Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Meet Destiny!

Destiny Baker

ICA: Hello Destiny!
Destiny: Hi.

ICA: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Destiny: I am 19 years old and I'm from Grand Rapids. I live with my Mom and 3 brothers. I'm the oldest, so I help around the house a lot. I went to Godwin High School and graduated in 2014. I enrolled at ICA in October of 2014. I was on the housing waiting list for Western Michigan University to study Criminal Justice, but I didn't want to wait and I didn't want to commute there every day. So, I decided to stay close and go to cosmetology instead.

ICA: Why Cosmetology?

Destiny: I wanted to try something new. It looked easy and fun, so I wanted to give it a try. I though it'd be fun to get my license.

ICA: So, what do you want to do with your license once you get it?

Destiny: I like hair-cutting out of everything from Cosmetology. So, I'd want to have my own salon. Maybe rent out a place and take clients.

ICA: So, why do the Cosmetology program now?

Destiny: I didn't want to be bored. I wanted to do something now. So, I enrolled.

ICA: Do you have a good support system?

Destiny: My boyfriend supports me. He talks to me about it and helps me when he can. He lets me practice braiding on his hair.

ICA: What is your favorite and least favorite part of the Nail Technician program?

Destiny: My favorite part is learning different techniques for cutting hair. My least favorite part is the book work. I don't enjoy it. I find it boring. 

ICA: What is the school/life balance like?

Destiny: I go to school at 8:30am and leave about 4:30pm.  I go home and hang out. I quit my job a few months ago because it was making me tired to do both. I was starting to miss a lot of school. I decided to get rid of the job so I could keep coming to school.

ICA: What is some advice you have for future cosmetology students?

Destiny: Make sure it's something you want to do. If you aren't sure, it won't be fun. It's a lot of work. But, if you like cosmetology, do it. You make friends and get to cut hair. And you get a license out of it.

Feel free to call 616.248.3335 to request Destiny for an appointment! :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Meet Harley VanDyke!

Harley VanDyke

ICA: Hello Harley!
Harley: Hi!

ICA: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Harley: I am 20 years old and was born in Grand Rapids. When I was about 3 years old, I moved to Ionia. I was home-schooled so I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's place because she helped my Mom with the schooling. When I was 16 years old, I moved back to Grand Rapids. In 2013, I finished school and got a job at ABC Coating. After a few months, I changed jobs and started working at D & W.  I started saving money for the nail technician at this point. In July of just this year, I had the money, so I paid for my program in full and began the nail technician program.

ICA: Why Nail Technician?

Harley: I always loved doing nails. I would practice on family and friends. When I was 16 years old, I got my first acrylic set which got me seriously thinking about nails as a career.

ICA: So, what do you want to do with your license once you get it?

Harley: I would like to work in a nail salon.  Long-term, I would still like to being working in a salon, but you never know. We'll see where it goes.

ICA: So, why do the Nail Technician program now?

Harley:  Well, I needed to save up for the program so it took a little bit of time. But, I also felt ready. Nothing was stopping me from starting now. I still work while going to school, so it works out well.

ICA: Do you have a good support system?

Harley: Yep. My Mom, my grandparents, my sister, and Carol, who is a family friend.

ICA: What is your favorite and least favorite part of the Nail Technician program?

Harley: My favorite part of the program is learning about nails. I like learning new things. I also really enjoy hanging out and talking with all the nice and fun students and staff. My least favorite part of the program is when you run out of things to do, so you need to keep yourself busy, whether you want to do it or not.

ICA: What is the school/life balance like?

Harley: On a typical day, I go to school at 8:30 am and stay until 4:30pm. I head to work around 5:00pm and get out about midnight. I head home and get to bed so I can get up and do it all over again! It is tiring. If I do get home early, I have a little bit of free time to catch up on my television shows.

ICA: What is some advice you have for future nail tech students?

Harley: You have to be determined! Once you get on the salon floor and take real clients, there is a lot more freedom in the program. It is really easy to just not show up. It is important to have self-discipline. If you really want it, it's worth it.

Feel free to call 616.248.3335 to request Harley for an appointment! :)  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Meet Jenia Greer!

Jenia Greer

ICA: Hello Jenia!
Jenia: Hello.

ICA: Tell me a little about yourself.

Jenia: I am 29 years old and was born and raised in Chicago. I had a pretty easy life growing up. I was the oldest of 4 kids. I lived with my Mom and Dad and my siblings. We were a close knit family. My Mom was a cosmetologist and my God-mom always did nails in the basement. So, this is where I was first introduced to nails and the cosmetology world. I'll never forget my first manicure. I was in Kindergarten. I loved getting that manicure, that memory is stuck in my brain forever. When I was a junior in high school I had my first son. I stayed in school and graduated top of the class. When I was 21 years old, my second son was born. I was done with high school and working in childcare. Around 2006, My mom and dad had divorced, so my Mom moved to Grand Rapids. In September 2014, I moved my boys and I to Grand Rapids. Just this past summer, I enrolled at ICA's Nail Technician program.
ICA: Why Nail Technician?

