Lee Stafford World

4 June 2022

COPPER ROSE

We caught up with 3 students who had graduated from a Lee Stafford academy during lockdown to see what they were up to…


You are all mature students, were any of you hairdressers before going to Lee Stafford Education?

CLAIRE: I just did hairdressing for work experience at school when I was 14, I really wanted to do hairdressing but I ended up in the care industry. Back in the day people used to say “Oh there’s no money in it” you know or “There’s so much competition!” People just wanted to put you off of hairdressing I think.

ROSIE: I wanted to do it when I left school, but I just didn’t, I went straight into work. My mum was a hairdresser so there was always something about it that I loved. I’d just had my daughter and I wanted to change my career to work around her.

LIGA: No, I studied business at college.


Why did you want to get into hairdressing?

ROSIE: I don’t know, when I wanted to change my career, I thought “well I’ve aways wanted to do hairdressing so why not just do it now.”

CLAIRE: I was working in care and going through a divorce. I was thinking about going and getting my nurses degree and then I thought “this is your chance, do something you have always wanted to do, do something for myself.” I was 33 and I thought, do you know what, I’m going to do hairdressing. When I started I felt like I was good at it and it gave me that boost. I was focused.

LIGA: Well I was going through a rocky patch in my relationship, we had a takeaway business but it wasn’t the right time. Deep down I knew the relationship wasn’t going to work out so I thought I would go to college and do something for myself. Hairdressing was my way of thinking about my future and the kids. I was pregnant when I started and I only took two weeks off college and then returned.


Why did you choose to go to a Lee Stafford Acadamy?

ROSIE:  I’ve always followed Lee Stafford, I knew who he was, I obviously watched ‘The Hairdresser’ and it just caught my eye. So yeah I just signed up to it.

CLAIRE: Well there was Dudley College and Halesowen College and at the time there was a big thing where everyone knew there was going to be a Lee Stafford Academy and I wanted to get noticed. I think what it was is that Lee is quite involved in the college, you know it’s a famous person going in and you can get recognised. We entered all the competitions, it was a big thing at the time. The first year was more focused and we met Lee quite a few times.

LIGA: I would say the same, I had two choices, Halesowen College or Dudley College so I picked Halesowen because it was more eye-catching because of the Lee Stafford Academy.


Did you know each other before or did you meet on the course?

ROSIE:  We met on the course, I started off doing part time Level 2 and then I met Claire when we did the competition in London, we stayed in the same room and then on Level 3 we were all together.


How did you find the recipes to learn?

LIGA: I actually enjoyed the recipes, they were good recipes. It was step by step the video, it was very easy to follow. It’s just the tutors could have engaged a little bit more with us.

ROSIE: I loved them, I was always on them, watching them and doing it at home and I really enjoyed them I thought they were really good to follow. Really good.

CLAIRE: Yeah I did as well, it was just like a breakdown of everything. The thing is when you are working you find your own methods and that but there are still techniques I use from Lee Stafford. Obviously you get your own way as well but you still go back to the techniques like the Graduated Bob and the layering techniques.

ROSIE: He makes them simple doesn’t he!

CLAIRE: They are broken down.


Which one was your favourite and why?

LIGA: I think it was the Long Graduation. Where you pull the hair and you have to over direct. That was my favourite.

ROSIE: Do you know my favourite was the Vintage Tong, I actually did it at the competition. I loved that!

CLAIRE: The Short Graduation, everybody thought it was the hardest one but I got it straight away. I’m onboard with short, I like short styles, I like chopping in and you know, texturising. I like creative cutting.

ROSIE: Yeah I think that’s what it was, a lot of his stuff is just really creative.


How did you find the coaching methodology at LSE?

ROSIE:  I just enjoyed it, I loved going and loved doing it. I really enjoyed looking forward to going to college and stuff. I looked forward to going to college all the time and that’s what I wanted. Obviously all of us were getting on really well and stuff, loved it.


What is your favourite thing about your experience at LSE?

ROSIE: I’d say the competition, LOVED the competitions, just getting together with all the other colleges. The buzz from it was so amazing.

CLAIRE: Because we were all nervous wasn’t we. When we did that seminar with Lee Stafford we were so nervous but we did it and it just gave us a boost. Lee was like “Don’t worry, you’ll be alright!”. It’s just the way he comes in and the way he talks to you, really down to earth.

LIGA: Meeting these two actually! It’s fun to do a competition, because I told you I was pregnant. Yeah it was nice to meet Lee, he came in and it was just nice to meet these two.


Starting your own salon is a big project, what made you decide to take that leap?

