Company: That Hair Girl Tiff, from Hair By Banks
MERAKI: What schooling did you do?
I took a hairstyling course where I grew up in Kitchener/Waterloo area. It was a good school with a good curriculum, but with hair the learning never ends and although my initial education was important, my continuing education is just as important. I try to take 2-4 classes per year to keep me up to date on new trends and techniques so I can stay relevant for my clientele.
MERAKI: One experience that was a game changer?
This time last year I was working at a salon that I was very very unhappy with, accompanied with being in an abusive relationship, I was really starting to second guess my ability to cut it as a stylist in the long term. I received encouragement and an opportunity to audition to be a member of the Colour Proof artistic and educational team but, I had to get myself to California in 3 weeks to be able to do it. My amazing parents fronted me the money for my flight and I threw caution to the wind and went. That had to be one of the most encouraging career experiences I’ve ever had. Everyone I met was warm and welcoming, everyone cared about the growth and happiness of one another and it made me recognize why I choose this career. That trip gave me the courage to leave that employer and eventually leave that abusive relationship, I’ll never forget it.
MERAKI: One advice that was given to you in order to push you?
I often would get caught up in what other people were doing, other stylists and their progression and advancement and the best advice I’ve received is to just focus on me. On myself and my work and that everything will fall into place as necessary but you can’t worry about what other people are doing to get to their destination.
MERAKI: Advice that you would pass on for someone going into the same field ?
People shouldn’t get into hairstyling thinking it will be easy or quick money. It takes a true passion, and a lot of hard work to get to be successful. Be yourself, and own your brand. No one is like you, no one will be like you, so make your clients recognize that and they will be loyal to you. Don’t constantly jump around salons, you will always have to rebuild and it will always set you back. Make sure you are happy with the environment you are in because it makes the world of a difference.
MERAKI: When you’re not working What are some of your favourite things to do?
I have two dogs at home, so I try to spend as much of my free time as possible with them. Thankfully they’re very well behaved and my friends enjoy them so I often host barbecues and get togethers at my house. I enjoy the outdoors a lot, I (and sometimes them) will go hiking and exploring as often as possible.
MERAKI: Who are some people that have inspired you throughout your career?
I’ve had genuine mentors throughout my career. My first was the salon owner of my first salon job. She had been in the business over 20 years and had a very family oriented environment in the salon. Her client retention was amazing, she had some clients that had been with her her entire career and was always busy and thriving. She really encouraged me to build strong personal relationships with my clients. My current mentor is the owner of the salon I am working at now. Her and I are very close in age, she’s only a year older than me, yet she’s accomplished so much. She’s really made a brand for herself and has worked so hard and accomplished her goals. She helps keep me focused and on track and I take all of her advice because every time I do, it leads me to success. I can’t wait to continue to grow with her and with her salon.
MERAKI: If you weren’t in your profession, what else would you do?
I’ve toyed with this question before, in times where I was still building clientele, or times where I was feeling defeated with my past employers, but I can honestly say I can’t see myself doing anything else. This is my passion, and this is my calling and I want to stay relevant and passionate in the industry for as long as possible. Even if that means not being behind the chair anymore, whether its teaching, or brand work hair and beauty is my passion
MERAKI: How do you stay updated on current trends?
Social media is a huge one. I spend hours every day coasting through social media and looking for new trends and techniques I can apply to my life behind the chair. I also work as an artistic specialist and educator for the hair care line Color Proof. They send me for training twice a year across the US and even just being in a big room with many stylists is inspiring.
MERAKI: Looking back, is there anything you would do differently in your journey?
Everything is a learning curve. I’d never change anything, even the negative experiences. They just caused me to work harder to be where I am now. It’s important to face challenges in order to better yourself.
MERAKI: How would you describe yourself?
I like to think I come across as confident and inviting in the salon. I try to make my clients feel like they can be open with me, but also that they can trust my judgement that I’m going to give them a look that suits them and their budget, without damaging their hair.