Natalie Cara Jones scooped gold in the New Talent category at 2015’s Goldwell Color Zoom grand final in Las Vegas. Here, she reveals what it was like when she discovered she’d won and how winning has helped push her career forward
Creative HEAD: Why did you decide to enter Color Zoom?
Natalie Cara Jones: I’ve always been interested in Color Zoom and after seeing the work and talent that goes into the competition, I was inspired to give it a go myself. The creative side of hairdressing is the part I love most and is what gives me that boost to push myself and prove my potential. I decided to enter Color Zoom as my normal daily role meant that I couldn’t really express my creativity enough with regular clients – Color Zoom allowed me to let my creativity flourish and I was able to explore what skills I had to a higher level.
CH: How did you find the competition process?
NCJ: I had initially entered two years before, placing in the top 10. I knew my original photo wasn’t strong enough, so the next time I entered in 2015, I applied for a place on the Color Creatives, which is a mentoring programme run by Goldwell. This really helped me get the advice, direction and professional shoot I needed to win. Every single step of the competition was exciting. To compete out in Las Vegas was amazing and getting the chance to work around other stylists with as much dedication as myself was incredible. It was something I’ll never forget.
CH: What did you learn during the process?
NCJ: The whole journey really boosted my confidence and made me want to keep developing my career further. Throughout the process, I was continuously learning new things, expanding my skillset and enhancing my creativity, all of which have really helped me to get where I am now. I was from a small local salon when I entered, but this didn’t make it any harder to compete and instead made me more determined to win. To go and win gold in the UK competition and then again at Global Zoom just goes to show it doesn’t matter where you live or how small your salon is. If you put your mind, time and effort into it, you really can achieve your goals.
CH: What did it feel like when you won?
NCJ: Winning gold in Vegas left me speechless and was the best experience of my life to date. Although I was happy with my model and the finished look, there were still so many other amazing entries that I had to compete against, which made it feel even more surreal when I took home gold.
CH: How has winning helped your career?
NCJ: I couldn’t have imagined becoming a global Color Zoom winner in my wildest dreams. The opportunities that have come from this are endless. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to so many different countries, be part of the team that created an amazing world-renowned collection, which I helped launch live on stage in Stockholm and I also went to Barcelona to judge the live Global Zoom competition alongside internationally renowned hairdressers and magazine editors. I had only ever lived in my hometown of Hereford and worked at one salon my whole career until Color Zoom.
Want to become a winner like Natalie? Find out how to enter the 2018 Color Zoom Challenge HERE >