Ashley Trainer is a local hair stylist that specializes in blondes. She’s taken the unconventional route of first pursuing an art degree at Emily Carr, then training to be a professional hair stylist, and then opening up her own studio. Her background in art gives her a creative approach to hair, and her bold, go-getter attitude paired with her sweet personality has helped her build up her clientele and get to where she is today.
MTI: How did you get where you are today?
AT: From a young age I knew I wanted to be a stylist. I was always the friend doing everyone’s hair before we went out. By the time I was 15, I had my first job in a salon – washing hair and working phones. It wasn’t glamorous, but I loved it. It was a natural choice to attend Blanche Macdonald. After graduation I managed to hook in with some great mentors and looking back, it’s hard to believe that I’ve managed to break out on my own with a great clientele who are constantly letting me push boundaries as a stylist and an artist.
MTI: How do you think your background as an artist influences you as a hair stylist?
AT: The basic principles of hairstyling and art are based on the same foundations. Everything comes from the colour wheel and basic shapes and then learning to push yourself and allow your creativity to come through. To me, its using the same tools, whether it be a colour brush or a paint brush. Just like an artist, every stylist has their own style, and its about allowing yourself to shine through.
MTI: What is your differentiation as a hair stylist?
AT: I really excel at blondes, colour corrections, and balayage. A majority of my clients fall into all 3 of those categories. The first time I see them, their hair usually needs to be corrected, they have never be able to achieve the blonde they are after, and they want balayage: my 3 specialities. I’m happy to work with each client and help them achieve their dream hair. I love when a client comes in with a “hair disaster,” and I get to do a complete makeover. When doing a consultation with a client, a lot of them tell me, “Just work your magic.” It’s nice that clients put so much trust in me.
MTI: Describe your personal style and how it reflects your personality.
AT: I’d definitely say that the best way to describe my personal style is: versatile. I hate conforming to a specific style, because I’m always open to stepping out of my comfort zone. I love to change up my look, but lean towards classic, and I play around with my hair and make-up a lot. I love the look of classic pieces with edgy hair and make-up. I feel like that is a direct reflection of who I am as I can be reserved, but also have a very goofy, playful side to me.
MTI: What is something you’re currently addicted to (whether it’s food/a TV show/a specific product)?
AT: I’m really lucky that my boyfriend is such an amazing cook. He makes the best Thai mussels and breakfast. I dislike cooking, so when he cooks I’m in heaven. As far as products go, Im addicted to Olaplex. I use it with every client. It allows me to repair hair while lightening it. I urge all my clients to use Olaplex 3 as their home hair care in between visits. This products is a blonde’s best friend.
MTI: What is your business mantra?
AT: My business mantra is: “Do it with love.”
MTI: What does your day-to-day life look like?
AT: I usually see my first client at 9 am and finish my day around 8 pm. Every day changes depending on what the client is getting done, but I see anywhere from 3-6 clients a day, 6 days a week. Working for myself allows me to book accordingly and allows me to give my clients the one on one time they deserve.
MTI: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a stylist?
AT: The biggest challenge for me in my career was deciding to be a freelance
stylist. There was some fear that came along with that, but having faith in myself and working hard towards my dreams were bigger than that fear. I’m truly living my dream now, and I’m so blessed to have such an amazing clientele.
MTI: What is the best thing about what you do?
AT: All of it. I love every aspect of this industry. I get to make people feel good and beautiful for a living. The best part is seeing a clients smile at the end of a appointment – to me that’s priceless.
MTI: What advice do you have for someone in regards to chasing their dreams?
AT: To trust yourself, never give up, and believe in your brand. Whatever your brand is, stay true to it. I write down my vision and goals at the beginning of every month, whether they be personal, business, or financial, and I re-read it through out the month. It helps me stay focused and know what my next steps are. You also have to be prepared to work your ass off, network, promote yourself, and always do quality work. If you know you’re capable of better, say it and fix it.
Photography by: Rebekah Ho