Have you ever found a business name that just captures your imagination, and pumps you full of joy? In June 2021, I found Gary Strachan on LinkedIn, and his business. The business name? Deadly Hair Dude!
I asked Gary if he'd like to share the story of how Deadly Hair Dude came about. Here's what he kindly shared with me (including the fabulous photos, all with permission to reproduce) ... enjoy!
How Deadly Hair Dude started….
Deadly opened 10 August 2020. It is a not for profit Indigenous and special needs hairdressing training program.
I was working with Legal Aid Darwin as a lawyer and represented many Indigenous clients. I realised many were going into the criminal justice system unnecessarily….. reason was that they had limited employment opportunities and, as a result of boredom and no prospects, started drinking or substance abuse which led to high levels of incarceration.
Deadly was set up to change Indigenous persons' employment opportunities.
Hairdressing is a perfect career for people living in remote Territory locations as, of the approximately 75 communities, not one (to my knowledge) has a working hairdressing salon.
Hairdressing cannot be ordered online, a computer cannot replace a person and best of all no matter what level of education you have anyone can learn to cut hair.
Once hairdressing salons are in every community, Deadly intends to expand into nails and beauty services. We estimate a minimum of 3 persons being employed in hairdressing per community, and 4 per community as nail technicians/beauty ... so with around 75 communities … that makes a total of approximately 525 people right across the Territory.
The Deadly course is different from other hairdressing training programs, in that our students engage on day one and do their first haircut. This is done on a mannequin head … then students do family members and homeless members of our community, to gain the practical experience needed to become excellent tradespeople.
One of my trainees won Young Indigenous Territorian of the year! What made it even more special is he is under NDIS. So against the odds, he is achieving his dream to be a great hairdresser.
Thanks to Gary, for sharing this happy story of so many good things! Gary saw a need, and found a solution (and you know I love solutions!). He's got a dream, and he's making it real with hard work, determination and a great plan. He's working with others and being the kind of human we all aspire to be. And he's generous with his kindness.
If you would like to contact Gary, please drop me a line and I'll connect you personally.
Some other stories online: