Hair Stylist Cara Clyne is a Leader in Bridal Styles and Education at Hair Boss University®
Australian-based Cara Clyne is a bridal hairstylist and international hair educator. She not only has exceptional styling skills but has a heart for going above and beyond for her brides and students. Originally from Vietnam, she arrived in Australia at the age of 10 with absolutely no knowledge of English. Being an outcast and teased at school gave Cara the strength and determination to push herself, so she could make something of herself.
Today, she uses her love of helping people and her incredible, styling skills to help them feel beautiful. In 2009, Cara started her hairstylist training with Toni & Guy. Within a few short years, her work was published in the pages of Elle, Marie Claire, and Vogue. She’s worked with runways, campaigns, and ads for Giorgio Armani, Mini Cooper, Bec & Bridge, Berlei, Mimco, Bras & Things, and Le Specs, just to name a few. If you’re a fan of The Voice or Fashion week, you’ll love knowing she’s worked on The Voice Australia, Sydney Fashion Week, and New York Fashion Week.
In 2017 she started her own bridal hair business. Her career took off to new heights. Creating gorgeous bridal hairstyles is her special gift, and makes her the leading bridal hairstylist in Australia. What truly sets her apart is her keen eye for details, her work quality, her transparency in sharing her stories to inspire others, and her ability to teach in a way that gets results. Today she teaches hundreds of hairstylists around the world how to create beautiful, clean, textured hairstyles while scaling their businesses to 6 figures in her premium program called Hair Boss University®.
We’d love to know a little more about you. Can you tell us about your program and what you do?
My name is Cara Clyne. I’m a bridal hairstylist based in Sydney, Australia. Like most Asian girls who felt like they had to do something academic after high school to please their parents, I chose to study Nursing. But 6 months in I realized that it wasn’t for me. Creativity is my love language which is what led me to hairdressing. I’ve been doing hair for about 12 years now and love what I do. I get to make my brides look and feel beautiful, and I get to teach students all around the world how to become an in-demand wedding hairstylist in my online hair course called Hair Boss University®. We have about 300 students now, from over 25 countries.
That’s exciting. How did you go about creating your brand? You mentioned creativity. Was there something specific that inspired you?
So to be honest, I never wanted to create an online education platform. I was teaching a lot of 1 on 1 class and many people were asking if I offered online education. I said no, and that I believe you will get the most results out of hands-on training.
But when I started getting messages from people all around the world saying how they would love to take classes with me but lived so far away, and it’s so hard for them to travel or leave their kids or organize time off, that was when I thought to myself “There is a problem I need to solve, I need to bring this 1:1 experience to them.” That’s how Hair Boss University® was born.
I wanted to create an online education platform that would give the students an experience like they are right there with me. That meant investing in a high-quality filming team, a beautiful set, hair models with different hair types, good audio, and multiple filming angles so that the students could understand exactly what I was explaining.
The students can then upskill from the comfort of their own home, but still, get amazing quality teaching with ongoing support. We do regular troubleshooting lessons on common mistakes and new techniques as well as having guest expert interviews to keep the students inspired. The feedback I usually hear is that enrolling in this course has been the best decision of their career or even their life!
How does your brand Hair Boss University work?
Hair Boss University has a holistic approach in that we teach foundation hair skills and how to effectively operate your freelancing business, not just teaching hair tutorials.
Hair tutorials are great when the student has a background knowledge of how to do hair, but for someone who has never done hair before and wants to break into the industry, that’s hard. I teach foundational skills that aren’t taught anywhere, such as how to break down hair reference images so they don’t feel overwhelmed, how to properly tease the hair and make it natural-looking, how to frame the face for all face shapes, how to work with different hair types and so on.
Not only that, what I’ve seen lacking in the industry is business operations for hairstylists who run their own business. And business schools don’t teach you this specifically for the bridal hair business. They either have to go through years of trial and error or be someone’s assistants for a long time to learn how the industry works. So, in Hair Boss University, I share everything I know and have implemented such as how to communicate with your brides, how the workflow should be from inquiry to the wedding day, admin best practices, how to price for your services, how to build your website, the importance of copywriting, how to run a 1 on 1 lesson or masterclass and a lot more.
