2 November 2021

Salon owner shares expertise with College students

Laura Bates - Creations Hair and Beauty

Laura Bates is a successful local salon owner at Creations Hair and Beauty, and has been teaching Hairdressing at East Sussex College this autumn term, sharing her skills with students as part of the College’s employer engagement programme.

Laura has been working with the College in the first term to help raise industry standards, promote professionalism to students and help them to gain knowledge of the expectations from salon owners.

As an award-winning salon owner with 20-plus years' experience in the industry, Laura has proved to be an invaluable asset to the College in the first term, giving students firsthand knowledge of what is required to succeed in the hairdressing world.

Laura told us, “I started as a Saturday girl in local salons while still at school. I then joined another salon to do my apprenticeship through East Sussex College, so ESC was where it all began for me! I worked as a salon manager for 13 years and became a salon owner four years ago!

“We’ve won various awards including Hastings Observer 2018 Salon of the Year, Best local hair and beauty salon for SME News UK Enterprise Awards 2019 and 2020, The British Hair and Beauty Awards Gold winner and Hair and Beauty Salon of the Year, and the British Hair and Beauty Talent Awards Silver winner for best workplace environment.”

Employer engagement at the College is an effective way to promote employability skills to students. Laura has been teaching at ESC and guiding smaller groups of students, showing them how new hairdressers can operate in the industry, particularly within the world of social media.

Speaking about her work at the College in the first term, Laura said, “Within the classroom I have really enjoyed seeing the students' confidence grow and their practical ability improve - and in such a short amount of time too! Even their interaction between their peers is great; I love the cheekiness of some of them and the general vibe.

“I think they’ve responded well to having me teach them as I’m still out in the industry. I’ve been able to show them tricks of the trade and new trends that perhaps they wouldn’t see. I’ve also attempted to drum into them what an employer would and wouldn’t accept from their employees. For example, time keeping, uniform and other general ‘straight from school’ issues.”

Laura was also full of praise for the College in general and recommended that anyone interested in studying there should not think twice. As a parent herself, Laura even confirmed that her daughter will be joining the Hastings campus after being impressed by the goings on behind the scenes.

She said, “I would highly recommend the College to anyone who will listen. Their support for their students is above and beyond, and as a parent myself looking at colleges this year for my daughter, there was only one choice. She’ll be joining the Hastings campus. After seeing what goes on behind the scenes, I am more than happy for her to start her next chapter in the capable hands of East Sussex College.

“I have loved my time working at the College. The Hair and Beauty department has been wonderful. They have welcomed me with open arms and are one big family, helping each other and building each other up!”

Laura is planning to continue contributing to the College in a different capacity and could return to help the Level 3 Hairdressing students later next year with one of their research tasks.

“My plan for the new term is to change the capacity I’m involved in with the College,” she said. “I will help with colour workshops, employer mentoring and also offer CPD [Continued Professional Development] training to College staff.”

Would you like to find out more about the Hairdressing Level 2 & 3 courses at East Sussex College? Please click here to check out what relevant courses you can study.

What does it take to become the owner of an award-winning salon and teacher to the next generation of stylists?

Take a peek at Laura’s CV:

  • Senior state registered hairdresser

  • Master Craftsman in hairdressing

  • Level 3 AET and assessors qualification (through East Sussex College)

  • Sat on the expert working group panel for HABIA (Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority) for the NOS National occupational standard to help advise where our qualifications need to be.