How did you become interested in the beauty industry?
I had always been interested in beauty and style, but I never really considered it as a career until I was in college. When I was in college the 2008 recession happened, and I was really financially affected by it. I saw a lot of my older friends struggling to get jobs, so I began to see the benefit of having an applied skill or craft. I was spending most of my free time styling my friends hair or helping them with make up anyway, so I realized if I got licensed I could actually charge people for something I was already doing! It originally started as a practical decision, but by week two of cosmetology school I was so inspired I remember calling my mom and telling her I had found my career.
Why did you choose ARROJO Cosmetology School?
The moment I found ARROJO online it was love at first sight. I had gone to high school across the street from a very run down cosmetology school in Portland, OR. So I assumed all schools were like that. I remember finding the website and noticing that ARROJO has a very strong image, and clearly worked on their marketing and I liked that. They also referred to hairdressing as a “craft” and not a “trade skill” which I really appreciated.
Is there anything that stands out in your mind about your experience here?
The teachers really stand out as a highlight of my experience. Every stylist and educator was well rounded in his or her knowledge, but because they all came from specialized backgrounds, they each had their niche. I liked that when we would be working on color, we would have Gina, and when it was cutting we would have Arianna. It allowed us to have diversity in our education, but also know that whomever we were learning from was an expert in that subject.
Any advice you can share with current or prospective students?
Just be as open as possible. There are so many different techniques to learn, and as soon as you close yourself off to something and say, “I don’t want to do that” you are saying no to so much opportunity. Hairdressing is very fluid, so even if you are set on being a colorist, learning about haircutting will help your color placement so much, and vice versa. Also, remember that although hairdressing is a craft and an art, to be a successful hairdresser you have to be a smart businessperson. It’s really important to spend time and focus on your technical skills, but don’t forget to start building your own personal “brand” and clientele from the beginning. I still have clients that were my models and clients in school.
Tell us about your career with ARROJO and what you are doing now…
After cosmetology school Nick offered me a position as an apprentice. I really liked that at ARROJO the apprenticeship was proficiency based, so I was able to control how long it would take me to become a stylist. I was able to get through it in 10-months and tested out to become a stylist. Since then, I have been working as a stylist, teaching in the Advanced Academy, traveling to teach, teaching the apprentices and even as a guest educator in the cosmetology school. This past April ARROJO opened it’s second location in Brooklyn, so I am now a stylist and the Cut lead at the new salon. It’s been a wonderful switch because, although I am still taking clients, I am now managing and learning the business side of this industry.
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