What made you want to enter NAHA?
In 2005, when still attending hair school, I attended the NAHA Awards Ceremony. There, I was fortunate to meet several masters of their craft. Their work continues to inspire. One of those individuals was Sir Nicholas French. Then in 2009, I was probably the first to sign up for a professional development class offered by Nicholas at my alma mater, Taylor Andrews Academy in West Jordan, Utah.
After spending the day with Nicholas, I decided to expand my present goals and starting participating in local photo shoots. Later that year, Larry Curtis, owner of TA, provided me with the opportunity to shoot a NAHA entry. The photographer chosen was Babak.
Together, we incorporated this photo shoot with a class offered at TA for their students. Larry thought I was out of my mind to choose the category “Avant Garde” my first time out of the starting blocks!
What was the concept behind your collection?
Portraying elegance and beauty are always a priority. Having majored in mechanical engineering, I have tried to parlay these skills into artistic creations, seeing beauty in ordinary things. Each picture in the “golden” collection is unique when standing alone, but when placed side by side, they seem to blend together.
Describe your feelings when you found out you were a NAHA Finalist…
The first year, I was fortunate to be a finalist in two categories. On the day of notification, it was an extremely busy Saturday at the salon. Whenever I had brief breaks, I would check Face Book on my phone. Seeing that many others had already received calls, I was about to “chalk-it up” as a great experience and try again next year.
Right before closing time, I received a phone call from Larry. He informed me that someone was repeatedly calling Taylor Andrews asking for me. I was not sure what was going on, but called the number given. It turns out that on the receiving end of the call was Bonnie of PBA/NAHA. She said, “Congrats on being a finalist in ‘Texture’”.
It was a mixture of emotions. I had spent over three months working on the wigs for “Avant Garde”, and my “Texture” entry was something we threw together during the class when Babak had become bored and wanted to shoot something/anything. So it was a moment of “OMG, I can’t believe I made finals!” and “BUT, on a collection I spent minutes instead of months preparing!”
After a few extremely long minutes, she then informed me, I was also a finalist in “AVANT GARDE”. To this day, I am still amazed and grateful for this experience. Who ever thought a Wyoming Cowboy, could be a NAHA finalist first time entering at the ripe old age of twenty-four!
How did NAHA affect you career?
Still being young to this career, it has opened doors both professionally and personally that could have never been unlocked without these nominations. Right after the announcement, my name was now recognizable, but it wasn’t until the after the actual ceremony, were people able to put a face with that name.
I truly believe that because of these nominations I am able to work for a product company and have been given many editorial opportunities. My work has been published in several magazines. I am able to give back by sharing and teaching at many cosmetology schools throughout the west and have been asked to present at several national conferences.
Personally, I have been able to forge friendships with the “best of the best” in the hair industry. Many of them continue to inspire me, give advice, or simply keep me “going when the going gets tough”.
What are you up to now?
In October, I joined Blush Salon in Salt Lake City, Utah as a master stylist. There, an amazing team surrounds me. Although now because of my large client base, I am not able to teach and travel as much as I would like to. I continue to work on editorial collections and participate in photo shoots during my very limited spare time. Right now, I feel very blessed!