No stranger to success Mikaela Edwards won gold at the Wella International Trend Vision in competition in Berlin, is constantly pushing her creative boundaries to new heights and looks up to the likes of Wella Professional’s Creative Directors Renya Xydis and Frank Apostolopoulis. We got chatting to find out where she gets her inspiration, her favourite thing about the hair industry and where she sees herself in five years (hint: continuing her steady pace to the top).
TJ: How do you like to spend your days off?
ME: I have a busy life so I love to make the most of my days off by spending them with my two children. Liko is seven and Florence is three so they keep me on my toes. My guilty pleasure on a day off is spending hours on the Internet finding weird and wonderful inspiration for my work.
TJ: If you weren’t a hairdresser, what career path would you take?
ME: I haven’t really thought about it because I feel like I found my calling at a young age but maybe a writer, I love to write – I find it freeing and it’s fun exploring a different side of my creativity.
TJ: If you had a time machine, would you go back in time or visit the future?
ME: Get me in that time machine and take me back to the 70’s! I love how free everyone was and how they experimented with so many styles back then with clothing and hair. Looking at photos from then, people just look super cool and completely comfortable with themselves.
TJ: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
ME: In five years I would like to see myself helping other hairdressers coming through the industry more and also having my career climbing at a steady pace. I love learning from others and helping people grow, sitting around spitting out ideas, trying new things and watching people break out of their comfort zone. I suppose this means more of a creative education role as well so if that would be something I could be doing on a regular basis would be perfect
TJ: What is your favourite thing about the hair industry?
ME: The creative aspect of hairdressing is amazing. I like how it has continuous change and dimension. Everyone is accepted and no idea is a bad one and you can adapt and change a small idea into something sensational that can be shown around the world!
TJ: Tell us about one of your career highlights.
ME: My career highlight was winning gold at Wella International Trend Vision in Berlin! I’m not sure there would be anything else to top that! That feeling was something else. Hearing New Zealand called out and knowing it was me was surreal. I come from a town of twelve thousand people so to win gold at a national level was the most amazing feeling and then to go on to the other side of the world with my amazing team and win gold internationally was like a dream. Having my hair hero Eugene Souleiman on stage congratulating me saying he loved my work was enough to bring me to tears! I am truly honoured to have achieved something like that.
TJ: What is your favourite style to create?
ME: My favourite style to create is something between avant-garde and commercial with an edge of editorial, which really is a combo of everything. I love to think outside of the box and experiment with varied textures and lengths. I find it incredible how a cut can look a certain way and then you add colour and it takes it to a whole new level. It’s like magic!
TJ: If you could facilitate one change in the hair industry, what would it be?
ME: I would love to have more education aimed at apprentices. I see them as the future of our industry. Also more sessions available where hairdressers from all over could get together and experiment with new colour techniques and textures. I think different cultures would bring different things to the table and it could be a beautiful thing.
TJ: If you could leave our audience with one piece of advice, what would it be?
ME: My one piece of advice would be to keep pushing. Keep learning and push your ideas that little bit further. In the last three years I have learnt more than I could have imagined. You never know everything, it’s important to keep educating yourself and surrounding yourself with other creatives.
TJ: Name your favourite WELLA product and why.
ME: My fave product is Wella SP Polished Waves because I have an afro and it tames it and makes my hair look curly not frizzy, and shiny not dry! It’s an amazing all rounder. Also Wella SP Hydrate Finish, that product is a game changer.
TJ: What is your favourite thing about the brand?
ME: I love that Wella is designed for the hairdresser. As a company they are always coming up with new ways to push our creativity with new products and tools. I helps me feel like I can be on my game at all times and that my clients get to experience the latest in hair technology.
TJ: Why do you choose to identify with WELLA professionals?
ME: Wella suits me as a stylist. I love the way they encourage a creative flow throughout the company and that filters down into the creative teams and to the stylists. I always feel challenged and supported at the same time. Wella is leading the way in our industry at the moment, you only have to look at the iconic stylists at the moment like Renya Xydis and Frank Apostolopoulis and see what they are using and doing.