It all started at the photographic stage with over 1000 entries from all over the UK & Ireland, this was then whittled down by the judges to 280 salons. These solons were then split, with 35 salons making it through to each of the 8 regional finals. We then gained that top 10 finish in the North Western region which got us into the People's Choice Award. This was the same across the 8 other regions, leaving the top 80 salons in the UK battling it out to get into the top 3 and go to the L'Oreal Grand Final at Battersea Evolution, London.
The voting ran for 3 weeks from 5th May - 26th May, people from all over the world could vote by clicking on the photograph of the model they liked best. Each person was only allowed one vote and this was verified by submitting an active email address once they had chosen. During this process L'Oreal enabled you see which salons were in the top 10, but in no particular order so we couldn't see who was winning.
After the first few days we were not in the top 10, but as if by magic after the Bootle Champion was released we rocketed into the top 10. We realised we were in the top 10 the first Saturday (9th May) after the competition started, we couldn't believe it, we were all ecstatic, it created such a buzz in the salon with staff and clients alike. We then said now we're in the top 10 we will make sure we stay there!
We did just that and ended up going even better by finishing in the top 3, making it to the grand final in London along with Black Sheep Hair from Sutton Coldfield in the Midlands and another local salon Electric London in Harvey Nichols, Liverpool One.
The Grand Final was amazing, L'Oreal put on a great show presented by BBC radio's Lauren Laverne and the iconic Twiggy was there giving out the awards. There were hair and fashion shows from Trevor Sorbie MBE and Richard Ward who is the hairdresser of Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. We even received a goodie bag containing aftershave from Diesel and perfume from Yves Saint Laurent.
Electric London in Harvey Nichols ended up winning which come as no great surprise considering how big a company they are with salons up and down the country. We came a close 2nd with Black Sheep coming 3rd.
This has been a great experience for us , and to get so close to actually winning was beyond our wildest dreams at the beginning but now we are already planning for the event in 2016.
We are 100% certain that we only got there because of the Champion newspaper and the people of Bootle & Liverpool who got behind us. On behalf of all our staff and clients, I would like to offer a huge thank you for all your continual support and for helping us achieve this.