Winner of the ARROJO Cosmetology Student Styling Competition, April Schuller (image center), got to present her winning look (image left) live on main stage, alongside Nick Arrojo (image right), at the International Beauty Show, New York. April talks about life at the school and her IBS debut, here.
Why did you choose ARROJO cosmetology for your education?
I do wigs and makeup at Julliard, and I needed a cosmetology license for State approval. I wanted to use the opportunity to get the best education. I never knew Nick had a salon or school, but I was a fan of his from the TV show, ‘What Not to Wear.’ One day I was on Houston Street and I saw the ‘ARROJO’ sign. I wondered if that was Nick and popped in for a look. Once I saw the school and met the staff, I knew it was the place to fulfill my ambition.
What’s day-to-day life like at ARROJO Cosmetology?
What I notice most is the passion and commitment evident in all staff; it rubs off, makes you want to be better. We get different perspectives from different stylists - all of whom have an incredible background in salon, in editorial, in education. Every educator has such a strong foundation of knowledge that, as students, we can’t help but learn something new and exciting everyday.
Tell us about the student styling competition…
We found out about the competition a week beforehand. We get to do lots of creative things, but because the winner would be presenting their look at the International Beauty Show, we knew this was special. None of the students anticipated such an incredible opportunity - most cosmetology students don’t even get to go to such a show let alone be a main stage feature - and to have such a commitment to its students shows what an amazing school this is.
What was your winning look?
The inspiration was powerful, independent women - and fun, flirty, sexy style. I wanted something big and deconstructed, with elements of precision. Pulled up and tapered, with lots of volume in the back, and with a French Braided hair extension to create extra lift and length, it was the look of a strong modern woman. Nick judged the competition himself, so to match his aesthetic is amazing.
As a student, what was it like to be on main stage in front of thousands of professionals?
Before going on stage I was nervous because I was being asked questions for the camera, and all I was thinking was ‘listen for my cue’ and ‘don’t trip or fall on stage.’ But once I went out there, I was completely confident and I loved every minute. I got to show my work in front of a huge audience of professional stylists - how cool is that!
What do you take from this experience?
Lots of newfound confidence. It is the recognition that makes me most proud and gives me the most belief for the future. Two hours after our show, I was walking around IBS and people were coming up to me to say, “I saw you on main stage and I thought it was great. Can I take my picture with you.” That recognition is new to me, and it brings home what a big deal it was to be on main stage at the International Beauty Show, with Nick Arrojo.
It’s only a few weeks till our class graduation so my focus is our graduation presentation, where each student shows one complete look that incorporates everything we’ve learnt over the past months. I’m really excited and I already know my look will be an editorial rocker chic. Then I’ll be ready to get my career started for real. My dream is to create wigs for a Tim Burton film. Whatever happens, though, I’ve learnt to always keep educating myself and to always aim to make myself better at what I do. As we’re told at ARROJO, continued education is the surest route to success.