Blog

Our Scholarship Winner- Lisa Buchhalter

Record number of annual Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship awards are announced.

Minneapolis, MN – November 15, 2018 – This year, 34 students from across the United States received
a $1,200 from the Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship Foundation. The scholarships are awarded directly toward tuition costs for cosmetology education. Over the past 21 years the Foundation has awarded 384 scholarships and given close to a half million dollars in scholarships. Congratulations to the 2018 recipients and to their schools! This year’s scholarship recipients are:

Zakeya Batteast, Panache Academy, Baraboo, WI
Brenna Bingham, Avalon School of Cosmetology, Layton, UT
Kennedy Bolden, Schuler School of Cosmetology, Greenville, SC
Kelsey Brack, Hays Academy of Hair, Salina, KS
Annie Bromberg, Summit Salon Academy, Tacoma, WA
Lisa Buchhalter, Creative Images, Dayton, OH
Mackenzie Castro, Elite Academy of Hair Design, Bellaire, OH
Camille Clancy, Paul Mitchell School, Lakewood, CO
Tracy Clark, Urban Barber College, Concord, CA
Janelle Daley, American Barbering College, Louisville, KY
Sarah Dilallo, Shearego, Rochester, NY
Inga Evans, Academy of Cosmetology, Bozeman, MT
Blessings Fandi, Bella Capelli Academy, Pittsburgh, PA
Mariah Fowlkes, Long Island Beauty School, Hauppauge, NY
Tiffany Gess, Empire Beauty, Flagstaff, AZ
Dalel, Gonzalez, Savanah Tech College, Hinesville, GA
Addison Hiatt, Toni & Guy, Albuquerque
Brittany Hollis, Summit Salon Academy, Lexington, KY
Joy Khoury, Kaizen Beauty Academy, Pembroke Pines, FL
Gabrielle Kreider, Rudaes School of Beauty Culture, Fort Wayne, IN
Courtney Learned, Paul Mitchell, Normal, IL
Yvette Leija, LaJames Beauty School, Davenport, IA
Carolyn Lutz, Century College, White Bear Lake, MN
Janelle Daley, American Barbering College, Louisville, KY
Sarah Dilallo, Shearego, Rochester, NY
Inga Evans, Academy of Cosmetology, Bozeman, MT
Blessings Fandi, Bella Capelli Academy, Pittsburgh, PA
Mariah Fowlkes, Long Island Beauty School, Hauppauge, NY
Tiffany Gess, Empire Beauty, Flagstaff, AZ
Dalel, Gonzalez, Savanah Tech College, Hinesville, GA
Addison Hiatt, Toni & Guy, Albuquerque
Brittany Hollis, Summit Salon Academy, Lexington, KY
Joy Khoury, Kaizen Beauty Academy, Pembroke Pines, FL
Gabrielle Kreider, Rudaes School of Beauty Culture, Fort Wayne, IN
Courtney Learned, Paul Mitchell, Normal, IL
Yvette Leija, LaJames Beauty School, Davenport, IA
Carolyn Lutz, Century College, White Bear Lake, MN
Amber McWeay, Paul Mitchell, Roswell, GA
Stevie Milbridge-Scott, WI Indianhead Tech School, Superior, WI
Michael Owens, Rudy & Kelly Academy, Virginia Beach, VA
Barbara Palomares, Paul Mitchell, Arlington, TX
James Puertas, Paul Mitchell, Provo, UT
Martha Rodriguez, Houston Training School, Houston, TX
Lindsey Schiro, Paul Mitchell, Tampa, FL
Crystal Scott, Paul Mitchell School, Jacksonville, FL
Tarneda Seals, Chanell Ardor School of Beauty, Madison, WI
Leah Smothers, Toni & Guy Academy, Shoreline, WA
Crystal Stevens-Benson, Rocky Mountain Academy, Glenrock, WY

