11 January 2022
INNOVATION AND EDUCATION ARE PART OF MY DNA
Tell me what innovation in the hair industry means to you?
Well, it can manifest in many different ways. Some hairdressers are always innovating by pushing boundaries through cutting and styling and trying something new. But, equally you can be creative in other ways. It could be a salon name, the interior design or a process or system in a business. It could be marketing campaigns or a product, there are so many ways to do something interesting. The more you innovate the more you stand out which is SO important.
However, there is a fine line. Doing something different just for the sake of it doesn’t really work, you need to be careful and authentic and just remember sometimes being simple can be innovative!
Give me some examples of innovations you've admired AND/OR been a part of.
There are two examples I love…
My pal Sophia Hilton called her new salon ‘Not another salon’, it was so strong! So different. So brave, really ballsy.
Also, when Charles Worthington brought out his new packaging. It was double the normal width of a shampoo bottle which, at the time, was so innovative. This was when retailers dictated the size of the products to control and protect shelf space. He completely changed the way brands approach packaging, it was a real game changer and subsequently his range just blew up!
Innovation has been such an important part of my life. For instance, when I started out I regularly used older rather than youth focused models and it opened up everything. TV appearances and product and retail deals. At one stage we were challenged by our retail partner to increase sales ASAP, so I innovated and created a new product (Lee Stafford Heat Protection) The first in the World… and the rest is history. Innovation saved me!
Education is now your professional priority. Why?
It has always been my priority. As soon as I started attending Vidal Sassoon’s Hair School I was hooked completely. I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel!
I was learning at Sassoon’s and running my own salon at the age of 22. Everything I learnt at Sassoon’s I passed onto my small team, which was a priority for me. As my career built I had the privilege of sharing my skills at hair events around the World.
Tell me about Lee Stafford Education? How did you create it and where is it now?
The main issue I had and the main reason why I started Lee Stafford Education was the majority of kids I employed straight out of college had to be retrained by myself. I felt something needed to change so I set-up LSE to help raise the standard.
Hairdressing has always been very good to me, now is the time to give something back!
What do you think an improvement in education can achieve?
It can impact thousands of people’s lives. If education can function as an exciter and inspirer then you will deliver a demographic that are uplifted, driven and motivated. The World CAN be their oyster.
Education can deliver the confidence and the connections to make it in the industry I love.
With our learners I always advocate the importance of entering competitions. Your skills improve as you prepare for them, it’s exciting, get’s you noticed and makes you stand out.
9 September 2022
We caught up with 3 students who had graduated from a Lee Stafford academy during lockdown to see what they were up to…
4 June 2022