Jenia: I wanted a new trade. I was doing childcare, but not growing in the field. I knew nails was fun, easy, profitable, and popular. I knew I had to find something that would take care of myself as well as my 2 boys.

ICA: So, what do you want to do with your license once you get it?

Jenia: I plan on marketing myself to shops. I plan on getting an acrylic system that is odorless, which will allow me to work anywhere. I will be more competitive and hopefully have more options of places to work.

ICA: So, why do the Nail Technician program now?

Jenia: I wanted something different. I wasn't moving forward working in childcare, so it was a good time to try something different.

ICA: Do you have a good support system?

Jenia: Yeah, my 2 brothers, my sister, and my boys are all really supportive. My boys are always asking me what I did at school.

ICA: What is your favorite and least favorite part of the Nail Technician program?

Jenia: My favorite part is creating nail art. I like coming up with different ideas for nails. My least favorite part is the reading and textbook work.  I just find it time consuming and time goes a lot slower. When I am working with my hands doing nails, the time just flies.

ICA: What is the school/life balance like?

Jenia: I go to school in the morning and then some days, I head to work afterwards. My kids take the bus home so I meet them there. I give them dinner, help them with homework, and spend time with them before bed. Then, I get up and do it all over again.

ICA: What is some advice you have for future nail tech students?

Jenia: You should have a passion for nails. If you follow this for money, it probably won't work. It's time consuming and you have to be dedicated to it. It's a long learning process, but it's worth it.

Feel free to call 616.248.3335 to request Jenia for an appointment! :)  

Monday, September 14, 2015

Meet Dahja!

Dahja Nevills

ICA: Hello Dahja!
Dahja: Hello.

ICA: Tell me a little about yourself.

Dahja: I am 18 years old and will be 19 years old next month. I was born and raised in Grand Rapids with my Mom and 4 sisters. In 2014, I graduated from high school. I wanted to go to cosmetology school but my Mom told me to attend college instead. So, I enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College and pursued Dental Hygiene. Shortly after I started, my Mom moved to Tennessee. Her moving away really affected me. I started to lose focus and motivation. I stopped going to school for awhile.  I eventually went back to try it again,but I just wasn't ready.  I enjoyed it but had no real desire to be there. In April 2015, I enrolled in the cosmetology program at ICA. I have been here ever since and I really like it.

ICA: Why Cosmetology?

Dahja: When I was 14 years old, I started braiding. I would practice braiding all the time; on friends and family. I started to get really good at it. Then, I started to learn how to do sew-ins. Cosmetology was something I wanted to go into. My Mom preferred me to go college, but I eventually made the decision to go to cosmetology school anyway.

ICA: So, what do you want to do with your license once you get it?

Dahja: I want to get my license right away and then work at a salon. I love doing haircuts. I love working with scissors. I am a little scissor happy!  I want to eventually own my own business. I have other family members who also do hair, but they aren't licensed yet. But, I always thought it would be a great idea to all go into business together some day.

ICA: So, why do Cosmetology school now?

Dahja: With my Mom leaving last year, I lost a lot of focus and motivation, so it took me a little bit of time to get back on my feet and feel motivated again to learn. But, I am here now, and happy I did it.

ICA: You have a good support system?

Dahja: Yup, my Mom is supportive. I talk to her on the phone all the time. My sisters are also very supportive of me.

ICA: What is your favorite and least favorite part of Cosmetology school?

Dahja: My favorite part of school is working with clients. I enjoy communicating with them and giving them the haircut they want. I like to see them happy. My least favorite part is that not everyone follows directions which can cause unnecessary problems. We all need to follow directions and not get upset when a teacher tells us to do something. The whole point is to come to school and learn.  There is no reason not to listen. We are here for an education.

ICA: What is the school/life balance like?

Dahja:I go to school part time and I work part time. It gets to be a little overwhelming sometimes, especially because I help out at home and help take care of my niece and nephew. I get tired a lot and sometimes I slack at school.  But, I keep at it.

ICA: What is some advice you have for future cosmetology students?

Dahja: If you want to come to cosmetology school, make sure it's your passion.  If it isn't your passion, you're going to have a hard time finishing. You're also here to learn. So, listen to the advice and directions from all the teachers. Not everyone is perfect, it's okay to mess up. You'll learn, you'll get there. Don't ever give up.

Feel free to call 616.248.3335 to request Dahja for an appointment! :)  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Meet Rochelle!

Rochelle Washington

ICA: Hello Rochelle!
Rochelle: Hello.

ICA: Tell me a little about yourself.

Rochelle: I am 29 years old and was born in St. Joseph , Michigan. After I graduated from high school, I moved by myself down to Fort Worth, Texas. I had planned on starting Cosmetology school, but I ended up finding work as a dance choreographer for a drill team. I was a dancer in high school so it was something I wanted to do. Plus, at the time, I just didn't feel very motivated to go back to school.  I really enjoyed being on my own and living in Texas. In 2013, I moved to Grand Rapids to help my Mom with Grandma. I wasn't working so I decided it was the perfect time to start cosmetology school. Last summer in 2014, I began cosmetology school at ICA.

ICA: Why Cosmetology?