Each scholarship recipient demonstrated a strong commitment to complete his or her
barber/cosmetology education, as well as financial need. The Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship Foundation memorializes the life and achievements of Joe Francis, founder of The Barbers Corporation and the franchise systems: Cost Cutters, City Looks Salons, and We Care Hair, now Regis Corporation subsidiaries. Joe Francis’ story is literally one of rags to riches, beginning his first job as a shoeshine boy for a local barber school. His labors eventually led him to enroll as a barber student where his entrepreneurial spirit flourished and his lifelong career in the industry took off. He built state of the art hair salons and began franchising first as The Barbers Hairstyling for Men and Women, Inc. He took his company public and established The Barbers Corporation. The barbers grew to 1,200 franchise hair salons in the United States and Europe. Joe began with a one-chair barbershop, a self-made man who never forgot his early struggles and continuously looked for ways to help others find opportunities in the hair industry.

Joe Francis was inducted posthumously into the National Barbers Hall of Fame. “The Scholarship Foundation was Joe’s dream. We have awarded 384 talented hairstylists and barbers with scholarships and we look forward to continuing our support of careers in the industry,” explained Florence Francis, widow of Joe Francis, Chairwoman, and Co-Founder of the Foundation. Joe’s daughter, and President of the Foundation, Barbara Francis, announced, “My Father worked tirelessly to strengthen the industry and elevate the hairstyling profession. He believed it offered a path to self-fulfillment and reward. He was determined to help deserving individuals launch their career. He wanted to give back to an industry that gave him so much.”

Applications for future scholarships are accepted from January through June 1st of each year, with
award notifications made each September. For more information, visit the Foundation’s web site:
www.joefrancis.com or email: contact@joefrancis.com

Do’s and Don’ts to Nail Your Next Interview

Do you ever get nervous for your interviews? Good! Being nervous means you care about how you’ll do which is first step when it comes to starting something new. In this article, you will learn not only how to work through those nerves but also how to nail your next interview!

A job interview is much like a first date. While it’s nerve-wracking and unlikely to go exactly as planned, it’s also your only chance to make a good impression. Fortunately, your education at Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology has provided you with the technical skills necessary to succeed in a hairstylist, esthetician or nail technician job. Now you just need to present your best professional self to land that position. Take note of these do’s and don’ts and you’ll have a new cosmetology job before you know it.

1. Do learn everything you can about the salon or spa before your interview. Whether you look the company up online through Google, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, check it out in person, or call the front desk for information, thorough research into the salon or spa you’re considering can help you decide if it’s really a place you want to work. You can also use what you learn during the research process to impress the interviewer with your knowledge of the company.

2. Do dress appropriately. While the beauty industry is a creative one, and dress code often varies by location, the outfit you choose to wear to your interview should demonstrate your respect for the opportunity. Did you happen to see any pictures of current salon or spa employees while doing your research? If so, those images can give you clues on how to dress. In general, it’s wise to avoid anything too tight, short or low-cut. If in doubt, ‘business casual’ is usually a safe option.

3. Do arrive on time. If you’re late to the interview, the salon or spa owner may assume you’ll be late to work as well. Not sure how long it will take you to drive there? Do a test run a day or two before the interview and plan your travel time accordingly. That said, you don’t want to arrive too early, either. If you get to the location more than 10 minutes before your interview is scheduled to begin, wait in your car to avoid making anyone feel rushed.

4. Do ask thoughtful questions. Yes, the interview is an opportunity for the salon or spa owner to learn more about you. But it’s also a chance for you to get details about the job that you couldn’t find online. Some of this information may even help you decide whether or not to take the job should you get an offer. Good questions to consider include:

• “What traits do your most successful employees share?”
• “How do you define success?”
• “How long do your employees work for you on average?”
• “Why did your last hairstylist/esthetician/nail tech leave the position?”
• “How would you describe a typical day in this role?”

5. Do follow up after your interview. To this day, nothing beats an old-fashioned, handwritten thank you note. Mail one as soon as possible, but don’t hesitate to follow up by email a day or two after your interview as well. Just thank the salon or spa owner for his/her time, reiterate the reasons you’d love to work there, and ask if there is any additional information you can provide to help with the hiring decision.

