Afrotherapy co-founder Harriet Cudjoe (nee Kessie) is a talented Creative Director. She has been passionate about hair and, in particular, multi textured, mixed race and afro hair since the age of 15. Her extraordinary talent and commitment to the industry has seen her styling hair for over 24 years, winning numerous hairdressing awards along the way and her work widely published in both the trade and consumer press.
When not working in the salon, you’ll find her on hair and fashion shoots for various hair and fashion magazines, training and developing her team or providing comment and advice as a Hair Expert.
What do you love most about hairdressing?
I love making people look and feel fantastic. I can’t think of any other job that allows me to be able to do that everyday. It allows me to be able to express myself including my beliefs and values. It also gives me the opportunity to nurture and mentor young people. I find great satisfaction in seeing individuals I’ve trained progress and be successful.
My job also allows me to meet different people from all walks of life. My clients have actually taught me a lot over the years through the interaction that we have and I love learning all the time, so this is a great aspect of my job.
Who do you admire in the hairdressing industry and why?
There are so many brilliant individuals within the industry. Vidal Sassoon is a true inspiration and a great ambassador for the industry. Observing Errol Douglas over the years has taught me to never quit. I’m inspired by the creativity of people like Desmond Murray and Angelo Seminara. Also the longevity of people like Charlie Miller and how he has developed his team, kept it as a family business, yet inspired the team to achieve. I’m also inspired by women like Beverly Cobella and Fiona O’Brien who are leaders in their field, yet have to maintain a family balance.
From the perspective of the business side of the industry, I admire Toni Mascolo of Toni & Guy for their business acumen.
What awards have you won over the years?
I have been fortunate enough to have won several Business & Hairdressing Awards. These include:
- Winner, Styling Team of The Year – Black Beauty/WAHL Awards
- Finalist, L’Oreal Colour Trophy – Mizani Afro Look Award
- National Finalist – HSBC Start Up Awards
- Winner, Rising Star of The Year – Black Enterprise Awards
- Finalist, Avant Garde Stylist of The Year – Black Beauty/WAHL Awards
- Finalists in 3 categories of the Business Link For London Excellence Awards
- Regional Finalist – Shell Livewire Young Entrepreneur of The Year
- Winner, Avant Garde Hairdresser of the Year – Afro Hair and Beauty