Rochelle: I have been doing hair since I was a little girl. My mom did hair, so my sister and I would watch my Mom work on other people.  I became really comfortable with hair so I started working on real people's hair doing braids or giving haircuts for kids returning back to school. I felt like I was good at it. Honestly, I wanted to be a dancer as my career. I took hip hop and belly dancing classes in high school and liked it a lot. But, I had a lot more experience with hair and knew Cosmetology would be a good career route. 

ICA: So, what do you want to do with your license once you get it?

Rochelle: I am going to get my license right away, most definitely. Then, I would like to move back down to Texas and work in someone's shop for 3-4 years to gain experience. At the same time, I would like to get my associates degree in Business. Eventually,  I would like to own my own shop. I am expected to graduate in 2016. I am definitely looking forward to it.

ICA: So, why do Cosmetology school now?

Rochelle: It was the perfect opportunity. I moved back to Michigan to help my Mom out, I wasn't working, so it was a great time to get my license in Cosmetology.

ICA: You have a good support system?

Rochelle: Yes, I do. My mom is my biggest supporter.

ICA: What is your favorite and least favorite part of Cosmetology school?

Rochelle: My favorite part is that it's hands-on. My least favorite part of it is the book-work! I will do it if I need to, but I always prefer to do hands-on over textbooks. I learn better that way.

ICA: What is the school/life balance like?

Rochelle: I have 3 girls, ages 8,9, & 10. I live on my own with my daughters. During the summer, my Mother watches them while I am at school. Now that it's fall, they go to school during the day and I am home before they get home. It works out well. Balance is definitely key.

ICA: What is some advice you have for future cosmetology students?

Rochelle: Stay in school. Graduate. Don't take time off afterwards.  You start to slack off if you wait. Get a job. Get more education. Don't wait to get your license. Get it overwith. Cosmetology school is worth it. I would definitely recommend it to other people. I am doing this for not only myself. I am doing it for my daughters.

Feel free to call 616.248.3335 to request Rochelle for an appointment! :)   

Monday, August 31, 2015

Meet Ajzsa!

Ajzsa Moore

ICA: Hello Ajzsa!
Ajzsa: Well, hello!

ICA: Tell me a little about yourself.

Ajzsa: Well,  I am 26 years old and originally from Detroit, Michigan. I moved to Grand Rapids to go to Grand Valley State University to study political science in 2009. But, at that point, I was also trying to find myself and figure out what I liked and did not like to do. I ended up switching my major to Paralegal. But, I never forgot what my Dad told me. He said, "If you're going to study hard for something, make sure you can envision yourself being your own boss, running your own business, and not always relying on employers and companies for work." So, I thought hard and long about my skills and talents. This is when I came up with Cosmetology. Something I loved to do and it would allow me to have my own business or get involved in corporate jobs in the beauty industry. Currently, I am a senior student here and have about 6 months left!

ICA: Why Cosmetology?

Ajzsa: My Mom has been a hairstylist for 15 years. So, I grew up and around hair and I had a natural ability to cut hair, style, curl, and so on. I knew I had this natural ability but never thought about pursuing it as a career. Since I enjoy hair and I have a natural gift for it, I decided to take the jump and enter cosmetology school. October 2014, I enrolled into ICA's cosmetology program.

ICA: So, what do you want to do with your license once you get it?

Ajzsa: I am going to take my state board exams right away, no doubt about it.  I will probably start out by working for someone else. My ultimate goal is to own my own salon.  I know I need a lot more experience but I want to learn it all. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and feel I have a lot of other good qualities that will take me far in this industry. I have considered corporate work, sales, or possibly managing a salon business.

ICA: So, why do Cosmetology school now?

Ajzsa: I finally know what I want to do with my career route. So I did not wait. I want a career. I really want to go into business for myself.

ICA: You have a good support system?

Ajzsa: Oh yes, my Mom, Dad, and my significant other. They are my main support system. I also want to start networking with professionals in the beauty and personal care industry. I really enjoy the business side of Cosmetology and networking would be a great step in that direction.

ICA: What is your favorite and least favorite part of Cosmetology school?

Ajzsa:  My favorite part is learning new things. I love the challenge.  I always want to try out new things.  My least favorite part is the repetition! I know it's needed, but some days, I just don't feel like practicing so much. I kind of lose motivation. Learning new things is very exciting for me.

ICA: What is the school/life balance like?

Ajzsa: Well, I have 2 kids; my son is 3 years old and my daughter is 2 years old. My mom lives in a different city, but she is helping me out by having my children live with her until I finish school and get my license. This way, I am able to work and go to school and stay focused on finishing. I see my kids as much I can. I still miss them very much and I know they miss being home.  I have to constantly remind myself that it is a temporary situation and I am doing this for not only myself, but for them. But, it is still very difficult to be away from them.

ICA: What is some advice you have for future cosmetology students?

Ajzsa: You need to stay really committed to it. I know personal life can get in the way and things come into your life unexpectedly. But, you need to stay committed regardless of what else is going on. Lots of people will put school on the back burner, end up dropping, or go on a 2 week leave and never return. Their excuses/reasons are understandable, but school is still a priority. I say, don't put it on the back-burner. Stick through and finish it. It's all about commitment.