6. Don’t give in to nerves. Even if this is your very first salon or spa job, you need to project an aura of confidence if you want to make a good impression. Avoiding fidgeting (such as tapping your foot or twirling your hair) during the interview. Sit up straight, but don’t sit too stiffly. Keep your arms loose and relaxed rather than crossed. The right body language can go a long way towards convincing your interviewer of your professionalism.

7. Don’t forget to practice answers to difficult interview questions. To avoid rambling and keep your answers clear and succinct, it can be helpful to practice your responses in advance. Recruit a friend to help you polish your answers to common questions such as:

• “What can you tell me about yourself?”
• “Why should we hire you?”
• “Why did you leave your previous employer?”
• “What are your greatest strengths/ weaknesses?”
• “What are your goals for the next five years?”

You want your answers to show that you are honest, self-aware and passionate about the beauty industry. And you want to avoid distracting fillers such as “um,” “so,” “like” and “you know” in your responses.

8. Don’t speak poorly about previous employers or coworkers. It’s very likely that you’ll be asked why you left your last job, even if it wasn’t in the beauty industry. Even if you gave notice because every second of every day there was a nightmare of epic proportions, avoid saying this in your interview. You might also want to remove any negative comments of that sort from your public social media profiles, if you haven’t already done so.

9. Don’t ask about pay or benefits until you’ve been offered the job. Employers want beauty industry professionals who want to work at what they love, not just for a paycheck. You’ll have plenty of time to negotiate your wages and benefits after you’ve received an offer. In the meantime, however, it is acceptable to ask about the schedule and other logistics. After all, there’s no point in accepting a position with days or hours that ultimately won’t fit with your other commitments.

10. Don’t turn into a pest. Salon and spa owners are busy. Even if they’re eager to fill an available position, it can take awhile for them to make an employment decision. While reasonable follow up shows you’re proactive, professional and passionate about the opportunity, repeated phone calls and dozens of emails will cause nothing but annoyance. Remember: desperation is never attractive whether on a first date or during your job search.

By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology

New Season, New Look

Here are a few ways to update your look with these Fall trends.

Now that the sweltering heat of summer is finally fading, it’s time to think about updating your wardrobe for fall. Whether you treat every day like you’re walking the runway or prefer to keep your look on the casual side, these fall trends can be adapted to suit any style. Mix, match and have fun creating a new look all your own.

Trend: Lush Texture
The stores are full of statement pieces as well as day-to-day staples in lush textures. J.Crew in particular has loads of velvet in rich shades including these cropped pants in burgundy velvet and long wrap coat in navy twilight velvet
If corduroy is more your style, Free People offers an affordable nod to the 70s with a retro-inspired structured blazer and flared pants. Or choose an unexpected color to keep your look modern. Zara has some great options like this matching blazer and high-waisted pants in fuchsia corduroy and Mango is offering a structured blazer and straight trousers in a rosy pink corduroy.

Trend: Animal Print
It’s a jungle out there, and leopard is always a classic. Go head-to-toe with a long leopard print dress like this one from Zara or mix in the velvet trend in this J.Crew faux-wrap mini dress in rose leopard velvet. If you’re looking for just a touch of the wild, you can’t go wrong adding a leopard print scarf or cheetah print block heel sandals from Gap to an outfit built from neutral staples.

Trend: Over-sized Sweater
When there’s a chill in the air, there are few things cozier than an over-sized sweater. You’ll find them this season in a range of materials from cottons and acrylic poly blends to cold weather standards, such as wool and cotton. If you want to mix some fresh color into your fall wardrobe, you can find a lot of affordable options like a green chunky knit turtleneck and this long dark green sweater. Or, if you love the classics, check out an over-sized v-neck in wool- and mohair-blends as well as cocoon-like ribbed turtlenecks in solids and houndstooth.

