Updated: Oct 27
So how did I get into the wedding industry? Here's the journey of how bridal hair all began for me, and where it has lead me along the way
I’ve been hairdressing since I left school which feels like a hundred years ago! I applied to go to The London College of Fashion in the West End, that year only 100 out of 500 that applied were successful, This was a huge achievement for me, as a 16 year old girl I didn't have a great deal of confidence, they must have seen something in me, as I was one of the 100 chosen and thus begun my career in the world of hairdressing.
A few years later, at the age of 22 I went on to get married, have a daughter then, sadly, after a couple of years, got divorced. Looking back, hairdressing got me through the years of bringing up my daughter, it was a great job being able to work my hours to suit my life with my daughter Beth. (below)
As the years progressed I still felt the need to do something else, I just didn't know what!
Over the years I went on various courses including, interior design, soft furnishings, upholstery and even learned French, whilst still carrying on with the hairdressing to earn an income as a 'now' single parent.
About 11 years ago I decided to go travelling, I had always dreamed of doing this at some point in my life, and I began planning a three month trip around the world. My daughter was now 17, a very grown up 17! So I felt able to leave her for my big adventure. It was brilliant, I won’t bore you with the details, ( I might share my adventures with you one day as I did write a diary!) but my travels included New York, Philadelphia, Daytona, Miami, Hawaii, The Gold Coast in Australia and finally Thailand…….It was indeed........A fabulous adventure!
This is where I had the light bulb moment that I wanted to began a bridal hair business, I wrote a plan, I needed to do it properly, in the right order, as first impressions count. I’m a Virgo and it’s ingrained in me to be (or try to be!) a bit of a perfectionist, which is no bad thing when it comes to creating a business!
2011- On my return home in the February I immediately looked for a good bridal hairstyling course in London to update my skills, ( Back in 2011 it was extremely hard to find a good current bridal hair styling course!) I started to build a website, went on a photography course, designed business cards and bribed friends with dinner or wine (works a treat!) to come round so I could style their hair so I would have photos in my portfolio to show my work ability. The two photos below are still some of my favourites, my friend Karla was happy to model for me back in 2011, as was my cousin Lauren
My very first website was launched 'bridalandpromhairdesign' with one of my first brides Sarah and her husband Stephen being ‘the face’ of my business, and so began my career in the wedding industry.
I'm not going to lie, it was super scary going out there and having the belief that I could make a bride to be happy with my styling ability, but the more I styled, my confidence grew, as did my business over the next few years
2012- I met someone that was going to be an important factor in my work and personal life, an established Essex wedding hair stylist Tina Crossley, whose work I had admired when researching for my new business, We bonded instantly when we met, she encouraged me and helped me grow my new business, with helpful ideas and suggestions. We also became best friends, coincidently sharing the same birthday too! She became my 'Hair buddy' chatting on a daily basis about life, hair, brides, everything really, the person you can have 5 multiple conversations at one with! ;)
2014- I went on to win The Essex Wedding Hairstylist of the year in my 3rd year of styling at the www.ewa.co.uk and be a finalist in The Wedding Industry Awards.
Also in this year I came up with the concept for a hair and makeup team with two other wedding professionals, thus 'Team Glam' was born, I bought the original website and put a team of eight professionals together. 4 hairstylists and 4 makeup artists. We created loads of lovely images together and marketed our services to brides. It was a fun time, I even saw my work on Essex Bride Magazine cover for a whole year.
Sadly our original team didn't stay together for long, Six of us decided to go in different directions but the Team Glam brand has since rebranded and evolved and is still going strong, with two original members still together and successfully recruiting new members to their business. It's gone from strength to strength and am proud to have been involved in founding the business.
2015- I got asked by Australian hairstylist Lorna Evans to be part go her Salon International team for her stage show in London which was great fun.
Helping to create avant-garde hairstyles and go on stage assisting Lorna.
The hairstyles created were amazing. I learned some great creative tips to add to my styling portfolio. This was an invaluable experience for me in growing as a professional in the industry, gaining more confidence in knowing I could create beautiful hairstyles.
2016- I went on and created my new website www.lynnettechasmer.co.uk. This was the year I also got approached by an mobile app designer to build me an app for my business. It was launched in 2017 and went into The App Stores for free download- 'My Wedding Hair' an app designed for brides showing current styling and info on all things wedding hair and beauty.
