From a very young age, Elle Schoemaker had a genuine interest in hairdressing. She entered the industry through a school-based apprenticeship and started building the skills that formed the foundation of her future as a hairdresser. However it was when she joined Stelios Papas Toowong in 2010 that the trajectory we see Elle travel today truly began.

The last 12 months have been a whirlwind of awards and achievements for Elle. She received finalist accolades in the Australian Hair Industry Awards, Australian Hair Fashion Awards and also Hair Expo. Winning the 2019 AHIA Salon Stylist of the Year award and also becoming a member of the 2019 Hot Shots Team were amazing accomplishments and really the icing on the cake for Elle…but hey, the year’s not over yet so who knows what else she comes up with!

“I flourished under the guidance of industry legend, Stelios Papas,” Elle explains about her early hairdressing days. “My persistent nature and dedication to my craft were the catalyst for the

precision cutting style that I developed. With continued education and professional development, I progressed within the salon to my current role as Salon Director plus Stylist and Cutting Educator.”

“I have assisted my colleagues and mentors by styling a number of their industry award submissions and photo shoots. With this experience I developed the courage to step into the limelight myself. Recently, I began building my own industry profile and accolades. I thrive in the familiar salon environment; however our industry holds endless opportunities that I’m excited to explore. I believe that true success lies outside the boundaries of my comfort zone.”

With Elle so obviously on fire professionally, we thought we’d ask her for some tips and advice on how young hairdressers can really succeed in the industry. Joining a salon that offers ongoing quality training is naturally a big bonus, as is receiving all the support you need to achieve your goals and aspirations. Combine those with a big dose of drive and motivation and you will certainly be on your way!

“I certainly don’t feel like I have reached my full potential yet! Our industry is alive with opportunities and I always strive to continue to learn and evolve my skills to see where they take me. The establishment of the independent training program that I conduct with Kristie Kesic, Flawless Education, gives me a platform to share my passion with other hair stylists. I love expanding my reach through education and investing in growing in-salon talent. It’s very rewarding to play a part in the development and growth of other stylists.

Elle Schoemaker’s top tips for success:

1. Work with purpose.
No matter what your role within the salon is, you ARE important. We are all part of a big, working mechanism and we all rely on each other. Whatever task is at hand, do it with purpose and carry out each duty, job and detail with pride. Even with a small responsibility such as sweeping the floor, your commitment to performing that task well will flow into other aspects of your career.

2. Know your craft.
Ongoing education is vital to a successful career in our industry, as it is always changing. Plus, with knowledge comes confidence! The best way to build a loyal clientele is to have the ability to apply each skill or technique with purpose and know that you will achieve your desired result.

3. Say YES!
Immersing yourself in industry events and opportunities is rewarding on so many levels. Yes, sometimes these events may be volunteer roles, or on your own time, but the potential for industry networking, skill growth and personal development is invaluable.

4. Be a cheerleader.
I was introduced to competition and creative work through assisting and supporting my boss Kristie! Not only can it open doors, but also being supportive of your peers means their success is shared success. Even if you are cheering from afar, when someone achieves success through work that you genuinely admire and appreciate, it feels good!

5. Hustle, then go home.
I am a big believer in work-life balance. To make the time you spend at work count, make sure you value your personal time just as much. Investing energy into your friends, family and yourself will reflect through your individuality and enthusiasm at work.