With 19 years in the trade and many awards to her name, Mia‚Äôs career has seen her progress from the shop floor to Creative Director of the acclaimed Francesco Group. We caught up with Mia to ask her opinion on the industry and to see what style and career advice she could pass on to you.
1. In the beginning, what made you want to be a hairdresser and how did you get into the trade?
After college I was unsure of which direction to take and I saw hairdressing as being the easy option having grown up in and around the industry. I knew I loved working with people and I saw myself in the service industry. To start off with I took the route of working in the catering industry which wasn‚Äôt for me. I soon learnt that I missed the creativity of hairdressing and took no hesitation in joining my father Frank at our Bridle Road salon. I can honestly say that this was the best career choice I have ever made and definitely not the easy option I had thought it would be.¬† His passion, stamina and his drive gave me the want and desire to be a hairdresser that I still have with me to this day. I know it‚Äôs a clich√© but it‚Äôs true. I’ve never stopped learning.
2. What does your role as Creative Director entail and how did you make the transition from the shop floor?
My job as Director of Hairdressing in a nutshell is to oversee all the hairdressing standards across Francesco Group. My role involves so many different aspects, each day is different. That‚Äôs something I‚Äôve always loved about my job that no two days are ever the same. One day I can be prepping for a shoot, the next I can be working in any one of our four training academies or meeting with other directors and heads of departments or I can be happily snipping away at my client’s hair in the salon. I still love working with my clients on the salon floor.
My transition from the salon floor was a very gradual one. I take great pride in knowing every job role within Francesco Group from trainee to franchisee to where I am today.
3. What products could you not live without?
My favourite products at the moment are in the Wella range. I love the whole range, the products smell heavenly. My favourite product from the range is the Luxe Oil, it‚Äôs great to help nourish hair and restore shine. I like to add a couple of drops before blow drying for a smooth and sleek finish.
4.¬†What would you class as the biggest issue currently facing the trade?
The biggest issue currently facing the trade Is the reduction in household incomes. Since 2008 this has fallen consistently which means that clients have less money to spend. The hairdressing industry needs to tackle how we become a priority for clients and something that they can‚Äôt live without.¬† The service industry is always the first to suffer. There is no room for error, everything throughout the client’s journey needs to be of 100% quality. We need to make a difference to our clients and show them how having the right hair colour and cut can enhance them personally and make the next 6 weeks until their visit easy, manageable and enjoyable.
5. What trends do you see being BIG for Summer 2014??
This summer, think soft hair with an air of femininity. Embrace your own texture. All hair lengths will play a part in this look. Fringes are set to be a huge trend amongst the bold fashionistas looking to make a statement. I think 2014 will be all about a jagged length that suits to suit any face shape, something relaxed but versatile.
6. Finally, with almost 20 years in such a vibrant industry, you must have a few funny stories to tell, fancy sharing one?
After 20 years in the industry I can honestly say you can‚Äôt beat the good old days. The days when the salon junior came in on his or her first day and we sent them to the handy shop over the road for a tin of tartan paint, a left handed screw driver and worst of all to the butchers for chicken lips. We did it all.