They say it's not about the destination but the journey and Naughty Nancy the hairdressing caravan has been hair, there and everywhere along the way!Read More
To ensure that no Melbournian with a ticket to Rainbow Serpent Festival 2016 is capable of focusing on anything other than party planning this week, the good people of Ceres Community Park in Brunswick hosted the troops for a pre festival market the weekend prior.
Eye Am Hair went along to set up camp outside the nursery and give the city kids a mini festival experience before the debauchery begins in Beaufort on 22 January.
“My locks needed a little pre party love so I stopped by Naughty Nancy for a trim and a style,” said Eliza Crowe, from her seat in the copper clad caravan at Ceres on Saturday. “Good tunes, smiling faces – much cooler than a hair salon.”
For the stallholders, the Rainbow Serpent Urban Market is an opportunity to show the punters what they can expect to see during the four days of festivities.
“We’ve got the official Rainbow lycra bodysuit,” said Simon Dower. “You could buy a drink bottle, you could buy a stubby holder or, you could rock out on the dance floor in a Soul Del Mar and Melissa Williams bodysuit!”
Husband and wife team, Simon and Mara, used the Ceres weekend market to launch their brand new bodysuit business.
In addition to sexy wearable Rainbow merch, the duo sell Mara’s one-off design bodysuits, which are hand stitched by Simon’s mum – an embroidery teacher.
“If I head up to help out with the Rainbow shop it’ll be my 13 year,” said Simon. “We do have another party the following weekend though…I’m pretty sure if we ditch the kids twice it makes us bad parents.”
Around the corner from Simon and Mara, another Rainbow devote gave market goers the chance to look incredible in a different kind of wares.
Fizzy Fingers’ designer Rebecca Rutter said she hopes that people feel amazing when they don a piece from her collection.
"They’re not exclusively for the dance floor,” says Rutter. “You just have to be a little bit brave.”
Rutter uses material sourced from all over the globe to create bold, fun, eclectic outfits that have become a necessary addition to any party worth going to. The same can be said for the Fizzy Fingers’ Founder.
“At the moment my creative process is a bit unstoppable,” says Rutter. “I do lots of travel and I have heaps of shit in my head – I never really struggle with ideas – I just feel like I have to work really quickly to get them all out.”
Rutter describes the new range of onesies, fascinators, jackets and jewels she’ll be debuting at Rainbow as ‘Hill-tribe Street-ware and Deep Vision Suits.”
“At the moment I’m in the studio alone 12 to 14 hours a day. I’ve got no new music so I’ve been listening to the same play list on repeat,” she says. “There’s six of us working the stall so I should be able to spend a bit of time on the dance floor.”
Rutter said for her it’s all about Monday.
“Bring something ridiculous to wear on the last day,” she says. “Don’t look pretty – get weird.”
Sarah Seahorse is another familiar face to those who frequent the festival scene or dig a bit of alternative fashion. She teamed up with Fruitstoop at Ceres in the lead up to the big event.
Sarah sells sea shells…no…Sarah sells handmade, jewelry which she creates from recycled goods sourced primarily from dumpster diving missions.
“We’re a collective,” says Sarah. “We’ve got weird, resin food art necklaces and colourful femme tassel earrings.”
Seahorse and Fruitstoop’s stuff will be alongside Fizzy Finger’s, Goo Life’s, Penny Drop’s and Lollop Clothing’s dazzling delights at the Electric Lycra Land grandstand, across from The Playground Stage.
“My Rainbow advice is don’t take it too seriously,” says Sarah. “Everyone should have a good fun party light, good snacks, good friends and a hot glue gun for renegade craft – my best activity is crafting treasure gifts from discarded trash.”
Sarah says it’s also important to show a bit of skin whenever possible.
“Oh there’s no such thing as too little clothing,” she says. “Get em off and get confident in your beautiful body!”
There is a strong community spirit amongst the festival stallholders and Sarah says hopes all the Rainbow punters will embrace the same vibe.
“My advice to all is to enjoy one another!” she says. “Oh and sober is fun too – natural highs guys!”
Eye Am Hair is setting up camp at Rainbow’s Village Sideshow Fiasco to tame you tresses and give you a little TLC.
Within minutes of putting the final touches to Naughty Nancy (yes the van has a new name) and switching on the fairy lights decorating the Preston Street warehouse, guests began tricking through the door to celebrate the launch of Eye Am Hair.
Champagne flowed, a symbolic hair snipping took place and many fabulously cropped and stylish clients and friends of Chelsea De Main helped welcome the copper clad, mobile salon into the world.
Since that magical evening in September, Nancy and Chelsea have barely stopped moving, attending their first events together and clocking up quite a few miles on the road.
In October, Nancy made her debut at Spring Fling, her bronze glory delighting both the crowds and the 120 other stallholders in North Melbourne’s iconic street festival. In addition to chops, crops, styles and blow waves, Chelsea enlisted the help of the talented Esra Ilhan to make Melbourne even prettier.
“I told Esra all about the van and dropped a few hints about how well we would work together at festivals,” says Chelsea. “A few weeks later we we’re on the road together.”
For her first real festival experience Naughty Nancy made her way to the shores of Lake Burrinjuck just outside the ACT. The ladies made the 590-kilometer trip from Melbourne together to attend Dragon Dreaming Festival on the second last weekend in October.
