Hair and Beauty learners at Cheshire College – South & West have been working alongside world-class hairdresser, Richard Phillipart, for fun filled days of demonstrations, workshops and competitions. Richard, former learner of West Cheshire College, named ‘THE IT GUY’ in 2014 and winner of various awards, including the under 30 entrepreneur Award, has visited the College on numerous occasions since this year’s induction week, aiming to challenge and inspire young learners.
Ever since the young age of 13 when he first shampooed hair in a salon, Richard knew that he was passionate about hairdressing. By the age of 15 he was cutting and colouring the hair of family and friends, which led to partial completion of his NVQ Level 3, before joining the College, formerly West Cheshire College, to formally gain his qualifications.
By the age of 22, Richard opened The Boutique, with the aspiration of creating the type of salon he had always dreamed of working in – where the craft is always put first. 12 years later, now, The Boutique Atelier, Richard and his multi-award winning team of 27 (including 6 Apprentice’s), who won L’Oréal Colour Trophy Men’s Image Award 2018, proudly welcomes clients into the creative and busy salon.
Richard quickly became one of the UK’s most in-demand hair stylists, working with an ever-growing client list of celebrities and luxury haircare brands. Richard said: ‘’I decided to keep in touch with the College to ensure learners know of the opportunities available to them, reinforcing that you don’t have to be in the major cities, such as London and Manchester, to achieve fantastic things.
‘’If learners are prepared to practice as much as possible, there is no stopping them moving quickly within the industry.’’
In this year’s induction week, Richard ran various competitions, giving over 100 learners from our Crewe and Ellesmere Port Campuses the chance to win big prizes. Two lucky learners, Casey and Jade, won an all expenses trip to Salon International, the biggest hairdressing show in Europe, with over 40,000 attendees, where they were given back stage access to all areas of the event, a guided tour from Karine Jackson, Fellowship for British Hairdressing President and front row seats to watch Richard live on the BaByliss stage.
Jade Belle, 19, from Ellesmere Port, said: ‘’During induction week Richard came into College and ran a competition where we could win a trip to the Salon International show in London. I was lucky enough to win one of the places!
‘’During the show we had the opportunity to go backstage and see collections that hadn’t been revealed to the public and meet with well-known hairdressers in the industry.
‘’It was an incredible experience. I came home inspired and with lots of fresh ideas that I couldn’t wait to try out when back in the salon.
‘’Richard has made me realise that I can achieve anything. He has taught me so many new skills that I have been able to put into practice, which has helped me progress from Level 1 to Level 3 in Hairdressing.’’
Karen Bennison, Lecturer in Hair, who was also given the opportunity to accompany the winning learners, said: ‘’The entire trip was fantastic. As soon as we got there Richard gave us a tour around the event and introduced myself and the learners to other professionals, such as Errol Douglas MBE; one of the most influential hairdressers in the world.
‘’We never would have been able to provide an opportunity like this to our learners without the help from Richard. He has been great. He is constantly supportive and inspires us all to go above and beyond with their work.’’
Other prizes on the day included a full barbering kit worth £300 won by Steven Jones, a full Babyliss hairdressing kit worth £500, two yearly subscriptions to Fellowship for British Hairdressing and a two years subscription to Creative Hair Magazine.
Richard constantly thinks creatively and believes the hair should be styled to showcase the story, something he shares with learners during his visits. In Richard’s latest visit he ran a one-day intensive workshop, where Level 3 and Level 4 learners were challenged with generating their own style collection theme and developed their ideas throughout the day, alongside gaining advice for several upcoming competitions.
Over 40 learners took to the stage on Monday night at the College’s Open Evening to showcase the work they have prepared and produced, following Richard’s initial workshop. A select panel of judges, including Richard and Steph Griffiths, Make-up artist, were invited to give feedback and select the winners.
Holly Davies, 18, from Elton, secured herself a work placement with Richard at his salon, The Boutique Atelier. Holly commented: ‘’I decided to contact the salon as soon as I knew work placement was part of my Level 3 qualification. I chose to contact them after Richard came in to do a workshop with us, it was fun and engaging and I was inspired by what he had achieved, so far in his career.
‘’I have just finished my placement and have really enjoyed the experience. I learnt how to incorporate foils into hairstyles and about how to interact with customers in a professional environment.
‘’Richard has taught us that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and work hard. In the future, I would love to be self-employed; running my own hairdressing business.’’
Andrea Huby, Assistant Director Hair, Beauty and Hospitality, commented: ‘’We were delighted to welcome Richard in to our College. It is always a great opportunity for our learners to hear and learn about his experiences, as well as finding out more about the amazing opportunities that are out there in the workplace.
‘’We are extremely grateful of the partnership we have with Richard. It is motivating and inspiring to hear his story and to see him working with our learners; the industries future workforce.’’
If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, call 01270 654 654 (Crewe Campus) / 01244 656 555 (Ellesmere Port and Chester Campuses) or visit ccswdev.wpengine.com
To find out more about The Boutique Atelier, please visit www.theboutiqueatelier.co.uk