Innovators of Beauty: Martha Matilda Harper (1857 – 1950)

You’ve probably heard of beauty entrepreneurs such as Elizabeth Arden, Vidal Sassoon and even Guy Tang. But, does the name Martha Matilda Harper sound familiar? She’s the greatest businesswoman you’ve never heard of.

From servant to innovator, Martha is best known for developing the concept of the salon, inventing the reclining shampoo chair and creating the first franchise system. These innovations would go on to play a huge role in transforming the hairstyling industry.

Born on September 19, 1857 in Oakville, Ontario, Martha started working at the age of 7. Eventually, she began working for a German holistic doctor who taught her about hair /scalp health and gave Martha his secret formula for hair growth. After immigrating to Rochester, New York to work as a servant, she began manufacturing her own hair growth shampoo in a backyard shed. With her entrepreneurial spirit and her life savings of $360, she opened a mini shampoo factory and the first ever salon, Harper Method Shop. Clients visiting a salon was a foreign idea in the 1800’s as most women did their own hair or hired beauticians and hairstylists to do their hair in their homes.

At first, business at Harper Method Shop was slow until a music teacher moved into the same building. After noticing the number of mothers waiting to pick up their children, she invited them into her salon to get their hair done. Over the next 3 years, the Harper Method Shop became a popular place for women to visit. Her clientele included women’s rights leaders Susan Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton, President Woodrow Wilson, President Calvin Coolidge and first lady Grace.

As the salon got busier, Martha decided to expand her business concept. Her greatest career achievement was creating a franchise system which allowed salons to operate under the Harper name. During this time, she designed the first reclining shampoo chair. In 1891, she opened a chain of salons which were owned and operated by franchisees. Martha’s goal was to help women gain financial independence and career success. The franchisees were poor women and former servants who were trained by Martha on how to run a salon using the Harper Method of beauty treatments. The Harper Method placed an importance on hygiene, nutrition and exercise. She provided franchisees with national advertising support and made inspections to ensure each salon emphasized customer service and comfort, and was consistent in branding.

Throughout Martha’s career, she expanded her empire to include 500 Harper salons and a chain of schools throughout Canada, US, Europe and South America.
In 2003, she was inducted into the national Women’s Hall of Fame. Martha Matilda Harper was both an entrepreneur and a beauty expert.

The Innovators of Beauty is a blog series that highlights leaders in the beauty industry.

 

DIY Studio: My Dad Did My Hair Recap

It’s a job usually left for moms but sometimes a girl’s got to turn to her dad for some hair love. Last week, all 6 MC College campuses held a DIY Studio event ‘my dad did my hair’. With back-to-school around the corner, this was the perfect time for dads to practice what they already know and to learn new skills. From a simple pony tail to fishtail braids and the Princess Leia bun, we showed Dads how to step up their daughters’ hair game to the next level! Did you catch us on CTV, CBC and Castanet? Watch our live features here:

 

 

Couldn’t make it to our event? We’ve rounded up the top social media posts from the event!

RECAP: DIY Lash Bar

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Falsies. Some people wear them on the daily, while others have never tried them. Whether it’s a date night, special event or just because, anytime is a good time for falsies.

Last week, all 6 MC College campuses held a DIY Studio event: The Lash Bar. From drama to subtle glamour, the MC Squad (aka: Students and Instructors) showed you how to step up your lash game! At this free event, over 120 people across all 6 campuses attended the event to learn how to apply false eyelashes on themselves and their friends, entered to win a $1000 tuition scholarship and got a behind the scenes look of a lash and brow tint. For the few pros who already knew how to apply falsies, we showed them different techniques, tips and tricks.

Catch up on the awesome stuff that happened at the DIY event that was captured on social media:

 

 

 

 

 

Did you see MC College Saskatoon on CTV Morning news? Watch it here:

 

In case you missed out on our DIY event, here’s a step by step guide on how to apply falsies:

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Alumni Profile: Alicia Soulier

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Alicia graduated from the Hairstyling Program at the Saskatoon Campus in 2005. Since then, she has:

• been the lead Stylist at Saskatoon’s Fashion Week
• Won ‘Saskatchewan Salon Stylist of the Year’ at the 2014 Mirror Awards.
• Styled hair at Spring/Summer 2015 New York Fashion Week.
• Been nominated for ‘Saskatchewan/Manitoba Hairstylist of the Year’ at the Contessa Awards.

