This year for the first time ever, Good Salon Guide was at Colour World and we decided to bring some of our best colourists with us. We staged a competition and one of the winners was Adele Clarke.
Little did any of us know just how much that experience would change Adele’s life. Now an Osmo Ikon Ambassador and due to appear on the HJ Live Stage at Salon International, we asked Adele to talk about her career and how she has ended up where she is. More than anything else, her story shows that with hard work, passion and great use of social media, it is possible to shout about your hair work and make people sit up and listen! Over to Adele…
"Hello. For those who don’t know me, my name is Adele Clarke. I am a 46 year old mother of two, juggling life and running two salons in St Helens, Merseyside. I am an everyday hairdresser who, I am thrilled to say, is managing to do extraordinary things after a change of heart I had a while ago.
"‘Face your fears and do it anyway’ has become a motto I’ve lived by and, as a result of spending time making the most of social media to get my work out there, I’ve had many of my hair dreams come true.
"You see social media is a funny old thing for a girl like me. I was brought up in the era when there was no such thing as a selfie. Talking about yourself was deemed to be boastful and when we got our pictures back from the developers there were cries of “oh my god” (yes Peter Kay style). Yet here I am, facing my fears, dancing out of my comfort zone and telling you a bit about who I am. As the new Brand Ambassador for Osmo Ikon, people rightly so want to know who is talking to them and advising them on their techniques and products.
"I consider myself to be very lucky in that I always knew from being a little girl what I wanted to be. My earliest memory is putting rollers into my grandad’s hair sat on the back of the couch. I’ve always been obsessed with hair. My nanna was a hairdresser back in the day, so I suppose it’s in my DNA. At 14 years old I got my first Saturday job and with my first weeks wage as an apprentice I brought a pair of scissors. My fellow stylists laughed at me, but I’d had two years of watching at that point and was cutting two months later in the salon during the Christmas rush.
"I attended St Helens College and jumped straight into the competition team, which I loved with a passion. My passion won me 12 national competitions - the best being the NHF North West Hairdressing Champion. Thank you St Helens College!
"Years went by, I saved up hard and opened my first salon at the age of 26. Spectrum Hair Company was born. I chose the name Spectrum to represent a few things my brand was all about. I wanted a place of colour and styling creativity for the whole community in our local area. All ages welcomed reflected in both staff and clientele with contemporary up-to-date services for all from well trained professional friendly staff - down to earth experts relevant to our local area. We immediately became Good Salon Guide members, which has been amazing in attracting clientele from far and wide. As the salon grew, nine years ago I opened Spectrum Hair Boutique with one of my staff, Carl Eden.
"So that’s me. Northern lass. Hair Geek!
"In the last few years, with the internet making the world a much smaller place and everything so accessible, I started to spread the Spectrum style we have developed. We love commercial looks with a cheeky flair of something that excites the client in our chair, but must fit into their everyday life. There’s nothing we love more than a bold eye catching vivid, but only if it suits the style of the person as a whole look. Inspiring people into dipping their toe into the fashion colour pool without pushing them too far has been something that has earned us a good deal of customer loyalty.
"We always listen, do a thorough consultation and take them only as far as they feel they want to go. This is why Osmo Ikon fits our brand so well. The Metallic, Pastel, and Fashion shades in this permanent range of colours can all be mixed, and the more natural side of the colour chart is amazing for creating as subtle or as bold a colour as our clients’ desire. Our balayage clients love the way in which we can tone their lifted locks. Also the colour corrections we can now achieve with these tones are so flexible.
"Lately (back onto facing your fears and doing it anyway) I’ve got involved into pushing myself into more opportunities. I’ve joined The Hair and Barber Council and am now a State Registered Senior Hairdresser and am looking forward to gaining my Master Craftsman level. I joined Hair Club Live and Won their Fierce Hair Competition and was thrilled to see the coverage it has given to the salons. Just last month I entered Good Salon Guide’s #gsgcolourworld open chair competition and went on to represent them at Colour World UK. What an amazing time I had, making the most of this unique event and showcasing some signature looks with the theme of Violet Vibes. I used both Osmo Ikon and Colour Psycho on the day to show the different effects achievable with each range. Getting together with Lesley Stitt, the Global Educator from Osmo and assisting her on stage was also a highlight of my weekend, one I certainly will never forget. A massive thank you to both her and everyone at Good Salon Guide for that incredible opportunity, which as it turns out, has changed my hairdressing life.
"Following that event I have now been awarded Brand Ambassador for Osmo Ikon and been welcomed into the Osmo Colour family with open arms. Recently I got to announce that I am on the HJ stage at Salon International in October in a line-up of names that truly bowls me over. I have been busy delivering education with my new team and helping other Osmo Ikon users over the phone, online and in person, and my career has evolved in ways I could only have dreamed of when I was that girl who spent her first week’s wages on a pair of scissors.
"So the moral of my story, no matter what your age, the size of your salon, or where in the country you are situated, these days with modern technology and a passion for what you do, there isn’t much, with a little hard work, you can’t achieve. Spread the word of what you and your salon are all about. You never know who’s watching and next year, it could be you.
"Face your fears and do it anyway, Adele."