Business Builder – Chad Maxwell

by | 25 Feb 2020

‘Going freelance’ might sound exciting, but it’s not easy to launch yourself and immediately become self-sufficient. We spoke to freelance stylist Chad Maxwell about what he learned from making the jump…


Chad Maxwell has cultivated the kind of career that any freelance stylist would envy. Editorial shoots with huge brands, fashion week work and celeb styling are just another day in the (non-existent) office for him. But everyone has to start somewhere, as Chad recalls.

“The biggest learning curve I had when striking out as a freelancer was absolutely the first year – the whole year,” he recalls. “No matter what, when you’re stepping into the unknown you never know what’s going to happen, and although it’s a job you’ve been doing already it completely changes. You’re in charge of you and it’s about learning all over again! That first year is the biggest curve ball you can have thrown at you… but it’s what teaches you everything for the rest of your career.”

Chad made sure he was as well equipped as possible before flying the nest, but help is always at hand. With the support of Wella Professionals, he’s able to stay on top with his skills, product knowledge and business know-how.

“The great thing about Wella is their cover across the board with the courses they provide. Whenever I’m looking through the education book I’m always so pleased and overwhelmed with how much they have to offer. I still like to cut and colour and keep my skills sharp with them, even though I don’t get to do as much now I’m a session stylist. I aim to take a colour or cutting course and a business course every year to cover everything, keep me inspired and to give me a chance to meet new people!”

Credit: Photography – Sarah Tahon // MUA – Jess Sumner

Credit: Dare Magazine // Photography – Sarah Brick // MUA – Sonia Deveny

Credit: Cosmopolitan Magazine advertorial // MUA – Sophie Higgins // Styling – Holly Cooper


Chad’s Top Tips

Networking is key. I enjoy being a super social person and it’s definitely helped my career. If someone invites you along to something, or there’s a social with a team going on after work, always try and make it if you can. You build strong relationships and this adds to building a strong business – you never know what opportunities might come from it.”

Be yourself. We all get worried about how to act at times, but going freelance means you can truly be yourself. Don’t be afraid to be 100 per cent you, as this will attract similar people and create incredibly strong colleagues and teams. It makes your life a lot easier when you’re working!”

Invest in yourself. As freelancers we forget to take a step back and invest back in ourselves. Whether it’s going on a course, asking someone to teach you something or shadowing/assisting you can always keep learning – and should! I make sure I do at least one Wella Professionals course each year to keep my skills up to speed, and I’m always happy to assist or shadow people.”

Being afraid to say no is an absolute no-no for me. We can feel so much pressure to say yes to every opportunity, even though we know in our heads we can’t, or maybe it’s not the best idea. It’s okay to say no! Honesty gets you a lot further, so don’t be afraid to say no, recommend someone or something else, and help them with their career. By saying no you’re putting yourself first and protecting yourself from potentially bad situations arising – and with luck, your good karma will come back around.”

Credit: Adidas // Photography – Will Douglas // Styling – Rachel Williams

Credit: Dare Magazine // Photography – Sarah Brick // MUA – Sonia Deveny

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