Currently, she is the owner and educator at Capelli Hair Studio, one of Saskatoon’s most prestigious salons.

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Why MC College?

Styling her Barbie dolls hair and making friends with Hairstylists was an early indicator that Alicia would start a career in the Beauty Industry. After taking Cosmetology classes in High School and receiving a scholarship, Alicia decided to accomplish her dream to become a Hairstylist. Her entrepreneurial spirit, need for hands-on education and word of mouth led Alicia to enroll and graduate from MC College Saskatoon. “MC College will teach you the fundamentals to becoming the best Hairstylist in the world…they give you a great foundation for the real world” says Alicia.

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Soon after graduating, Alicia was set on becoming a salon owner. After realizing that one of Saskatoon’s premiere neighborhoods lacked an upscale hair salon, she pounced on the opportunity and opened ‘Capelli Hair Studio’. In 2012, it placed top 5 in Contessa’s ‘Salon Interior of the Year’ award and was named as the best hair salon in Saskatoon by Fine Lifestyles magazine.

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Advice from Alumni

“Be humble. Be Passionate. Be respectful of your Mentors. Be passionate about what you do”

As an award winning superstar hairstylist, salon owner, educator and a board member of the Saskatoon Fashion and Design Festival, Alicia credits her success to her mentor, Kim Regier of Chel SalonSpa and her need for continuous learning. “Never think you know it all. Always strive for more education and inspiration” says Alicia. She is known for mentoring her staff, new Hairstylists and students so that they can become successful in their career.

Today, she continues to enter hair competitions and currently styles hair in photoshoots and fashion shows. She has done hair for Edge Agency and fashion houses such as White Dhalia House of Fashion, Hillberg and Berk, , Pyer Mossto and  Concept Korea to name a few.

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VERNON MC COLLEGE TO HOST BEAUTY WORKSHOP FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

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Tired of posting the same over-filtered selfies? Take your photos to another level and get featured on Instagrams’ popular page with MC College’s beauty workshop, “#MCTEAMFABULOUS”! This workshop gives students in Grades 9-12 the chance to work with the latest hair and make up looks straight from the runways of New York! The classes run on January 29, February 26 and March 26 between 3:45 PM and 5:45 PM, where you’ll learn how to pose in pictures, receive a complimentary makeover, be in a photo shoot and learn how to make your own spa products!

Cost: $50+ tax for 3 classes (January 29, February 26 and March 26)
Includes make-up and hair supplies, gift bag, photo shoot and makeover.

The classes will take place at the Vernon MC College campus at 3409 31 avenue. Legal parent, guardian or caretaker must register you into the classes.

To register, call Dawn- Marie Needham at 250-542-8393 or email dmneedham@mccollege.ca

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Beauty Tips with Dawn-Marie: Choosing the Best Hair Color for Your Skin Tone

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Wondering how to choose a hair color that works best with your skin tone? The best way is to determine whether you have a cool, warm or neutral skin tone. Here are a few tips to determine yours:

1). Hold up a piece of silver and yellow-gold jewelry against your skin. If the silver looks better against your skin, you have a cool skin tone. If the yellow-gold looks better, you have a warm skin tone. If both pieces of jewelry look equally as good, you have a neutral skin tone.

2). Look at the veins on the underside of your forearm. If your veins are blue, you have a cool skin tone. If your veins are tinged with green, you have a warm skin tone. If you have both blue and green veins, you have neutral skin.

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People with a warm skin tone look best with hair colors that have a warm overtone. People with a cool skin tone look best with hair colors that have a cool overtone. If you fall under the neutral category, you look good with any hair color (lucky!).

Skin tone hair color matches:

Warm

  • Gold
  • Honey
  • Caramel
  • Copper
  • Red
  • Mahogany
  • Strawberry Blonde
  • Ginger
  • Dark Brown
  • Rust

Cool

  • Platinum
  • Ash-blonde
  • Sandy Blonde
  • Medium Brown
  • Jet Black
  • Fawn
  • Mid-level blondes
  • Wine
  • Burgundy
  • Mahogany

cool vs warm

Tips:

  • If you want to change your hair color or add highlights, don’t go more than two shades above or below your natural color.
  •  Adding a few face-framing highlights will add dimension to your hair (especially if you have layers)!
  • The key to having black hair is to add tons of shine because this shade can easily look dull or dry.
  • If you naturally have fair skin, you’re best suited for a cool beige or platinum hair color.

