By Master Stylist Vicki Ogden-O’Fee
One of our core goals at V For Hair and Beauty is to be the top hair salon in Christchurch. As well as providing you with the best quality cuts, colours, and styles, for us, being the top salon means leading the way with hairdresser training and apprenticeships.
This month, the whole team across V For Hair and Beauty plus Vj Barbers is celebrating our 50th apprentice becoming fully trained and qualified!
Becoming a hairdresser meant so much to V For Hair owner Vicki Ogden-O’Fee, she vowed to do whatever she could to help others train and qualify as hairdressers and barbers too.
“Of course, you invest in people and treat them well in the hope that they’ll continue hairdressing at V For Hair and Beauty after they graduate. Also, training so many hairdressers and barbers over the years helps keep my salon up with the changing hairstyles, products and changes in technology,” says Vicki.
At one stage, 5 of Vicki’s apprentices sat the 6-hour hair-dressers qualification exam on the same day, and all of them passed! Achievements like this are almost unheard of. Most top hair salons in Christchurch will have one or two hairdressers qualify every couple of years. There are very few who can claim to have trained 50!
“I remember taking on two young guys from pretty rough backgrounds,” recalls Vicki, “and I put a lot of time and effort into making sure they both passed their barbering national certificate. Now, they’re both working in top barber shops around the world, and they’ve told me they would not have made it without their Vj Barbers apprenticeship.”
Not everyone stays the course. While 50 qualified hairdressers have completed their training with Vicki, so many more have started.
“You must have passion to become a qualified hairdresser or barber, and not everybody shares my enthusiasm. While it can be disappointing to invest time and energy into someone who quits before qualifying, it means only the best and most dedicated hairdressers and barbers graduate and continue working at V For Hair and Beauty or Vj Barbers.”
Vicki’s 50th qualified hairdresser and barber has a very special story.
“Nearly two years ago, a young Indian man contacted the salon and asked me to give him a chance. He offered to work for free in the beginning, and it didn’t take long for me to recognize his passion and skill,” says Vicki.
After a brief trial run, Vicki got home to find one of her regular clients had sent her a message raving about Gokul’s service. That made taking him on an easy choice.
Gokul Solanki trained as a hairdresser and barber in India, and moved to Christchurch in search of a better life. One of the major differences between barber shops in Christchurch and India is our use of electric hair clippers.
“In India, we mainly use scissors and razors for cutting and styling hair. I’ve learned so much around Western hair styles and new technology, and I’m loving it. Vicki was the first-person willing to take a chance on me, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity,” says Gokul.
“As much as we’ve taught Gokul, there is a lot we’ve learned from him,” says Vicki. “He’s exceptional at trimming beards and performing hot steam shaves with a cutthroat razor, and has taught the men’s grooming team at Vj Barbers some new techniques.”
Gokul is now fully qualified in two countries, and loves taking care of his regular clients at Vj Barbers. He’s already built a solid client base of men who only trust Gokul with their hot steam shaves, facials, haircuts and grooming. As a qualified barber, Gokul can now apply for New Zealand residency and is in the process of bringing his wife to Christchurch too.
So, ladies, could your man could use a spruce up? Guys, want to make a great first impression at your next date or business meeting? Contact Gokul and the team at Vj Barbers on 03 977 1666 for all your men’s grooming needs. Just make sure you stop by and congratulate Vicki on your way through!
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