Isn't life just so busy these days, running kids around,
working more & technology, well who knows if we will ever keep up with that!
All this busyness makes us forget about our own self care! So fill up your cup and make time for you.
We offer a relaxing space with some friendly conversation, a hot beverage and a sweet biscuit, or a glass of wine (it's 5pm somewhere right?). Wear your comfy clothes, no makeup if you wish, and messy hair (because that's where we come in)... and let us pamper you! We offer a judgement free safe space.
Know that you are in very experienced hands,
the aim is to find styles
+ colours that work with your lifestyle
+ the busyness of life, making it easier
+ enjoyable for you to pamper yourself every so often!
So you can enjoy the best things life has to offer + family time!
Part of our commitment to our Hairdressing career is to constantly update our skills + knowledge, so whether you bring in an inspiration picture (can also save it to your file too), leave it up to us (which we love by the way), or you are aiming to just to go lighter or grow your hair longer, we'll always give helpful advice, tips + tricks to educate you along the way!
Behind Hair By Belle
A question I always get asked "Have you always wanted to be a hairdresser?"
My answer was always "Yes!"
Let's take take a trip down memory lane .....
A very long time ago, i was playing with my cabbage patch doll, (they had wool for hair back then) & I taught myself how to braid,
from that moment I knew I wanted to be a hairdresser! During high school I did work experience at various local salons & quickly realised this is where I wanted to be.
I would have loved to do an apprenticeship, however it wasn't meant to be for me. Another avenue was to start my Certificate 3 in Hairdressing at TAFE, luckily there was a subject in year 11 + 12 that allowed us to start our chosen career path whilst still at high school, & that's what I ended up doing! After finishing year 12, i moved to Bendigo to continue my hairdressing course full time.
Towards the end of completing my Hairdressing course, I was lucky enough to start working at a salon in the port area in Echuca (little did realise I would end up buying the barber shop next door in years to come!). I quickly realised that even though I was classed as a qualified hairdresser, I could see how much salon experience I lacked, and this became my mission & passion to build that bridge for myself, so I had possibilities + answers for any hair type or colour that walked in. My boss was an old school hairdresser, she did loads of perming (perming queen) & tipping, therefore any other modern/fashion colour work was left to me & the other staff. I learnt a few things here, we changed colour brands at least 3-4 times in a matter of 3 yrs so I quickly learnt to adapt to different colour brands, which are all different, each having something unique to offer to make their brand different.
Another tip i learnt: If i ever asked my boss for help when working something out, she always said "what would you do if i wasn't here?".... man i hated that lol but it was ultimately the best thing she ever said, because it made me have a go, try a new colour formula, or foil pattern & grow my confidence in what I had chosen. From memory I think we even taught her how to do foils as she hadn't done them before, & she had already been hairdressing for 38-40 yrs then!
When practicing setting on a mannequin head, if we had one roller out of place or too much hair in it, we had to take them all out & start again! - we learnt quick lol! After I soaked up as much knowledge as I could, I started working at another Echuca salon. This whole salon environment was completely different & allowed me to see another side to hairdressing, one that I loved more, a relaxed environment, gentle music, nothing was rushed, not 'get them in, get them out' mentality, which made it enjoyable & relaxing for you to be at work as well. I learnt many new cutting + colour techniques + about the salon experience. Now days most colour companies have a Colour Technician & they run colour education classes, seminars, workshops etc, as well as cutting workshops with some of the industries best. However, back when I first started, colour companies may have had a colour technician on staff, but didn't offer education on their colour brand, this came years later... So you really did rely on learning from other hairdressers (this is why i moved around, to learn from other amazing hairdressers), or travelling to Melbourne to hairdressing training academy's.
Thankfully, technology has made hair education so much easier to attend & watch with a lot online & more visits to country towns like Bendigo. After that, I headed back to Tongala to work at the local salon (part time/casual). I remember (among loads of other things) she showed me how to break down a men's haircut that was in fashion at the time, something I obviously learnt during my course, but each haircut is different & this particular one wasn't a traditional cut. I use this learning every time a new men's or ladies fashion haircut is requested.
During this time i was offered full time work at a salon Rochester, with a girl i trained with. It was where i found i could really put to use all of the things I had learnt. I now had achieved lots of experience, lots with colour, & this is where I kicked any doubt in my abilities. I gained a lot of confidence & really developed my own style of hairdressing. I blossomed, grew & flourished as a senior hairdresser. I learnt to use different cutting methods on different clients & personalise colours to suit my guests,
so everyone walked out different, not the same.
We had a young trendy clientele so lots of innovative + modern cutting + colour work was our thing, which was great experience, it pushed me to think outside the box. Some people need different techniques to achieve similar results, but there was still no company support in the way of education either, so i felt I had stopped learning again.
I realised I had focused so much on ladies hairdressing, that I wanted to focus more on men's hairdressing.
A position came up in Echuca at a barber shop & that's where stayed working as i ended up buying it! Men's cutting was an area I knew there was more to be learnt.
During this time i decided to do my Certificate 4 in Training + Assessment as i'd love to teach someday. I had an apprentice, I was so grateful for the help. She organised me, cleaned & it was a pleasure to train her. We had fabulous clients that were happy to be involved in her learning & training. A year or so on, I decided to move the shop to a much more organised & private space.
In between all of this I met my now husband, I cut his hair & eventually he asked me out... the rest is history.
After working & owning the salon for 4-5 years, the decision to sell was made. I had a few months off & very much needed it. During this time is where Hair By Belle Echuca was born. Since we didn't own our own home, I started Mobile Hairdressing & going to clients houses to do their hair. I did this for 4 years, in the end it was a bit demanding on my back, carting my equipment & tools in & out all day. Once we bought our first home i ended up setting up there, & during this time I worked part time in Kyabram as well.
So when the opportunity came up to open in Tongala, I admit I was nervous... however, I jumped at the opportunity go back to my home town. I didn't do this because home wasn't going well, i'm really happy with how home was going, it was literally an opportunity that came up & I thought, "why not? what have i got to lose? You only live once right? Right?"
Covid hit not long after, as I wanted to protect my family + clients I made the hard decision to temporarily closed my home based salon + focus soley on the Tongala salon. Isn't funny how things work out, I couldn't see or understand "why" the opportunity came up in Tonny & "why" it just worked out. Now that Covid is here, I can.
Stayed tuned for what's next!... Don't worry I'm not going anywhere anytime soon, but you know i'm still young!
Well done if you actually read all the way to the bottom, Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope you enjoyed it!