2017- Travelling to Cannes this year with a fabulous team of professionals to style top models for a catwalk show was a great career highlight (read my Cannes blogs to find out how it went) https://www.theweddinghairpro.com/post/2017/05/29/styling-at-the-cannes-film-festival
2018- This was the year I started to get 'Itchy feet' I was still happy being creative but wanted to take it a step further, thus 'The Wedding Hair Workshop' was born. Myself, along with my good friend and fellow wedding hair professional, Tina Crossley, sat down and came up with the concept for The Wedding Hair Workshop. Our ethos was to teach and inspire current wedding hairstyling to other hairdressers wanting to expand and update their skills. We knew, from experience, that there were not so many great courses out there that delivered what we wanted to teach. I remember when I first started out, as previously mentioned, I found it incredibly difficult to find the course I was looking for.
We found a suitable location and began teaching small groups of up to 7 hairdressers, using models not blocks for styling, also learning correct prep of the hair and current bridal styling, discussing social media and the business side too.
We taught 1-2-1 training in Chelmsford and Braintree, Essex as well as in-salon training to, all over the country. It's so rewarding to see stylists gain their confidence throughout the duration of the day.
2019- So, another new adventure for 2019! After visiting a yoga retreat solo in Thailand in 2018 it inspired me to want to style weddings abroad, not to just fly out to style weddings but to actually live in a location for a few months. My first initial idea was to go back to Phuket in Thailand during the U.K. winter months, but soon evolved into going to the Greek Island of Crete. It made sense as I holiday there every year at the family home on the hillside in the beautiful costal village of Plaka. As I knew the area I was aware it was a popular wedding destination for U.K. brides. It would also enable brides to potentially have a U.K. trial with me in the winter months.
I redirected my S.E.O. on my website, created new social media pages- The Wedding Hair Pro in Crete- and begun networking. I decided for 2019 I would travel to the Greek island of Santorini for 10 days and style weddings there as a 'Working holiday!'
2019 I'm back from my Crete adventure! I was in the most gorgeous location for 3 months and will return next year, and the year after, and the year after that! It's beautiful here! I was extremely happy working there and rested too, and the sunshine helps! I'm now back in the U.K. very busy for the rest of the year styling U.K. brides, It's turned out to be a great balance.
Bridal styling is now my passion, I haven’t looked back, I simply love it. The enjoyment and satisfaction I get from helping to make a bride look the best they’ve ever seen themselves is an amazing feeling. I often say "I'm married to my brides" as when you're in a career such as this you live and breathe it, from the minute you open your eyes in the morning until you close them at night!
It is now coming up to my eighth year as a bridal hairstylist and I love it more than ever………..I think what I learned from travelling and along the journey is to simply live life, don’t just dream about it, get productive! Do it!!! Make a 5 year plan, I did!
Be the best 'you' can be............and if you love it and you work hard, it's achievable! Oh and watch this space as the journey continues!!............yes! There are more plans ;)
This year has also been my 50th birthday, ( How the hell did that happen!) I was lucky enough to visit the Maldives with my friend Louise who was also celebrating her 50th, Definitely somewhere that's always been on my bucket list. 10 days relaxing, swimming with turtles and seeing dolphins in their natural habitat
2020- Well! Where do I start?! What a crazy year this has turned out to be!
The year started amazingly. I went on a one-day hair course held by Kasia Fortuna in London to perfect my Hollywood waves. I like to keep my skills updated with the best educators in the business.
Then I'd planned, a lot of travel, as it's my quieter time of the year.
I had city breaks in Athens and Prague, then a fabulous trip, travelling around Thailand with my daughter Beth for 3 weeks.
On our return, at the end of February, Covid-19 was escalating rapidly.
I had trials booked in for March, with one of my brides due to be married on 28th March.
Literally a couple of days before her wedding we went into lockdown, her wedding was cancelled and mayhem irrupted in the 'Wonderful World of Weddings'
All over the UK Brides were either postponing or cancelling on a daily basis for summer weddings. The longer it went on it became apparent that the whole of 2020 was going to be affected
My 2nd year working in Crete was over before it had begun. My May flights were cancelled, then rebooked for June, then cancelled again! Then, 1 by 1, all my Crete brides also postponed or cancelled.
