Next up as we follow the success of former students is Chanelle (Kelley)Chambers. Chanelle is building a great career in Georgia. I remember that Chanelle was a hard working student who really wanted to learn and had a real artistic mind that questioned everything. Chanelle is proof of what a great career cosmetology can be. She put aside her skills for ten years to start a family and now is stepping right back in where she left off. Special thanks to Chanelle and Republic Salon for sharing this information.
Shortly after graduating and becoming a licensed hairdresser, my husband and I decided to start our family. I spent 10 years as a full time mom and homemaker, devoted to my 3 babies, and doing hair out of my home on a very part time basis. Then in December of 2008, I decided it was time for me to have the career I'd always dreamed of.
Athens, Georgia is a small college town with big city aesthetics. The culture here is influenced by the University of Georgia students and faculty creating a place with a large art scene and world renowned music scene, including venues that welcome big time independent bands from all over the world. Most notably, bands REM and the B52s began here and continue to call Athens their home.
Republic Salon was ranked by Athens residents as the #1 salon in town. With a large 4300 square foot space on the 3rd floor of one of Athens' downtown historic buildings, it's no wonder clients like to have their hair done there. I knew that if I wanted to be able to work in such a fabulous salon, I'd need to pay my dues as an assistant first.
I remember hearing over and over in school that assisting is the way to go, and likely the only route to getting into the nicest salons a hairdresser can work in. I never felt like it was beneath me, but in fact felt like the continuing education would be a great way to revitalize my paused career.
Lyric, the stylist I began assisting, is something of a legend in Athens. She has been styling hair for almost 18 years and has the most loyal client following. After just a few short months, a stylist position became available, and I was given the opportunity to begin taking my own clients full time. I believe I would not have been offered the position if not for my exceptional skills, and I credit a large part of that to my training in school, where it was a priority to keep us booked with live models and real world styling..
My best advice to future hairdressers is to fall in love with your craft. We are artists, and just like any other creative field, we need to love and understand our medium. A painter can have an eye for color and design, but without an understanding for how paint and canvass work together, the genius can never be unleashed. It is the same as a hair artist. We can see and love the latest, freshest styles, but without a passion for continuing education and mastering the art of how hair lives and grows, our potential as creators is stagnant. Never stop learning. Never get lazy with your skills. There is always more to learn.
In addition, maybe the greatest gift I was ever given by Larry Curtis was a class on the influence of a hairdresser. In many ways, we become part of our clients' families. We give babies their first haircuts, and are usually in those photo albums. We help the awkward tween feel pretty when she gets a hot new cut. We style for prom dates and wedding days. We live through our clients' family tragedies and provide a listening ear as we give the pampering and attention they need. Never underestimate the good influence you can have on a person’s life through being the caretaker of their hair.