All I want is to see my students succeed, not have to worry about their next pay, have financial freedom, and still be able to spend time with their families and watch their kids grow. For that reason, that is why I don’t keep anything a secret. I share my mistakes, lessons, and all that I’ve known up to this point in time. When the students enroll in Hair Boss University, they are fast-tracking 3–5 years of their career and can start making money a lot faster with the right skills and business setup.
Is there something you can share that would help our readers?
The most common question I get asked is “How do you do it?” And that’s not referring to how I created Hair Boss University or my hair business. Rather, they ask, how did I do it with 2 young kids under 2. I guess it’s my passion for change. I have this deep calling in life to help others, and because I’ve been gifted with the ability to do hair, I want to make the most out of that.
I want to change the world, and I know I can change it by helping one student at a time to succeed. I know if I can help one person, I’m helping their whole family. For example, if the student is now able to do what they love, get paid well, and still have quality time with her family, then her kids will appreciate it so much and they will grow up with a lot more love in their lives — and hence become a lot more confident in themselves as they grow.
Not everyone thinks they can handle a lot of hardship and struggle until they overcome it. That’s when they see how strong they are. With me, I never imagined myself to be anyone of significance. I remember watching shows like Shark Tank or seeing successful people like Steve Jobs or Elon Musks, or successful women who are so young and killing in the world, and I thought “I’d never be like that, I’m not smart enough, I’m just a hairstylist, how will I ever make that much money like them, or change the world from doing hair!”
At school, I studied hard, but no matter how hard I studied I was never getting the marks I wanted. Other girls I know would go to parties on the weekends yet get 98 for their exams. I didn’t think life was fair. Now that I look back, I realized that it’s not about aspiring to be someone you see on TV, it’s simply about recognizing what you have in your hand and use it. What is my hand is simply hair skills and a desire to solve a problem. The problem of bringing my 1 on 1 hair lessons to the comfort of people’s own homes.
By putting my sole focus on solving the problem, I found my mission in life. The drive to help people is the flame that keeps me going. Each time I read a message from someone saying that the course has changed their lives, all my hard work is worth it.
I want people to know that no matter how insignificant they feel, no matter how inadequate they think they are, we all have a purpose in life and that this world is better because they are in it. It’s about using what they have, to serve others. If that means you’re a cashier that loves sharing jokes to bring a smile to people every day, or you’re a teacher that loves on your students when they don’t have that same love at home, or even rubbish pick up a guy who cheers up a little kid every week with his funny dance whenever the rubbish truck goes past the house. We are not better than one another. We all play a part in this world wherever we are. When we don’t compare ourselves and truly embrace what is in our hands and use it for good, that’s what will make us successful.
What are some of the different challenges you faced as you created and grew your brand, especially with a newborn? What was one business challenge that surprised you?
When I first came up with the idea of creating an online course with a one on one experience, I was so overwhelmed. I know nothing about course creation, what platform to go with, how to market, what lessons to even do, will I film it myself, will I hire people, what about money, or how much will things cost.
Oh my goodness, I was so overwhelmed with the amount of work I would need to do, and this was when my first daughter was only a few months old! I was technically on maternity leave when this project started. I remember every time I was feeding my baby, I’d watch YouTube learn as much as I could. Whatever I didn’t know, I looked it up. Thank goodness for YouTube and Google!
Running a business is hard, but running it with a newborn is even harder. I was so sleep-deprived. For the first 3–4 months I was sleeping 2–3 hours a night because I had to feed my baby and pump in between feeds to increase my milk supply. I’m grateful that my mum was able to help when my husband and I were working during the day.
