We asked scholarship winner, Anna Gailis to share with us a little bit about her interest in the cosmetology world and how she feels her schooling is going so far. She shares with us the challenges and rewards of attending beauty school and her hopes for the future! Thank you Anna!
I’ve always been interested in the beauty industry. Since I was little I cut my own hair (not recommended at age 6), I cut my Barbies’ hair. I couldn’t pass up a new barrette or brush, curling irons and hair dryers. Trips to the salon were always learning experiences for me to watch and see what all the other women were getting done. In high school we did the tour of the trade school in the cosmetology department and I fell completely in love with the idea of doing hair for real. But something in the back of my head said I was supposed to follow the path that was more expected of me-go to college, get a degree. So cosmo day dreams got left behind and I went off to college. That didn’t pan out either. Life happened and before I knew it I was working an office job, married with two kids.
And with those two kids, that love of doing hair naturally translated into me cutting their hair over the years. Last year, in the spring, I colored my youngest son’s hair for the first time and tried a new (new to me) cutting style on my older son. Both styles turned out pretty good for this amateur. Then I was cutting the eldest again in the summer and he casually asked, “Mom, have you ever considered doing this for a living?” Well, with all the day to day living cosmetology was just playing with hair and I’d put all thoughts of a career away in a box in the back of my mental closet way back in high school. Until that moment I had completely forgotten I had ever considered going into the beauty industry. So, I told my son the story I just told you and about a week later started looking in my area for schools with schedules that would allow me to go part time and still be able to maintain my current full-time job.
What program are you going through?
I found Regency Beauty Institute in Columbus, OH. I am currently attending classes there in the Cosmetology program and I love it!
What has been the most challenging part of your schooling so far?
The most challenging part of my schooling so far had been finger waves but since I have moved out of workshop and onto the clinic floor I have found that I get way more nervous than I ever expected to with the individual clientele that comes in. I want to do everyone’s hair well and have them feeling fabulous when they leave and I didn’t realize tense that could make me! I’ve had to learn to relax more and just be myself.
What do you think has been the most beneficial part of your schooling so far?
The most beneficial part of my schooling so far is definitely my instructors. I have two of the best! Between the two of them there are over 40 years of experience and skill. They work well together and balance each other. One just loves cutting hair and the other excels at hair color. And they love to share what they know. They’ve both also been a great source of encouragement to me and all of my fellow students.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention the benefit I’ve gotten from going to school with all different types of girls with their own sets of knowledge too. I’ve learned a lot just from my fellow students beauty enthusiasts.
What aspect of your schooling do you think will help you the most in the “real world”?
Even though I’ve only been in school for a short time I feel like I’m already gaining real world experience. I think, for me, being able to deal with all the different personalities of the clientele is the biggest plus. Until now most of the hair I’ve ever done has been my own or my children’s. That’s very limiting especially when you consider how easy it is to visually see in your every day life that peoples styles and tastes are diverse. It’s a little different when you are the one helping to create those styles and implement those tastes! It’s always challenging and even sometimes intimidating but I’m getting the chance to make sure I’m really listening to what my clients are seeking and learning the tried and true ways to do the basics as well as some tricks to do some of the little extras people request. It’s a lot of fun! Seeing the way a shop is generally run, sometimes juggling walk-ins with already scheduled appointments, learning all the governmental guidelines and how it all fits together are all valuable real world lessons I’m learning too.
When are you planning on graduating? What do you plan after graduation? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Graduation is about a year off for me, late May of 2016. I hope, after graduation, to find a necessarily part-time position while I build my client base and get my managers license after a year. My next step would then be to find a booth to rent until I am able to put a shop in my own home. After 10 years I hope to be living in Florida working my salon out of my home and being able to donate my skills to those in need.