Owner / stylist
Jam's founder is the guru of hair extensions and famous for his dreadlocks. It all started when Tony, aged 14, walked into a hairdressing salon – and never really left. He's worked on pretty much everything over the years, experimenting, fine-tuning, taking it to another level. He's always been intrigued by the more challenging tasks – "trying to make the impossible, possible" as he puts it. Tony still gets a lot of satisfaction from making people look and feel good. "It's a special thing to be able to do," he says. Products, tools and techniques have come a long way, too, which has made life a lot easier for everybody. The salon that Tony created back in the late '80s continues to set the highest standards of hairdressing service, quality and expertise, though Jam still hasn't had an opening party! "We have a party every day instead," Tony says.
Carly’s particular strength is in colouring and all-round styling. “Taking it from start to finish – that’s what I like to do,” she says. And creating hair that’s easy to care for and maintain. Carly has been hairdressing since the turn of the century, starting her career in Auckland, then moving south to work at a couple of salons in Wellington for seven or eight years before migrating to Jam. Carly particularly likes the diverse clientele here, and getting to work with different age groups. And the creative opportunities: “Usually the only time you get to do something cool and creative is for a photo shoot,” she says. “We pretty much do that on a daily basis here!” Carly loves the amount of experience around her in the salon across so many techniques, and the way everyone supports each other.
Ben is part of Jam’s DNA, having been an apprentice, then stylist in the salon since the mid-‘90s. “I’ve been working here since I was born,” he says. Ben tries to specialise in everything, but he really enjoys men’s haircuts and he’s definitely not scared of curly hair like a lot of people are. And he loves creative cuts – jobs that are a little bit funkier – as opposed to the usual bread and butter stuff, but he’s quite happy to do that as well. Ben had wanted to work at Jam from when he was in high school. He would walk past the salon when it was on Cuba Street and see someone getting some crazy thing done to their hair through the window. “I’d always felt a part of the place even before I worked here,” Ben says. “So that’s probably why I’m still around.” Outside of Jam, Ben likes to unwind by playing guitar or skateboarding.
Brooke loves doing a variety of colouring and cutting work. After finishing her apprenticeship in the early 2000s, she joined Jam and worked here for seven years. Then she undertook freelance work, doing hair and makeup for music videos and commercials, followed by a stint as a stylist at another salon. She’s been back at Jam for a few years now, drawn by the opportunity to do hair extensions again, and work with more creative seniors. “It’s all about keeping inspired,” she says. Brooke really appreciates the atmosphere, her workmates, and the diverse client base that Jam offers. “It’s just such a neat environment to work in,” she says. “The general flow of the place, the openness of it all.” Jam is a place where you’re encouraged to grow personally and professionally, Brooke says. It’s unbeatable.
Bryce's area of expertise is cutting and colouring. He's been hairdressing since 1988, having left school in Palmerston North to do his apprenticeship at Jam with Tony. He then travelled overseas, and worked as a hairdresser in London and Scotland. Colouring was more basic back in the late '80s and early '90s, Bryce says, and came into its own in the mid-'90s, which coincided with his return to Wellington. Bryce rejoined Jam in 2007, and loves being part of a salon with such depth of experience on the floor, and client diversity. "We cut the hair of the grandchildren of some of the original clients," he says. When he's not at Jam, Bryce likes to play Warcraft, watch what’s on Netflix, and shop at Trade Aid. If you enjoy a laugh as well as a great haircut, Bryce is the expert at both!
Mitchell is pretty much across the board with his hairdressing work at Jam. The exceptions to his all-round talents are dreads, and, to a lesser extent, hair extensions. In 1983 in Blenheim he was working in a cabinetmaking shop and one night walked past a hairdressing salon and thought “that’d be a good job”. Six weeks later he was in hairdressing college in Christchurch. After six months he came up to Wellington and decided to open his own salon and did that for 20 years. Wanting a change, he asked Tony for a job and joined Jam at the beginning of 2013. “I love it here.” Mitchell says. “It’s pretty laid back but at the same time we’re all really passionate about hairdressing.” He works three days a week at Jam, two days a week at his own hairdressing studio, and loves to brew beer and go fishing.
Danny is a cheerful character who loves cutting curly hair. “Taming the wildness – I quite like it,” he says. “I like its personality.” The look and feel Danny creates is tailored for each person, and is “effortless but manicured”. More than that, he’s a philosopher of curls. A lot of curly-haired individuals he’s spoken to have been unhappy with their haircuts, so Danny’s mission is to restore the faith in a hairdresser for curly-haired people! Jokes aside, he has 20 years’ experience as a hairdresser, starting out of high school. He met the right people at the right time, and learned everything on the floor, watching and assisting. After a world trip, he returned to Wellington to work in a small salon in Newtown, and over 10 years built that into a really big salon in the city. Danny’s been at Jam since 2015 and loves the atmosphere. It’s plain the atmosphere loves him, too.
Marianna is a colour geek as well as a creative stylist, and she loves creating easy to care for styles and colours that fit her client's individual style. Her number one priority is beautiful healthy hair, and her specialities are blondes and curly hair. But she loves a challenge! She's all about her client's visit being relaxed and enjoying their time in the salon. When not at work, she's either baking or going on outdoor adventures.
Victoria is a fully fledged stylist trained by the Jam team and she has a tremendous amount of hairdressing talent. She’s responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly and easily in the salon. Victoria can’t pinpoint exactly when she decided to be a hairdresser. But she found a letter she wrote to herself when she was really young – one of those “where will I be in 20 years’ time” notes. “It had me being a hairdresser,” Victoria laughs. “So it goes way back.” Jam is just so different from everywhere else, she says. It’s super casual – you don’t have to wear a uniform – but also super professional. And you’re expected to be yourself and to express yourself. “I’ve been at Jam from the beginning of my apprenticeship,” Victoria says. And beyond? “I’ve based all my goals around Jam. I’m so confident here and comfortable around everyone. It’s like a family.” Looks like the next Jam generation is in good hands!
Eleanor is Jam’s apprentice. Eleanor was inspired to pursue a career in hairdressing after she attended work experience in a city salon. “I thought this is a career that I could be creative in”. Eleanor loves her working space which she says gives her freedom to learn without hitting a wall, theres aways something to learn, its really satisfying. "The Jam team are making this journey for me such a great experience there such a supportive bunch and its true its like a family. I’m in awe of the impeccable creative work that I see and I believe I’m in the right place”.