A life-time of devotion to her career has seen Wanganui hair stylist Robyn Collins recognised with a national hairdressing award.
Mrs Collins - who runs her own hairdressing training business, works as a stylist at Protege, and is a hairdressing tutor at UCOL - received the Trainer of the Year Award at the Hairdressing Industry Training Organisation awards in Wellington. She also was runner-up in the Tutor of the Year Award.
Mrs Collins won the award for her work with her hairdressing training company, Indetech. She travels throughout the North Island, visiting salons and training hairdressers in specific skills.
She also trained the national hairdressing champion for the World Skills Competition. Kate Woodcock, from Palmerston North, will go to Germany later this year to represent New Zealand on the world stage.
Mrs Collins was born, raised and trained in Wanganui, and has been in the hairdressing industry for more than three decades.
She regularly represents Protege at regional and national hairdressing competitions, where she often competes against current or former students. Competing is an important part of keeping up with industry trends, she said.
"It's important that you stay current, especially when you are tutoring and training students."
Her specialty is styling and cutting, and salons will request she trains their hairdressers in specific areas around styling or cutting.
Mrs Collins said it was very satisfying to receive the award.
However, her success is tempered with sadness. With the downgrading of UCOL's hairdressing courses she will no longer be employed there as a tutor.
``I'm very disappointed. I do really enjoy tutoring students.''
But it's not enough to dampen her enthusiasm for the job she is as passionate about as the day she began.
``I love my work. It's not just a living - it's my life,'' Mrs Collins said.
"I'm really pleased to have that recognition. It's a good feeling to know you're doing well, and that your industry recognises that."