POSTED IN FG Family ON 21 August, 2019
21 Aug Playing with Paints! Meet FG’s Global Creative Director, Claire Chell!
PLAYING WITH PAINTS!
Meet Claire Chell
FG’S GLOBAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Claire Chell is the epitome of someone who has achieved their dream job. “I get to play with paints all day!” is how she would describe her career to anyone who asks.
There is a lot more to it than that, but the reason for her success comes down to her unrelenting passion for creativity and the desire to improve herself and everyone she works with.
Claire is constantly striving for an answer to the unending question, ‘What’s Next?’ and this resolute aspiration has seen her go from a Saturday Girl at Francesco Group’s salon in Uttoxeter, to our Global Creative Director; singlehandedly responsible for the creative direction of the Group.
We spoke to Claire about her career so far and how it feels to actually have your dream job!
When did you decide you wanted to become a hairdresser?
I always wanted to be in a creative industry, I loved art at school and I really enjoyed animation, my dream back then was to run away and work for Walt Disney! I kind of fell into Hairdressing, it was never my first option and I was never sure it would be something that I would enjoy. My parents wanted me to get a Saturday job to prove I could stand on my own two feet and subsidise my pocket money, so I got a job at Francesco Group Uttoxeter as a Saturday girl, but I still wasn’t sure if Hairdressing was for me! I did blow-dries on model nights and I was terrible… but I was always intrigued by hair colouring and I wanted to run before I could walk! My franchisee at the time luckily finally gave in and allowed me to try colouring at a very early stage, (I was still a Saturday girl) from that moment I always knew I wanted to be a Colourist. I was hooked! I was shown work by colourists such as Lisa Shepherd and my Disney dream faded and the Colourist in me was born.
I was shown work by colourists such as Lisa Shepherd and my Disney dream faded and the Colourist in me was born
Claire Chell and Barry Maddocks from Francesco Group Ringwood
What does your role entail on a day-to-day basis?
My role is so varied, and I absolutely love it like that; I could be hosting a colouring course one day, organising a photo shoot or hair show the next… I could be travelling abroad to host a seminar or for a photoshoot, planning our next fabulous campaign with our amazing Marketing team or with my fabulous new creative team the FGCREATIVES. I really do have the dream job and I’m so grateful! As fabulous as all of the above sounds, I still love to get out and about and spend time in our salons. I love to watch our future talents’ skill sets progress and I still get so excited when I hear the words ‘I want to be a Colourist’. I play with paints all day and share hints and tips on how to create beautiful fashion led hair colour, what more could anyone want?!
I love to watch our future talents’ skill sets progress and I still get so excited when I hear the words ‘I want to be a Colourist’
Claire Chell, after she won her The One Award
What are your career highlights, so far?
There are so many! Winning awards are great industry recognition, which helps you to build your confidence in your area of expertise… but out of all of my awards, winning Creative Head’s Most Wanted Colourist of Year has to be up there! I never expected to finalise, all the Colourists in my category I absolutely idolised and definitely never expected to win! Keith Lemon was the host that year, I love him, so it was the icing on the cake when he presented it me! However, 2019 as a whole is way, way up there! I have achieved my dream job, FG has trusted and had faith in me to create new campaign trend directions and I had full control and creative direction at this year’s FG Awards hair show.
I play with paints all day and share hints and tips on how to create beautiful fashion led hair colour, what more could anyone want?!
What are the main things you would like to achieve in your new role?
To create fashion led hair trends which meet the suitability of our clients. This year we have created three unique, ready to wear hair campaigns; each campaign will run for 4 months and I hope this helps to give everyone from Assistants, Front of House, Stylists and Colourists the confidence to talk about what’s current and on-trend and what FG’s hair trend for that quarter is. I want to create opportunities for individuals to step into the creative side of Hairdressing. With this goal in mind, the new FGCREATIVES came to fruition; we have such amazing talent in our group and I wanted to have a platform to help them to excel and achieve their goals. I’ve never been so proud to have such an amazing team; the work we are creating is inspiring and beautiful… The doors are never closed on becoming an FGCREATIVE, if you’re an FG Stylist or Colourist who is interested then please make me aware and together we can plan to achieve any goal.
The majority of creative projects are always unpaid and done in your own time, but the knowledge and skills you learn are priceless
Claire Chell at the L’Oréal Colour Trophy Awards
What is your favourite part of Hairdressing?
Easy! Colour education is my passion inside and out.
Tell me about your career journey so far?
I started out at FG Uttoxeter, once I’d completed my NVQ 2 & 3, I became a Colourist and achieved my MCA & MCE. I was there for over 10 years, achieving Top Technical salon for 4 years running. I had a passion and longing to be more creative and go into education, so I joined our Academy’s education team and helped to create new colour courses. Shortly after this, I became Creative Colour Director and took the helm for the direction of colour education within the Group. I also started to go out on the road to visit salons and help build our colourists’ confidence and increase their salon’s technical percentage and colour business.
I then became a Wella Colour Club ambassador and as well as working alongside my colour idols, I had the lovely job of testing the research and development in the new Wella colour innovations. Winning industry awards led to me becoming a judge in industry colour competitions and to be seen in industry magazines. I have always put myself out there to assist everyone in the industry who ever needed any help, this has helped me to network and learn from the best. The majority of creative projects are always unpaid and done in your own time, but the knowledge and skills you learn are priceless. Since our move to L’Oréal, I’m constantly learning and recently completed my L’Oréal Colour Specialist qualification, an achievement I am so proud of.
Claire Chell filming with L’Oréal
Winning industry awards led to me becoming a judge in industry colour competitions and to be seen in industry magazines
How has Francesco Group supported you during your career?
I am very lucky to have always surrounded myself with the best! I had three franchisees at my time at FG Uttoxeter; Carl Pykette, Simon Campbell and Lorretta Hopley, each supported me every step of the way in my career and I’m forever grateful.
FG Directors; Frank, Pete, Ben, Anya and Mia Dellicompagni along with Melvyn Ainger and Michelle Thompson have also played so many roles in supporting me throughout my career… I used to lack confidence at industry events, but having my girls with me helped me to network and build in confidence; together we stood strong and boy did we have fun! All of these guys have seen me laugh, seen me cry (when occasionally my eyes break and leak a little!) and seen me angry, but regardless and with no questions asked, they have picked me back up again invested in me to achieve my goals. If you’re passionate and driven, FG will always be there for you… after all who would have thought a cocky girl from Uttoxeter who loved food as much as hair colour would ever be FG’s Global Creative Director?!
If you’re passionate and driven, FG will always be there for you!
Claire Chell behind the scene of a video shoot with Mark Izzard from Francesco Group Bramhall
Who inspires you?
I’m lucky I have an amazing team of FGCREATIVES who inspire me all the time … outside of FG, Colourists such as Jayson Gray, Siobhan Jones & Robert Eaton.
If you could colour anyone’s hair who would it be?
Paloma Faith! She fascinates me, she looks like she’d be so much fun and her fashion style is incredible and unique. I love Dua Lipa’s music and her sassy nature, her skin tone is amazing, and she could carry off so many different hair colour combinations.