Trip to Saskatoon

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Paris of the Prairies. City of the Bridges. These are just a few names to describe Saskatoon; home to over 200,000 people. As an Edmontonian and my first trip outside of Alberta (shocking, right?), Saskatoon felt like a home away from home: a big city with a small town feel.

As I arrived for my first visit to the Saskatoon MC College Campus, I was met with the sounds of excitement as students worked on clients and prepared for graduation. During the campus tour, I was able to see the hands-on training the students were receiving, as well as visit the beautiful spa area. Speaking to the graduating students, it was inspiring to hear their reasons for pursuing a career in the industry. It was also great to hear that a majority of the students had a job lined up for them after graduation. Many of those jobs were acquired through hair demonstrations held at MC College and establishing technical experience through volunteering at events such as: Sears Beauty Gala, Woman’s world, Miss Teen Saskatchewan and Fantasy Fashion Show.

As a guest at their graduation, it was amazing to see the overwhelming amount of support at graduation. I had the pleasure of meeting an inspirational and industry-passionate individual: Laddie James, Owner and Hairstylist at Hairstyle Inn. Not only is he a huge supporter of MC College students, he also awards the top student with a scholarship award, the MC2 award. At this years Fall 2013 graduation, Hairstyling student, Carley Aldous, was awarded with the MC2 award and a $500 scholarship.

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At every graduation, the Frank Cairo Award is given to the student who best represents the qualities of: Commitment, Integrity and Respect. These qualities were the basis of Frank Cairo’s success in the industry. This year, Hermien Brits from the Hairstyling program and Bailey Dash from the Esthetics program  received this prestigious award.

MC College hosts two graduation events at each campus every year. The graduation allows the graduates, their friends and families, and the faculty and industry to come together to celebrate and recognize their achievements.

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For more information about the programs at MC College:

http://www.mccollege.ca/brochure2013

To read about Frank Cairo:
http://mccollegeblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/frank-cairo-awarded-the-queen-elizabeth-ii-diamond-jubilee-medal/

To learn more about Laddie James and the Hairstyle Inn:
http://www.hairstyleinn.com/

Beauty Tips with Dawn Marie

Did you know? Wasabi is not only delicious on sushi, but is also healthy for your skin.  Wasabi creates natural effects as an antimicrobial agent, anti-inflammatory and a skin purifier.  Here is a simple recipe to achieve healthier looking skin.

Wasabi Massage Oil:

Combine ¼ cup vegetable oil and ¼ cup light sesame oil in a small saucepan. Heat on low for 2 to 3 minutes or until warm but NOT boiling or smoking. Immediately remove from heat and stir in ½ tsp wasabi paste. Be sure to use a wooden spoon as plastic can leach out chemicals. Cover and let cool for at least 1 hour. Add 5 drops of vitamin E oil.

Rub the oil on back, arms, chest and neck for moisture to create a glowing skin.  The wasabi in the massage oil helps eliminate any bacteria from building up that may be caught under the skin.

Dawn Marie Needham is the School Director at the Vernon Campus.  She is also a beauty consultant for the local newspaper.

Beauty Tip with Dawn-Marie: Make-Up Beauty Tips

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Our Vernon campus Director, Dawn-Marie Needham, is the Beauty Consultant for local newspaper, The Tidbits of Vernon. She provides weekly beauty tips to Vernon residents.

PLUMP UP YOUR LIPS

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Dab your pout with peppermint oil. This is an instant lip plumper.

FAKE A NOSE

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Draw a line with cream shimmer down the bridge of your nose. This highlighter reflects the light, creating the illusion of a straighter sniffer.

BOOST LASHES

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Before putting on mascara, dust lashes first with a translucent powder to add instant volume

Photos: Lips, Nose, Lashes, Face

Beauty Tip with Dawn-Marie: 5 Facts About Nails

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Our Vernon campus Director, Dawn-Marie Needham, is the Beauty Consultant for local newspaper, The Tidbits of Vernon. She provides weekly beauty tips to Vernon residents.

  • Nails grow faster during the day than the night
  • Men’s nails grow faster than women’s
  • You can get a read on your physical health by looking at your nails
  • Dry nails can be improved by increasing your water intake
  • Freshly manicured nails grow faster than nails that aren’t manicured regularly

Book your next manicure at one of our School Spas!

Photo: Google Images