Feel free to call 616.248.3335 to request Ajzsa for an appointment! :)   


Monday, August 24, 2015

Meet Da'Marco!

Da'marco Brown

Meet Da'marco! He is one of our current students following his dream to become a professional Cosmetologist. I spoke with Da'marco to find out a little bit more about him:

ICA: Hello Da'Marco.

Da'marco: Good Afternoon!

ICA: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Da'marco: I am almost 19 years old and I'm originally from Chicago. I have been cutting hair since I was 9 years old. I would cut my own hair and family members. I loved to play with my Mom's and sister's hair. That's when I knew I was in love with hair and wanted to do it when I was older. As I got older, I had a desire to do something amazing and creative.

ICA: Why Cosmetology?

Da'marco: I wanted to use my creativity and make people feel good. So, after high school I enrolled at ICA. This was a dream come true for me. I feel very satisfied when cutting hair. I like to design so I wanted to incorporate that into my career.

ICA: Why not barber school?

Da'marco: I love being creative, you can do anything with hair: curls, waves,extensions, color, cut, and on and on. I love working with different types and textures of hair. I have always wanted to be a cosmetologist. Barber school limits the amount of creativity I can use.

ICA: So, what do you want to do with your license once you get it?

Da'marco: Well, when I'm done here, I am going to take my state board exams right away. Once I get that license, I want to get a business degree in design. That way I could own my own salon and design it in any way I want. I painted my room as a kid and I have a passion for design. To combine cosmetology and my love for design, would be an ideal career for me.

ICA: So, why do Cosmetology school now?

Da'marco: People get lazy after high school. My family really pushed me to keep going, to continue my education. I graduated from high school in 2014 and then wanted to either do college first, then my license, or get the license first. I have an obsession for hair and strong desire to do it, so with family support, I entered ICA.

ICA: You have a good suport system, then?

Da'marco: My family is really supportive. They really pushed me to keep going and not wait. I feel I am a better person because of my family.

ICA: What is your favorite and least favorite part of Cosmetology school?

Da'marco: I love working with my hands. I like to work with a lot of different people. Clients make me happy. If our salon is slow, I get kind of sad. Clients are really satisfying for me. My least favorite part is you do have to deal with a lot of different personalities, ya know, students and staff. And if people don't communicate with me or are not respectful, I get upset. I never hold a grudge, but I do not like the drama that can come with cosmetology school.

ICA: What is the school/life balance like?

Da'marco: Well, I do school mostly on the weekdays. I have one son and a wonderful girlfriend. I like to clock out immediately when my time is done and go straight home to my family. It's all about setting boundaries.

ICA: What is some advice you have for future cosmetology students?

Da'marco: Make sure it's what you want to do! You will have your bad days and your good days. What you do now will define your future. Be the person you are meant to be, not what others want you to be. Be the person God wants you to be.

Feel free to call 616.248.3335 to request Da'marco for an appointment! :) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, August 17, 2015

So You Want My Job: Barber


Original Post: The Art of Manliness

Once again we return to our So You Want My Job series, in which we interview men who are employed in desirable jobs and ask them about the reality of their work and for advice on how men can live their dream.

Given our great love for barbershops, I can’t believe it’s taken this long to interview a barber for our So You Want My Job series. But better late than never! A barber finally stepped up and volunteered to answer our questions, and we thank him for that. He’s really a perfect interview subject for this installment. Drew Danburry was a touring musician and decided to give up the road to become a barber. A younger guy in a graying industry, he just recently completed barber college and opened up his own shop in Provo, Utah, the Danburry Barber Shop. And he’s a guy who’s trying to revive the old fashioned barbershop experience of yesteryear, with great haircuts, a handsome shop, and of course, good old fashioned straight razor shaves.
I’ve always had a dream of making my second act in life that of a barber. And this interview only strengthened that conviction. What an awesome job.

If you’re in the Provo area, go pay Drew a visit and tell him Brett sent ya!

1. Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from? How old are you? Describe your job and how long you’ve been at it, etc).
My name is Drew Danburry. I grew up in Huntington Beach, California. I’m 31 years old, and I have been a barber for about 6 months now, today. I opened an old fashioned barbershop in downtown Provo, Utah very recently, and I love it.

2. Why did you want to become a barber? When did you know it was what you wanted to do?
To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would like it. But I wanted to try and find a career that I wouldn’t hate. Something I could support a family with and I wouldn’t feel stuck in a rut with my life decisions. After a few months, I knew I’d love it. It’s the best thing ever because I offer services no one else in the area does and I end up hanging out with friends all day long. I cut hair and make people look just the way they want, and I get to meet new people all the time. It’s fun, creative, and I like feeling satisfied with my work. I’m pretty good at it, and I like being able to offer something that brings happiness to other people.