Another thing is finance. I wanted to make this course the highest quality it could be, and for it to be the best online hair course there is, I’d need to film it professionally. I didn’t know that professional filming could be so expensive. The other unexpected thing was the usage fee. Since what I’m filming will be generating money, there was a usage fee I had to pay to use the video footage. I had no idea. I also had no idea that when someone films for you professionally, the videos are no longer your intellectual property, but instead they belong to the videographer. If you want to buy it out, you’d have to pay a lot of money for it.
How do you manage your business finances or any funding you received to start your business?
Finance was hard. Up until that point I had about $10,000 in my savings, and that was nowhere near enough. I could easily film everything myself but that would take a long time to edit and the quality wouldn’t be up to my standard. So, I bit the bullet and hired a professional filming team, hair, and makeup artists for myself, hair models, and got a huge studio to film in.
I brought all the stuff from my home studio to the studio we hired because they had good lighting, and I wanted to use natural light to film. We also did it at the studio for convenience as filming at home would be noisy from my baby crying. All up I spent about $35,000. My mum kindly lent me some money from her mortgage to pay everything off. It was a very scary thing to invest money into something that you have no idea how it would turn out or if anyone was going to buy the course.
I remember so vividly the day that I launched the pre-sale. I kid you not, I was only expecting that 8 to 12 people would buy. But little did I know, my 48-hour pre-sale generated $157,000 and 152 students enrolled. It was truly a surreal experience hearing the Stripe notification every time someone enrolled. My heart would skip a beat. My goal was to break even but I also had another ‘more ambitious goal of making $80K. I was able to hit that on the first day before I went to bed. When the presale was over, I realized that my hard work was all worth it, the sleepless nights were worth it, and the fact that people were LOVING the course made me feel a sense of fulfillment I’ve never felt before.
To put things in perspective, the previous financial year, I made about $43,000 in one whole year, and what I just made in 2 days was more than 3 years’ worth of income and I was gobsmacked. That was the start of my entrepreneurship. From then I started to use the money I made to solve more problems and help more people.
What’s your vision for the future? Is there a next level you hope to take it to?
I envision Hair Boss University as being the best online hair education in the world. I want such high-quality content that the students’ careers are transformed from the inside out. They won’t just be more confident in their hair skills, but also in business operations as well as having more confidence in themselves as a business owner. They would be a force to be reckoned with in their city and country.
Hair Boss University will never settle but will always be changing, improving, and innovating. I imagine the course will bring such great results that it will grow rapidly year by year through word of mouth and an army of successful alumni. My ultimate goal is to help 10,000 hairstylists around the world transform their businesses.
Do you have a message for other creatives who hope to build something of their own and make a living through it?
What I tell my students all the time is to never do anything because of money. I know in life you need money and in business, we need to be profitable — I get it and that’s not wrong. But what turns a good business into a GREAT business is in the person’s approach.
Look at any successful businesses out there who have lasted through many failures like Amazon, Alibaba, Paypal, and Tesla: what they have in common is a desire to solve a problem, not for monetary gain, but simply to solve a problem and make the world a better place. That should be the number priority.
When your focus is on creating the best solution to a problem, people will flock to you and you won’t need to worry about money. Money will come to you because it’s a real need people have and they see the value in it. Sure if you do it because of money, you will be profitable too, but only temporarily. When your project doesn’t go well when hardship does come, you will easily give up, you won’t have the drive to continue and you don’t have a purpose for what you do.
There’s been at least 4 to 5 times that I was at my breaking point, crying in my bathroom asking myself how I can go on. Things were so tough on all levels, but I knew I was made for something bigger than myself. I’m here on this earth to help people. If I was only focused on making money, I would have given up after my first launch when I made $157,000. But true entrepreneurship is about reminding yourself of the reasons why the problem you will solve and how your solution is going to help people in this world.
That’s why I continued to perfect my course so it can help more and more people. It’s been a year since we launched and we have grossed over $400K — all through organic traffic. So if you believe in what you do and that your product will help solve a problem, the money will come! But first, focus on the solution and creating the best possible solution for your audience.