Former hairdressing apprentice Charlotte Lutt is now a qualified stylist! Charlotte has proved she’s got what it takes to move on and into a full-time stylist position at OPEN Hairdressing Berkhamsted.
Working at OPEN since the business started in 2014, Charlotte is ready to take on clientele of her own. From OPEN’s Hairdressing Apprenticeship, to Junior Assistant to Stylist – Charlotte has demonstrated to the team that she has developed on both a professional and personal level. And now she wants others to follow in her footsteps.
OPEN is currently on the look out for fresh talent to join our business – and the OPEN Hairdressing Apprenticeship training is a great place to start. If you’re considering applying for a place with OPEN Education, Charlotte has taken the time to reflect upon her early years and pass on some sound advice about working at OPEN Hairdressing.
Charlotte, what was it about an OPEN apprenticeship that first attracted you to the role?
The reason I decided to pursue a hairdressing apprenticeship near me was because of Ben and John [OPEN Hairdressing’s Co-Director and Founder]. They gave off a chilled out manner and they made me instantly feel at ease. Their passion for hairdressing came across straight away and it was hugely inspirational.
Why OPEN and not another salon in Hertfordshire?
After having lived in Berkhamsted for my whole life, I felt as though I needed something new and exciting. And OPEN was just that! I wanted to be part of OPEN’s Apprenticeship Scheme as I knew the business had a lot of potential to become something amazing. This was especially true as our client base is always expanding.
Did you have any prior experience or interest in hairdressing or fashion prior to applying?
Since I was little, I have always been creative. Throughout school I had a growing interest in fashion and developing my own style. Therefore, the thought of being able to incorporate this with my career was something that appealed to me.
Can you give an overview about how the training scheme was structured, what you learnt, who you learnt with, etc.?
The apprenticeship scheme meant working for four days a week in the salon. I was responsible for maintaining the day-to-day running of the salon whilst learning on the job. We were taught how to apply toners, how to blow dry and shampoo – as well as shadowing other stylists. All of this was then applied to my training days. I had to bring in models for colouring and cutting so I could perform different techniques. This also helped me to improve my knowledge with hair too. All training was completed in-house by our top stylists to ensure we were being taught to a high standard.
What was the hardest part about the apprenticeship and how did you overcome it?
Being an apprentice was challenging at times. I think the hardest part for me was the long hours. I had just left school and wasn’t used to being on my feet for around nine hours a day. Sometimes, I remember feeling envious of my friends in sixth form or college but when I look at the position I am in now, it makes it worth it. I think it’s important to remember that you only get out what you put into something. Staying in late after work to style models and helping out with blow dries did benefit me. I was able to pick things up very quickly and I found my skills improving simultaneously.
What was your favourite part of the training scheme?
The best part about training and working as an apprentice in hairdressing was hands down what changed my attitude and confidence. Being surrounded by my hard working, successful peers made me strive to work hard, have drive and build ambition.
Has it affected you or influenced you in any way outside the salon environment?
Being able to talk to people and provide a very professional but friendly service is something that I will use in any job I venture into. It’s something I’ll take with me wherever I go.
How are you assessed?
Having now reached the end of my apprenticeship, I will undergo a test to show my capabilities to the rest of my colleagues. I’ll need to prove to them that I am ready to go to Berkhamsted’s salon floor. It will provide me with an opportunity to work five days a week and being paid for something that I am passionate about.
What’s the next step for you?
I will now be concentrating on myself as a businesswoman and using my customer service skills. Generating a loyal clientele that will continue to return to OPEN is my next priority! I am still expanding my knowledge of hair by taking on a variety of clients and being as creative as possible with their hair. I’ll offer them a service they won’t find anywhere else.
What should prospective apprenticeship applicants consider when they apply to OPEN?
If you are considering joining OPEN, I would say be someone that is always happy to help in any situation. Working as both an assistant and stylist, it is so important to be a dedicated individual, have a good work ethic and to work well in a team. Our salon wouldn’t be what it is today without all the staff. Our relationship with one another is what creates the friendly feel and keeps people coming back.
To read more about OPEN’s Hairdressing Apprenticeship vacancies, click the link here.