Meet Jake Thompson, he is another industry icon, award-winning hair designer, and creative visionary. This is what he has to say about his journey:
Q: What are some of your biggest accomplishments?
Winning North American Hairstylist of the Year in Avant Grade in 2011 & 2014. Being Nominated for Avant-Garde, Color & Hairstylist of the Year in 2012, 2013 & 2018.
Q: Who influenced you the most when learning your craft?
Robert Lobetta, Trevor Sorbie and Anthony Mascolo.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Gareth Pugh for fashion and innovation. Nature, for fashion, ideas, & inspiration.
Q: What would you say to new future professionals entering this industry?
Get done with school as fast as you can! Then find a salon that is going to train you to be the hairdresser you always dreamed about. Think of a salon as a stepping stone to mold you and your craft, its a place to humble you and grow you. A place you can call home, a place that you plan on being there for a while.
Then I would say find a mentor(in that salon), find someone you can check in with, someone that inspires you to be better or challenges you to aspire for greatness, someone who will call you on your excuses, someone that is better than you so you know what to work towards.
Q: Where did you attend school or train?
I went to a school in West Valley Utah, called Premier Hair Academy. I was not the best school in town by all means, but they taught me the basics and that’s all I need to pass the exam. I learned EVERYTHING outside of school!
Q: What was the turning point of your career?
When I started to believe in me. The more knowledge I got about my craft the more confident I got. I was about 5-6 years when this happened. I started teaching and I was doing weekly photoshoots so this particular time was a turning point for me and my career.
Q: What is the best advice you have received?
Fake it til you make it. I really took this to heart with how I dressed. I tried to look the best I could afford. So I got creative and started dressing the part, my clientele noticed and people started requesting me more often and the word got out that I was the “guy to go to”, he’s really professional and super passionate about his craft”. So to this day I still wear suits to the salon to do guests.
Q: What is your opinion around online video training?
I love it! The easy of having to check some techniques while I’m sitting at a light or on the toilet;) lolol. No really, it’s great stuff, but you have to weed through a lot of crap.
Q: In a perfect world, how would you like to see the industry grow?
I would really like to see hairdresser taking back control of the industry, to many hairdressers don’t do a solid consultation. The guest depicts what they want, instead of the hairdresser providing their knowledge of why that will or won’t work. I’m currently creating “a hairdressers cheat sheet to face-shapes guide” It will empower hairdressers to take back the control in their consultations. Recommending the right look for each and every face shape.
Q: What is the best technique you have learned?
It’s not a technique, but more of a way of how I do things. I don’t ever try to hide something that maybe didn’t go right or color wasn’t quite right or whatever it may be. I call it out and say, “______(name), this did not turn out the way I planned, I want to make it right for you, do you have time now to take care of it or do we need to reschedule you for tomorrow? Her response is usually, “thank you so much for saying something, I did notice and I appreciate you bringing it to light, lets do it now thanks.”
Q: What is the secret to your success?
I don’t take any guests I have for granted! I love and cherish each and every one of my guests that come see me. I’ve seen way too many hairdressers start to believe the hype, and they get too big for their britches. Or they don’t have there head in the game when with a guest and all goes out the window cause there not paying attention.