Vivo Northlands’s Salon Manager, Nicole Brailey, has had a stellar career in the hairdressing industry. After just a short time speaking with her, it’s pretty clear to see why - Nicole is absolutely brimming with passion for her job, and speaks about her industry as if it were a newly uncovered treasure. With 25 years experience, I ask Nicole what it is that still brings her so much joy in her job. “I love everything about it,” Nicole says. “I’m inspired every single day by what I get to create for my clients.”
“But I was determined. I didn’t see a lot of Maori in hairdressing, and I wanted to make a difference.”
Nicole started her career over two decades ago in that classic Kiwi ‘go out and get it’ style. “Becoming a hairstylist was something I really wanted to do, so as a teen I got out and knocked on doors!” she laughs. After 6 months starting out as “a broom pusher”, Nicole knocked on the right door. “The owner of the salon, a Maori hairdresser herself, saw a young, eager Maori girl in front of her. She gave me a chance.” Her apprenticeship started as it would continue - with hard work and dedication. “My first job involved cleaning shelves that were absolutely black. She handed me a cloth and said, you have 2 hours!” Nicole laughs, remembering that first day. “But I was determined. I didn’t see a lot of Maori in hairdressing, and I wanted to make a difference.” Of Ngati Apa iwi, Nicole found a sense of belonging and culture under the guidance of her first employer. “I still hear her voice in my head to this day.”
“I’ll use anything that is needed to achieve the look!”
Fast forward 25 years, and Nicole is still determined to get everything she can out of the industry, both for herself and her clients. “I want to try everything! I’ll go home after a big day and then watch YouTube videos, or Instagram, to try and perfect a new technique and then make it my own.” When asked what her must-have hairstyling tool, Nicole quips, “I’ll use anything that is needed to achieve the look!” Nicole describes each day as an exciting one, where she gets to take a client’s ideas and bring her own expertise to achieve them. Her clients can expect a highly professional service and experience. “Personal questions count, and a bad attitude means it’s going to translate - it’s important to have effective communication. I work together with my client, offering them honesty, experience and skill.”
So, what is Nicole looking forward to most about working with Vivo? “I’m looking forward to a new structure, the new opportunities and challenges. I’m really excited!” We are thrilled to have such a powerhouse stylist come on board with our team, and can’t wait to support you in all of your continued achievements Nicole!
Content by Tereze Taber