Discover

International Womens Day 2018

An Interview with the Hair Industry's Power Women

International Women’s Day is a worldwide event which celebrates the special contributions that women make to all walks of life. We celebrate the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women across the globe, with an aim to inspire others and to encourage unity, equality and advocacy.

The hair industry is full of diverse role models and bold innovators and we’re proud to be able to say that many of these are women. We took the opportunity to celebrate two leaders of the industry who have certainly earned themselves ‘Power Woman’ status, Catherine Handcock and Nicola Shannon.

Catherine Handcock launched Creative Head in 2000 and has since developed it from a single magazine to the dynamic, highly respected brand that has such great influence over the industry today. We talked to her about her achievements and the experiences she has faced in her career to date.  

Tell us a little about your story and how you came to start Creative Head?

I’d been working in B2B hairdressing magazines for a few years and by 2000 I was editing a magazine called ‘Your Salon’ in central London. The business owner was very hands-off, and I was running the magazine pretty much on my own; dealing with the printers, writing the content, selling the ad space and knew it was profitable and successful. When the business owner went bust (he had other magazines that were not doing so well), I knew there was a gap in the market for a quality, forward-thinking title that took a more contemporary approach to the industry than other magazines did . For example, recognising session stylists as well as salon-based professionals, and shining a spotlight on new, upcoming talent, not just the “established” names.

What were the key challenges you faced / how did you overcome them? 

The key challenge was nothing to do with work as such, when we launched Creative HEAD I was a single parent to a six-month-old baby, and had moved out of London, to live in Northumberland near my family. This meant I had to fit in emails and phone calls, while Oliver was asleep, which was not very often, and I also had to spend quite a bit of time travelling to and from London. I didn’t mind it though, I seriously enjoy a challenge and of course friends and family were very supportive. I made a vow that living in Northumberland was not going to affect the business, and I can honestly say that it hasn’t. If anything, it’s had a positive impact because I’m a constant reminder that there is life outside of London! It’s also meant I have a fantastic relationship with my son. He’s 19 now, and off to university. I think it’s important to state that I find this industry very supportive of women, and understanding of the challenges of parenthood, which affect so many women in business. People were always very patient with me in the early years, when my son was young. I make sure I return the favour now, whenever I can.

Tell us about an event that you felt was 'career defining’?

I’m not sure I can reduce it down to a single event. I think it’s more about who we work with at Creative HEAD – those brilliant, amazing, talented, resourceful, creative hair professionals who provide us with so much unique and exciting content and who have come to define the spirit and direction of the magazine. It’s how I would sum up my career so far, I work with a very talented team, and in turn we work in one of the most vibrant and exciting industries in the country. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved, taking Creative HEAD from a single magazine to a dynamic, highly influential brand that encompasses international titles, incredible digital work and a portfolio of buzzing, interesting, relevant events that are packed out every time.

What’s your motto/ any words to live by?

Learn from your mistakes.

What factors do you consider as fundamental to your success?

Hard work. Open mind. A passion for what I do.

Do you have any advice for Women in business / aspiring female entrepreneurs?

I’m not sure my advice would be gender-specific. For any entrepreneur, the early years are nerve-wracking. You’ve just got to believe in what you’re doing and work hard and create all the opportunities you can. Don’t be afraid to try something new. We broke the mould with Creative HEAD, bringing in a new approach to informing and inspiring the industry. It was what we wanted to do, we went for it  and people really responded to it.

If you could describe yourself in one sentence, what would it be?

Hard working and determined!

Nicola Shannon launched Professional Hairdresser Magazine in 2006. Under Nicola’s guidance, Professional Hairdresser is now firmly established as one of the hairdressing industry’s leading titles for salon professionals. We talked to her about her achievements and the experiences she has faced in her career to date.  

Tell us a little about your story and how you came to start Professional Hairdresser?

From a young age I always wanted to be a fashion journalist and studied at the London College of Fashion.  After working on various fashion and home interest magazines, I was given the opportunity to launch Professional Hairdresser.  It’s a great responsibility to be entrusted with a project from conception and it’s deeply satisfying to see it grow and succeed.

What were the key challenges you faced / how did you overcome them?

The only key challenge when launching Professional Hairdresser was going in cold to a new industry where I was unknown and having to start from scratch again, making contacts and building relationships: You just jump in and get on with it. I must say that I have never come across any prejudice or equality issues in this industry – I’ve always felt you’re viewed for who you are and not your gender or sexuality.

Tell us about an event that you felt was 'career defining’? 

I think the first ever Pro Hair Live Manchester in 2010 was ‘career defining’ – for me it was that exciting step of taking the magazine into a live format.  Putting together the stages at the show for me was like editorial in the magazine.  The support from all the great hairdressers who appeared on the stages that first year was amazing, as it continues to be and I hugely appreciate it!

What’s your motto/ any words to live by? 

I don’t really have any, I just try to strike a good work/life balance, treat others as I expect to be treated and to be happy.

What factors do you consider as fundamental to your success?

Having a great product always helps! Obviously you’ve got to know what you’re doing in whatever industry you’re in – experience, hard work and integrity and just loving what you do!  And perhaps I should mention my brother J.  As you know Oliver works with me on the brand and our family commitment is integral to its success.

Do you have any advice for Women in business / aspiring female entrepreneurs? 

Work hard, be strong, believe in your product and be true to yourself. 

0

Shopping Bag

Sub Total
£0.00
Shipping (Estimated)
£0.00
Total
£0.00