Sid Sottung – The Contributor’s Playlist
We’re immensely proud of our incredible instructors and our pioneering playlist technology. Which is why we’re delighted to combine the two in our latest feature: The Contributor’s Playlist.
Each month, MHD Director of Operations Sarah Oglesby will catch up with one of the amazing educators whose tutorials feature on our unique platform. We’ll chat about what they’ve been up to and their plans for the future. And we’ll find out what’s on their playlist.
First up, it’s the one and only Sid Sottung. Sid’s been in the industry for 30 years and launched the Sid Sottung Academy in Nottingham in 2014. With 204 students to be taught this year alone by 5 educators, Sid’s commitment to educational excellence secured him the 2016 Academy of the Year award. He’s just started offering an NVQ in barbering and is using MHD’s playlist to complement the education his academy delivers.
Tell me what you’ve been up to since we last spoke.
I’ve been to Russia to shoot my latest Sid Sottung collection – Operation 75. Plus, I’ve launched NVQ barbering courses at my academy.
Let’s chat about your academy. It opened in 2014. What made you decide to pursue this path?
It has always been my dream to own my own business and academy – and to inspire and train new generations of barbers. Since 2014 when the academy opened, my dreams have become a reality.
Has owning your own academy met all of your expectations?
Well, that’s a question for the future. But things have been progressing brilliantly – and I opened my second academy in July 2018.
What type of courses did you offer when you opened your academy in 2014?
We initially offered fast-track intensive barbering courses, as well as one-day courses, five-day courses and four-week courses. In the early days, the five-day courses were the most popular.
How have things evolved since 2014? What do you do differently now?
My business model has definitely changed and I now focus on full-time courses. I prefer to spend longer with the students, providing them with a more intensive and fulfilling learning experience. It was this desire that made me decide to offer full-time NVQ barbering qualifications.
I imagine that the journey from decision to launch was a long one.
Yes, that’s certainly true. The key was getting Rachael Flynn, my Education Manager, on board. After that, the process took around a year – and we’re now an approved VTCT Centre. Our first cohort of NVQ students started their qualification at the beginning of January.
How are the students finding the training so far?
They’re loving it! Along with ensuring health and safety is a key priority, we’ve already started training on clients and next week they will start wet shaving as well as beard design.
Wow, it’s fantastic that you have them working on clients so quickly and starting shaving and beard design within the first month.
Yes, definitely. It’s crucial to ensure that they’re engaged with their skill development and to keep them in the training mindset. By participating in a variety of different types of activities through the day, they’re actively learning all the time. Plus, this is what keeps them excited and motivated as they continue their journey.
When did you decide that you wanted to bring a complementary resource into your curriculum?
Well, I knew bringing in an e-learning resource was the way forward after deciding to bring the full-time NVQ courses into the academy. I wanted to provide a holistic educational program for my students.
And what made you decide on MHD and playlist?
I’ve always loved the concept of MHD and I’ve been using it in the classroom for years as an aspirational and inspirational resource. When we were preparing for onboarding NVQ, I spoke to a number of colleagues within the industry who were all raving about your new playlist functionality. It quickly became clear that your platform and this technology should be a central part of any curriculum at academies and colleges – I was determined to use it at mine!
How have you found the playlist experience so far?
It’s dead easy to use. I’ve already created a playlist of my favourite videos. When I first experienced it I knew that it was perfect for the classroom. It’s just like an Apple playlist where you pick whatever song you want to keep for future listening. On MHD, you name your playlist and add your videos. It’s as simple as that!
What do you love most about playlist?
Well, I’m a director of my own company and I need to ensure that my philosophy is at the forefront of all we do. In other words, I’m a bit of a control freak! So playlist is perfect for me (and company directors and managers like me). I know exactly what my teachers are using to enhance their lessons and exactly what my students are watching. I also know that the content on MHD is first class.
MHD shares my philosophy and is all about helping out the barbering or hairdressing student. There are so many amazing instructors to learn from – Stacey Broughton, Mazella&Palmer and amazing videos from Tracy Hayes rocking the colour. I mean, the list goes on and on.
So what does 2019 have in store for you?
Well I’m scaling back on travelling internationally so that I can focus on our NVQ courses. I’m also in the process of launching a new pomade range in collaboration with Goodfellas. I love working in collaboration. I recently worked with Captain Fawcett Limited and created a ‘Barberism’ Signature Series for them. The moustache wax in the range won Swedish Male Grooming Brand of the year. The collaboration with product companies has been an amazing experience.
Thanks so much for your time, Sid. Finally, could you please share your playlist with our subscribers?
Of course. Here you go!
Try playlist for free for 48 hours
Want to find out what Sid’s raving about? Then simply subscribe to our newsletter and trial playlist for free for 48 hours. There are no obligations and no need to provide us with any payment details. Though obviously we hope you’ll love it!