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Docushort: Shirley Gordon’s Journey to Gold

What inspires me and what really motivates me is any form of art and creativity. That is just kind of like my drive. The power of the mind is probably the most beautiful thing, you have to tell yourself you are a winner and believe it, then put all of your artistic ability to work.
Competitions are my heart, I am always inspired to win, and if I don’t win then I am going to keep going until I do win.
My journey in hair has been a long journey, I started out at probably 16 doing hair around the house. My father took an interest in it more than me at the time. I was doing my sister’s hair, have six sisters. So he noticed that I love hair and one day when I was 20 he came home with this pamphlet for beauty school. Now I’m doing 60 clients a day with two assistants and I just love hair, but I want it more.
So I then decided to start searching out looking for what company I wanted to work for, I would go to hair shows all the time, I’m always educating myself and i kept seeing Wella and I thought “gosh, I want to work with them one day”. They make you feel like you are a part of their team and they utilize you. They want young, fresh talent and they want you to shine.
My passion of hair would have to back to my father being a builder. My father built our home so growing up I looked at how he utilized his skills, his hands and his creativity. Moving forward with hair, I learned that my talent and my true gift was in my hands, but differently than what my father did.
My first competition was in Baltimore, Maryland and I was a young girl. It was amazing. It was a picture entry in 1992, it was the baltimore hair competition and i won first place. it was very rewarding, it was just like “wow, I did this.” Me, from a small town, a country girl, won my first award, so it was really cool.
All of the trends are always exciting to me and that’s because I just love doing hair. I usually do all four of the [TrendVision] trends every year. When I look at the different shapes and textures in hair, I’m always looking for something unique and really different that somebody else may not be able to pull off.
For me it’s mapping out the perfect model, photographer, makeup artist, and wardrobe stylist. Once you find that good team, stick with that good team. You can’t really cut corners too much. I find that if you you cut corners, then that is where you can hurt yourself. Then I storyboard my journey through and so that I have that reference to look back and see what I did and what I didn’t do moving forward. I am always building off of what I did before, but expanding to another level.

Shirley Gordon on set with makeup artists
Shirley Gordon on set with makeup artists

It’s so important to have the right photographer, right makeup artist and fashion person. For this particular shoot, I worked with a group of guys in new york. We’d talk about it, I send them the trend, I send them pictures of everything and all the literature that I have.

Model Olivia Demsko, hair by Shirley Gordon
Model Olivia Demsko having fun on set.

[When choosing a model] It depends of the trend that I am trying to pull off. In this case I was looking for somebody that had a very calm look about herself. I don’t want to say manly, but I wanted somebody who had a very strong face with very strong features, but still feminine and sexy. Olivia Demsko, the model that I used for TrendVision this year [2013], I had been working with for a couple of years. I found her on Model Mayhem, which is a great site in the DC area, I’ve been really lucking up there.
Never be closed-minded, think outside the box. Don’t always follow the rules, break them! Educate yourself, it is so important. I have been doing this for almost 32 years now and I take classes at least twice a month. I think education is the key.