Looking to take the next steps in your career? We sat down with our founder Natalie Anne and asked her for her key steps in figuring out what you want to do next and how to get there!
HOW DID YOU START OUT?
"I began my hairdressing career in my garage! I am from the original YouTube days, before influencers or social media was really a thing! If you look back on some of my older videos you'll notice the brick walls in the background, that was the beginning of my studio!
It's amazing sometimes to think that I've gone from that, to headlining shows, ambassador deals and a studio of my own! All of the accolades are great, but the one thing that really gets me excited is helping the next generation come up.
Not only does it mean I'm sharing my knowledge but it also means I am constantly having to challenge myself in finding out what the next step is, to make sure that I always have something new, fresh & innovative to offer those looking up to me. I really do see it as a privilege to be in the position that I'm in and I want to make sure that I am always doing that privilege justice."
WHAT ARE SOME AREAS THAT PEOPLE CAN GO INTO WHEN WANTING TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP IN HAIRDRESSING?
"Area number one would be going into the competition sphere.
The industry has a number of competitions and shows that are great for springboarding your career if you want to stretch your wings creatively. They’re also fantastic for getting FaceTime with your industry heroes. There’s also a genre for every creative style, anything from the AHFAs to L'Oreal Colour Trophy. There really is something for everybody, play to your strengths!
Area number two would be the ambassadorship and influencer route.
This one can be more of a slow burn and requires a lot more time and investment. Social media is stronger these days than any other form of advertising for any brand, in fact it has been proven that most people will turn towards advice & social media for researching products over search engines like Google etc.
This is why brands focus so heavily on brand partnerships, and user generated content to market their products. The key really is here to start creating content and make it authentic. Authenticity is key to making your content believable & relatable, which will appeal to brands audiences the most.
This philosophy really has been the key to my success. People know that if I am picking up a GHD, or using a can of Queenie, or anything in my kit really, it's because I genuinely love it & not because they pay me money. That genuine interaction shows in the quality of your content. Brands will look for professionals who are creating content with their products & the more tangible & more relatable for a customer it is the more attractive it will be to companies.
Area number three would be shoots and shows.
Editorial styling is a beast of its own, because you're trying to bring someone else's creative brief to life, it's fantastic for the buzz if you like the idea of being in the nitty-gritty of the fashion, beauty and hair world. It is a little bit more seasonal than the other paths out there but being part of a creative team really is a feeling like no other.
Everybody bounces off everybody and it's always exciting to see how your piece of the puzzle contributes to the overall look and feel of a brand or campaign. This is definitely not for the faint hearted though, the hours can be unorthodox they can be long days but it's very worth it!"
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN TIPS FOR BREAKING INTO ANY OF THESE INDUSTRIES?
"NUMBER ONE would be educate, educate, educate!
There are so many educators like myself willing to share their knowledge and experience in most, if not all of these fields. Education and making sure that your skills are world-class, and are constantly evolving is incredibly important. Especially because all three options can throw you some curveballs from time to time!
Make sure you're taking on any opportunity for education whether it be paid or free, even look to the senior stylist or other stylists within your orbit of influence and learn what you can from them. There is really something to be said for shadowing somebody, it's amazing what you can pick up just from simple observation. Always make sure you're learning, growing and evolving.
If you're interested in investing in Professional Natalie Anne Education please get in touch with us. We offer Online Education, Masterclasses, In-Salon Workshops & Intensive Shadow Programs.
You can also access our free education resources by following us on various social platforms (Instagram, TikTok & YouTube) and browsing our NA Insiders Blog for detailed Styling Tips and How-Tos.
NUMBER TWO would be to offer up your time offering up your time to stylists or others in the industry you look up to.
This not only feeds back into my first point about the importance of education, but it also exposes you to the industry that you're wanting to be a part of. Sometimes we can glamorise what we feel we want to do but then when we get into it, we find this part so that we don't necessarily enjoy.
Before you invest too much of your time in chasing one individual career path, offer your time to a larger stylist to assist them we need it. This can be as simple as sending them an Instagram or Facebook message telling them what you do and that you would like to assist them at some point.
NUMBER THREE would be to build out and get to know your kit, so that when you do offer time to someone you are completely equipped and comfortable with the items that you have!
I have a checklist for my editorial kit which you can find here. It lists all of my essentials I generally use on any given day. Please bear in mind that there may be specific requirements, depending on the brief for what you are doing on the day. Knowing your product, knowing your kit and knowing your tools will ensure that you come across confident and prepared no matter what situation you walk into.
NUMBER FOUR would be to create, capture and curate your content.
Any brands or stylists you're looking to work with will want to check out your socials, so create that content shows people what you're doing, and where you want to go! Having this readily available makes it so much easier for larger stylists to get to know you should they want to use you for shoots etc
NUMBER FIVE would be to ask for support.
Ask your employer to support you, or anyone else you can look to to support you in your career. Sitting down with your employer to go through your ideal career path and ask them to help support you in your endeavours, especially when it comes to shoots and shows, displays real initiative. I know most salon owners would see someone with such drive as an asset to the business and with your success comes the success of the salon."