Live with Anna Chapman inspiring entrepreneur, session stylist, and industry ambassador.
Live with superstar guest, Anna Chapman. From salon hairdresser to session stylist and founder of the brand “Session Kit”, Anna is smashing her career in the industry. Running a business and working with Vogue worldwide, Interview, and 20 Magazine to name a few made us immensely excited to chat with Anna! Our CrozNest team and the audience loved hearing all of her insight and advice to success! The LIVE is available to watch in full on our IGTV page.
From salon hairdresser to busy session stylist, running a business and being a mum! Anna admits juggling the demands for each role is challenging. However, she does it all with passion and purpose. Both, Anna and Jason, started where every stylist starts, sweeping hair, making coffee, and folding towels. For aspiring stylists, it can be hard to see the end at the beginning. Anna stresses the importance to stay focused and willing to learn. It is crucial to understand that the role to hold hair and pass pins is important.
For a wannabe session stylist, Anna emphasises how cutthroat the industry can be. The chaos of fashion week is not as glamourous as it sometimes seems on social media, alongside the long hours and travel demands, there’s an immense amount of pressure to correctly interpret the creative director’s vision for his models. Anna’s communication skills were learned at the beginning of her career through daily consultations with salon clients. By readjusting this skill, Anna can understand how to bring the designer’s idea to life, with sometimes very little direction.
As a former assistant, Anna yearns for other assistants to understand they are at a job to make the lead stylists’ job easier. Ultimately, they are trusting you to do a job they would ideally want to do themselves says, Anna. Jason harmonises with Anna, both identifying the buzz of the session is what will keep a stylist motivated to undertake the challenging job whilst continuing to love it. Anyone can be a hairdresser, but a session stylist needs the passion to grow. “If you can’t assist, you can’t learn”.
From determining a gap in the market and she used her entrepreneurial flair to help fuel a business that would help other stylists. Unfortunately, Japanese hair tools in the UK are pretty scarce to find. Anna first discovered the Japanese tools when she started out working with Angelo Seminara and Eugenie Souleiman, and after years of sourcing them from backstreet stores in Paris, Anna began realizing how inaccessible it was for stylists in the UK to get their hands on these tools. Running Session Kit as a hairdresser gives Anna the edge of her business. Like other wholesalers, it’s not just about the money for “I’m buying things in to make sure they are the best quality for fellow hairdressers”.
Anna knows what works from her depth of experience, more than what a wholesaler knows from just what a sales rep is telling them is good. “It’s not about profit, it’s about putting my name to something I’m proud of”. Anna is naturally honest about her products and the brand, and what makes it work is her genuine excitement when something feels perfect. Jason agrees it’s a hairdresser thing to be worried about the detail.
Where it all began
Session Kit began almost 6 years ago, starting out with taking orders via emails and DMs. Anna’s brand has since grown because of its uniqueness and word-of-mouth marketing. The branding, deliveries, marketing, supply chain all started with just Anna with a little help from her partner along the way but only recently appointed a PA to help with the brand. The grind never stops for Anna.
Unlike other small businesses, shipping worldwide was extremely important to Anna. In line with the reason for starting Session Kit, Anna sought to make the tools accessible to every hairdresser. Although it’s proved to be a great opportunity for Anna, it’s confusing to understand why a big wholesaler in Paris can’t do the same. When she can see something that isn’t fair or can be improved, she feels driven towards fixing the problem. “I just make it happen”. Session Education was also started as a means for stylists to learn genuine skills that are affiliated with other brands. Real education, means being taught and trained authentically, bringing in the right educator and products without a plug.
A talent for hair but also branding made us pose the question, where do Anna’s style and taste come from. From that working with art teams, she developed her creative side, and then going into session Anna worked with Anthony Tailor traveling with him doing fashion week and editorial. The training and belief from her senior stylists, gave Anna her confidence to carry on developing which can be hard to sometimes grasp if you aren’t up for the challenges.
Session kit’s Japanese Nishida Grips are the perfect tool for backstage Fashion Week shows. “They have been like gold dust to many session stylists”.These are now accessible for UK hairstylists, uniquely designed with strength in mind for Asian models. Session Kit stock six different colours of the grips and are available in boxes of approximately 50 or 480 grips.
Available in black, bronze, or blonde with a length of 5.5cm. Their delicate structure allows for holding very fine details within the style. Making them almost invisible.
Although the Session Kit stock 5 styles of the Paris pin, style 1 is an indefinite favorite for stylists. A vital essential for Paris Fashion Week, these pins allow models to don a chic French hairstyle on the catwalk.
Essential in your kit! Every stylist needs good section clips to carry out their work. For £10.50 you can purchase 36 of Session Kit’s clips. These are manufactured and designed to be durable and lightweight. Overall, the design makes them perfect for not only sectioning hair, but seamlessly setting it as well.
The ideal brush for a fabulous blow-dry. Fashion Week approved, the combination of boar bristles and the soft nylon ball tips ensure an effortlessly shiny finish. The bristles create a firm grip against the hair. The lightweight tea wood of the body of the brush guarantees ease for performing the technique of blow-drying.
We hold LIVES on Instagram most week with industry professionals. The LIVEs are a great way to remain motivated and optimistic during the lockdown. They can help to spark new ideas and being reminded we are all in this together. Anna’s LIVE is available to watch on our IGTV page now. Make sure you follow our social pages to keep in the loop with the upcoming LIVEs.