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WHO WE’RE TALKING ABOUT: Candice Wyatt-Minter of Wyatt Hairdressing

We love celebrating strong, successful women here at The Caviar Spoon, which is why we’ve created ReBelles. These are the women who are working it and owning it in life, work, and everything in between. Our newest ReBelle is the creative, classy, and talented Candice Wyatt-Minter, award-winning hairdresser and owner of Johannesburg’s Wyatt Hairdressing and Barbering.

As a perpetual salon-hopper (bad cuts, didn’t like the stylist, didn’t like the salon), it’s a pretty big deal that Wyatt Hairdressing and Barbering have converted me into a regular. (You can read more about the salon experience here.) The “beauty with a conscience” salon is the brainchild of owner and superstar stylist Candice Wyatt-Minter and it’s the perfect combination of creativity, skill, vibe, and location.

It takes a true ReBelle to start her own business and remain committed to her values and vision while growing her career and nurturing a space that sees some of the most creative personalities around Johannesburg.

Even though I’ve never had an appointment with Candice herself, I have to thank her for being a badass babe and building an untraditional feel-good urban oasis that keeps me coming back!

The Story

Candice Wyatt-Minter is a South African born and bred hairstylist who has accumulated a rather impressive trophy case of awards and accolades, including The Davines World Style Award (2010) and MTV’s Most Environmentally Friendly Business In Africa for Wyatt Hairdressing and Barbering.

She has a background in arts and design, which makes sense when you see the amount of creativity she employs in everything she does, from styling her clients to being a platform artist to the design and details of her salon. As Candice trained in the performing arts and drama (with a focus on the history of costume), she also became passionate about architecture and photography. The culmination of all of these talents and interests led to her transforming from a technician to a studio session stylist where she styled hair for fashion shows, advertising pieces, and fashion editorials.

Nowadays, when she isn’t busy working her magic at the salon, she’s globetrotting and teaching hairdressing around the world.

Q&A With Candice Wyatt-Minter

When did you have your “AHA!” moment with your business concept for Wyatt?
It was never an AHA moment, more like a progression. I wanted to create an environment that I would feel comfortable to be creative in. I was partially interested in having a low environmental impact hair salon, using products that were earth-friendly, animal-friendly, and human-friendly. I knew that in order to have an environment that would be conducive to creativity, we would need to be able to spend time with our clients and not be rushed, which is why we never overbook.

Who has inspired you the most and why?
Vivienne Westwood, the grandmother of punk. She has never been apologetic for who she is, she is not easily influenced by negativity, and is a fierce advocate for human rights, climate change, and creating a better world.

What’s been the biggest reward to date in your career?
We have been awarded many international merits but the biggest reward is that the salon has introduced me to some of the most artistic and creative minds. These awesome people have inspired me in so many aspects in my life.

The biggest learning lesson since opening up your business?
Always be authentic to who you are and don’t be afraid to outsource the talents that you don’t possess.

What do you do to get inspired?
I keep loads of notebooks, I jot down everything that I find intriguing. I also take loads of photos, from images in magazines, Instagram, and when I’m traveling. I try to speak and ask questions to as many people as possible, I love learning from others. When I’m working on a new project, I tend to get quiet, all-consumed by it, and even dream about it.

How do you measure success?
I don’t like measuring myself against others, I have my own very high personal targets. My goal is to always be passionate about what I’m doing and everything else will fall into place. Being asked to teach and share my ideas makes me feel successful.

What advice would you give to women looking to succeed in the workplace or in their own business?
My mentor, Tim Hartley told me this:  “Be open-minded, seek out diversity, find a great mentor, work hard and love what you do, love it every day.” I live by this quote.

When the going gets tough, you…
Slap on a red lip. Never let anyone see you down.

What’s your one piece of advice on how to achieve a work/life balance?
Having very long and challenging working hours, I try to not bring my work home with me and dedicate my off time to my family. I don’t check my emails or answer calls during these times.

In 24 months’ time, your vision for Wyatt and/or your career is…
I have been working on our academy, which I’m wanting to develop further. I would love for more passionate staff to join our team, individuals who would like to grow their skills. I would also like to add to improving the South African Hairdressing industry.

What’s one thing you wish people knew or understood about the hairdressing world?
Hairdressing is not a career for high school dropouts! It is an exceptionally laborious job. You need to be logical, artistic, quick thinking and good with people and have a broad general knowledge. And then there is talent.

One woman in business who deserves a shout-out is… And why?
Magda Wierzycka, the CEO of Sygnia Asset Management Group. Such an inspiring woman – she fled communist Poland as a child, spent nine months in a refugee camp and eventually came to South Africa with her parents with only $500 to their names. She is now one of the wealthiest women in South Africa and has been fighting against corruption and fraud within our country.

3 words to describe your clientele
Intellectual, eccentric, and individual

3 words to describe you
Brave, ambitious, and kind

Your motivational quote
Learn to respect yourself, once you respect yourself, you can respect others. This will make the world a better place.

Your business mantra
Love what you do and never work a day in your life

Your life mantra
Live a life of perpetual curiosity

Favourite South African designer
Black Coffee – pure genius

Favourite restaurant
Parreirinha (in La Rochelle, Johannesburg South)

Your favourite position is…
Internationally I’m known as Madam Colour

Candice Wyatt-Minter

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44 Stanley Ave., Milpark, Johannesburg, South Africa

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