3. How does a man become a barber? You chose to go to barber school instead of a cosmetology school. Why did you make that choice?
Short answer: I went to barber school because I wanted to get the kind of instruction and experience that would prepare me for cutting the kind of hair that was cut both currently and way back in the day. I was taught by people who have been cutting hair for over 50 years, who went to barber school when they were my age (and younger). I specifically wanted to learn the dying art of classic barbering. I cut and shaved over 1,000 clients when I was in school, and I can cut any kind of hairstyle any person wants. Male or female.
Long answer: With the huge influence the Beatles and the hippie movement had on men growing their hair long in the 60s, rather than military short, the popularity of barbers decreased considerably. Barbering and cosmetology had originally been two different licenses. Barbers focused on cutting men’s hair and doing hot lather shaves for businessmen, rather than perming and dying long hair. But by the time the 70s rolled around, barbers and their style of haircutting had waned so much in popularity that most state licensing departments just decided to combine the two separate licenses. Also, because barbers weren’t as popular, and a lot of people were wanting to learn how to dye and perm hair, less people were attending barber schools and going to cosmetology school instead. It wasn’t until just a few years ago in the state of Utah that they even separated the licenses again and a barber school was started to teach the art of barbering. The old-fashioned way. How to cut men’s hair. How to shave with a straight blade.
Honestly, it’s a bit hard to explain all the differences because I never went to cosmetology school, but they seem to be completely different. Girls I meet that went to cosmetology school have a very different way of cutting hair than I do.
Some cosmetology schools teach some of the barbering techniques, like the straight razor shave, but most students at cosmetology school as well as their instructors have never actually shaved someone, and if they have, they haven’t done it often, on a daily basis. At the barber school I attended, not only were the instructors experienced, but we were given plenty of practice shaving and cutting hair. One thing I do to stay in practice, is to shave myself with a straight razor often, which is a lot harder than shaving someone else, and follow up each haircut by shaving the neck with a straight blade.

5. Once a barber has the necessary schooling and credentials, what is his next step? Is it possible to open up your own shop right out of school, or do most barbers first spend time renting a chair at someone else’s shop?
Most people spend their time renting a chair at someone else’s shop. But I wanted to open my own shop, so I did. It’s a lot of work, and an investment is required, but if you want to have your own space and not have to deal with a boss, it’s the way to go. There are a lot of laws and health codes you have to be aware of; thankfully, the school I went to had all the answers to the questions I asked, so by the time I was graduating from school, I was already finished with my state exams and busy getting the shop set up. When you decide to go with renting a chair in someone’s shop, it can be more frustrating because you’re under someone else’s roof, under their rules. You can be building clientele and saving money at the same time, and opening your own shop is more of a gamble, BUT really it’s a matter of what a person wants and is willing to risk.

6. How hard is it to open your own shop? What does a man need and need to know if he wants to do it?
Opening your own barbershop is a lot like opening any other business. You need a barber license, you need insurance, you need to be legally covered to cut hair and shave faces. You need to know what you’re doing, in terms of cutting hair, you need to know how to get the word out, and I think you need to be patient. Because when you first open, you do a lot of sitting. I generally spend any free time promoting online or making sure that the barbershop has an online presence. That Google and Yelp register its existence. I offer a lot of free services to people who’ve never had a shave or a haircut by a barber. It’s an experience every man should have, and if they haven’t, I want them to at least know what they are missing out on. Pretty much everybody who’s sat in my chair is very excited to come back.
Basically: Treat others as you’d like to be treated. Give people the kind of quality haircut and service they expect. And let word of mouth take care of the rest.

7. What is the best part of your job?
Hanging out with great people. Listening to music and talking with friends. It really is like hanging out with friends all day long. The only difference is that I happen to be cutting their hair while we talk. Which is cool, because the client and I both get excited when I give them a haircut they love.

8.  What is the worst part of your job?
I don’t know just yet…the great thing about offering high quality service is that if someone doesn’t appreciate the value of what you are giving them, they don’t come back. I do a good job with everyone’s haircut, and I treat everybody like a friend because I really appreciate everyone’s business. It makes my existence possible. If someone comes in and doesn’t want to pay the price I’m asking, they leave. If they get in my chair and don’t feel my services were worth what it cost, then they don’t come back. I really love my shop because I’m not catering to cheap people who only spend five dollars on an uncomfortable haircut that they’re gonna complain about anyway. I give a quality service, at a reasonable price, and I think everyone gets what they want. Plus, I’m my own boss and I do whatever I want, so I’m still searching for the worst part of my job.

9. What’s the work/family/life balance like?
Simple, I’m open 10-6 Tuesday-Saturday. I stay late if people need haircuts, but otherwise I’ve got Mondays and Sundays off to spend with the wife. It’s a good way to live. I go home and relax each evening, and I never wake up to an alarm. I love it.

10. What is the biggest misconception people have about your job?
I don’t know what anyone’s misconceptions would be….I don’t know of too many very rich barbers. I’m a one man shop. I’m gonna stay that way because it’s a decent living and I don’t want to deal with employees. It’s not an extremely rich or poor source of income. I’d like to live comfortably and not worry about money, but I don’t need any toys other than my skateboard and my guitar. And I already got those. It’s a simple way to live and provide for a family.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Stay the Course!

School can be HARD and it's very easy to get distracted and overwhelmed. Here are five tips to help you make it through to the finish line.

Always remember that you can do it and NOTHING is impossible once you've set your mind to it.