Trend: Long Pleated Skirt
If the mini is perfect for summer, the midi is your ideal fall and winter skirt length. Long enough to keep your legs warm but not so long as to drag on wet sidewalks, you’ll find this season’s midi skirts in silks, poly satins, faux leather and more. Choose a pleated version and pair it with that oversized sweater for a textural contrast. If you need some inspiration, check out a neutral beige plaid pleated skirt or classic leopard pleated skirt. If you like an edgier look, this shiny red waxed finish pleated skirt or black faux leather pleated skirt. Black has always been considered a timeless, versatile piece therefore, it won’t be hard to match it with whatever #OOTD you’re looking to rock!

Trend: Dark Floral
Florals are no longer just for spring and summer. Black-backed florals were all over the fall runways and with some affordable options. You can also consider florals backed by dark red, burgundy or green. The best part about fall florals are limitless makeup looks to match. With floral patterns raging in multiple styles and colors it’s easy to find a piece that works for you.

Trend: Statement Coat
From faux fur to faux shearling, statement coats are all about texture this season. Choose a classic color like this toffee faux fur coat f or ivory faux shearling coat if you want to invest in a topper that will go with anything. If you’re feeling a little bold or daring, don’t be afraid to make a statement with a sleek leopard print. Looking for something a more versatile? Consider a short pastel faux fur that can be matched with any outfit and any hair style.

Trend: Fresh Hair Color or Style
As every fashionista knows style also matters from the neck up. Consider updating your hair with a warm and spicy color. From coppery strawberry blonde and honey blonde to brunette with caramel highlights, your stylist can offer you lots of options.
If a fresh, sleek cut is more your thing, both baby bangs and curtain bangs were big on the fall runways and offer a simple way to change your look. Lobs and bobs as well as long cuts were seen with both sleek and natural texture.

Remeber, updating your hair for fall doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology offers the highest quality services at affordable prices, and first-time clients receive 20 percent off their first service. Give our Vandalia or Centerville campus a call today to book your appointment with one of our trendy artists.

By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology

Networking Your Way to a Successful Career

The importance of networking and how one link may be the link you need to further your career.

Have you ever played the party game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? Based on the concept of six degrees of separation, which suggests that any two people in the world are only six acquaintances (or less) apart, the game challenges players to connect Hollywood actors to the prolific movie star Kevin Bacon through a series of six or fewer films or costars. Not only is it a fun way for movie buffs to pass the time, it’s also an excellent illustration of the power of networking for beauty industry professionals.

Why, you ask? Simply put, because each person you know is a link in a chain to others. With every link you connect, your professional reach expands exponentially and increases your ability to reach new clients, as well as industry insiders who can help you further your career. A healthy network is invaluable whether you want to broaden your clientele or take the next step up the beauty ladder.

Of course, you need to make sure you’re networking effectively if you want to maximize the impact of your efforts. Time and again, the tactics below have been proven to work well for resourceful beauty school graduates.

Follow influencers and other beauty professionals on social media – Whether you keep tabs on them through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, following influencers as well as beauty professionals is a simple way to get them to notice you. You can’t just lurk in the shadows, however. Make meaningful comments on their posts, reshare, and retweet. This can work particularly well if you want to gain your dream salon or spa owner’s notice. Engage on social media and he or she will already know who you are when it comes time to submit your resume.

Continue your education after graduation – As one of our educators, Ms. LaShawna Brewer, recently pointed out in an interview, education is the key to working in the beauty industry. Make an effort to continue to learn new techniques throughout your career. Taking classes and attending seminars with industry professionals you admire will not only help you keep your skills fresh but will also allow you to interact—and add more links in your networking chain. Someday, those links may be able to help you land your next salon or spa position.

Hang out with others in your industry – We’re not just talking about your friends from school or work, though. Get to know as many other salon and spa professionals as you can! Industry meetups are an easy way to do so and Meetup, the world’s largest network of offline social communities, can help you find them. Their networking for hair stylists group currently has more than 1,900 members and 21 scheduled meetups in 18 cities and four countries.

