Hi, my name is David Vadim Mary and I am a hairstylist originating from Nantes, France. Daily I work my science on my clients in the salon and occasionally like to show off my creative side for photo shoots. You may even have encountered my styling in the fashion industry including top magazines and fashion shows. Now let me take you back for the full story.
To start this journey, it all begins in the 60’ era where Presidential debates were televised, the USA’s music industry was popularized and enriched by the Beatles, Betty Friedan Published the “Feminine Mystique;” and two young adults (René and Gin) amagalmated together in the pursuit of their shared dream.
In 1966-1968 both of my like-minded parents began their hairstyling apprenticeships against the will of their parents. At this time, hairstyling or “hairdressing” was not considered an ideal profession; however, I truly believe it was my father who saw the change coming in this field. As an avant-garde artist, René somehow sensed that the Hair Salon Industry would advance in the future to what it has become today. The USA alone has built up a $50 billions!
Commencing from the rock-bottom of a small village made up of 120 inhabitants, my parents were ready to make the social climb up the ladder with only the certainty they felt: HAIR.
In 1973, they were ready to move to London for a new adventure outside of France. At the last minute, an opportunity arose to purchase a hair salon in a big city: Nantes, France. Nantes is not only a very liveable city but it has boomed lately into one of the fastest growing cities in all of France.
René and Gin by and by became a success. They were not only talented but they managed their business with hearty beliefs in providing the best service to their clients for an attractive price. It sure didn’t take long before my father perceived his intuition was correct. Some clients happily strummed their guitars meanwhile waiting two hours to receive an updated, fashionable hairdo. The official hours of the salon were 8am to 8pm but most often my parents were closing the salon at 11pm due to the lively demand from their clientele.
In the year of 1982 and 1983, René and Gin entered competitions. Recognized for their talent, both were entitled as two of the “Best Craftsmen of France,” as they were awarded with France’s most prestigious craftsmen award: “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” for which the award represents.
Both “Meilleur Ouvriers de France” in their specialties, René and Gin were also the first prized couple of this reputable competition.
René and Gin with their medals at the Award ceremony with Francois Mitterand, the current President of France. Gin is seen in the arms of the Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac who would subsequently become France’s President.
Later on, these successful entrepreneurs managed two salons, their first in Nantes and the second in a neighborhood very close by, both of which were replete with ten hard-working stylists in each salon.
In the year of 90’ my older sister Vanessa had a dream not unlike my parents. She too trained for competitions as a hairstylist and trained for the World Skills Competition, another notorious skilled competition held in Montréal Canada of 99′.
Her start as a hairstylist began as my parents taught her every skill they knew. With the gifted hands of my parents, Vanessa traveled to Paris where she trained with other well known stylists at the time.
Up-do training on the mannequin
Some people had doubts in her. They imagined her success at a national and international level to be unlike the success of my parents, but my parents knew all along that she was capable, and for that, she certainly developed as the most talented in my family! As I’m penning these lines now during my own hairstyling career, I am proud that I can say that I have not yet met another stylist as talented as my very own sister Vanessa.
Vanessa qualified in all regional and national levels. Upon the World Skills Competition, she had met the love of her life in the meantime. Also a competitor himself, Fred had grown into a successful chef and manager of two outstanding restaurants in Nantes in which they both reside with their daughter, my adorable niece, Lola.
At a young age, this soon-to-be artist, my sister, was already featured on all the local newspapers.
To describe the world renowned World Skills Competition, it is best summed as a competition suited to forty-five of only the most skilled concentrations in which fifty countries compete for the deserved title. More than 80,000 square meters of space was utilized during the competition as visitors and delegates from around the world occupied 30,000 hotel rooms in the competition’s entirety.
In the hair up-do discipline, my sister’s do shined as the best and two dozen Asian fans adored her. Their cameras were aimed always in her direction, fascinated with her work.
Ultimately, Vanessa finished first in the up-do category and overall excelled with a Silver medallion over all. My parents describe this as their moment of “consecration”; simply one of the happiest days of their lives.
After many years of sharing their expertise in their field, René and Gin retired at the age of 58 and 60. Vanessa has recently taken over my mum’s salon in consequence.
Now is the time to tell you about myself. As a young boy, I wanted to be a stylist as long as I can even remember. Many times elder adults would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I always responded with this: “I want to do like daddy.”
Of all the late nights my parents were still in the salon, it was often that my babysitter needed to drop me off at the salon. In effect, I waited until they could close the salon and then return home together.
When I turned approximately seven years old, my parents had bought their first computer for the business at home under Windows 3.1. For me, this exposure to the computer was of utmost fascination to me. That’s how I discovered my second passion in life. I’m sure you are reading this passage on your Laptop, iPhone, iPad or other such device. It is incredible to share both passions for hair and computers on my very own Website.
At the age of sixteen, I was a little confused, for I didn’t know what to do with my life like most young teenagers. Hesitating between my two life passions, hair and computer, I spent my days mostly on my computer after school until late in the evening and also in the salon on the weekends working as an assistant for my parents. I was not a bad student in school however, but it didn’t mean I liked being there either. I preferred exploring the computer for more information than they taught me. Balancing all these daily components lead me to receive poor scores in French, History, and Geography but luckily, I scored very well in the Natural Sciences. The Sciences were really what held my interest the most, specifically Computer Science.
My parents sure enough recognized I had a new talent in Computer Science and therefore pushed for me to excel in this field. I feel my dad must have dreamt of me as an Engineer but in the meantime, my family were teaching me hair on the side because I was pulled in this creative direction as well. Soon thereafter, I passed my first French Cosmetology exam with only their help in the salon. A normal Cosmetology student in France usually receives a a part-time apprenticeship for a four year education attending a top Cosmetology school.
My apprenticeship with my parents lead me to also being accepted in a Cosmetology school. It was here that I studied for two years and received my 2nd license (BP) which allowed me to work at my father’s salon.
At the age of twenty-one, I worked alongside my father and was developing into an artist of my own. Wondering what would be next for me, I told my dad the idea I had to travel; I decided I wanted to experience what London had to offer. My dad pushed me to fully carry out this idea of mine. Like my sister, there were doubts with me too. How could I work in London without speaking much English and afford to live there?
The way I prepared myself for this chapter in my life sprang from my addiction to my computer. For months on my own time, I researched on my computer and made myself watch American television shows. Months later, the flight was booked and I stayed with an English family for one month upon arriving there. There was no luxury in this, for I found a job at a salon in the Polish neighborhood located at Kings Road. Without speaking proper English, the only salon that hired me was a cheap, salon completely unlike the standards my parents set for me.
In London, I was at the bottom. I was paid three times less than what I had earned back home, but in my mind, it didn’t matter. My goal was much bigger than just those green dollars. Learning English and becoming a better artist was most vital to me. In the back of my mind, I wanted to prove to everybody who had doubts about me that they were wrong.
After one year spent in London, I decided I had my fill of the city and I yearned for a new opportunity. A French franchise recognized my talent upon seeing my résumé and offered me a manager position for salons located in Dubai, Mumbai, or Spain. I declined all three, for yet another company from New York City’s Times Square area wanted me too. With the English I was learning and never having visited the United States before, to this opportunity, I said “yes”.
It was in the cold winter of 2010 in Manhattan that I met the love of my life. Invited to a Christmas party at another hair salon, this is where I met Erika dancing the night away. Two years later we were married.
Currently my wife and I reside in Sacramento, CA.
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