1. Do not compare yourself to your Facebook friends-Studies show that usage of Facebook makes you unhappy. It's true. Your friends from high school are only going to upload the highlights of their life. They are not going to mention how they are struggling to pay the bills and how they are feeling lonely right now. Seeing constant posts about new jobs and cars will only make you doubt yourself.

2. Ignore negativity in all forms - I learned a few months into my undergrad degree to avoid the Yahoo ticker like the plague. It was constantly filled with articles about how my particular major had no job opportunities and was a mistake. Negativity and doubt does not always come in the form of  unsupportive family and friends. Disregard any outlet that say you can't do something.

3. Don't be your own worst enemy- Few people are as critical on us as ourselves. Keep discouraging language out of your mind. If you cay you cant do something and undervalue yourself and your work, then you've already lost.

4. Don't ignore school-This seems obvious, but the easiest way to quit school is just to not do it. There has to be a conscious effort to attend every day, put forward your best effort, and keep a winning mindset. Remember "All A's every day" not "How many assignments can I miss and still get a C."

5. Buy your own set of blinders-Your life is YOUR race. You don't need to be aware of others around you, your focus is on yourself and what you can do. Put on your mental blinders and run your own race. The finish line is the goal, not what place you came in or what was the best time.

Lake Michigan

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young

Mary Schmich
I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.
Original Link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-schmich-sunscreen-column-column.html

Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Cosmetologist: 5 Professionals Surveyed

Original Post: Intellitec College

Cosmetologist Careers
Cosmetologist Careers

We surveyed five cosmetology certification program instructors at IntelliTec College of Pueblo. We asked them their likes and dislikes about their careers as professional cosmetologists before they became instructors. Read on to get a feel for what a normal day is like for a professional beautician.

What are the best aspects of having a cosmetologist career?

  • The flexibility to create the career you want with the specialty you want in a large and diverse field. You can go anywhere in this industry!
  • Having the ability to make people feel great about themselves, give them a boost of confidence and bring out their inner beauty.
  • Being able to make people beautiful!
  • Customer Service, knowledge, marketing yourself and best of all, making someone’s day.

What are the least desirable aspects of having a career in cosmetology?

  • Creating your own clientele will always be the hardest and least predictable aspect. Sometimes you just have to sit and wait, work and wait, grow and wait.
  • Not being able to satisfy a client for whatever reason, and the fear of losing them.
  • Working hard long hours.
  • No shows, slow seasons.
  • Self employment taxes.

What is a typical day like as a working cosmetologist?

  • As a salon owner…I usually do not get a lunch. I usually schedule a guest while another one is processing. I work hard and educate each and every guest about the products I am using on them. I average 22% retail to service dollars. Before the service is over, I have rescheduled their next appt, ensuring 6 weeks later I will have appointments. I clean up and go home. I am responsible to make sure my guest experience equals the amount they are paying.
  • Fast-paced. It isn’t work, it’s fun!
  • Hopefully busy, busy! Lots of clients to take care of.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

NAIL ART REWIND — Bacon is Great!

Originally from: The Daily Nail

Now that I'm closing in on finishing my 3rd year doing this blog, I've taken some time to look back on designs that made this blog what it is. Unfortunately, there were designs that:

• I loved, but took with a crappy camera, so I have a picture that probably would've been clearer if I took it with my iPhone.
• I loved the concept for, but the execution sucked.
• Were ok to begin with, but I think I can make them better now.
• My cuticles/nails were in HORRIBLE, embarrassing, disgusting shape.

I've decided to do a new feature where I choose designs from the past every once in a while- maybe every 2-3 weeks or so? Maybe each month? and redo them the way I think they should be done NOW!

For the first of this series, I of course chose Bacon is Great! Seriously, did I have any other option for the inaugural design?!

So here you go, the design that put this blog on the proverbial 'map' — Bacon!

I used:

White: American Apparel Cotton
Red: A mix of-
               China Glaze Hey Sailor
               American Apparel Manila
               American Apparel Pinto
               Barielle Coco Bar
Pink: A mix of-
               American Apparel California Trooper
               China Glaze Hey Sailor
               American Apparel Manila
Topcoat: Seche Vite

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Best Drugstore Makeup Ever!

Drugstore Make-Up You'll Love!

Original site: Make-Up Geek

No one wants to spend a ton of money on makeup if there’s less expensive options out there.   So…. I’ve gone through a massive, heaping pile of drugstore makeup to pick out the best products of all time.  Now you can save some money and buy some extra shoes :)


Revlon Colorstay Foundation
This full coverage foundation gives an amazing finish to the skin.  The matte formula is great for oily skin, but work quickly in applying as it dries fast.  The best part of this foundation is there’s tons of shades to choose from!
Price: $9.98
Where to Buy:   Most Drugstores  (Amazon) (eBay)

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation
For a dewy finish to the skin, this Neutrogena foundation works amazing!  It covers really well while still looking fresh and doesn’t cake up like some foundations do.  The only downside is the limited range of colors.
Price: $11.37
Where to Buy:   Most Drugstores (Amazon) (eBay)