Attend beauty industry events- Trade shows, product launches, job fairs and other recruiting events will also allow you to meet other industry pros and make the networking connections you’ll need for a successful career. A few to consider include America’s Beauty Show in Chicago, the International Salon and Spa Expo in Long Beach, California, and the International Beauty Show in New York.

Even more convenient is Creative Images Institute’s annual networking and recruiting event. Coming up on September 10 and held at the Dayton Masonic Center, the event will enable you to mingle with other artists and alumni as well as professionals from local salons and spas. Meet others in the beauty industry face to face while you learn more about potential employers in your own backyard—no plane ticket or hotel required!

By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology

 

 

 

Education With a Cosmetology Educator

At Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology, we’re proud of the education we provide, none of which would be possible, of course, without our fabulous staff. Today, we’re checking in with Ms. LaShawna Brewer, the Phase Two Cosmetology educator at our Vandalia campus. In addition to helping Creative Images students shape their talents for the future, LaShawna is also the owner of Simply Gorgeous Hair and Nails.

CIIC: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today, LaShawna, and for the time you devote to your students at Creative Images. When did you first discover your passion for cosmetology?

LaShawna: I did a couple of beauty pageants and was intrigued. We all had our own sense of style and brought it out in individual ways. I decided I wanted to be able to be the person who helps others bring out that beauty.

CIIC: That’s great! How did you get your start and what convinced you to become an educator as well?

LaShawna: When I got my hair license back in 1992, I began running my own booth in a booth rental salon. I’ve continued to do that over the years, but also realized I like to see the development of artists. I love to see them learn new techniques and grow. Not only within the beauty realm but also stepping out and adding their own flavor to it.

CIIC: And what brought you to Creative Images Institute?

LaShawna: I chose Creative Images because of its reputation and the length of time it has been in business. I also saw that a lot of the artists graduating from the school go on to obtain licenses in their field with employment. I wanted to be a part of that.

CIIC: And we’re so glad you decided to join us! When you’re working with your students each day, what do you enjoy the most?

LaShawna: I get to work with a lot of diversity and different age groups, and I love the bond and memories we create in class. That means a lot to me.

CIIC: Would you encourage other people to get into the cosmetology field, and if so, what advice would have for them in choosing a school?

LaShawna: I would encourage others to explore careers in cosmetology because it’s beyond rewarding. It also offers the chance to express yourself every day though fashion, makeup, however you choose. Every woman has her own style, you just have to develop, create and bring it out. That’s just one of my beliefs.

As far as choosing a school, I’d encourage students to do their research and make sure the school focuses on education as a whole. Education is the key to becoming a cosmetologist and working in the beauty industry. You have to be educated in order to grow professionally, grow a business, and deliver a great product to your client. Always put education first.

CIIC: That’s excellent advice. What words of wisdom do you have, as a successful salon owner, for our students who are nearing graduation?

LaShawna: My suggestion is to always create personal goals and work towards reaching them. You have to step out on faith. You have to be committed. And you have to also be a person who will never give up no matter what is going on. Reach for the stars.

By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology

Simple Ways to Give Back to Your Community

At Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology, we believe that salon and spa professionals are powerful. As a hairstylist, nail technician or esthetician, you have the potential to change someone’s life for the better just by making a positive difference in their day. You can use that power to affect more than just the lives of your clients but you can also utilize that power to give back to your community in more ways than one!

Our beauty school loves to give back to society, whether we’re supporting the Dayton area’s cancer survivors or first responders and their families. As you graduate from your educational program and get jobs as beauty industry professionals, we encourage you to look for ways to continue to practice charitable giving. With today’s generation, people are more willing to participate with or buy from an organization that gives back to the community whether it be donations, food drives, or disocunted services. You’ll find many opportunities to do so, and we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to get you started.

Organize a charity benefit day at your salon or spa. One of the easiest way to give back, charity benefit days require little more than social media promotion to encourage bookings. Simply choose a local charity and pledge to donate a percentage of your service fees during the benefit. You can collect donations from clients as well to boost your impact. You’ll find a list of Dayton non-profits here.

