We spoke to Hair Festival Competition Dream Team Collab winners Kimberly Martz, Sienna Shields and Charlie Carruthers of Wow Hair Wickham about their team work ethos, the power of the win and their fiery winning look.
Why did you enter the Hair Festival competitions?
KC: I entered on floor comps as an apprentice, and I believe it was a great way to build a true passion for all things hair. It’s also a great way to bring your team together.
CC: It provided a wonderful platform to showcase the incredible talent of our team.
SS: I was so excited when I was asked to enter with Kimberly and Charlie, and altogether just grateful they thought I was competent enough to compete with them, especially because I’m an SBAT apprentice. As soon as I was asked, I was more than happy to enter with them.
What does it mean to you to win?
KC: It means the world to me to have won because it’s taken me eight years to have finally built this beautiful team that I have right now, and each stylist brings their bit to our space. I love to shine a spotlight on my young team and try to get them as excited as I feel about this awesome industry and see that it’s so much more than just a job.
CC: I am truly humbled by our victory, and I can’t thank Kimberly and Sienna enough for their dedication and hard work through the whole process. Our passion for hair and our desire to create out of this world looks are what drives us and this competition
allowed us to express that passion on a stage. It’s an honour to be recognised, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share our creativity with the world.
SS: It means a lot to win. To get all of our names and the salon ‘out there’ and published is such a big reward. It also shows that the girls’ trust and belief in me was true, which definitely raised my self-confidence being, so new to the industry.
How will the prizes be helpful to your career?
KC: It’s been a way to highlight our apprentices’ great skills. Our salon is very family and community focussed, so our clients love to watch us succeed. We really love to share passion around the salon with clients and the trophy has become a great talking point in our salon too.
CC: I think it will be beneficial to get my name ‘out there’. I feel it’s great to be an apprentice, and have my work and name published already.
SS: The prize of being featured in INSTYLE magazine is super beneficial as I am so new to the hair industry, it’s such a brilliant opportunity for not only myself but all the staff at the salon. We also were fortunate enough to win $1500 worth of colour stock, which we donated to my school, CCJSC, to assist them in getting more SBAT students in hairdressing.
Tell us about your winning look.
SS: The winning look was an Avant Garde editorial look. Inspired by fire, the hair evolved upward into a point, with flicks of hair coming off the top. To me, the look even symbolised lava erupting from a volcano.
KC: It started with a trip to Bunnings and a particular pot plant hanger that provided the shape to the look. Next, it was the outfit that reminded us all of fire, so I knew I could design something, playing into each of our strengths. We realised early that Sienna was a great braider so, with this as a good base, I went next to pin in all the heavy, larger parts, as we had a mini smoke machine implanted into the base of the look. Then Charlie offered the final aspect with her great eye for detail and understanding of balance and shape.
CC: It took us many weeks and many collaborative ideas to create this winning look. It’s an editorial Avant Garde piece that was purely inspired by the movement and unpredictable
element of fire. We melded and manipulated hair to encourage the eye to follow the flowing direction of the flames but also encouraged people to interpret the look as you see it.
What would you advise to future competition applicants?
KC: Just go for it! Spend a couple of sessions planning your design, then practice as much as you can, allowing a bit of room and time for error, so you don’t need to feel too stressed on the day.
CC: Strive for progress as a team, not perfection! Never think an idea is irrelevant, you never know what doors it will open creatively for you and your team members.
SS: I would advise them to believe in themselves. Being so new to the industry, I was quite hesitant in entering and scared I would let the team down. Having a sense of self-worth and belief was absolutely a contributing factor to our win.
Why are live competitions so important in a team environment?
KC: It allows you to get to know each other on a different level from a salon environment. You get to express yourselves so much more than in a day-to-day salon environment.
CC: I believe live competitions hold immense importance in a team environment. It encourages collaboration where our team can refine skills. Live competitions provide a situation similar to a salon environment where we, as a team, can communicate effectively and tackle challenges together.
SS: Live competitions in a team environment are so beneficial to the team itself. Both in training and with the thrill of competing, it brought us so much closer. We got to know each other and how we work collaboratively. It was a bonding experience.
What’s your number one secret to amazing teamwork?
KC: While every great team needs a strong leader, it’s just as important to have respect for one another, without feeling like anyone is competing against one another, and also making sure everyone has freedom of speech, especially when planning your vision. Always Listen to each other’s opinions and view on the entire look.
SS: Practice! If we went in blind, with only a final look in mind, there is absolutely no way we could have pulled it off, let alone win. We worked extremely hard on our teamwork and collaboration to find a way that worked for us. It took a lot of time to work it out, but once we had it, it was like we kept growing from there.
Any final thoughts on competing in Hair Festival?
KC: I’ve always said to my team that competitions can be like playing in a sporting event. Each time we trained was like a lead up game, and you’re working towards your grand final. The excitement and energy on the day between our team was so exciting, and it really has created a special bond amongst us all, even for the other salon members who didn’t compete. If you are thinking of competing in the future, just do it!
For more information visit www.hairfestival.com.au
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