I was lucky enough to get the Government grant of 80% to keep me afloat in this uncertain year...and so it's continued.... We are now almost in December and still the uncertainty is with us. I have learned to live 2 weeks at a time, and not look to far ahead. Brides are still booking for 2021/22 so, my business is still evolving
So what have I been up to in 2020?
Lets go back to lockdown at the end of March 2019. On my return from Thailand I had decided to attempt' Dry March' So glad I did, it kept me sane in at a very crazy time, I worked out, went for country walks and took advantage of online hairstyling groups popping up online. One of which was Lorna Evans Education. Someone I had trained with back in 2015 (see my past blog post) I created one of her styles on my styling mannequin (Penny) posting it on the styling group The Collectives, Lorna saw it, and messaged to ask me if I would come onto the group and style a look, LIVE for others to watch! EEK!! My first response was 'No way!' I then slept on it and thought, why not! It's good to get outside your comfort zone, right?!
I suggested getting stylists to style along with me, if I posted the prep then they could be ready to style when I went LIVE
So I did it! I had a style in mind that I loved, I had a practice, recording myself! it's not easy, making sure your at the right angle, explaining what you're doing, not blocking the camera so people can see what you're doing!
I did it....and guess what?......I LOVED it! So much fun, other hairstylists watched and styled with me, I really 'Felt the love' on my very first LIVE.
Stylists then posted their work and tagged me in it for weeks after I had first gone LIVE
This basically got the ball rolling for what was to be, the year I re-invented myself. This in fact;
1)Kept me sane
2)Kept me busy
3)Allowed me to get totally creative with my work
I came up with a plan, I was going to have a week going LIVE on Instagram chatting to amazing and inspiring hair and makeup artists in the Industry, and what a better person to start with than Lorna Evans herself!
I was delighted when she said 'yes' To have a high profile stylist as my first guest was just brilliant. It then gave me the confidence to contact other artists for the rest of the week. They were to include Kasia Fortuna, Leanne Marie make-up and Beauty, Clare Louise Hair and Charlotte Mulley- Hair so Boho
It was a success! I ended the week with my 1st LIVE hairstyle on Instagram, thus continuing every week for 11 weeks during the first stage of lockdown.
The lifeline for me was the amazing community that was built with other hairstylists all over the world. UK, IRELAND, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, to name a few. We all have become friends, online, virtual friends, supporting each other, it's been such a help to us all this year, we've even arranged a meet up in London that was supposed to be December but now amended to next year.
I won an International styling competition in June, with the style I had first gone LIVE with. The catagory I won was Best Styled Mannequin on the Aftermath.ed Facebook group, winning fabulous prizes, including online education with Sharon Blain worth $495, $600 to spend on hair extensions with Amazing Hair Australia and a magazine article, with top Australian hair mag Hair Biz- Not bad!
We finally came out of lockdown for a bit and I was able to resume work, booking in hair trials and styling weddings that had booked me last minute, with restrictions of 30 then down to 15 people from September onwards. I have to say the few weddings I have styled were all fantastic, every bride was so happy they'd gone ahead with their intimate wedding. How beautiful does my bride Rhiannon look in this photo!
It's the end of November, and I have just won The East Of England Wedding Hairstylist of the Year with The Wedding Industry Awards. I am so thrilled. It was, of course, a virtual event online. I got dressed up with my daughter to watch the event, where we had cocktails and canapes, great fun! Then.....(Drum roll!) I was announced the East of England Winner! Fabulous news, We were so excited!, even if it was just the two of us!
Covid was still lurking, threatening the wedding season with more lockdowns! Oh what a crazy time. During the pandemic I had put my new business ideas into place, creating the Crete Styling Retreat and also a Suffolk Styling Retreat. Everything had been researched, locations found, added to the website and was in place for stylists to book. Unfortunately I had to scrap the plans for now due to the uncertainty of the covid situation
I concentrated on Plan B (There's always a Plan B)
Plan B was creating The Wedding hair Pro Masterclasses, these were hands on, face to face training days, group, salon and 1-2-1 classes
But ultimately in 2021 my best friend and Wedding Hair Workshop partner Tina Crossley's health was not so good, battling with cancer for the last 6 years, it was now at stage 4, although she could still work, there were days where she just needed to rest, especially after chemo, and take time for herself, I did not want to carry on our business we had built up together without her, All seemed fine with her health, she was still working normally until she changed her chemo to a stronger dose in June and it was downhill from then, her body just gave up.
