Yvette is known for being a mastermind when it comes to hairdressing, and even we tried out Just Peachy back in 2021! You can see the results here, remember to swipe for the before. The results are just *chefs kiss*
In this interview, we asked Yvette about her day-to-day as a stylist, what it is like to run a salon in Cape Town, and much more… Let’s dive in!
Who is Yvette Huddy and how did you get into hairdressing?
I grew up in The Netherlands and have had a love for hairdressing from a very early age. I started working as an assistant in a hair salon when I was 14 years old, just washing hair, sweeping the floor, serving coffee & tea to clients, etc. and I LOVED it – career choice made! After High school, I went to hairdressing college (in Holland) whilst simultaneously working in a salon to get my practical hours in.
Pretty soon after graduating as a hairstylist I went to work on the cruise ships and had the best time cruising the world while doing what I love. It was on the cruise ships where I met my now husband who is originally from Johannesburg. Cutting a long story short, in 2011 I moved to Cape Town and I have worked as a hairstylist in Newlands / Claremont ever since. 3 years ago I decided it was time to open my own salon, and that’s when Just Peachy was born.
How has it been running your own business, Just Peachy? Have you faced any challenges and how have you overcome them?
Initially, upon opening Just Peachy, I was completely clueless about how to run a salon and everything that it that comes with it. I accepted the challenge and every day has been a learning experience for me. Over and above not having any idea on what I was really doing, on top of that, 6 months after opening my salon we went into a hard lockdown.
I have learned that if you run a business with passion and a clear idea in mind of what you’d like to achieve, you’re about halfway there. Through identifying the things I wasn’t good at, I went on to spend 1,5 years with a business mentor who helped me put all the necessary systems in place. Elements of one’s business like actually knowing all my numbers ie what does 1 x colour application really cost – I truly had no idea. How to build and manage healthy relationships with my suppliers etc too were lessons learned through being mentored.
I try and regularly read business books, listen to relevant podcasts and follow people on social media that inspire me from within the hair industry and too from other industries.
Your industry can be quite a fast-paced one, what is an average day like for a stylist such as yourself?
Pre-covid, I would double book myself the whole day (meaning I would see another client while my 1st client’s colour is developing) this would only be possible with my amazing assistant Asanda who I have been working with for 8,5 years. It was full on – never taking a lunch break and sneaking a snack in where we could, we worked every Saturday and on Public Holidays.
When we got out of our first hard lockdown during the Covid Pandemic, we were only allowed to see 1 client at the time which quite obviously meant a drop in income, but I realized that it’s a much healthier work environment and a nicer experience for our clients. Currently, at Just Peachy Hair, we all get lunch breaks and we all get 1 Saturday a month off (this gets tied in with a long weekend, so you will get 3 days in a row off)
It’s a real balancing act between trying not to “overbook” the salon stylists with clients whilst too running a business where we all want to make (good) money.
I have learned a lot over the last few years is that you need to look after yourself in able to look after your clients.
For aspiring hairdressers, what is your best advice?
Apart from finding a great college to study at, I would advise aspiring hairdressers to start working in a salon on Saturdays – just generally helping out, sweeping the floors, making tea & coffee for clients, washing hair, and watching what other hairdressers do.
Our industry is amazing and you will always be learning, so being inquisitive and having an open & positive attitude towards it will get you a long way in the industry.
Getting to know Yvette:
- If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing before starting my business, it would be… Some projects are going to be a success and some are going to be a failure – it’s all part of the journey towards achieving what you want. Enjoy the successes and failures equally as both lead you to achieving goals.
- My favourite hairstyle/colour to do is… It will have to be a Balayage (a highlighting technique giving a sun-kissed blonde result)
- If I had to choose one person, alive or dead, as my inspiration, it would be… I’m choosing two here: 1) Rihanna for her fearless attitude in life and 2) Sophia Hilton, a hairdresser from London who I was fortunate to attend one of her courses at SCAR (hair salon in Cape Town) in 2018 – she changed my whole mindset on hairdressing in just one day.
- My favourite hobby is… Pottery
- My daily mantra is… ‘’I’m sure it will be fine’’ (Anyone who has worked with me will know I say this a lot 😉)