Receptionist swaps Redditch for rollers

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 04 January 2013 Updated: 04/01 08:57

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Buy photos » Raphelle (right) with Lydia Bright from The Only Way Is Essex. (s)

A FORMER Standard receptionist has swapped Redditch for rollers after landing a role assisting a high-flying celebrity hairdresser.

Reporter Harriet Ernstsons met Raphelle Saint-Marshall to find out more about her glamorous new life.

BUDDING hairdresser Raphelle was first spotted by Matthew Curtis during her stint manning the Redditch Standard reception when he visited the offices for an interview for Christmas 2010.

Almost two years later, the 21-year-old from Studley was training at Bliss Hair Salon in Alvechurch, as well as uploading 'how tos' and examples of her work to the internet in a bid to get her name known in hairdressing circles.

At the time, she was pulling together photoshoots in the garage of her family home, using her photography student brother to take the pictures and roping in friends to act as models.

But Matthew spotted her potential and invited her to become his assistant, travelling with him across the world as well as training in his salon in Stratford.

"I was constantly promoting what I was doing and then Matt saw it and asked me to go along to a shoot in London for the day. I think I impressed him and then he offered me a job," she said.

"In the first two months I have been to four countries, it's been crazy. The best thing has been learning from Matt as he's really talented and it's inspiring to see a guy that's so good at hair. It's also been nice meeting all the people I've met as everyone has been really eager and interesting."

The first major assignment for Raphelle was helping organise the stylists, models and make-up artists for editorial shoots in America, where the pair and a London-based photographer travelled to San Fransisco, LA, Las Vegas and back to San Fran in just a week.

"We had two shoots a day which was really full on. Three weeks before we went out there I was working non-stop on the laptop helping book everyone involved so when we actually got there it was good to stand back and look and think 'I helped put this together'."

Other highlights include helping with Matthew's input on new Youtube channel Daily Mix, going to the BAFTAs and assisting with the styling on the live episode of The Only Way Is Essex.

And 2013 is set to get even more exciting for the former receptionist. Already lined up are trips to the States for New York Fashion Week and Miami Swimwear Week.

Raphelle will also be helping out as Matthew takes on the challenge of styling the hair for Britain's Next Top Model, filming from the end of February until April on the popular television show which will air in July.

"I am so excited and lucky to be a part of the team for BNTM and can't wait to bring loads of my own ideas to the table, it's going to be amazing.

"My plans for the future are to be fully trained at Matt's salon because they are amazing at what they do so it will be great to work alongside them.

"I'm excited to help out more at shows and eventually I hope to be recognised in the industry for the work I've done."

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Buy photos» Raphelle adjusts a model’s hair on a shoot in Birmingham. (s)

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