NAHA Top Takeaways Part 2

2017 Naha Finalists Video

Hi guys!!! I want to start off by thanking everyone who took the time to read part 1 and I’m thoroughly excited to get in to part 2… I’m actually going to break this down into multiple posts because I hate reading super long things so I figure others may feel the same! Now all I have is my own experience but inside of some deep reflection there are some things I wish I knew and I’m also going to address the rest of the questions I’ve been asked. Things I did that worked, and hard fails.


Starting off, I’d like to continue the conversation about research. First step was going to and then started with the categories. Winners and finalists tab attracted my attention because I’m a big fan of pretty pictures 😉 Thoroughly stalking all of them, while paying attention to my heart rate. This process helped with clarity giving me a map of what meant the most therefore I was able to narrow down where I belonged from a passion perspective.


David Baran 2017 Naha Avant Garde Finalist

I had a sinking feeling because Avant Garde practically gave me a heart attack. That’s where all the gross self doubt stuff came in. Sometimes I would have to allow myself to temporarily stop. The most effective way I have found to make these thoughts stop, is trying to find a way to be helpful to someone else. This never fails to return me to sanity then I try again. Having category clarity I went to the rules section and read them many times. The PBA provides an incredible web series featuring Charlie Price and Mia Longori that I didn’t see until after entering. This series will save time money and give inspiration to all even if you’re not entering and just want great advice for a photo shoot or instagram. It breaks down things like photo composition, building a team, wardrobe, money, models, timing and an insight to what the judges are looking for.


@mialmchugh Mia Longoria and Chairlie Price @charliepricehair

I’m a geek when it comes to our industry but my favorite medium for me by far is video. I have YouTube’d every possible Naha anything. Many of the people I found I have been following for years but to watch their interviews, and dive into the way they create content helped me think about what it would be like to meet them, listen to advice and understand (god for bid I won) how to interview. NOTE- if you do get nominated, talk to the camera, not just the host on the red carpet. Seems like a duh thing but completely blew right over my head! You can watch me never look at the camera and they cut the interview off at


Interview with @phildoeshair

The amount of time spent stalking, I figured would come in handy weather I was nominated or not because I planned to attend anyway so I could learn, and just what if I had the opportunity to shake hands with them, let them know how much value they added to my life. I fell short and was unable to learn everyones past, what they have done, and remember it and I do believe this is a lifetime process but it allows me to come authentically and if lucky create a deeper connection. I bow down because the amount of hard work, research, talent and organization  and they have paved the way to show us all that this industry is limitless, versatile and beyond fulfilling. Dig for nuggets from the people who have what you want. It can take some patience because they’re adhering to all types of audiences during interviews and sometimes the questions asked do not add value in any way but for me it was time well spent.


@samvillahair Sam Villa NAHA 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award (PBA photo)

There is no recipe for the perfect process. I have had the opportunity at this point to understand the way many winners have achieved their collections. The range and process for each artist is so different. This is great news and gave me some confidence and freedom to just START! I would advise listening to what that looks like for people because for me it came in most handy when I got stuck. Getting stuck, hitting a wall, thinking you should start over and everything you have done is terrible, IS NORMAL. It happened many times for me. When this arises I would pause, ask people I respect for input, reach out to my team and sometimes go to bed and try again tomorrow.

Vivian Mackinder @vivianmackinder Erika Fung @eri_hair Sue Pemberton @suepemberton_hairstylist Allen Ruiz @allenruizstyle Heggy Gonzalez @heggyhair Chris Baran @coachchrisbaran Ruth Roche @ruthroche Jake Thompson @jakethompsonhair Wendy Bond @wendybondhair Damien Carney @damiencarneypro Kris Sorbie @krissorbie Steve Elise @steveelisehair Ammon Carver @ammoncarver Matt Swinney @mswinney2836 Nicholas French @nicholas_french Chrystopher Benson @cbensonhair Lisa Yamasaki @lisayamasaki_jshairstudio Sal Misseri @sal_misseri Sharon Blain @sharonblain

These are just some of the MANY artists that rock my world and I guarantee if you check them out, the same thing will happen for you. I’m so in love with the stylists supporting stylists movement and I wanted to give a shout out to the some of many artists who have paved the way, helped me think differently and made my heart beat harder! There are so many more but all of these individuals have taken the time to encourage, empower and share their knowledge with me in some way and for that I am truly grateful.

I don’t know how long this will be, I’m going to just keep adding parts. Thank you for reading and if there’s a specific question you have or topic you want focus on please feel free to comment!

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