Adelaide based hairdresser Sam James is making her mark on the Australasian hairdressing industry in a serious way. The 2018 Hair Expo South Australian / Tasmanian Hairdresser of the Year winner took home two impressive accolades at the 2019 Hair Expo Awards, being crowned the Hair Expo South Australian / Tasmanian Hairdresser of the Year for the second consecutive year, as well as being named the Hair Expo 2019 Editor’s Choice winner.
At only June, it’s been a whirlwind year for the creative talent who has been recruited to join the Matrix Artistic Design Team and has also opened her very own salon, SJ Establishment, in Adelaide South Australia.
We chatted with Sam post Hair Expo to get the low-down on her winning collection and what’s next for her exciting career.
[Hair Expo] You had an incredibly successful Hair Expo Awards this year! How does it feel to have made these achievements in such a competitive and cut throat industry?
[Sam James] Yes to be honest, it still doesn’t feel real! To go back to back is a huge goal of mine so yay! It’s just such an honour to have Hairdressers Journal International Editor, Laura Husband award me this – to be rewarded for creating a collection that stood out means everything to me as I try really hard to reinvent rather than recreate.
What was the inspiration behind your winning collection?
My collection P.L.A.Y allowed me to experiment with the unknown, using new techniques I dreamed up whilst learning new things last year. With a little inspiration from the man himself Angelo Seminara and watching someone close to me playing with rope, intricate pieces have been hand crafted for these looks. When producing a new collection, to feel successful, it is key for me to have learnt and mastered new skills, usually making myself uncomfortable before conquering the right images.
You’ve recently opened your own salon, SJ Establishment. Has this always been a dream of yours, and what are your goals for the salon?
It’s more a recent dream of mine, I wanted to create something that I felt connected to in a way that you can only feel when you have created it yourself. Everything has been created with the ultimate Current Client Journey in mind – the busy time-poor professional, or hectic unrested mother. The goal is simple, to give our clients the rest and nurturing they deserve whilst making them look and feel amazing!
You’re the first girl in quite a while to be selected to join the Matrix Artistic Design Team – congrats! What does this opportunity mean to you?
Being in the A team with the boys is a very humbling experience, they are all exceptional at what they do, and I feel super excited to be up there with them, aiming to bring a little SamiJ to the mix. It’s so important to align yourself and your brand with like minded people, the whole MATRIX family have been so supportive, especially during the start of my new salon.
What are you most hoping to achieve with your new role on the Matrix Artistic Design Team?
My biggest hope is the same with everything I do: growth, building relationships with these legends as stylists and business owners will help me bring back to salon and business, exciting and innovative ideas both for clients and my team. Also I have my sights on a little more international fun.
This has already been an incredibly busy and exciting year for you! Do you have anything else exciting in the pipeline?
Yes it really has but to be honest it’s just the surface lol, I still have education dates this year, Brissy H&B Expo, collections to plan and shoot, staff to hire and train, an epic opening for the salon happening in August and the Launch of our Art collaboration with local Artists which is a huge passion of mine. So definitely stay tuned!