Stylist, Aveda Vandam Lifestyle Salon, NYC, and Aveda Academy, London
Aveda Global Creative Director
Licensed: In Haarlem, The Netherlands, 1983
First job: At 14, a Saturday job in the salon where my mum had her hair brow dried every week
Clients per week: Varies tremendously. Often as I can, when in London and New York.
Price point: $400 for a hair cut
Why did you choose beauty? In 1979, I saw the film “10” starring Bo Derek and she had these incredible braids in her hair. I was fascinated by the texture.
Major milestones: Winning British Hairdresser of the Year and twice receiving the Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year Award; working with Aveda on all aspects of the brand image; maintaining clientele on two continents.
Big break: I saw the Trevor Sorbie Art Team perform at a seminar in The Netherlands when I was 18. I absolutely knew I must go to England. I knew so little English that my first interview at Sorbie’s was not a success. Eventually my English improved and I got a job as a junior stylist at Sorbie.
Career advice you’ve received:“You’ll get out of your career what you put into it,” Trevor Sorbie.
Career advice you’ve given: Gandhi’s brilliant expression ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’
Your mentors: Trevor Sorbie, Horst Rechelbacher, Christian and Dominique
Are there benefits to being a woman in beauty?
I do think that women possess an inherent empathy that allows them to easily understand their clients’ needs.
Challenges for women in beauty?
Things have been tougher for women, though we are definitely on more equal footing these days. I was the first woman to win Avant Garde hairdresser, London Hairdresser of the year, and British Hairdresser of the year – this was just in the ‘90s.
Risk and reward: Moving to the United States from England. I experience more of the corporate side and offer a hairdresser’s perspective at the core of decision-making.
What does “work/life” balance mean to you? It’s difficult. I go through periods where I feel very balanced, and others not at all. Being at home in Minneapolis, seeing green, spending time with my husband and dog are very important to me.
To follow in your footsteps, a woman would have to: Be creative, be a fighter. Have a very supportive partner.
Famous woman you would like to style? Her Majesty, the Queen
Reading: The Power of People: Four Kinds of People Who Can Change Your Life - Dr. Verna Cornelia Price
Playlist: “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele; “Manhattan” by Kings of Leon
Every day, just for you: Work out with a trainer
Working on: Aveda Congress. On my way into a shop in New York to pick up costumes for my models at this very moment.
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