Did you always think braiding is a typical women “thing”?
Meet Joël who just finished his personal Instagram project: #100BraidsofHappy.
This project has received some great press from the likes of Emerald Street , Cosmo and TimeOut London where the project has seen him create a unique style of braid each day for 100 days straight.
Joël Benjamin, is a London based freelance hairstylist and has been styling hair for over 10 years. More recently, Joël’s become known for his braiding skills.
Can you tell me something more about your project: #100braidsofHappy?
My project #100braidsofhappy is a simple one, I opened my project to the public for free/a tip, they usually posted on social media and I tried to post a braid everyday for 100 days.
100 x famous people, bloggers, braiders, followers, clients, PR, brands, friend and family, anyone, a mixture and for free.
I worked with the hope people would post on Insta to their followers, to get more people to know about my braiding skills and maybe more followers and clients. I got to work with Nike, adidas, Liberty London, Selfridges along with loads of other brands, magazines and people of influence.
I just had fun doing it, learning more about braiding and I felt good making people’s hair look good and gaining more recognition for myself and the craft.
Was it your own idea?
Yes, #100braidsofHappy was my idea. I did think of making 30braidsofhappy, but 100 had a better ring and longevity.
Was it easy to find volunteers who were willing to give a tip and publicity on their own insta?
Yes, it was pretty easy to find people to braid, and most were willing to post on social media and tip. Sometimes even £20, I think it works because it’s something different, ‘free’ and clients, models and followers get to share/show off something new they don’t usually get to. Plus I get better at braiding, as well as feeling good about making someone feel better. The fact they posted on their social media, widened the amount of people who could see what I do, and possibly get braided as well. Everyone won.
In what way did you promote your project or did it promote itself?
I promoted on my Insta, and I have a friend in PR so we approached various brands, PR companies, magazines, bloggers and people of influence. And once I got featured in a few magazines people started contacting me. Quite a few of my followers have had their hair done, and I think some of my followers follow in the hope to be part of the project. Whenever I post – models needed, tag a friend! The response is great and attracts new followers and people to braid.
Yes, I could always do whatever hairstyle I liked. I always expressed that as my project was free I do not take request, and everyone was happy to let me do as I wished. If people had requests, they had to pay because as it then became my job as a hairstylist. #100braidsofhappy is my passion project. It’s fun, creative, full of possibilities, not a job. As much as I do love my job as a hairstylist.
Which day(s) of the 100 was/were the most special for you and why?
Everyday of #100BoH is special, seeing it grow into what it has, how it’s opened doors for me creatively and work wise. It’s also special because of what it’s taught me and will allow me to teach. Every braid is different, as is everyday and every time you braid someone’s hair your opening yourself up to being better and honing your skill, that’s very special.
How long did it took you to finish your project?
It’s taken a few months.
Hairstylist & Director at HairbyJoël
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VIEW LATEST #100BraidsofHappy – PROJECT