Believe in yourself.Laura Williams, Hairdresser
In October 2013, Laura won the HITO Apprentice of the Year Award. In the final year of her apprenticeship, Laura had entered the award every year. She’d won the Auckland Regional Apprentice of the Year Award three years running, but never claimed the top prize.
Laura was excited to finish her training on such a high note. She completed her final assessments in 2013 and has been working as a qualified stylist for nearly a year now.
“HITO have given me an amazing opportunity to be looked at by other apprentices current and new. They’ve given me the ability to show them you can achieve anything in this career even when you’re just starting out. I know that I will have this title with me forever, and it’s now ticked off my bucket list,” Laura says.
As Apprentice of the Year winner, Laura’s had access to some exciting opportunities. One such opportunity was the HITO Apprentice Boot Camp.
Laura, along with the other Regional Apprentice of the Year winners, spent two days learning from a selection of top stylists, make-up artists, and business people. HITO and Mana Dave hosted the event.
“HITO Boot Camp 2014 was the most amazing experience I could have asked for as a young hairdresser looking at where to next in my career. The skills and techniques I learnt are a great kick-start into my career. The friends and connections I have made are awesome,” says Laura about Boot Camp.
Later in the year, Laura got the chance to work on a photo shoot for Remix magazine.
HITO worked with Remix magazine to organise the shoot. Laura spent the day on set with the model, photographer, and make-up artist, creating the three hair looks and maintaining them throughout the shoot.
Laura worked to a brief, working with the make-up artist, Paige Best, to create the look for the shoot. Laura prepared the hair, styled it, and then touched it up throughout the day when necessary.
“It was an amazing day,” Laura says. “I had the opportunity to see how a whole shoot came together, and learn about each aspect – hair, make-up, lighting and styling. I also got to see the huge difference between seeing the hair in person and seeing it on camera”.
This wasn’t the only photo shoot Laura worked on this year. As part of the L’Oreal Artistic Team, Laura has the opportunity to work on other photo shoots, often for the look books of New Zealand fashion designers. This is her third year with the team – Laura auditioned for the team in 2012, joining the team as a junior and working her way up from there. She also works on Fashion Week shows with L’Oreal.
Fashion Week 2013 was a real highlight for Laura. Although it’s hard work, Laura says it’s all worth it.
“You feel so accomplished seeing your work walk down the runway,” Laura says. “Seeing the total look come together makes all the hard work worth it”.
Laura will be working with the L’Oreal Artistic Team at Fashion Week 2014.
“It’s great to experience something outside the salon,” says Laura. “It’s a totally different environment”.
Laura also spent some time in front of the camera this year. Along with Gary Marshall from L’Oreal, Laura appeared on One News to talk about industry training.
“I was very honoured that I got to speak,” Laura said. “It was exciting.
Once Fashion Week 2014 is over, Laura will be off to Wellington to compete in the Oceanic Hairdressing Master Award. Laura competed in and won the regional Auckland competition earlier this year.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to get to national level in the Oceanic Award,” Laura says.
The next 12 months will be just as exciting. Laura wants to gain her National Certificate in Business and National Certificate in Hairdressing (Advanced Cutting), expanding her skills even further. She also wants to focus on editorial and fashion work.
Laura has some advice for 2014’s Apprentice of the Year hopefuls.
“Believe in yourself. Don’t play yourself down – it’s all about putting yourself out there. And remember – making it through to the finals is a huge achievement. And if you don’t make it that far, come back and try again next year”.