I Want That Job! Simon Tuckwell at Zullo & Holland
Simon Tuckwell is salon manager/head of education at Zullo & Holland in Nottingham and was on the 2014 FAME Team. In his year on the team, he travelled to Australia to present with ghd, worked with award-winning hairdressers and appeared on stage at Salon International.
Here, we find out more about his globe-trotting career so far!
When did you decide you wanted to be a hairdresser?
When I was 12 I went to the salon with my mum. I had never been to a proper salon before and it was a lightbulb moment for me. I instantly fell in love with everything to do with hairdressing. That was the moment I knew hairdressing was for me.
Where did you train?
I trained at a salon in Middlesex (Mark Thorpe) then I went on to work at Headmasters, SeanHanna, Urban Retreat and RUSH in London.
What was your first job like?
I absolutely loved it. I very quickly became obsessed with the hairdressing industry and my eyes were opened to what could be achieved; not just working behind the chair but all the events and world travel.
From the start I made sure that whatever I did, whether it was washing hair, looking after clients or even folding towels, I did to the very best of my ability. It’s a habit I’ve carried on in every aspect of my career.
When did you join Zullo & Holland and what attracted you to the salon?
I joined Zullo & Holland in 2013 and feel like I have slotted right in and become part of the family. Education is something I am passionate about and that’s key to what attracted me to Zullo & Holland.
I am now the salon manager and head of education at Zullo & Holland, working with the salon’s creative director, Angelo Vallillo, on staff development and building the strong foundations of our training academy. Being part of a brand that is constantly evolving and forward-thinking is perfect for me. Angelo is such a creative force and incredible to work with.
Why did you decide to try out for the FAME Team?
I remember seeing the FAME Team on stage nine years ago at Salon International, hearing about their experience and watching them create incredible hair. I didn’t feel ready to apply at that time, but I made it my main goal to focus my skills and energy towards applying in the future. Each year the FAME Team got better and better and seeing what past members had achieved, I knew I had to be on it.
I wanted to push myself creatively and work with these amazing hair icons and share what I had learned, so I applied in 2013 and made it to the final. That pushed me to work even harder on my entry application for the 2014 FAME Team and I still can’t believe I got on the team. It totally exceeded my expectations.
What was the most useful thing you learned working on the FAME Team?
Definitely being more confident in my own ability. We were shown so much from all the great hairdressers who mentored us over the year and it has made me realise the path I want to follow. My skillset has improved tenfold and the relationships I have built, not only with the rest of the team but with the mentors, too, will last a lifetime.
How important is it for you to work for a salon that supports your competition work?
Zullo & Holland is so supportive when it comes to competition and photographic work. The salon pushes every team member to achieve their own personal goals. Mine has always been competitions and photographic work and whenever I have entered something, both directors, Angelo and Romano, have listened, given constructive advice and helped me improve. I wouldn’t have achieved half the things I have without their support.
Have you ever felt under pressure to move to London to progress your career?
To be honest, I felt quite the opposite. I left London four years ago and headed to Nottingham. It’s the best decision I ever made.
What’s been your career highlight so far?
Walking out on stage in front of 4,000 hairdressers in Australia was incredible. I felt like a rock star! I also had my first ever front cover of a magazine in 2014, with the Fellowship magazine, which is something I’ve always wanted.
What’s your next career goal?
A British Hairdressing Award is definitely top of my list. Travelling the world showcasing and doing what I love is up there, too.
What piece of advice would you give your student self?
Listen and enjoy the journey. Focus on one project at a time and do it to the very best of your ability. Be humble and share what you learn because whatever you give, karma will give back tenfold.
Make notes too – ideas, training, pictures, hair; anything that pops into your head and you like. You might not use it immediately, but you might develop it at some point. I have a little notebook I take everywhere just in case I see something or an idea pops into my head. You never know when you will use it or need a little inspiration.