Collect hair for Locks of Love. Whenever a client requests you cut at least 10 inches off his or her hair, get permission to save that hair for this life-changing charity that provides free hairpieces to disadvantaged children who are suffering from long-term medical hair loss. To make it super-easy for your clients, you can even offer to mail the donated hair in for them once they’ve completed the required form.

Mentor a beauty school student. Now that you’ve graduated from your beauty program and are working in the real world, you probably have valuable insight you can share to benefit others who are where you once were. Whether you reach out to Creative Images Institute to have your story featured on our blog or offer guidance to others on an industry forum, sharing your experience can make a difference.

Provide free services at a local nursing or retirement home. Contact local senior care facilities to arrange an event where you can provide residents with free hair styling, manicure or skincare services. Oftentimes these seniors no longer have the manual dexterity or financial means to maintain their appearance the way they might like. Provide a little pampering and you will do wonders for their spirits.

Offer free haircuts to the homeless. Take a cue from Southern California celebrity hairstylist, Jason Schneidman and offer free haircuts to area homeless. While Schneidman takes his tools to the street, visiting local shelters or handing out cards that invite those in need to visit your salon for a shampoo or trim are also options.

Volunteer with Look Good Feel Better. This national non-profit organization is a non-medical public service program that teaches beauty techniques to people with cancer. Through the program, volunteer beauty professionals instruct cancer patients on skin and nail care, cosmetics, wigs and turbans, accessories and styling in order to help them mange the appearance-related side effects of their treatment. Volunteers commit to three to five hours each month and must complete a certification class.

Volunteer with Dress for Success. A national non-profit with a mission to empower women to achieve economic independence, Dress for Success is often looking for beauty industry volunteers to educate disadvantaged women on work-appropriate makeup application and styling as well as mentoring.  While the organization does not have a branch in Dayton, their Cincinnati location is only a one-hour commute away.

 

By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology

 

 

 

 

 

How to Use Facebook to Build Your Clientele

Are you a mad genius hairstylist, superbly talented nail technician, or extraordinarily gifted skin care professional? Fantastic! But you may still find it challenging to get ahead in the beauty industry. Why, you ask? Because success within any salon or spa isn’t just about your technical skill or creativity. It’s also based on your ability to attract and build your clientele and retain them after their first visit to your chair. Fortunately, building a strong book has become easier thanks to today’s social media platforms—if you know how to use them correctly.

In a survey of 1,800 U.S. customers conducted by Square, 75 % said that Facebook is their favorite social media tool when searching for a new salon, making the powerhouse of social networking the perfect place to begin when you want to start growing your clientele. Below, we offer a few simple tips and tricks to help you make the most of every Facebook post.

  1. Share plenty of posts featuring your best work – Before and after shots of color corrections or makeup applications, prom and wedding up-dos, trendy or classic cuts and colors, the latest nail techniques and designs, you get the picture… and potential clients really want to see them. In fact, a study by HubSpot found that Facebook posts with photos received 53% more likes and 104% more comments than those without. The takeaway: don’t hesitate to post photos of your best work every day.
  2. Ask clients to post reviews of your services on Facebook – In the Square survey mentioned earlier, 36% of consumers indicated they consider online reviews posted by clients when seeking out a new salon. Make the most of this by encouraging your best clients to post a review of their visit on your Facebook page. You can also re-share recommendations and reviews they’ve written about you on their own pages (with permission, of course).
  3. Share your expertise – Successful cosmetology industry professionals strive to continuously learn and improve their knowledge. It’s easy to share posts about new haircare, nailcare and skincare tricks you’re learning while you’re in beauty school. Make sure you keep it up after you graduate! Discovered a new product you love? Post about it. Attending a beauty industry trade show? Post about it.
  4. Offer special Facebook Fan deals and discounts – The more Facebook Fans (basically, people who’ve liked and followed your professional Facebook page) you have, the larger your audience and potential client base. Encourage people to become your fans by offering a discount on their first service. You can then keep them coming back by offering the occasional discount or value-add for mentioning a particular Facebook post when booking with you.
  5. Run contests to encourage more likes and shares – Of course, your social media reach on Facebook isn’t just limited to the number of people who have directly connected with your page. When fans like and re-share your posts, your Facebook exposure grows exponentially. While the best way to get likes and shares is to regularly post content that is of value and interest to your audience, the occasional drawing for a free product or service in exchange for re-shares can be a great way to boost your outreach.
  6. Use ads to drive more visitors to your Facebook page – As if first quarter 2018, there are 2.19 billion active monthly users on Facebook. If you want to reach more of them than you can through fans and followers (and their friends) alone, Facebook ads can help you do so. Facebook gives professionals an arsenal of targeting options for ads (also know as Sponsored Posts) to enable you to reach a precise audience. In addition to your geographic area and the target age and gender of your ideal customer, consider narrowing down even further to Facebook users who have liked specific pages, such as the pages of the companies’ whose nail, skin or haircare products your salon or spa uses.