Tina Crossley, tragically left us on 12th July 2021, I'm still in disbelief this has happened. She was my best friend, my work buddy, and the kindest, person you could ever meet. We laughed so much, I even managed to get her to Crete for a much needed holiday during her treatment in 2019
Her bridal hairstyling was exceptional, there will never be anyone like her. and I still can't believe I can't pick up the phone and chat to her anymore! I'm so fortunate she did an Instagram live with me in lockdown, she hated social media, but came on a LIVE for me, I now have the recording on my IGTV on Instagram, it's so comforting to watch her like she is still with us. There is so much more I could say but it's personal to me, so I'll leave it there. Forever a Hair Angel R.I.P, Tina
I ploughed into my Masterclasses, as well as continuing with my weddings as covid rules had now been lifted, booking in 1-2-1 training days. MACK salon in Chelmsford were happy for me to use their premises for my Group training Masterclass, and NIX Salon in London. They went really well. There is so much to teach verbally and visually. As before with Tina, we styled on real people, not mannequins for more realistic results, though everyone should still have a mannequin to practice on at home as well.
In October I was asked by Clare Louise Hair (now Equip the Creative ETC) to demo at their stand at Salon International. I totally loved doing this, Clare Louise and I also got to finally meet up with our Insta online hair friends, whom I'd got to know during lockdown during the Instagram lives. We finally met Jean, Charlotte, Marie and Sheree
Of course, it's only natural for me to continue thinking how to grow my business!
Watch this space for 2022! ;)
I started the year busy with 1-2-1 training days including, Jenna who flew in from Ireland for the day for her 1-2-1 Masterclass, now that's dedication!....
And also salon training, travelling to Narwich to train Salon Vie, a lovely team of stylists, where we had the most enjoyable day together. My little Fiat500 was rammed with all thing hair ready to teach my 1 day Masterclass
This year I had set up The Wedding Hair Pro-Team, a group of fabulous hairstylists, Debbie, Tanya, Lisa and Jill, all who have been personally trained with me, now working as part of my Pro-Team, the team it's starting small and I am planning to slowly grow the Pro-Team over the next few years.
With my work load, and also spending time in Crete, I get a lot of enquiries I cannot book, this is where the Pro-Team come into there own
Work life paused for a bit in March as I had finally found a new home, I'd been looking now for 3 years, but with Brexit and then covid happening, it hadn't helped with the market and I'd kind of given up with ever moving to a new location
By now my App of choice was Rightmove and I was on it more than Instagram ;)
My dream home actually overlooking the sea popped up, a viewing the next day, my offer put in then BOOM it was mine!
I can't tell you how happy I felt. I have always wanted to move nearer to the sea, if I could be just a few minutes walk that would have been perfect, this far reached my expectations as I literally had estuary views
It took just 6 weeks to get the keys, and I was so excited to get decorating, to make it my own, check out the view from my window!
With just 6 weeks in my new place it was time for me to head back over to Crete to style all my weddings booked in, it was bitter sweet as I was really enjoying my home but then had to head over to Crete for just under 3 months, but I also loved Crete! I realised the amazing lifestyle I had created for myself, 2 homes overlooking the sea, both with the most beautiful views
But can you believe it!!!!! covid was still affecting U.K. weddings in Crete in 2022. Although weddings were now going ahead in Crete, flights were being cancelled from the U.K. to Crete, so many of my brides were finding out a week before their wedding their flights had been cancelled! In fact the day I flew back to the U.K. at the end of July was the first flight from the U.K. to Crete after 6 weeks! Crazy!
The ones I that I were able to style though were fantastic, I even got to style a Gothic wedding, the bride from Vienna wore a black dress and she specifically wanted my Bridal Mohawk, as you can imagine I was super excited to style this.
So back in the U.K. it was good to have normality styling my weddings in Essex and Suffolk, getting back to what I love doing.....Styling my brides. A busy rest of the year styling weddings and still fitting in a bit of D.I.Y. in my new home
I't was good to come to the end of 2022 with normality restored, celebrating my first Christmas in my new home, and looking forward to what 2023 would bring!
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