60 seconds with… AMANDA LODGE-STEWART
The new NHBF president shares her industry experience and what she hopes for her tenure.
As a teenager, I had posters of hair on my walls… unlike my sisters, who had the latest pop stars! I started my hairdressing career as an apprentice straight from school. I completed my intermediate apprenticeship and then my advanced apprenticeship in the salon. My employer was fabulous and supported me throughout.
My first memory of the NHBF… was entering the competitions and going to Blackpool, which I loved. I also completed qualifications in make-up, manicure and men’s hairdressing. I was self-employed by the time I was 23, and very busy.
After having my children… I went back into a high-end salon to refresh and update my skills, and in my mid-30s I enrolled at university to study a full-time Certificate in Education Course. Once I completed this, I went on to teach full time. In 2011, I set up my own academy delivering apprenticeships in hairdressing, and in 2014 I opened a commercial salon to run alongside the academy.
As an NHBF Member myself… the support I’ve received has been excellent, especially the legal helpline and the contracts. I’m passionate about our sector, and my role as an apprenticeship training provider has given me the opportunity to meet and network with many salon owners and employers, sharing good practice and new ideas and listening to common issues.
As NHBF President… I’ll be able to offer experience, understanding and empathy. My expertise is listening and training. I would like Members to contact me with ideas for how we can best support them as business owners.
My focus is on raising… our sector’s quality, culture and reputation. I hope to explore issues around business growth, sustainability, and staff recruitment and retention. I will wholeheartedly represent us in sector debate for the benefit of Members.
When I’m not working… you will most likely find me at home with a glass of red wine and my nose in a book, or spending time with my family. I have a few animals, including a dog, cat, chickens and geese. I enjoy walking my dog in the countryside, collecting eggs and cooking.
People may not know… my husband and I took on a rundown farmhouse 16 years ago and have worked together slowly to renovate it and turn it into a home.
- Founder and director: The Link Training Academy LTD and The Link Hair Studio LTD.
- NHBF Board Member for six years.
- Previously NHBF Vice President for 18 months.