Congratulations on your win! What did it feel like when your name was called as the winner of this category?
I was very excited! I went into the awards very open minded. Since I was finalist for three of the categories, I was very happy with that accomplishment to begin with and all of the categories were extremely stacked with great images from super talented people, so I was really happy to win for Alberta.
Does your collection have a name?
Yes, I’m calling it Reset. I wanted to it Reset because it was really for me to reset myself. I’ve gone into my comfort zone for the past couple of years and I wanted to give myself the opportunity to step outside of the box and really challenge myself. For me, it was about resetting my mind, my hands, my talent and stepping out there.
How did you come up with the concept behind your collection? What did your brainstorming process look like?
Pinterest is my favourite digital tool right now. It gives me the opportunity to create so many mood boards, and I think they are so important when creating anything visual or artistic. I always start off by creating various mood boards whether they’re based on colours or shapes I’m interested in, or even past collections that inspire me. I put that all together in a mood board and once I have my models chosen, I focus on the suitability. For me, I really follow a principle of purpose, intent and suitability. All of that encapsulated in one is what helps me get started on the collection.
Suitability for the model is really important to me because, as hairstylists, we can always dream of these intense looks or shapes, but at the end of the day it’s all about who your model is and if the look is going to suit them. When doing photography-based competitions and work, suitability is what really makes the image come together and gets people to look a second time. You have to look at their facial features and skin tone to ensure the style will suit so that it all comes together and grabs attention in the photos.
Where did you draw inspiration from for this collection?
When thinking of the styles and colours in the looks, I drew lots of inspiration from nature. I love how nature harmoniously combines warm and cool tones together in a really effortless way. I wanted to draw attention to that because I think so often that we find ourselves put in a box and we either go with all warm tones or all cool tones, so I really wanted to play with the juxtaposition of that. With that being said, I also wanted to focus on techniques that were classic yet still on trend. I wanted people to see visually that I can include graduation, layering and clean lines in this collection. That was kind of my goal, to incorporate all the techniques of haircutting while also pairing it with colours and concepts that enhanced the way the hair was cut.
What are some of the techniques you used to create this collection?
I think when you’re creating a collection it’s really important to be diverse with all your images. You want your images to have continuity, but I believe that each individual image should be diverse at the same time. That gives your viewer the opportunity to see that you have range and it really showcases the talent of the hairstylist. If all your images are using the same techniques, it can be visually stunning and beautiful, but at the same time, when you can see that different techniques are being used in the collection, it shows that the hairstylist is more well-rounded.
Did you face any challenges while creating this collection?
Of course, when you put yourself out there to be vulnerable, you can be really picky over certain things. When you look at your collection with a fine-toothed comb, you start to overanalyze a lot of things instead of forgetting to look at the overall concept. At the same time, I did challenge myself from the get-go. I wanted to work with a specific photographer, however logistically our timelines didn’t match up very well beforehand. I ended up having to prep, cut and colour the same day of the shoot! That’s something I never usually do, so I put a lot of stress on myself and we ended up finishing the shoot at 1 a.m. in the morning. It was a very long day, but at the end of it all it was very successful and it looked good on paper, so I’m pleased.
Why is competing in the Contessa Awards important to you?
For me, competing and working on models is the ultimate expression of yourself because you can turn off the outside world and focus on what you want to see and create. Working behind the chair and educating have great touch points that can help you be successful in the industry, but competing really gives you the opportunity to step outside the box and be a visionary and create looks that are art.
I understand this is your first time competing in the Contessas. Why did you choose to participate this year?
I chose to enter this year because for the last number of years I’ve always assisted or helped a lot of my colleagues compete. Whether they ask for my eye to review collection images, seeing what images work best together, or even actually working on the collection and helping with the colour work. I’ve kind of sat back and not competed and I just thought, “You know what, I’m just going to do this! I’m going to put myself out there and be vulnerable with the industry, and step outside of my box and my comfort zone and show everyone who I am and go back to the expression of creating art.”
What’s next for you? Any goals you’re working toward accomplishing this upcoming year?
I have some things in the works that I’m not ready to share just yet but winning Alberta Hairstyling of the Year at the Contessa Awards is not the last you’ll be seeing or hearing of me! I’m actually hoping to work with a group of stylists to create a Collaboration collection. I’ve become closer to some stylists in rural parts of Alberta that are interested in stretching their boundaries and entering for the first time. So, I’m excited to work with them and I think that starts 2023 off on the right step.