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Styled for self-image: Paige’s hairdressing impact

Training and skills case study

“It’s a big responsibility to have someone’s self-image in your hands,” says Paige Cotchin. “But it’s also so rewarding to be able to make people feel great about themselves.”

Paige started her hairdressing journey in 2012 as a way to express her creativity. She started her Certificate III in Hairdressing in Melbourne, before moving regionally to Echuca. She completed her course at Bendigo TAFE.

Paige Cotchin case study

Now a senior stylist and colour specialist, she has started her own business while also making time to teach apprentices at TAFE.

“Starting the business was about taking control of my own career and my own future,” Paige says.

Her move into teaching was inspired by her love of sharing knowledge and upskilling people in the industry.

“I love to teach,” she continues, “and my love of getting educated translates to a passion for passing on that knowledge to the next person.”

“Our apprenticeships are naturally very practical. You’re in the salon getting first-hand experience which opens up windows of opportunity for learning, growth and making connections in the industry.”

Whether it’s styling, colouring or cutting, Paige is constantly excited by the prospect of making her clients feel and look fantastic.

“My hair means a lot to me. Hair can really define how we present ourselves to the world,” she explains.

“My favourite part is how, with a bit of time and hair love, a salon appointment can completely brighten someone’s day.”

Paige Cotchin case study

While Paige does still take on the occasional job in the city, she’s found she loves the slower pace of Echuca and appreciates building a close-knit local client base.

“The industry is always growing, so there’s plenty to do out here,” she says. “Everyone has different techniques, there’s so much to learn and absorb. You take a little from each person you come across and draw inspiration from everything.”

Hairdressing is a self-led industry, and Paige hopes to see the continued trend of salons uplifting one another.

“I’m very lucky to love what I do. I think the industry is becoming really supportive. We’re getting more educated on different techniques, social media gives us international reach, and we’re pushing each other to do better. We’re empowering each other.”