Maybelline Fit Concealer
I have been using this concealer for months now and absolutely love it!  I apply it under my eyes to hide my dark circles- it doesn’t cake up, but still covers really well.  Here’s my full review on it:  The Best Drugstore Concealer Ever
Price: $4.99
Where to Buy:   Most Drugstores  (Amazon) (eBay)

Milani Minerals Blush 
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the NARS blushes, these Milani ones are almost identical but less than 1/3 the price!  The color “Luminous” is a beautiful shimmery peachy pink color that adds a nice glow to the cheeks.
Price: $8.99
Where to Buy:   Most Drugstores  (Amazon) (eBay)

NYX Powder Blush
I’ve been using NYX blushes for years as they’re the best inexpensive ones I’ve found.  The color “Peach” looks great on everyone, and the matte finish adds color to the cheeks without the extra shimmer.
Price: $6.99
Where to Buy:   (Makeup Geek Store)

NYX Rouge Cream Blush
If you want dewy cheeks, using cream blushes adds the perfect shine without looking oily.  Not many drugstore makeup companies make cream blushes, but these NYX ones are really great quality!
Price: $6.50
Where to Buy:   (Makeup Geek Store)  (Amazon) (eBay)


Maybelline Gel Liner
These amazing gel liners are great quality and glide on smoothly and evenly. The are water resistant and have great color payoff and don’t flake or smudge. They work great in the waterline as well. They are very high quality at a very low price! See my Smackdown between the Bobbi Brown and the Maybelline Gel Liner here. http://www.makeupgeek.com/reviews/product-smackdown-bobbi-brown-gel-eyeliner-vs-maybelline-eye-studio-gel-eyeliner/
Rimmel London Eyebrow Pencil
This eyebrow pencil is great for filling in and enhancing your brows. It glides on smoothly and blends effortlessly to keep your brows looking great all day.
Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow
The color Tattoo’s have changed the way many people view cream eyeshadows. These are very reminiscent of MAC’s paint pots. They don’t feel sticky, apply easily and come in a variety of highly pigmented shades. See my full review for the Maybelline Color Tattoos here: http://www.makeupgeek.com/reviews/review-maybelline-color-tattoo-cream-eyeshadows/
Loreal Infallible Eye Shadow
These unique eyeshadows are exact duplicates for the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill. They are intensely pigmented and come in 17 shades to choose from. They glide on smooth, have a velvety texture and last all day! See my smackdown of these two products here: http://www.makeupgeek.com/reviews/product-smackdown-giorgio-armani-eyeshadow-vs-loreal-infallible-eye-shadow/
Loreal Hip Eyeliner
These highly pigmented liners glide on smoothly and evenly for a great finish that last all day. They are a great inexpensive alternative to the Urban Decay 24/7 liners.
Loreal Voluminous Mascara
This mascara is very highly pigmented and makes your lashes look thicker and fuller while adding length as well. The wand is the ideal size for reaching all your lashes, especially the shorter ones in the inner corner.
Ardell Invisiband False Lashes
Quite possibly the best false lashes on the market, these are lightweight and easy to apply and come in a huge variety of styles and shapes. The Invisiband gives a especially natural look to the eyes.
Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain
These are by far the best lipstains you can find at the drugstore today. The only downside is they can be quite drying even with the lip balm provided. They are highly pigmented and come in a good variety of shades to choose from. See a full review of these Lipstains here: http://www.makeupgeek.com/reviews/revlon-just-bitten-lipstain-review/
NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss
This has been my favorite lipgloss for years and still is. These are richly pigmented and are glossy without being sticky. They have a creamy texture to them and come in a wide variety of colors.
Palladio Herbal Tinted Lip Balm
These slightly tinted lip balms are ideal for a no makeup kind of day or when your lips just need hydration. This is moisturizing enough to be considered a true balm and give a great tint to the lips. They wear a long time and leave a slight stain to the lips.
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick
Revlon has some of the best lipsticks on the market. These are highly pigmented and glide on with ease. They are creamy and smooth and feel great on the lips. These have several matte shades that won’t leave your lips feeling dried out.
And there you have it, my list of the best drugstore makeup of all time! Be sure to check out some of these great finds and let me know what you think of them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

10 steps to Opening Your Own Hair Salon

10 Steps to Opening Your Own Hair Salon
This article originally appeared on NerdWallet

Hair salons can be significantly profitable — stylist Ted Gibson charges a cool $1,200 for a cut in his New York City salon. Few salon owners reach celebrity status and command such rates, but the nation’s 1 million-plus salons and spas do enjoy annual sales of $46 billion, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Without proper financial and legal planning, however, even the trendiest shops can crash and burn.

“There are a lot of pieces and parts that really need to be thought through and organized before you open your doors,” says Elizabeth Fantetti of the Professional Beauty Association.
Like with any new adventure, there are some steps you should follow. Here are a few to get you started:

1. Pick a business model

Different salon types have vastly different business models. Will you open a salon from scratch, buy an established salon or purchase a franchise?

