Ken might be the President of the Fellowship for British Hairdressing, but the undoubted first lady of the Fellowship is Ann Herman – Patron of Honor and doyenne of the hairdressing industry. Ken recently sat down for a (Skype) interview with Ann, for the Fellowship’s #THEKNOWLEDGE education platform. Watch the full video at fellowshiphair.com/the-knowledge.
Ken: I guess the first question is how you’ve been doing?
Ann: I’m doing quite well because my husband and I are used to being together a lot. I work from home and he retired a long time ago, so it’s not a problem being at home together. I’m not ready to strangle him or anything! I’d just like to be doing some work.
Ken: You’ve been active in the Fellowship for many, many years. Have you ever experienced anything like this in your lifetime?
Ann: No never – never ever. The hairdressing industry has ups and downs, but we’ve never had anything like this before. It’s new to everybody. And the only consolation I’ve got in this time, is that we’re all in it together. There’s no exceptions. We are all suffering but there’s no point in mourning. We’ve just got to get on with it.
Ken: You’re absolutely right. I’ve been in the industry a long time – not as long as you – and we’ve never seen anything like it.
Ann: I think the one thing we will find is that this is an industry that will have impact and stick together. I’m absolutely sure of that.
Ken: You’re a Patron of Honor for the Fellowship and I know it’s been a massive part of your life over the years. You’ve given so much back, too. You must have some fantastic fond memories of events and people.
Ann: I have wonderful memories. Years ago we went to New York and did a show with the Fellowship, Seattle too. I’ve had wonderful times with the Fellowship – things I’ll never forget with people like the late Terry Calvert, Simon Forbes, Guy Kremer…
Ken: I recently found out that actually the Fellowship was originally created as basically a competition platform?
Ann: Oh it was. That’s what the Fellowship was all about. They used to go all over Europe. It was a big thing at the time of the late Christofer Mann. Then, competitions got to be a bit old hat, and that’s when the Fellowship changed to fashion more than competition. I think it’s grown since then. I love every minute of what I do, because it gives everybody a chance. Not everybody can do the competition work. It’s great to get the youngsters involved, like at Members’ Night for example. They show us what they can do and we say, wow, you should be on a bigger stage. You know, that’s where I pick up my talent from.
Ken: You came up with the idea of actually getting the young up and coming on stage.
Ann: There’s another side I’ve tried, you may have noticed. I thought we were neglecting men a bit, so I’ve tried to do everything to bring men’s hairdressing into it. And more Afro hair. I’ve tried to bring that up as well so we can have a more diverse mix, as well as cut and colour. We’ve got everything now.
Ken: Have you got any thoughts or advice for people who want to join the Fellowship?
Ann: I want to say something to the youngsters. If you want to be noticed – and let’s face it, when we’re young we always want to be noticed don’t we? If you want to be noticed, there’s so many ways. We want to see you at the Fellowship. We’ll give you that chance. At Member’s Night, on a Project team. You can join those and make your name. Let’s face it, when you talk to hairdressers they all came to the Fellowship. Join the Fellowship if you want to get somewhere.
Ken: I recently saw a list of the F.A.M.E. Team from the last 25 years and it’s quite incredible. You must have seen that list and you must be super proud?
Ann: Some of them come and say thank you. I had a lovely thing the other day from Charles Worthington. He said, if it hadn’t been for you, we would never have got where we are. It was all through the Fellowship.
Ken: Well there you go. It’s incredible that someone at the level of Charles made that statement. Ann you epitomise everything there is about the Fellowship – it’s fantastic to have you here. In my first year as President, I’ve had nothing but incredible support and advice from someone who I respect greatly. So, thank you for sharing your wisdom – is there anything you just want to finish on in these tough times?
Ann: Just to say that anyone who is a member of the Fellowship, or would like to be, if they want to talk to me, anytime, they’ve got my telephone number. It’s on the website. Give me a call. I’d be delighted to talk to them at any time.
Ken: The hairdressing community is going to be locked up for a minimum of three weeks. What can they do to inspire themselves?
Ann: We’re doing #THEKNOWLEDGE, look at that. And keep in touch. Keep in touch with each other as well. That’s very important. Other people have different ideas so keep in touch with each other while you’re isolating. We’re going to come back – we’re coming back as soon as this is over.