Colouring our world

Colour, pattern and design are all hallmarks of Christchurch business woman Vicki Ogden-O’Fee. Metropol editor Lynda Papesch talks with her about the how and why.

Surviving for more than three decades in the cut and thrust of the hair, beauty and fashion industry is no mean feat. Expanding and diversifying a multi-layered business in the same often fluid industry is an even bigger achievement, and one that Christchurch businesswoman Vicki Ogden-O’Fee is justifiably proud of.

The brains and drive behind V for Hair and Beauty, Victoria Jane, and VJ Barbers, Vicki started her hairdressing career by working in a salon after school, aged 13.

“I have been hairdressing ever since. I absolutely love my job and the artistic side of hairdressing,” she admits.

After completing her apprenticeship, Vicki went out on her own, at 18, in Timaru doing mobile hairdressing. Three years down that track, she moved to Christchurch and bought her first salon. Since then, Vicki has started and sold many salons, until settling in Merivale in 2010.

Business has had its “ups and downs” with recessions, earthquakes and pandemics.

“We always need to think outside the square, be positive, look for new ideas and opportunities,” says Vicki and that is exactly what she has done. “With the Covid-19 pandemic I saw an opportunity to grow our e-commerce for hair and beauty product sales nationwide. This has grown over the last two years to include our own new brand Victoria Jane, which we are now also about to start shipping internationally.”

The new colourful brand includes collections of latest styles and trends in fashion accessories and homewares, (pictured) with Vicki holding special launches to introduce her wares to clients.

New opportunities excite her, and bringing them to fruition drives her. “…my love of fashion, arts and the passion to succeed at new ventures.”

Colour and pattern play a big part in her life, evident both in her personal fashion style and in her designs. “I am quite a vibrant dresser with Trelise Cooper and Camilla being my favourite clothes designers. I also love colour in furnishings, décor and art,” she explains

Inspiration comes from all sources, although browsing the internet, especially when travel bans have been in force, is a favourite. Vicki takes her ideas and turns them into new fabric designs and fashion items such as hand bags, bathroom towel art and wall art.

Being a qualified personal colour analyst helps, another reminder of how important colour is in her life. She enjoys bringing colour into other people’s lives too, helping them sort out their personal colour palettes, body shapes, wardrobe planning, personal shopping and total image makeovers.

“Fashions and trends come and go, but some things that never go out of fashion are confidence, class and style,” she says. “These two go together. If you feel good about yourself and how you look, you will naturally portray confidence. When confidence and style are paired together and are in sync, this is where someone comes across as having their own individual style and this can also be identified as your own personal brand.”

Vicki’s top tips for those wanting to succeed in business today:

  1. Never give up, no matter what.
  2. Hard work pays off.
  3. Know your business and educate yourself to do new roles before delegating.
  4. Work alongside people who share your ethics and vision.
  5. Keep an eye to the future.

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