'A city experience for westies'

CUTTING EDGE: Birgette McCarthy loves the social aspect of owning her own Te Atatu South-based hair salon.
CUTTING EDGE: Birgette McCarthy loves the social aspect of owning her own Te Atatu South-based hair salon.

Birgette McCarthy, 29, lives in Te Atatu South with husband Sol and children Ivy, 7, and Elvis, 2. She talks with reporter Monica Tischler about owning her own hair salon, McCarthys.

How did you get into hair dressing?

I've been in the business since I was 15.

Throughout school at Avondale College I worked at a salon in Blockhouse Bay.

I then trained through the Servilles Academy of Hairdressing and knew it was a good trade to have behind me.

I was offered a position at Servilles in Auckland city and had to take up the opportunity.

I started off as a colourist and McCarthys has been running since last October.

Did you feel there was a demand for a new salon out west?

I wanted to bring what I had learned in my training to West Auckland.

There are different salons out here to the city and I know a few of my clients felt a bit nervous getting their hair done out west.

It's a lot more expensive in the city and I wanted to bring good work here but not the higher rates.

McCarthys is like a city experience for westies.

Best things about the job?

I love meeting people and a lot of my clients have become my friends.

At the end of the day, I love making people look and feel good.

When McCarthys first opened we did a charity event on Labour Weekend where people could nominate someone who deserved a bit of pampering but otherwise couldn't afford it.

It was like a pay-it-forward mini makeover and five girls came through.

Some of them were in tears at the end - it was awesome seeing them happy.

Are there any down sides?

A bit of time spent away from the kids.

Have you ever had a bad experience doing someone's hair?

Nothing that can't be fixed.

Nits are quite common among children but you just send them away to be treated and tell them to come back once they're gone.

What does the future hold?

My goal and dream is to get this pumping. It's all about connections.

I want to stay in West Auckland because people need to know they can get a good cut and colour out here.

A couple more salons would be nice.

Western Leader