Piripi started his journey at WelTec with a vocational pathways programme, where his passion was sparked after a taster course in hairdressing.
He never considered a career in hairdressing until his tutor asked him to a full-service treatment on one of his fellow students. The effect it had on her was a huge source of inspiration for Piripi - having such a positive impact on someone's day inspired him to continue studying.
Piripi completed a second year at WelTec under a Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Scholarship (MPTT). During this time, he made incredible connections with the Māori support team who went above and beyond for him - including helping him learn and pay for his driver's license.
WelTec's hands-on course work made for a smooth transition into the industry for Piripi - he entered his job with great experience under his belt having already worked on live models. Knowing key concepts like the foundations of cutting meant he was that one step ahead in the job market.
In the next five years, Piripi wants to take his skills around Aotearoa and help future stylists follow their dreams too.
His advice for aspiring hairdressers is to ask for help when you need it; “If you need the support, just ask for it.”