Featured Artist: Nicoletta Gauci has done it all; studied art, travelled the world, been an educator, we're convinced there's nothing this girl can't do! She's definitely been on our radar as "one to watch" and now we hope she is on yours too! Hear what she has to say about her inspirations, her achievements and listen to her advice on how to achieve your goals as a stylist!
Can you tell us a little more about you and your background?
I started the cosmetology program at a Paul Mitchell School 8 years ago, before that I was in Art School (the Academy of Art University in San Francisco). I am a Los Angeles native but thanks to a life long case of wanderlust I have moved around and travelled quite a bit! My family is Italian and Greek and I carry those cultures very close to my heart. I split my time between being a hairstylist, a mom and a yogi.
What drew you to hair styling?
I fell into beauty school in a rash decision, I tend to follow my heart and then use my head to figure it all out later. I'd say its working out! We have hairstylists in the family but I never truly saw passion from them…I knew I could make good money but I never knew I would love what I do so much, money or not.
What is your favorite technique to use?
Depends! I love to cut dry, handpaint hair and roller set :). Basically I love women to look like melty flowy voluminous goddesses!
What has been your biggest defining moment in your career?
I don’t know if I have had that moment yet! The only one that jumps to mind is one that I think most people wouldn’t see as that "epic". After moving around a bit and experiencing all facets of the industry I finally decided to move back to LA and concentrate on building a solid clientele and getting signed, so I suppose you could say my defining moment was making up my mind!
Can you give us a bit of insight into what the typical creative process behind creating your gorgeous collections is like? Is there a specific area you often find yourself looking to for inspiration?
I get inspired very randomly, it can be a fabric…an existing photoshoot, a song. Sometimes it is super literal like my swim cap collection and sometimes very vague. I create storyboards constantly and just save them on my computer that way when I open my schedule back up for testing I have things I would already love to shoot.
Where do you find your inspirations?
If I had to really narrow it down I would say I love fashion, art, architecture, history and film from the late 50's into early 70's. I get most inspired by lifestyles and cultures, but Ive learned lately that there is a fine line between appropriations and exchange.
What is the one product/tool that you can’t live without?
I cant live with out a curling iron…I can pretty much do anything with a 3/4 inch iron.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I would love to be able to teleport in a blink of an eye. It would open up my possibilities and cut on commute time!
How did you get into the education side of hair? Who were your mentors along the way?
Going to a Paul Mitchell school the education and educator career path is strongly focused on…so I followed through with that. I still love it but I realize I enjoy it more on a smaller scale and personal basis. I love my original learning leaders at the school like Susan, Thad, Shanti. They were (are) all so amazing. I got a taste of where you could take your career by assisting Lucie Doughty.
So far, What has your biggest accomplishment been in your career?
Hmm, I don’t know! I got nominated for a Behind the Chair award…that was pretty awesome! I feel like each day is an accomplishment…booking that next big shoot…making that new client happy…maintaining long term clients. I feel like I win mini awards with each one.
Are you artistic outside of doing hair?
I love painting with my daughter and taking pictures of her. That’s pretty much it for now but if I wasn’t doing hair Id be doing something in the arts/fashion world.
Who has influenced you most in your career?
My mom, she's never let me quit. She supports me and tells me to keep going because "you're going to make it Nikki". I push myself further for her and for my daughter.
If you could talk to yourself at the start of your career, what advice would you give your younger self? What is some advice you can offer the next generation of stylists?
Don’t get me wrong - I am thrilled with my career and I wouldn’t change any of my choices….however…I think one of the smartest paths is to get in with a top salon and learn and absorb all you can assisting, become a power house behind the chair and then go on from there! Assisting is absolutely key.
Be sure to stalk Nicoletta on Bangstyle to see her latest creations!