ColourNation was reviewed in the Daily Mail FeMail section today.
An undercover reporter was sent in to us after we had offered an intern position on the ETSIO website.
'ColourNation as a hairdressers I thought was really great, as were the people who worked there... I think someone coming along to your salon (as a normal work experience, not paying the daily charge) would learn and gain a lot.' - India Sturgis - Daily Mail, April 2012
We’d read about the website in the news (where young people pay the company for the experience of working in an industry to see if they like it) and thought we’d give it a try. India Sturgis was the only person who applied to us and she was the reporter from the Daily Mail.
She told us that she was working in publishing and bored - she had always wanted to be a hairdresser and so wanted to come in for three days to see what it was really like.
This was a work experience placement – not a training placement.
As a company we could never justify the time and effort needed to bring someone in and teach them how we do things, only for them to leave after three days – it just wouldn’t be viable.
The fact she paid a small amount to us for the experience made it worth considering doing this one internship to see how it went.
Given India had no previous experience or training in hairdressing the only role within the salon she could do was to be a salon junior, helping to ensure that the salon is running smoothly. Jobs include; cleaning, sweeping, making coffee, washing colour bowls, etc etc. Not hugely glamorous but essential for the salon to operate. Every stylist will have started in this role while they train to be a stylist, so we felt it would give her a good idea of what she would face if she decided to change careers. She was assigned to one of the senior team members (Brad) to shadow him and watch what he was doing.
When the placement ended Brad sat India down and asked if she was happy with the experience she had got.
The company also rang her after a few days to check if the experience was what she had expected and if she was happy.
There is a hierarchy of skills within the hairdressing, learning to see the jobs which need doing and to anticipate client needs before they happen is the first stage in this process. The closest she came to serving clients was to bring coffees and gown up clients ready for colour.
Our clients would never have forgiven us, and our reputation for quality would be jeopardised, if we had allowed someone with no qualifications or experience to wash hair, let alone do any other client service within the salon after just three days.
Yes working in a salon as a junior can be hard work, but it is an essential role within the salon and thousands of young people do it across the country as a first step to a rewarding career as a professional hairdresser.
[What's amazing about this story is the Daily Mail reporter was here undercover on the same day the Sunday Times was in doing their article about hair extensions.. what are the chances...]