Jasmine Lorimer; Whistler, B.C.;
Let’s say we’ve just met at a cocktail party. How would you describe, in a nutshell, what you do?
I am a hair colourist by trade, traveler, adventurer, and formerly Canada’s first Bachelorette.
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I originally enrolled at the Alberta College of Art and Design to study art, but being 17 and from a town where opportunities in the arts were limited, I had little idea of how to build a career in illustrating and painting.
I decided to change direction and I enrolled at hair school (Delmar College of Hair Design in Calgary). Originally I viewed it as a fallback plan, but I ended up absolutely loving it and that lead me to where I am today.
What was your first paying gig out of schools? (In your field, or not.)
I returned to my hometown in Northwestern Ontario and immediately found myself behind the chair at a tiny, 500-square-foot shop. I knew the owner and she offered me the job while I was home for the summer. There was no training, and I was so new, but it forced me to work independently and sharpen the skills I did have. A year later, I apprenticed for one of the best colourists I know.
What was your BIG break? How did you land it?
I gradually built my hairstyling business successfully in Vancouver. Being a part of The Bachelorette Canada has also opened many doors, which I am incredibly grateful for.
Describe the moment in which you first realized, I think this is actually going to work out?
I had been living in Vancouver for three months. I was working at a very high-end, somewhat pretentious, salon downtown. I realized that regardless of the level of education and experience I had, as long as I stayed, I would always be considered below someone.
With 10 clients to my name (if that), I decided to go out on my own and rent a chair. I became my own business. It was terrifying. Sometimes I would only work a few hours a day, and sometimes only a couple of days a week.
But, before long, thanks to the power of word of mouth, my clientele grew!
Although those first few months were stressful, I discovered that I could pay rent, buy groceries AND make more money doing my own work on my own schedule. I knew from that point things would only get better.
What would you say has been your biggest failure or shortcoming, career-wise, to date? How did you bounce back?
I went through a period of time where I was unsure about where I wanted to be. I was losing inspiration and in need of a change, which forced me to decide between the career I wanted and the lifestyle I wanted. I chose lifestyle and moved to a small mountain town, that I fell in love with. But, in doing so, I left the entirety of my hard work behind; my clients; my business.
I bounced back by embracing the new situation. If you’re happy in the place that you’re at (literally and figuratively), you will find your success. Sometimes a break is what you need to recharge your batteries and feel inspired to push yourself further.
Name one piece of career advice you always give.
I’ll always encourage people to be entrepreneurs. If you work in a field (trades are a good example) where you can do it on your own and earn 100 percent of the profit, you should go for it. The stability and security isn’t always there, but if you stick with it through the rough patch of starting up, you’ll be in a position to work half the time, make the same amount of money, and you’ll have more space to enjoy your life. At least that’s the goal!
What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever gotten?
People telling me to find a job with a reliable and constant salary. For me, if there’s not much opportunity to climb, there’s not much incentive to be there.
Did you deal with barriers in your field because you are a woman? If so, what were they?
I think most people would assume that as a hair stylist, I must work with a lot of women, but I’ve worked mainly alongside men. And I’ve never experienced barriers because of this, which I feel extremely lucky about.
Are you making a fair income for your work? Why or why not? Do you have a side hustle for extra cash? If so, what is it?
I feel that I do make a fair income and I know that if I want to make more, I can work more. The flexibility in my schedule is an important part of that.
As for my side hustle, I’m working with Good Human Productions [the producers behind The Bachelorette Canada and The Bachelor Canada, which premieres on October 11] to create more of a blog-type format on some of my social media platforms and a style/hair/makeup video blog. More exciting details will be coming soon!
What’s the worst stereotype you’ve heard about millennials at work?
Of course the typical “everything gets handed to them” line. Millennials are very adaptable. We are used to change. Technology has been shifting around us all of our lives and we slip into the next phase as if it’s nothing. It’s a skill that our parents and grandparents don’t have and it will ensure an economy that is constantly evolving.