I absolutely love the education aspect of my career. I actually started out my post high-school time as an educator, attending MacMurray College (now closed) in Jacksonville, IL earning a bachelor's degree in Teacher Education: Deaf Studies. While I was teaching in that field for about five years, I attended cosmetology school as a back-up for my teaching degree. I ended up falling in love with cosmetology and eventually I left the education field to pursue a career full time.
Along the way of working as a hairstylist, an opportunity to become an educator with DreamCatchers Hair Extensions showed up. They contacted me directly and asked if I would have an interest in educating with them, so I went for it. It turned out to be another area that I fell in love with. It was truly amazing to me to be a part of someone else's career and helping them take their career to the next level. I stuck with that for several years, and eventually worked my way into being asked to be one of eleven master educators. This position was so rewarding due to being a part of the development of the addition of two new extension methods, K-Tip and Wefts. I will also remember just how humbled I felt to be a part of picking some of the components of the new lines. That's the sort of thing I just love.
On our way to premiering the k-tips and wefts, I was also involved in Battle of the Strands, a hair competition where I was a member of Team Eleven. I worked alongside a hair industry influencer, who I'm now blessed to call a friend and collegue, @pinupjordan. While this also was an amazing opportunity, it wasn't something that I was comfortable with. I'm very introverted and private, and to be amongst chaos all day, walk across a stage that was streamed live online, and be thrown into a competitive atmosphere, let's just say, it wasn't really my thing. I'm so thankful to have done it, but it's not something that I wish to do again. My speed is to have a direct impact on an individual's career, so it became quite evident to me that I needed to walk away from DreamCatchers.
A few days before I was set to leave for the Battle of the Strands, I met with the owner of ProSalon Distribution, Nick Lorenzini, and my salon salesperson, Clare Schwartz. We chatted about my career as an educator, where I would like my career to go, and my vision for classes if I were to write my own. It was one of the coolest conversations of my life. I was asked to write classes for ProSalon and teach them. Mind. Blown. It seemed as though my background of education and cosmetology was coming together in the exact same place, and I quickly accepted that this is what's next for me.
During the conversation with Nick and Clare, I was asked what I would like to call my education "business". This took me a few days, and eventually the name, "What's Next Education" seemed to be the perfect fit. I have always been a "what's next" person, especially when something doesn't quite "fit". This mindset has gotten me in trouble more than a few times, but all in all, it has served me well.
"What's next" encompasses me as a person, but it also encompasses the mindset of successful stylists. I've seen more than a few times hairstylists that eventually become complacent. They are fine doing the same haircut on the same people until their career eventually retires them. They don't seem to recognize or care that their loyal clients eventually move on to someone else. Or maybe they don't know what to do, so they do nothing. I'm not quite sure, but I do know that it's not me to adopt that mindset. I love when clients come into the salon and want to change something, even if it's an undertone or a section of their haircut. For me, always being on top of what's next has kept my salon business, and career as educator growing for almost 20 years.
That, in the long version, is what's next for me; continuing to grow my personal business, but also having a direct impact on what's next for others. I can't wait to get rolling! Stay tuned here where I'll be updating you on how the first class is coming together.