Trish Ross was just 17 when her hairdressing journey began – from being an apprentice, to a business owner, to 2023 Industry Trainer of the Year, she has learnt how to best train apprentices and manage a healthy business.

When Trish decided to start her own business, she was determined to run things differently, having experienced toxic work environments in the past. However, while both running a successful salon and working on the floor, she found it was hard to break some of these patterns.

One day, she had the opportunity to attend a Wella Professionals three-day business course in Wellington. “It was here that I was inspired and empowered with the knowledge to not only create a profitable business but to know how to manage teams,” says Trish. “It takes a lot of courage and self-awareness to know that actually educating yourself, learning to work on the business, or at least finding balance in this space, is important.”

Since starting her business 10 years ago, Trish has become a dedicated trainer to a number of apprentices. “You simply cannot run a salon without them. Having apprentices really pushes me to always refine systems and processes for the salon and business to continue to run more streamlined,” explains Trish. “Not only do apprentices see things differently, but you are also always sending them off to courses and then when you are with them, you will learn so much from them. They are worth their weight in gold!”

Trish’s advice to other trainers is to be consistent. “People love structure,” she says. “Plan ahead for your training and make sure you do it no matter what it is. It’s much easier to find employees when you are well known for training because it seems to be the number one thing that people crave.”

As an advocate for being fully qualified in this industry, Trish believes being qualified shows stylists have the standard of hairdressing that enables them to run a full column. “Getting everything together to actually pass your final assessment is a massive achievement and you then have that qualification for life and the world is your oyster!”

This dedication and passion for training was recognised when Trish was awarded Trainer of the Year 2023 at The Industry Awards in November. “I was absolutely thrilled to win Industry Trainer of the Year,” says Trish. “It is a lot of work, so to be recognised at the Industry Awards was the cherry on top.”

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