When Marlon Phillips finished third in the inaugural 2015 JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL) Barber and Beauty Challenge and Expo, he promised himself to improve his ranking. And, on Sunday, April 10, he delivered on that promise by winning the barbers’ section of the JNSBL Barber and Beauty Battle at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
The competition, in its second year, drew more participants; established a context for certification; and, was enthusiastically welcomed by beauty practitioners, their clients and fans.
Phillips emerged ahead of Caecilius Edwards who placed second and Avril Simpson the third place winner. The winning barber received the $500,000 cash prize; while Edwards won $300,000 and Simpson $100,000.
“Last year I promised myself that if there was a next competition I would do better. And, when I made it to the finals, I did my research to confirm what the judges’ required for the various rounds. Today, I am happy, because I really planned and did my best,” Phillips related.
A barber for eight years, he admits that he gained extensive knowledge from the workshops mounted during the competition. And, he was happy that, based on his competence, he would now be certified by the HEART Trust/NTA.
“I learned about business management last year; and, that gave me confidence to open my own shop. This year, my wife encouraged me to enter again; and do my best. I am glad that I took her advice, because I have learned more about financial planning; and with the certification from the HEART, it means I can practice elsewhere,” he stated.
Phillips established Barbers Fa Christ in Spanish Town, St. Catherine last year; and, is currently planning to grow the business with his prize money. “I am thinking about a bigger and better location, given the demand for quality service in the beauty industry; and I will deliver as best as I can,” he said.
Third place winner, Avril Simpson, a barber of six years, who operates his business in Clarendon, explained that he was satisfied with his performance, having done his best.
“I feel good, and I am extremely satisfied because I did my best,” he said. “Before I entered I knew I wanted give my all and I did. Therefore, I am happy with the results,” he added.
In the hairdressing competition, Kadie-Ann Brown, whose business is based in St. Andrew won first place and took home $500,000. She finished ahead of Marsha Robinson and last year’s winner Lakayda Brown who placed third. Robinson won $300,000 in cash, while Brown received $100,000.
Shaphawa Hylton, a Make-up Artist based in the Corporate Area, and youngest in that category, won her section of the competition; and received $200,000 for her efforts. Kay-Ann McKenzie placed second and was award $70,000, while Nicola Johnson was third and won $30,000.
In the Nail Technician category of the competition, Marsha-Gay Edwards triumphed over Maxine Whitely who was second and Felicia Bailey who finished third. Miss Edwards was awarded $200,000, while Miss Whitely and Miss Bailey received $70,000 and $30,000, respectively.
Mrs Gillian Hyde, General Manager for JNSBL commended the entrants who took the bold step to showcase their talents in the second staging of the JNSBL’s Barber and Beauty Battle.
“Congratulations to all our contestants. They are all winners,” she stated. “And, I am particularly gratified to see the level of talent and enthusiasm which everyone displayed. I am even more pleased that the competition drew more beauty practitioners to improve their skills,” she stated.
“I have no doubt that they will contribute to growing the industry, which will benefit their community and the wider economy,” Mrs Hyde pointed out. “We initiated this competition to improve the industry and create a culture of competence; as well as, to ensure that more persons achieve national qualifications, and based on this year’s event, it seems to be working.”