An accidental career has lead Kate Russell through Melbourne, London and a few movie sets, to her position as Stylist and Art Director of Chop Hairdressing in Wellington. “It wasn’t my first choice to be honest, I fell into it in Christchurch. It’s a craft I have learnt to love over time,” said Russell.

Moving to Melbourne, Russell found herself continuing hairdressing, and then spent a large part of her career in London where she began working with stylists who had a more experimental approach. Finding her way onto movie sets, music video shoots and magazine spreads, Russell had many moments where she felt intimidated by the creativity at work around her. Soldiering on, Russell rolled with the punches, and held her own - learning in the process that she could achieve anything if she worked hard enough. The Vivienne Westwood campaign which Russell worked on was a career highlight, as was becoming an educator for legendary haircare brand Kevin Murphy. Having seen that much of the industry, Russell has admiration for people in the industry who work hard.

In her position as Stylist and Art Director of Chop Hairdressing, Russell has an exciting amount of control over branding and direction. “It allows me to take care of the brand, work with cool young bucks in Wellington and create pretty pictures,” said Russell. For aspiring hairdressers, Russell has sage advice - “find a place you love and admire and do your training there.” Getting the proper training, and having a certification is important, as that allows young hairdressers to travel and work overseas. Practice makes perfect, so hairdressers in training would do well to get in as much time with the scissors as possible. Turning up on time may seem simple but, according to Russell, it is of utmost importance.