Believe in yourself.Laura Williams, Hairdresser
"My mum always wanted me to be a hairdresser," Elana says. "I've always been creative, and she thought hairdressing would be a great outlet for me".
Elana originally received a scholarship to a hairdressing school. However, she'd been doing work experience at a local salon during high school, and on her birthday the owner rang her up and offered her an apprenticeship.
"I didn't want to be stuck in an office, sitting behind a desk all day," Elana says. "I love being out in the salon and connecting with clients. What really keeps me in hairdressing, however, is how creative I can be".
Elana was sure of what she wanted to do, so she never discussed it with her teachers. Her friends were supportive, however, and excited about having a friend who could do their hair.
Elana says she's been "pretty lucky" with her apprenticeship so far. Two of her top highlights were winning HITO Central Apprentice of the Year in Wellington and recently being selected as a finalist for the HITO Hot New Talent Competition. As a finalist, Elana will travel to NZ Fashion Week and get the chance to work behind the scenes. If she wins, she'll work with a fantastic industry mentor and style her own shoot at Fashion Week.
For anyone thinking about a career in hair, Elana has some advice:
"Do work experience to make sure hairdressing is right for you," Elana says. "And do an apprenticeship - you can't get such good hands-on experience anywhere else".
"I'm in the third year of my apprenticeship, and I want to work hard and get qualified as soon as I can," Elana says. "Once I'm qualified, my ultimate dream would be to go to New York Fashion Week".