli, North American Creative Director for Wella, the salon professional division of P&G.
“I myself am not a hairdresser, but I grew up in a family of hairdressers and I remember the challenges my mom went through,” says Reuben Carranza, North American CEO Leader for Wella. “If my brother or I were sick and my mom had to stay home, that was a full day of missed clients at the salon. That’s at the heart of this program—Hairdressers at Heart—how can we make a difference in the lives of others. We want to help people become hairdressers at the scholarship level, help current hairdressers become better, and offer childcare services for stylists. I stand here proud to introduce this program not just as the North American leader for Wella, but as an individual, the son of a hairdresser, who knows how much Hairdressers at Heart can benefit this industry.”
Wella, in partnership with Beauty Changes Lives, is awarding scholarships both to aspiring stylists and to those looking to grow their career. The Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Scholarship Program brings a $1.5 million fund to grant scholarships to stylists who embody Vidal Sassoon’s heritage of creativity, craftsmanship, professional drive and love of learning. “My Sassoon background started very much with something that lends itself to the heart of this scholarship program,” says Stephen Moody, Wella Global Academy Dean, who is the lead ambassador for the Scholarship initiative. “My mum was a single mom raising me, a stylist, salon owner, going nowhere, and she reached out to Vidal Sasssoon and said please please, please, teach me how to cut hair. And, he did! It really impacted her life, her salon, her career, and in turn, my career, in a very positive manner and all I ever wanted to do was pay it forward and be in a position where I can help hairdressers with their career, their craft.”
VIDEO: HEAR FROM STEPHEN MOODY ON THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
To cultivate top talent and elevate the profession, Wella hosts annual student and new talent competitions and events, providing a stage for aspiring new stylists. Through competitions including International Trend Vision and North American Hairstyling Awards, Wella educates, inspires and mentors new talent to celebrate their creativity and help them develop into successful stylists. “This is a great program,” says Katey-Bug Browne, a recent beauty school graduate and member of Wella’s Team I.C.A.N. and the lead ambassador for the Young Talent program, “to build awareness about all of the competitions Wella has—it really puts a focus on how new hairdressers just beginning their careers can compete, get involved with the company, mingle with top artists in the industry and other students.”
VIDEO: HEAR FROM KATEY-BUG BROWNE ON HOW YOU CAN BECOME WELLA'S NEXT TOP TALENT
In one of the more exciting reveals of the program, Wella announced a partnership with Learning Care Group that offers stylists with children the chance to save money with discounted childcare services, including back-up care. Alexandra Matiz, stylist, mother, owner of New York City-based Muze Salon and a Wella Top Colorist, who is the lead ambassador for the Working Hairdresser initiative, says, “This emergency back-up program is going to a gamechanger. If you ever need an emergency back-up, you can just call the Learning Care Group and stylists no longer need to cancel a full day of work, a full day of revenue, and your child will still be supervised and taken care of.”
VIDEO: HEAR FROM ALEXANDRA MATIZ ON THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM
Wella will host a competition that helps stylists and salon owners amplify their contributions to charity within their local communities. The Wella “Supports Your Cause” Salon Competition will invite hairdressers and salon owners to enter for an opportunity to win a grant to subsidize the salon’s efforts to benefit the charity of their choice. Through a video competition spotlighting salons’ community outreach programs, 20 salons will receive grants of between $1,000 and $10,000, beginning January 3, 2013. Lead ambassador Diane Cole Stevens, salon owner and philanthropist, says this program will be extremely beneficial for salons that want to take a vision for change and get the funds to make it happen. Stevens, who is the founder and CEO of the non-profit Cinderella Foundation, which provides cosmetology training to women in West Africa, says the grant to subsidize salons’ efforts has the potential to impact the world.
VIDEO: HEAR HOW WELLA CAN HELP SUPPORT YOUR CAUSE