Jenni cuts a fine fig­ure of suc­cess

Melville Times - - Business - Aaron Cor­lett

BE­ING a hair­dresser was never in Jenni Spence’s plans but the Mt Pleas­ant res­i­dent has now chalked up an im­pres­sive mile­stone in the in­dus­try.

Ms Spence’s busi­ness Aoki Hair will cel­e­brate 15 years of be­ing open in De­cem­ber, 13 of which were in Como and the last two in her home sub­urb.

Orig­i­nally born in Devon, Eng­land, her fam­ily moved to Dur­ban, South Africa, when she was four years old.

Af­ter dis­lik­ing her job as a drama teacher, Ms Spence en­tered the in­dus­try through an ap­pren­tice­ship at the Royal Ho­tel.

“I went into hairdressing be­cause a girl­friend from school, her par­ents owned a sa­lon and I re­mem­ber go­ing there and lov­ing the smell of it and the creative vibe,” she said.

“My ap­pren­tice­ship lasted for three years and I left to travel and hone my craft in Eng­land, Scot­land and Ger­many.

“I worked with Bev­erly Co­bella, who is one of the top British hair­dressers; it was such a creative time in the late ’80s.”

She con­tin­ued her jour­ney in the in­dus­try af­ter mov­ing back to South Africa in 1988.

“I worked with Terry Scott, who was like Mau­rice Meade; I did fash­ion shoots and stage shows but then I left him to open my own sa­lon,” she said.

“Things in South Africa took a turn for the worse; crime was rife so we spoke as a fam­ily and de­cided to move to Perth in 2003.”

She opened Aoki Hair on Labouchere Road af­ter spot­ting a house and trans­form­ing it.

“It was com­pletely di­lap­i­dated and when I took out a loan to ren­o­vate it, ev­ery­one thought I was crazy,” she said.

Ms Spence said among the high­lights of the past 15 years was be­ing a fi­nal­ist for the WA Hair­dresser of the Year in 2009.

“The in­dus­try is al­ways evolv­ing, so ev­ery year I take the girls to the Hair Expo; we learn and I en­cour­age them to take cour­ses,” she said.

“You’ve got to be­cause it’s chang­ing so fast, you need to talk the mod­ern jingo. You at­tract the kind of client that you are your­self, so we laugh so much, there’s warmth, integrity and a depth of care and our clients are like that as well.”­mu­ni­ d487800 Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Ex­pe­ri­enced hair­dresser Jenni Spence will be cel­e­brat­ing a mile­stone in De­cem­ber af­ter open­ing her sa­lon 15 years ago.

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