Hairdressing runs in my family
I was born and raised in Northern France, near Lille. Cold and rainy weather, houses made up of red bricks: yep, it sounds very much like London.
I come from a family of hairdressers. My grandmother was one and so is my mum. Very much like the series Charmed, every female born in my family is bound to become a witch; well… a hair stylist. I pretty much grew up in my mother's salon, and soon became passionate about all things hair related. When I reached the age of fifteen, I told my parents that I wanted to become a hairdresser too.
In a vain attempt to break the familial curse, they refused and stood firm when I started throwing random pieces of furniture at them. Yes, I have character - like the famous Chateau Margaux. Determined to change my parents' mind, fifteen-year old me travelled to Southern France to attend the Festival de Cannes. At least, that's what I told my parents.
On my first day, I woke up very early and headed towards Jean-Claude Biguine, a boutique hair salon and one of the few salons that are partners to the Festival. Once the manager arrived, I told him that I wanted to work for him. "For free", I added, when he enquired about my qualifications - or absence of. The man shook his head negatively and walked in.
The following morning, the very same scene happened again, with the same outcome. On the third day, tired of seeing this tenacious teenager (or maybe secretly admirative of my drive), the manager agreed to a trial session. "One day", he said.
Yes, I like to think that people admire me. Just kidding ;)
I ended up working there two months. I was cleaning, shampooing, rinsing colours and balayages while observing, in admiration, famous actors and actresses having their hair perfected. I loved every minute of it.
When I finally came back home and told my parents about the experience, they gave up and agreed on me becoming a hairdresser. With one condition, though: I would study and obtain the relevant diploma. You can’t have it all!
Four years later, I was a qualified hairdresser & beautician. I didn't look for a job. Instead, I booked a one-way flight to Australia. My experience at Festival de Cannes made me realise how shocking my English was and how crucial it is in today's world to master the language of Shakespeare – which, back then, I would probably have spelt “chaquespire”.
Australia: sea, sun and scissors
I landed in Sydney and I found a job very quickly. That’s the beauty of my trade: equipped with scissors, a comb and a hair drier, you can work pretty much anywhere. I soon started experiencing the Australian way of living: surf, work, surf, sleep. Repeat. Who said cliché?
After a year, I moved to the Gold Coast, for a new hair salon, where I quickly became manager. When my boss offered to sponsor me for a management role, I politely declined and packed my stuff for South East Asia. Now that I had experienced what the world had to offer, I wanted to see more. And that, I did. From Malaysia to Indonesia and Thailand, I explored new countries, discovered new cultures and met a lot of people. I soon started to miss my family that I hadn't seen for over a year and I took the decision to return to France.
From a local French hair salon to vibrant London
A month later, I had opened my own hair and beauty salon with the money saved during my Australian adventure. The business took off quickly and I hired a second employee. After a year though, I got bored. The salon was working well, with a loyal customer base, but it just wasn't enough… something was missing. I wanted to travel and felt like I was far too young to settle down.
With hindsight, travelling and working Australia probably opened up a whole new world, which I never suspected existed. I realised that there was so much more to accomplish in life than just running a small local salon in my hometown.
I sold the business and moved to London, where a friend of mine was living. Here, I experienced the cool & fast-paced environment of a Soho hair salon before opting for a more upmarket workplace in Chelsea where I stayed for two years, perfecting my Chelsea Blowdry skills and introducing French Balayage to my clients.
We’re now in 2016 and the summer is slowly heating up the streets of north London. The tube is a verified oven; the commuters are melting down and my glorious five-foot stature enables me to fully benefit from this myriad of droplets.
My life is about to change dramatically. Yes… again.