Dragon Dreaming’s philosophy is to nurture Australia’s alternate culture, providing a platform for local musicians, artists and performers to showcase their skills.
Despite a winding trip along a mountainous dirt road testing Nancy’s axels and the girl’s nerves on the way in, Chelsea says the festival was much more than just all the lessons she learned being away in the van for the first time.
“It was absolutely incredible,” says Chelsea. “From the moment we arrived people were approaching us to make sure we had everything we needed to get set up.”
Chelsea says she was blown away by the sense of community among the other stallholders.
Over the course of a lot of styling, chopping, painting and glittering, Chelsea says she had the pleasure of meeting some incredible people.
“The Dragon Dreaming crowd were so lovely,” says Chelsea. “I had more ‘total transformation cuts’ than I’d ever imagine doing in one weekend.”
She says several times girls who started off in the chair nervous and unsure, ended up egging her on to do more radical styles.
“I’m not sure if it was the festival or Nancy but they were really going for it,” she says.
Chelsea says she also experienced something she’d never really had the chance to as a hairdresser in the past.
“Usually once you’ve finished someone’s hair, they thank you, but then they’re up and out the door,” she says. “This time I got to see them on the dance floor, totally embracing their new look – it was pretty awesome.”
Despite a shoddy axil caused by an accidental trip home with a flat tyre, a week later Eye Am Hair set up shop for the day at Urban Gathering. The Rainbow Serpent launch part gave revelers a glimpse of what to expect when Eye Am Hair make its way to Beaufort for the real deal in January.
But that’s a little while away.
Eye Am Hair has a few more parties to stop in at before that – hitting up Return to Rio first from 13 – 15 November. This two-day gem will take place beside the Hawksbury River, an hour and a half north of Sydney.
The following weekend the girls will head back down south to hit up Panacea Festival from 20 – 22 November, in Tatong, Victoria.
Because sleep is not a requirement for rock-star hairdressers, from 27 – 29 November Eye Am Hair will be attending Paradise Festival in the Alpine Resort, in Victoria.
Then to bring in the new-year, the crew is heading to Lorne from 27 December – 1 January for Falls Festival.
Almost a year ago to this day Chelsea De Main was taking in the sights at a summer festival when she happened to stumble upon a hair salon in a shipping container.
“I came across the pop up salon, and although it was a great idea, it seemed that it wouldn’t be particularly easy to transport,” says Chelsea. “As soon as I got home I started exploring the idea of a salon on wheels – I wanted something mobile enough to travel to festivals, weddings or other events around the country.”
In her research, Chelsea found that while the portable salon was beginning to take off overseas, the idea was yet to hit Australian shores.
“I promptly resigned from my job as a hairdressing trainer, enrolled in a business start-up course and began investigating the logistics,” says Chelsea. “After many hours of hunting for the perfect vintage caravan, decent car for towing and warehouse space to operate from, the wheels were in motion. Eye Am Hair was born and now the journey begins.”
Chelsea has been hairdressing for 14 years. Prior to launching Eye Am Hair, she’s worked as an educator, an international session stylist, platform artist and salon owner.
“I love the variety that this career offers,” says Chelsea. “With Eye Am Hair I’m combining all of my previous experience, to offer a new concept to the traditional salon hairdressing.”
Chelsea says she hopes that going out on her own for this next career stage will be the ultimate creative challenge.
“I felt that establishing myself independently would allow me to get my vision out there exactly as I’d imaged it.” says Chelsea. “At times it's difficult being the sole decision maker, but I’m lucky to have really good support from family and friends around me.”
Chelsea says being her own boss is important, and something she wants to help other hairdressers achieve.
Once Eye Am Hair – the prototype – is successfully up and running, Chelsea intends to turn the business into a franchise.
“Once I’ve nutted out all the logistics of operations I’d love to make it easier for the next guy or girl to take a similar path of adventure and buy their own Eye Am Hair van,” says Chelsea. “Working on your own is great, and when it allows you to be creative, meet amazing people and travel, then it doesn’t really feel like work.”
Although, over summer, Eye Am Hair won’t be strictly a one-woman show. Chelsea is hiring a subcontractor to tour the country with, so they can take on the festival circuit together.
“We’ll take the van on the road, stopping off where we’re needed or maybe just because we like a place,” say Chelsea. “We’re also looking at visiting remote areas along the way that don’t have access to hairdressing services – Eventually I’d love to teach again as well in the more isolated communities.”
Outside of touring Eye Am Hair is taking bookings for all hairdressing services, functioning from within a warehouse space in Preston, Melbourne. As well as operating out of the arts hub in the North, the duo will make themselves available for a limited number of private at-home appointments as mobile hairdressers.
Chelsea says Eye Am Hair lovers should keep a look out for the van at bigger local events, markets and festivals around Melbourne, where on-site access for the salon is possible.
“I’m also looking into using the cutter van to cater for artists backstage at festivals or even as an onset trailer for TV and movie stars,” she says. “This next chapter means getting to travel a lot over summer, while maintaining my loyal clientele in Melbourne – I’m really excited.”
Eye Am Hair is launching with a bang in the coming weeks. Stay tuned…