Believe in yourself.Laura Williams, Hairdresser
Hannah was six weeks' from the end of her teaching degree when she decided to pursue hairdressing.
"I'd always thought about becoming a hairdresser, but my parents were convinced that a degree was the better option," Hannah says. "They hated the idea of me leaving university to become a hairdresser".
Hannah knew she needed a change. She wanted to pursue something that was hands-on but also creative. Although teaching allowed her to be hands-on, it wasn't creative in the way Hannah wanted to be.
Luckily, Hannah's parents are a lot more supportive now. Her friends and partner also supported her, thinking she was brave for leaving university and pursuing her dream.
"They can see how happy I am," Hannah says. "But they also see how many amazing opportunities I've had and how hairdressing has taken me so many places".
Hannah has had some amazing opportunities. Since starting her apprenticeship, Hannah has worked at NZ Fashion Week twice, won HITO Southern South Apprentice of the Year, and travelled all over.
"I never thought I would get to fly all over, work at NZ Fashion Week, and meet famous people," Hannah says. "My job never feels like work".
Although she didn't go straight into her career, Hannah says there are advantages to starting later.
"The salon I work in wasn't open when I first left school, so I wouldn't be in the salon I'm in now if I'd started then," Hannah says. "I think being a bit more mature helped me too - it meant I was ready to take all the opportunities that came my way, rather than thinking they would come around again. But in saying that, there are heaps of younger people in the industry doing just as well - it just depends on what you're ready for".
Hannah would advise anyone looking for a career in hairdressing to "jump in and go for it. Do what you want to do, not what other people think you should do."
Hannah hopes to join an Artistic Team in the future. She also plans to "make the most of it, and see where hairdressing can take me".