Irish Talent Abroad: Jessica Doolin in LDN
Over the last few years Ireland has seen a huge number of young talented people move abroad to expand their horizons and jump in the deep end to really try their hands at what they love. Hunt and gather spoke to Jessica Doolin, a colourful young lady who recently uprooted to develop her skills in creative hairdressing.
Hi Jess! Tell us five fun facts about yourself?
I eat pancakes every morning.
I then spend about 10 minutes taking the perfect picture of my pancakes – Lol!
I bring my Hoola Hoop with me everywhere as if it’s an accessory.
I sleep talk almost every night, Not very fun for my boyfriend Stephen but it makes me giggle when he tells me what I come out with, the other night he told me I shouted “PATSY’S TITS”?
I’m officially in a Hoola Hoop crew!
Where are you living at the moment? How are you finding it?
I’m living in London since January and I absolutely love it. It’s the fashion capital of the world and it’s the hub of creativity and innovation. It’s the perfect place for me to be to grow and develop.
Could you tell us a little bit about what you do? And what your passionate about?
I’m a hairstylist currently working in Toni and Guy in Covent Garden. My main goal is working towards being an artistic director for Toni and Guy which focuses on being an educator in the flagship academy in London. Within hairdressing I’m extremely passionate about session styling, part of my job is being apart of the Toni and Guy session team and working on London fashion week twice a year. Most of my days off I try to do something productive and creative by getting a selected team together for some editorial shoots to produce my work which I showcase on social media.
You seem like a pretty good little cook, what’s your favourite thing to make, bake or shake?
Yes yes yes. I Love to cook and bake, more baking though because I have a bit more of a sweet tooth. My favourite thing to bake would have to be muffins, pancakes or cake. I’m a bit of a health freak so I like to make everything sugar-free or grain-free by using alternatives like honey, bananas or dates to sweeten, and I prefer to use coconut and almond flour or even sweet potatoes to substitute grains. I do use some sprinkles on top only because it makes it look pretty for pictures. Nobody ever believes me that my cakes taste as good as they look!
Your hula hoop skills are other worldly. How did you get into hooping and how long have you been doing it for? Any tips for people looking to take up hooping?
Thank you! I was at electric picnic about two years ago and I met a girl teaching hula hoop workshops and I fell In love straight away. I started classes back home in Dublin every Monday night in Temple Bar where I learned the basics. Then since moving to London in January I have found so many weekly hoop jams in London that I am now going three times a week and also practice at home or in parks. I also got the opportunity to hula hoop at three different festivals this year alongside a Hoop instructor who is promoting herself over the UK, also getting some paid jobs here and there teaching hoop workshops at events around London. The best tip I can give for people starting hooping is to start off with a heavy and large hoop and work your way down to smaller and lighter; you may have bruised hips to start off with it but that’s all apart of it.
What’s life like as a creative hairdresser?
Life as a creative hairdresser is so much fun. I love the variety of being a hairdresser whether it’s in the salon working on clients, creating looks on editorial shoots or fashion shows. There’s always something to look forward to and it really keeps me motivated and inspired.
Are you working on any fun/exciting projects at the moment?
Yes It’s been quite a busy month for me actually; I have just finished London fashion week which I worked all weekend with three different designers including Hema Kaul, Apu Jan and Little Shilpa. Then this week I have fashion weekend which I will be working backstage creating a variety of looks for different designers showcasing their work. Also I have main stage coming up which is the launch of Toni and Guy’s cutting and colouring collection which they put on a show every year to present all the new current haircut and colours which I will be working backstage. And finally to finish off the year I’m hoping to get into the Tony and Guy breakthrough team, which is a £10,000 scholarship, in which they pick twelve up and coming hairdressers across the UK, which culminates at an end of year show at Central St Martins. I had an interview for this back in July And it will be announced in the coming few weeks. So it’s been a really busy and exciting year so far and I’m really enjoying the journey!
Any plans to return to Dublin?
Maybe down the road I would like to return to Dublin to be close to family and friends but right now I’m having fun and loving the experience.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
If I could live anywhere In the world think it would have to be Tokyo, Japan. I’ve never been but it’s at top of my list. The fashion scene there is mind blowing, it’s in a different league altogether, I’m really into Asian culture and have been to different parts of Asia over the past three years.. Unfortunately we only get four weeks holidays a year so it’s never enough to see everywhere but if I lived in Tokyo it would be a lot easier for me to travel around.
What’s your favourite hair colour or guy and or girl?
That’s a really difficult question actually I don’t think I could choose one colour but I really love vibrant and playful colours; it’s the perfect accessory and completes every outfit.
How do you spend your Sundays?
My ideal Sunday if I’m not working on shoots or hooping I like to chill in my flat and do some baking. I love getting on my bike and doing some exploring around east London, discovering new finds and meeting friends for coffee.
Words: SBK Fox