ROSIE: So we were all mobile before and I know Claire was really thinking about it and it got to the stage where she sort of approached us all. I was really sceptical, I didn’t know if I could do it. I don’t know if it’s going to work. And I hate to live with regret and I thought do you know what, let’s just go for it. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work and if it does, amazing and I just thought, I’m gonna go for it.

CLAIRE: I think through covid I thought do you know what, you’ve just got to go for it. It’s scary and we’ve learnt so much on the way, like things that we should have done but you know it’s our first year in business and it’s a learning curve isn’t it.

LIGA: I always said in the college that me and Claire are going to open a business and then back in February I was actually very ill with covid and I ended up in hospital. Claire called me and she said she had spoken to Rosie and should we open a shop? I said yeah, let’s just do it cause you know, you don’t want to live with regret. You take opportunity and I don’t regret this.

ROSIE: We have come on so much as well in the past year with getting the salon and we were just newly qualified so we’ve learned and we have a good standard of work as well although, we aren’t going to blow our own trumpets. Everyone who comes here, they go on our instagram and they say its so appealing all of our pictures. We take pride in our work, we really do.


How did you come up with the name Copper Rose?

ROSIE: Everyone always says that its from my name but it’s not. I think we were looking on Pinterest at colours, signs, writing and things like that and I actually came across it on something and I approached the girls and asked what they thought about Copper Rose and we all loved it. I also had copper hair at the time.


What do you think makes Copper Rose special?

CLAIRE: I think it’s us. Not only do we all have the same techniques but you have to have a way about you and when people leave the salon they feel like they have a new lease of life. They feel energised and they say they want to go out. We just have a good vibe about us you know, we’ve got the music on, we dance around, we have a party. We are just normal people you know, we are ourselves.

ROSIE: I think we are councillors as well sometimes.

LIGA: I think we take pride in our work, if anyone is not happy we always do everything we can to please them.


If there was one thing you would want people to know about your Copper Rose, what would it be?

LIGA: That we are great at what we do… I would also say Balayage, we are great at it.

CLAIRE: Blondes! We do a lot of foils and balayage techniques.


Now you are in the big wide world, how do the recipes compare to other stylists you have worked with or brought in to work for you? 

ROSIE: Well before we got the salon, I was at a different salon where I did my work based learning and I used to watch her and I was sure you could do it an easier way. As we were learning with LSE and watching the recipes I used to watch her and I wish I could just say “Did you know you can do it like this?” But obviously you can’t. His recipes were simplified and I used to look at the people I was working with and thought “I’d love to just show you it” but you just don’t say do you.


What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting their own salon?

CLAIRE: Get more knowledge on business and setting up a business. Cause we opened this as a Limited Company whereas we should have just been sole traders. We are all self employed and we all paid our rent into the bank whereas we should have just had our own business accounts. We had so much advice setting up, we just didn’t know which to take.

ROSIE: Make sure you get the right advice.


How important do you think education is in the hair industry?

LIGA: Yeah I think education is the key to success. You know you should invest in yourself every day, every month, just keep learning new recipes, keep learning new tricks you know, it’s all about learning.

ROSIE: Oh I do think it’s really important, definitely. You’ve got to.

LIGA: Yeah the more you invest in yourself, the better you get. I think it all depends on the quality of work not the experience of who has been trading more.

CLAIRE: I think with the youngsters as well, they just expect the learning from the trainers at the college where I think you need to have it in yourself to learn. I think that’s what people struggle with, you’ve got to want to it and I think because we were mature students, not that it’s our last chance, but we had to put 100% into it because this is how much we want it.


Do you feel the education you have received with LSE gave you opportunities for personal advancement / career progression?

ROSIE: Yeah definitely! I think so, 100%!

CLAIRE: Yeah I think because it was all about the competitions for me and Lee coming in and the recipes and the whole package I think it just gave me that confidence.

ROSIE: It wasn’t just like standard hairdressing was it? It was everything else that came with it.


What would you say to someone who is thinking of joining a Lee Staffford Academy?

LIGA: I would say go for it but what you have to remember is unless you want to learn, you are not going to learn. If you are going to a Lee Stafford Academy just for the sake of going there, don’t do it. If you are going because you want to learn and you want success in life then yes, go do it.

ROSIE: You’ve got to want to have that strive to learn but I’d say go for it… definitely!

CLAIRE: I’d say definitely go for it, I’d say never give up and I’d say practice makes perfect. Just follow the steps, it’s step by step. Take every opportunity and enter the competitions. I was really nervous, like really nervous but you just need to overcome your fears and put it out there.

ROSIE: I think you’ve just got to take a leap and just do something out of the ordinary and then you know, you’ll be surprised.


Copper Rose salon is located at 9 Nimmings Road, Halesowen B62 9JQ and you can call +44 (0) 121 792 1458 to make a booking.


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