Jenni Tarrant is the creative genius behind the Bond Hair Religion salon in Australia and countless award winning hair competitions. Although you may know her because of her amazing imagery and hair art, now you can learn about what drives this amazing women on the inside. She opens up her heart and is raising awareness for a cause near and dear to her. Hear about her challenges, her inspirations, her successes... and about her climbing Mount Kilimanjaro!
1 Tell us more about you and your hair art.
I have been in the hair industry as a stylist for 33 years, and am still as passionate as I was when I started at 14. Cutting hair is my true passion. I love to sculpt hair. For me, it’s about taking something so organic and designing a shape to enhance the beauty of the face. Every face can be beautiful with the right design and shape bringing out the most complimentary features.
2 How did you first get involved in hair?
I remember putting rollers in my grandmother’s hair at just seven years old. She was very patient and let me play with her hair for hours. At 14 I walked into a small suburban salon and offered to work for free just to be a part of something that I knew would be a huge part of my life. To this day, hair, people, design and making people feel special fills my heart with joy. Nothing can equal it.
3 What are your biggest inspirations day in and day out?
My daily inspirations surround me – the team I work with and the clients who share our salon with us. Artistically, buildings, fashion, color, and design in all forms inspire me. I see my own work as akin to a sculptor. Each day I sculpt hair and the lives of the people I spend time with by creating an environment of warmth, welcoming and excellence.
4 How do you balance being a salon owner and stylist?
Many salon owners ‘graduate’ to spending less time on the floor and more time on their business and ‘management’. What appeals to me about coming into the salon every day is connecting with my clients and making them feel amazing. I don’t think I could cope not doing hair every day. At the moment I balance both by having eyes in the back of my head when in the salon. I see everything to make sure my standards are adhered to. I make good use of my time to ensure management tasks are completed and rely on my manager and salon coordinator to make things happen which can be done well without me attending to the detail. Over the years I have become more ‘big picture’ than I used to be. While I don’t get caught up in little details anymore, my attention to detail is as sharp as ever in my business.
5 What is your favourite thing about styling?
Using the space in my hair salon to make a difference to the lives of those who come into that space. Whether they are my team, my clients, general salon clients or suppliers, everyone is greeted with a welcoming smile and treated like they are part of our family. It feels so good to see the change in people when they come into the salon feeling stressed and burdened by life but then leave standing tall and delighted by their time with us.
6 Tell us more about the Kili Climb?
I will embark on the arduous seven-day journey of climbing the highest mountain in Africa – Mount Kilimanjaro. The hard work of training and the many challenges I will face on the climb will most certainly be outside my comfort zone. Temperatures will go from a hot 38 degrees to a freezing minus 40 degrees. I will be climbing altitudes of nearly 6000 metres above sea level with no creature comforts like toilets or showers. This trip is a follow up to my Kokoda Track hike where I raised $15,000 for charity. Amazingly, I didn’t even get one blister. I may have lost a few toenails but that is another story.
7 How did you get involved with it and why did you decide to do it?
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is about raising funds and awareness around child sexual abuse. This subject is close to my heart as a survivor of such abuse. It is my mission and challenge to break stereotypes around paedophiles and their victims, and to raise awareness for the 1 in 5 children that are molested in Australia (Source: Bravehearts.org.au).
The mountain climb is to raise $30,000 for Bravehearts and LifeLine Canberra – two charities who greatly assist vulnerable people suffering the mental and physical ramifications of being an abused child. Every cent will make a difference and every cent donated goes directly to the charities. I would gladly climb that mountain on my hands and knees if it would help improve the shocking statistics of child sexual abuse.
8 If you had a superpower, what would it be?
If I had a superpower it would be super hearing and teleportation – I’m a bit greedy having two but it’s for a good reason. If I had these powers I would be able to hear a child that needs help and be with them in a split second to whisk them off to a safe place. SuperCP (child protector) would be my hero name.
9 Advice for stylists looking to someday own a salon or participate in hair competitions?
Be consistent. It’s all very well to roll out the red carpet when a new client comes to the salon, or to amaze the judges at a competition, but if there is no consistency, clients won’t come back and judges won’t put you at the top. Be consistent with your team too. You can be friendly but also consistently firm to make sure your standards are met. Be consistent with your goals and planning. Success isn’t an accident.
10 What is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge would have to be the physical training I put myself through to achieve the fundraising goals I set for myself. I train five days a week (I can even squat many reps of 160 kgs) and I look forward to each session like I look forward to poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick! That surprises many people. If I could raise a heap of money for vulnerable kids and adults by sitting on my bum watching Netflix I would. If I expect people to get out of their comfort zone by discussing child sexual abuse and asking for money, then I am more than happy to get out of my comfort zone.
11 What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Raising my son into an emotionally intelligent and confident young man – now 18. I have been working since he was just six weeks old and have shown him how to be authentic and go for your goals. The time we have spent together is quality time and I am immensely proud of the person he is. Of course the accolades I have been awarded through my business comes in second. It is incredibly rewarding to have your blood, sweat and many tears acknowledge by peers and those in your community. I am blessed to have found success in my personal and professional life.
Be sure to stalk Jenni on Bangstyle for her latest inspirations and support her on her climb!