24 March 2023

Changing Lives with a Wella Heart: Master Color Expert Scholarship Instructor Winner – Tamara Spivey-Lane!

A multibillion dollar company does not turn into a community without the extreme generosity and responsibility of giving back. Wella is a giant in the beauty industry, with generations of hairdressers grateful for the training has given flight to some of the most talented beauty specialists in the country.

The Wella Master Color Expert (MCE) Program represents the industry’s highest achievement in color and the most distinguished degree in the industry. This is the first time that Wella’s Hairdressers at Heart awards a MCE scholarship to an instructor. The expansion of the Master Color Expert scholarship program reflects Hairdressers at Heart’s commitment to education and mentorship throughout the careers of colorists, stylists and educators. This is the story of the incredible Tamara Spivey-Lane, the first instructor to win a MCE scholarship!

Tamara was a stock broker for 10 years before she was laid off. After considering her options, Spivey-Lane decided to follow her dreams of becoming a hairdresser and enrolled in Ogle School. Soon after, she rented a booth for 2.5 years before opening her own salon, Spivey Lane Salon in January 2017.

But she was not done… While working as a stylist, Spivey-Lane also went back to school for her instructor’s license; and she now teaches at Ogle School, which is the same roof that gave Tamara her incredibly creative wings. Sometimes, you need a hand to be able to fly high, and Wella’s scholarship is a reflection of Wella’s mission and Tamara’ cause.

Share your #WellaCares story for a chance to win up to $10,000 to support your cause!

Think you’ve got what it take to take the gold? Entries for 2017 are now open until May 1st! To enter the annual Wella Cares contest, click here for more information on this amazing opportunity to support your cause.

Can you tell me a little bit about what life has been like in the last few days since winning the scholarship?
It has definitely blown up my FB and twitter feeds! It’s just constant congratulations which has been unreal. And then people in the industry who I consider my role models are saying “Congratulations,” and “Good job!” That realization that it was a big deal to actually win and that people know who you are is just very humbling too. It still feels like a dream until I walk into the living room and the big check thing is sitting on my table and I’m like “Yep, it’s still there it must be real.

How did you hear about the scholarship? What was the moment that you decided to give it a shot?
I heard about it because we use Wella, and I follow Hairdressers At Heart and Wella Education on social media. We try to push our students to enter into competitions and I was like, “How can I keep telling them that they have to do it if I’m not willing to do it?” That was kind of the turning point. If I’m going to ask them to compete then I need to compete.

How has becoming a Hairdressers At Heart Scholarship winner affected the way you view giving back on a personal level?
On a personal level, I guess with the salon and everything it’s just made it more exciting because I know I’m going to learn even more than what I know now.  Which means it’s going to make my colors and everything better, and I guess it’s just gave me a sense of pride because the clients that I already have are like, “That’s my stylist!” You know people are willing to branch out a little bit more when they feel that you’re really good.

Do you think that winning will make you more of an advocate for either Hairdressers at Heart or for entering competitions?
Absolutely, because I think when you can give back and have an impact on somebody else’s life by winning and getting that experience and then igniting that inner passion. It wasn’t until I placed in my first Trend Vision that I really realized that there’s a different side to the industry besides just standing behind the chair all day. Which is fine! Don’t get me wrong, I love to stand behind my chair. I really think that by doing this it shows, one that you can take your education further and you should always be learning more and [two] to look at opportunities around that can be given to you to learn more, to sell and to be a better stylist.

In your words, what is it about Wella’s culture that sets it apart from other brands?
I think the family aspect of it. Even though we have winners, and we have people that don’t necessarily place, everybody is extremely supportive of each other. They’re always patting each other on the back, saying, “Good job,” but also always offer to give feedback as well. And nobody won’t give feedback because they think it might make somebody else better than them, it’s always, “I’m going to make you the best person, which in turn is going to make me a better person too.” So I think just that family mentality is good. Wella’s more about the industry as a whole and how you can affect it and the people around you. I think that the fact that you can impact the world [by] doing stuff with Wella makes a bigger difference for me. I feel like your stretch is bigger.