Janine Jarmin
Janine Jarmin

Celebrity stylist Janine Jarman was 24 and fresh out of beauty school when she purchased a failing salon in Los Angeles in 2006. The owner had fallen on hard times, but the salon had a solid location with proper equipment. Jarman scored such a great deal, she didn’t need outside financing. She rebranded it with a memorable name, Hairroin, and her shop became a major success.
Will you operate on commission or chair-rental model? With chair rentals, stylists are independent contractors who carry their own insurance. Jarman says that’s ideal if you’re teaming up with a few friends to run a small operation. But if you want to grow your salon, Jarman advises, do commission. The downside: You pay employee-related expenses such as workers’ compensation insurance. Some salons operate as hybrids, though Jarman warns against starting with one model and later switching, since stylists are likely to leave.


2. Explore partnerships

Seek strong business partners, whether it’s an investor or simply a strong mentor group, Fantetti says. “The most successful salons are those that have somebody who focuses on the day-to-day business,” she says, “and then another person who focuses more on the creative end of it.”
Consider partnering with a product company or line. Jarman works with Sebastian, which has sent her to various business academies for salon professionals. But, she adds, “make sure they support you in your business and continue to be an ally to push you to the next level.”


3. Create A Business Plan

“Your success will be predicated on the fact that you come with a plan,” he says.
Outline not just business needs, but also your brand identity and marketing strategy. A business plan estimates costs so you know your financing needs.
“You can always pay debt down, but you can’t have $20,000 magically appear if you didn’t forecast and plan properly,” Ruane says. He recommends creating a plan under the guidance of an accountant and attorney.

Harroin Salon in New York


4. Select space carefully

Ruane says location and space greatly determine costs. The average salon in America has six operators and is 1,200 square feet, Fantetti says, but this can vary.
Carefully read leases for potential spaces to understand what is and isn’t included by the landlord. For example, Ruane says, will they provide tenant improvements or offer an allowance if you sign a five- or 10-year lease? Is it a raw space requiring electric wiring and HVAC installation? That adds considerable expense. Before signing, have a general contractor review the lease and space to estimate needs and costs.


5. Obtain financing

Minus significant cash, you’ll need outside financing. Ruane suggests applying for small-business loans at your local bank, though Jarman says to leave time to find funding. When she sought to open a second Hairroin in New York, it took time to find a lender willing to approve her. If you’re not having success with banks or credit unions, consider alternative lenders.
Since business is seasonal and it takes time to get established, Fantetti recommends having at least six months of capital in the bank in the beginning.
Remember you can smart small, Ruane says: Just because your space has room for eight workstations doesn’t mean you have to put them all in now. “You can always come back as you’ve paid down debt and borrow more,” he says.


6. Consider equipment financing

Many new salon owners struggle to find financing to cover equipment, Ruane says. A bank may offer $50,000 for building out space but not the $30,000 needed for equipment. If so, you can turn to an equipment financing company such as Quest Resources. Make all your payments, and you own the equipment when the lease ends.
You’ll need outdoor signage, phones, sound systems, desks, workstations, chairs, wash stations, cabinetry, mirrors, display cases, washers and dryers, and furniture for the office and backroom.
Ruane says equipment costs vary significantly, so comparison shop. Your equipment financing company creates a financing plan based on your budget and can work in cooperation with your other lender.


7. Tackle legal requirements

Numerous permits are required before opening a salon. Fantetti says this includes a business operation license, a certificate of occupancy, a license to sell retail, a building permit, a fire department permit and a state cosmetology license. She recommends visiting websites of your state and local municipality to see what’s required. Most accept applications online. Confused? Consult a local lawyer.
Additionally, you must choose a legal structure for your salon, such as a partnership or incorporation. Decide with an attorney, who can explain tax and legal ramifications.


8. Hire wisely

A common struggle for salon owners is finding a competent team, Fantetti says. It’s key to consider how you’ll find stylists. You could develop relationships with local beauty schools for a steady stream of candidates. When pursuing new graduates, Fantetti says, an educational plan and mentor training program are crucial.


9. Budget and create goals

A budget ensures costs don’t exceed revenue. “Do the math and really know what it takes for your company to flourish,” Jarman says — even down to cost of toilet paper. Jarman, her manager and business accountant review the books monthly. Her accountant helps create an annual budget with weekly goals.
With set financial goals, she says, you can find creative ways to meet them, such as promoting stylists to a higher pricing tier, offering new treatments or experimenting with opening hours. “If you stick to the numbers, it really helps you understand what to do for your business without just taking shots in the dark,” she says.


10. Join trade organizations

Trade and professional organizations, such as the Professional Beauty Association, provide industry content that Jarman finds helpful. Fantetti says the organization has myriad “business blueprints” for salon owners — non-compete forms, HR manuals, marketing ideas, etc. There’s also an email listserv of salon owners and managers for peer advice.

Other trade groups to explore: Association of Cosmetology Salon Professionals, Salon & Spa Professional Association, International SalonSpa Business Network, Associated Hair Professionals and Hair Artist Association.

For more information about how to start a small business and how to get funding, including small-business loans, visit NerdWallet’s Small Business Guide.
Emily Starbuck Crone is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter@emstarbuck and on Google+. Email her at emily.crone@NerdWallet.com.

Images via Harroin Salon.

This article was written by an industry contributor and does not necessarily reflect the position or opinions of the Professional Beauty Association (PBA). To submit a request to contribute an article, click here.