I met Holly (Hairstylist/Lifestyle Blogger) through her sister, Hayley, a fashion designer based in my home city of Dundee who I have worked with on many occasions. Though I don’t know her well, I do know that Holly (31) is a kind, educated woman who lives life to its fullest, having fun whenever she can – whether it’s travelling to Paris for fashion week, hanging out with her beautiful daughter Ruby, or sharing drinks with her friends. I love her ability to tell a tale through clever prose (her blog is worth adding to your reading list), and I admire how her creativity crosses many outlets, from writing to hair styling and some time modelling. Holly is truly an old soul in a modern world.
Where are you from? Dundee
Where do you live? I live in Dundee’s French Quarter, which is situated just west of the city centre.
What did you want to be when growing up? When I was younger I always had visions of becoming a performer, predominately a dancer. I would dream of starring next to John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever or split jumping from the taxi cab in Fame. I actually studied at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance when I left high school but my ambition to become a professional dancer never seen fruition. My boyfriend is a dancer so I can live my dreams of the stage through him.
What does your job involve? I am a Hairstylist at Gigi Bobs Your Hair. I offer a bespoke salon experience, specialising in cutting, colouring and dressing hair. I am also a Session Stylist, which involves dressing/styling hair for Magazine Shoots, Commercials, Advertising Campaigns and Fashion Shows.
What does your average working day look like? It depends where I am! Thursday to Saturday I can be found at the salon on South Tay Street Dundee, my salon days are generally manic as I believe in giving all my clients 100% focus and attention during their visit, I look after an average of 8 clients per day, which keeps me on my toes.
If I am working in Session I can be anywhere in the world, last week I received an email regarding work in the Netherlands or in March I was working at the Balenciaga Headquarters in Paris assisting Gary Gill on the Fashion House’s Fall/Winter 16 Show. I so happened to be at my boyfriend’s old ballet school, Rambert School of Contemporary Dance in London last month for an ID Magazine Fashion Story, which has actually just been released, I assisted Mark Francome Painter for photographer Harley Weir.
When I am not travelling or cutting, you can find me at my kitchen table, where I write/blog on my trusted MacBook- Writing is my real passion.
Best thing about your work? The best thing about my job lies in other’s satisfaction. There is nothing more uplifting than gifting a client with self confidence, self belief and self pride, that alone is why I do what I do.
I also love travel and have a real interest in exploring the realms of hair, design, art and fashion. I thrive in a creative atmosphere and hairdressing allows me to stimulate my artistic needs.
Worst thing about your work? I am extremely self-critical. I am a perfectionist as most artists are. I take myself and my craft very seriously and that can often be my downfall, I am personally affected if I don’t get my work right, I can easily become anxious and down-beaten.
Desk essentials? Comb, scissors, notepad, iPhone, MacBook, books (lots of them).
What has been your career highlight so far? There are so many, but I think having the courage and self belief to say “fuck it” I am going to start up my own business, that has been the highlight for me.
Obviously working at London and Paris Fashion Week has been a dream come true and I will always be indebted to Gary Gill for giving me those experiences and opportunities.
The most overwhelming feeling is to have clients seek out my skills, that has been the most positive aspect of going solo, after only two weeks in the new salon I had to increase my working hours due to demand, the response has been incredible.
How have things changed since you started out? My industry is forever changing and evolving, it is never wise to become complacent. I am a devotee of my discipline and I am constantly learning, everyday is another lesson, it excites me. You are only as good as your last haircut and I aim to make them all perfect, I will never rest on my laurels.
Who or what is your inspiration/motivation? I am inspired by strength, we all face setbacks, put downs or discouragement. Those who get up, dust themselves off and get on with things inspire me most. I use all the negative circumstances that have happened in my life to motivate and encourage me, they make me stronger and more determined to create something beautiful.
I find solace and understanding of the world’s emotions in the pages of books, I carry at least two everywhere I go. I have a book by Jonathan Black called the Secret History of the World and I refer to it before every decision I make. I am very spiritual and believe in the power of the cosmos, the energy I receive from nature and the sky motivates me in my daily, day to day life, I practice Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing and partake in outside exercise, including yoga, everyday which helps to lift my mood and encourages a positive and healthy mind, which is vital for my personal welfare and the work I do.
Best piece of professional advice you’ve received? “The salon is a theatre, the mirror is your stage, you are an actor, now go and perform”.
This really put the “Art of Hair” into perspective for me. Everyone loves a to be the centre of attention and my job allows me to dramatically enhance how a person looks and feels, embodying the essence of self-care and self-expression whilst changing or upholding their personal image.
Top tip for getting into the industry? Be true to yourself, fashions change and styles come and go, its fundamental to stay on top of current trends, but what is most important is to make your own mark, put your own stamp on things. Sell yourself and your work will sell itself. Don’t cut the person to fit the cloth.
Something we don’t know about you? As a teenager I ran competitively for my country, I was an International Athlete and Scottish Champion at 800m, 1500m and Cross Country. I trained five days a week, had my own personal coach, partook in sprint training with players from Dundee Football Club and competed/raced every weekend. My name is printed in record books somewhere…. I think my dad still has a copy of them.
Paper or Digital: Paper
Tea or Coffee: Tea
Heels or Flats: Heels (always!)
Save or Spend: Spend
Day or Night: Day (I get up before 6am everyday)
Beach or Snow: Beach
Phone or Email: Email (I have no time to chat)
Dogs or Cats: None (sorry)
Sweet or Savoury: Savoury
Champagne or Cocktails: I always drink both 🙂