ARROJO Cosmetology School graduate, Gary Cockfield, proves that every cosmetologist takes a different path. Through his experience in theater and behind the chair, Gary ultimately found his niche in product education.
How did you become interested in the beauty industry?
After working for several years in Human Resources at a financial services company, I realized that it was not for me. I wanted to work in an industry that revolved around making people look and feel good.
Why did you choose ARROJO cosmetology school?
Once I decided to go back to school, I knew that I would need the best education to be successful. I looked into all the major institutions, but once I stepped foot in ARROJO it just felt right. The atmosphere was exciting and energetic. Everyone had the desire to succeed. I knew it was where I belonged.
Is there anything that stands out in your mind about your experience here?
I know everyone says it, but I cannot imagine a better foundation of knowledge.
Where are you working now?
After graduation I immediately began as an apprentice at Sam Brocato Salon in SoHo. I completed a yearlong program and moved onto the floor as a full-time stylist in their cutting department. While working as a stylist, I had the amazing opportunity to be part of a theatrical hair and makeup program at The Julliard School. The school selects two participants each year to work with their team to learn wig-making, hair and make up design and ultimately become the hair and makeup person for all their productions for the year. I enjoyed my experience behind the chair and backstage, but eventually wanted to explore other areas of the industry. I found an opportunity to work as an instructor for Milbon, a Japanese hair product company. Now, I lead education classes in Milbon’s studio and in salons around the city, teaching hairstylists how to use products to meet their client’s needs. I find the product world to be fascinating. Finally, after trying so many paths, I am on the one that was meant for me.
Any advice you can share with current or prospective students?
People tend to think that all they can do after cosmetology school is to commit to a life behind the chair. Do not limit yourself. There are so many other paths in the beauty industry. And pay attention during those “science lessons” about hair. You just might need them one day!