This is a guest post by Joanna Feliciano, a student at Tricoci University.
I would like to start off by thanking every educator, staff member and classmate at Tricoci University. If it wasn't for all the help and support, I would've never won the Beacon contest.
Beacon was an amazing experience. I wish that every student could attend! We got to hear about all the things that the Professional Beauty Association
does for the cosmetology industry; like how they're fighting with Congress to keep our license a requirement for professionals (so that not just anyone
can do hair) and about different charities they support to help cancer patients and women affected by domestic violence.
At the PBA business forum we got to hear from Mark Cuban (from the TV show Shark Tank). He gave us tips on running a business. We also heard from Larry Curtis from Taylor Andrews Academy who told us to "never stop learning" and "if someone tells you that something is impossible, it's only because it's impossible for them!"
The NAHA's were awesome, too! There was 14 different categories including contemporary classic, hair color, make up artist of the year, student
hairstylists of the year and lifetime achievement award. It was nice to see everybody's work and how they did things to hair that at this point I had no
idea could be done. They also had runway shows by Redken, JCPenney, and Aveda. My favorite part at the NAHA's after party was getting to meet Sam Villa and Andrew Carruthers!
On the last day of Beacon we heard from Sam Burns. He told us right now we should also be focusing on men clientele because most women right now are growing out their hair, wearing extensions or have an ombré and not coming into the salon as often. We also had an open mic where we could ask past and present NAHA winners any questions we had. We also heard from Vivienne McKinder who is know as the hairdresser's hairdresser.
Vivienne talked to us about client consultation (to stay away from salon drama!), perfecting our craft, and time management. At the end of Beacon,
Vivienne stayed an extra hour just to make sure that every person who wanted a picture or autograph had one --- she was amazing and truly inspiring!
What I learned from the Beacon experience is: don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Ask questions when applying at a salon. If you're going to be working there, you want to make sure that you're interviewing them. If they can't properly interview you, then they won't have the time to properly train you either. You don't have to take the first job right out of beauty school, it's ok to shop around. Beacon made me more confident in myself going forward and I can't wait to take the next step!!