Northern Dream Weaves is the brainchild of Cooper, who, in addition to raising her own two children and running a salon in Lively called Sassy Hair by Jenn, felt the need to pivot to a new business model.
She brought to life a dream she’d always had in the back of her mind, one that the proud Métis woman first envisioned as a job that would take her across the country teaching and training other stylists. For now, that dream, Northern Dream Weaves, is an online educational tool to teach and train hair stylists on the application of ‘Weft’ hair extensions.
“I started hair extensions a little over five years ago,” said Cooper, “and was really interested in creating a local brand that taught hairstylists how to do these specific Weft extensions. And three years ago, I put the steps in motion to get this going.”
Shortly before the arrival of the pandemic, Cooper was accepted into the Regional Business Centre’s Starter Company Plus program.
“I made it through their interview process, made it to the top 50, then made it to the top 30. And then we were all enrolled in the program as of January of 2020. And then COVID.”
She took a break, working to keep her salon standing and getting two young children through home-schooling, before committing herself to the idea again.
“I am so thankful I put in the work then,” said Cooper. “It allowed me to finish my business plan. The plan was approved by the business centre, then awarded a grant by the Centre’s grant committee in December of 2020.”
Her website is now live, and not only offers hairstylists educational opportunities, but ones that work with their needs and schedules.
“It's a self-paced online course,” said Cooper. “They can take this at their own pace. It's for a stylist who wants to take it on their next weekend off, or right now we're unfortunately locked down again, so if you have some time in your hands and you want to sharpen a skill set, you can.”
There is also wholesale access to any tools needed and mannequin heads for practicing. Cooper said she wanted to make it as easy as possible for stylists.
The course itself is about technical skill, but offered at a level that any stylist can access.
“What we teach in our course is all about positioning,” said Cooper. “The proper techniques, how to do a full consultation, to even see if the customer that wants it is a good candidate for these types of extensions.”
There are also details about the service level required for offering extensions.
“We go right into detail about how to market yourself as a professional, how to price the services, how to go through a full consultation with the customer, and how to really determine exactly the right process,” said Cooper.
Not only is cost an issue to consider, as well as hair type, but from there, the hairstyle itself. “There's a lot of moving parts that make this puzzle come together,” said Cooper. “So, that's what we teach the hairstylist about.”Visit NorthernDreamWeaves.ca to learn more.