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Developing an award-winning team

We caught up with salon owner and runner up for ‘Best Salon’ at the 2023 Welsh Hair & Beauty Awards, Jordanne Harding, to discuss her journey from apprentice to salon owner and how she’s giving back by investing in her staff.

Stepping up as salon owner

I started at The Salon, Maesteg eight years ago as an apprentice. I came straight from school and decided to study my passion for hairdressing. I’ve completed my Level 2 & Level 3 in hairdressing, as well as my Level 2 in barbering with ISA Training. Apprenticeships are all I’ve ever known, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked my way up to a senior position.

As the only full-time stylist, I knew a lot about the business and how to run it. In 2021 my manager asked if I wanted to take over the business as salon owner. I was nervous at first and doubted if it was something I was capable of. I had recently lost my grandpa and was struggling to come to terms with that, which made the decision even more difficult, as I wasn’t focused on my career.  

After much deliberation and back and forth conversations with friends and family, I decided to step up to the challenge. Nicole, my manager, was so supportive and reassured me that I knew what I was doing. Nothing was really going to change as I had been so involved already. So why not make it official.  

Building my team

I have two apprentices currently working for me, Leah and Kelsey. Both learners are currently finishing their Level 1 and are about to start their Level 2 qualification in hairdressing.  

They’ve both come on so well, I don’t know what I’d do without them. We are a small team of three, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Both my apprentices came straight from school like me and were shy when they first started, and I wanted to give them an opportunity.  

As time has gone on, they’ve grown in confidence and built great relationships with the clients. I want to make sure I get the girls to a level where they feel comfortable to get on with things without my supervision. It’s important to be patient and supportive, and the training keeps them motivated.

Taking the pressure off

ISA Training have been really efficient. Managing a small team means that we are constantly busy, and training needs to be flexible. The trainer coaches are excellent because they understand what we do and make sure to work around us.  

Alice Weekley and Sue Silvester have made the effort to get to know the girls and they definitely feel more comfortable and confident doing their assessments.

Having apprentices takes the pressure off me and I’m starting to see a difference in their ability. I feel I can give them more responsibility and they have started to use their own initiative, which is great as this allows us to take on more clients and frees up my time.  

Watching them grow

My experience as an apprentice means that I know exactly what my girls are going through. As salon owner, I can give them the same opportunity that I was given.

One of my previous apprentices, Eboney, rents a room to offer her beauty services. This is a great addition to the salon, and it’s been so rewarding watching her grow and develop in confidence. She occasionally comes over and offers support to our new apprentices which is helpful and I’m grateful to get to work with her.

Apprenticeships are great for people who enjoy practical learning. Working in the salon is fast paced and keeps you busy. You learn more because you are living and breathing it every minute of the day. It becomes more natural to the girls because they are learning and doing, and consistency is key when working in this environment. They don’t have to think about it because they are doing it every day.

Develop an award-winning team with our apprenticeships in hairdressing.

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