What tips would you give a hairdresser that’s looking to enter the next round of MCE scholarships?
Plan it out. Take it to the next step. Make yourself stand out, but make sure that your passion comes through. You know, I think, saying one thing and hearing my words are something else, but I think seeing the action shots and to see me at work, I feel like that helped too because it gave you something to look at instead of just somebody [talking]. Making the video was very humbling too, because a lot of times we don’t brag about ourselves and get out of our comfort zone to say what you have done and why it’s important. Basically, I would say, don’t do it last minute. Make sure you plan, make sure you rehearse it, and watch it and read it and make sure that your passion’s coming through in the way that you want it to come through.

Creatively speaking, how has the scholarship helped you blossom as a stylist? What does being a MCE candidate mean or what does it mean to you to be able to go through this program?
I think it’s going to allow me to be better at color, to fully understand the formulations and how to use it and why it works. I think that knowing that why is going to allow me to get out of my creative box. I’m very excited because I’m working on my Trend Vision entry now and I’m hoping to be able to use this knowledge to get out of the box creatively with color so that I can advance further [in Trend Vision]. And then in teaching color and everything, I want to be able to answer [my students’] questions. I want to be able to give them alternatives if somebody wants something to redirect or [color] a different way to get even better results.”

Besides, Trend Vision, do you have any special projects in mind for the future?
Trend Vision’s our big focus right now. I also work with Runway Dallas, because I’m the hair and makeup coordinator for that. My salon is a sponsor for the event, and we do hair and makeup on all the models. Right now my [biggest] focus is on opening up the salon, because we’ve only been four months. We’re also trying to encourage the students to enter the Wella Cares Contest. We’re always just watching for new competitions and ways to give back.

Was there a mentor in these last few years that really inspired you? How do you see MCE enhancing your ability to mentor and to teach?
As far as a mentor, it’s hard to choose just one because I feel it was a collective push. If I had to choose one I would say the Ogle staff, because I can’t choose just one [person]. Miss York was like our Mama Bear at the school. She’s always been there. She gave us real world experience while we were doing hair. I think I got a lot of my teaching style from her. And then there was Jenna who is now my lead instructor [at Ogle School]. She kind of shaped and molded me on how to [teach]. I also had my grandmother who stayed behind me and supported me. Being a salon owner for so many years, she’s like, “You know these are the things you’re going to run into, and this is what you’re going to do.” I had her support through school and also after graduation. It’s hard to choose just one because everybody played their little part in supporting and building and nurturing.
And then as far as how MCE could enhance my ability to mentor and teach. I have a lot of students and myself who want to know the why and how of things. And I think being a MCE, would enhance that because you have the solid foundation. You can answer all of their questions and you have the technical answer for them too. You have the actual education and the background for doing it. Also, being able to to pass [your knowledge] on and not only to my students, but also to my staff [at Spivey Lane Salon] to make them better and to help them grow. I like being in the school because I can shape and train the students to be good hairdressers and to get out there and make the money.

Beyond the technical aspects, what do you want to gain for yourself by going through the Master Color Expert Program?
It’s a little bit of everything. This might sound a little selfish, but if my client’s hair looks amazing and then they’re talking about it and it’s healthy and it’s vibrant and it looks good, then they’re going to tell their friends to come to me and then those friends are going to tell their friends to come to me, so ultimately, it’s going to build my business and my name and my brand. It will make me a better stylist; to know how to do it and to do it right and how to hit the formulas the first time. It’s the confidence, it’s the ability, it’s the desire to advance in Trend Vision. And I love education classes, because I feel like if you quit learning, then you’re dying. I definitely think it’s the passion, it’s the confidence, it’s the wanting to know, it’s the eagerness to know what’s going on. I don’t feel you can educate properly if you don’t know it yourself. And so that, with the brand knowledge, with everything else, I think it just pushes you and makes you a better person and a stylist.


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