Kodie North doesn’t consider herself a ‘yes’ person in her day-to-day life. But when it comes to hairdressing, she doesn’t want to miss a single opportunity to gain new experiences.
“Hairdressing is something I love and something I want to succeed in, so saying ‘yes’ to things is really important.”
Saying ‘yes’ is her biggest piece of advice to people starting out in hairdressing.
“Even if you think you can’t, you’ll find a way around it. Once you say ‘yes’ once, they’ll know you’re keen and other opportunities will come your way,” she says.
“I think putting yourself out there is one of the biggest things you can do in hairdressing because there are so many hairdressers, you need to stand out.”
And Kodie has certainly stood out since she began her apprenticeship with HITO, the New Zealand Hair and Beauty Industry Training Organisation.
She was one of the winners of the HITO/Industry New Generation competition in June this year. The experience saw her working with award-winning hair stylists Sara Allsop and Michael Beel, and flying to Melbourne to put together a hair show.
“It was quite crazy because it was my first experience of working backstage – I’d only been an apprentice for a short time and it showed a path I could go down.”
Since the competition she was one of 10 HITO apprentices and graduates selected to work backstage at New Zealand Fashion Week, an experience she describes as “amazing” even though she admits she was very nervous beforehand.
Despite her initial nerves, Kodie has fallen in love with the glamour of hair shows and holds aspirations of working overseas on fashion events.
But for now, Kodie is happy to put her dreams of Milan and New York on hold and focus on lapping up as much experience and learning as she can in her apprenticeship here in Auckland.
She relishes the opportunity to learn on the job. Her training is divided between training at the salon where she works, Bliss Hair in Birkenhead, and off-site training where she learns the theory requirements and carries out her assessments.
Kodie loves working at the salon and she’s quickly discovering that hairdressing is the perfect career choice for her.
“I love talking. I love being social. And I also love being really creative. So I feel hairdressing is a good way to do both.”
Talking to and getting to know the clients at Bliss Hair is the favourite part of her job, although she is still getting used to being on her feet all day.
In terms of support from HITO, Kodie can’t speak highly enough of the industry training organisation.
“They’re amazing and supportive and they want you to succeed. They’ll do anything to help you succeed, which is awesome.”