By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology

Interview with a Cosmetology Graduate

At Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology, we’re as proud of our graduates as we are each of our students and are always thrilled to share and celebrate in their success. Today, we’re checking in with Alissa Puthoff, a 2016 cosmetology graduate of the North Dayton campus. Alissa is currently slaying it at Village Salon in downtown Troy and loving every minute.

CIIC: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today, Alissa. You were obviously born to be a cosmetologist, but when did you first discover your desire to work in the salon industry?

Alissa: It’s really something I’ve always wanted to do since I taught myself to French braid while on the track team in junior high. I started braiding the entire team’s hair before practices and track meets, and it really showed me how I could connect with people through that one-on-one time. It also taught me to love hair because each braid made such a big difference, even though it was just a simple thing. I was like, “This is really cool, and I get to talk to people all the time. How awesome is that?”

CIIC: That’s definitely pretty awesome. So, what drew you to Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology for your education?

Alissa: For me, it was the only logical choice. After I visited Creative Images, I just knew that was where I wanted to be. They had the best setup and the best atmosphere. The whole school was very clean, and you could tell they were detail-oriented. Plus, the staff really seemed to care about the students.

CIIC: Well, we’re certainly glad you found us! What did you enjoy most about your time at the school?

Alissa: I loved the environment as a whole, but the staff is truly the best. You can tell they really care about what they are doing and the students they work with. They always made sure that everybody felt comfortable. And if anybody ever needed help, they were right there with one-on-one time to make sure we would all excel in our new careers.

CIIC: Did you find anything particularly challenging while you were training to become a cosmetology graduate?

Alissa: I think it can be challenging to admit that you don’t always know what you’re doing, but you have to if you want to get better. It’s a tough one for everybody. But again, the staff was always there to help me with that. I had to admit that I was young and had plenty of room to grow, though.

CIIC: It sounds like you conquered that challenge pretty easily. How about the challenge of finding your first salon job? What was that experience like?

Alissa: I was considering salons that my educator knew wouldn’t be a good fit for me, so she told me so. She pushed me to the be the best that I could be, including applying at the salon I’m now working at. In my head, I didn’t think I’d be good enough for them, but I actually interviewed and got the job here—five days after graduation—and I credit my educators for that 100 percent. They pushed me to see my full potential.

CIIC: That’s fantastic! So, now that you’re a full-time professional hair artist, what do you love most about the work you get to do every day?

Alissa: Absolutely everything! I know that sounds really cheesy, but as cosmetologists, we have the ability to be the best part of somebody’s day. My clients come to me to get their hair done and they get to relax for one, two or three hours. I have that one-on-one time with them to turn their whole day around, and I get to be a day-maker. That is huge for me because I’m such a people person. I love to help people see how beautiful they are, too. We’re always way too hard on ourselves.

CIIC: That’s certainly true. It’s great that you can have such an impact on the lives of others through what you do. Is there anything you’ve found challenging about working in cosmetology?

Alissa: I’m a people-pleaser, so especially when I was starting out, it was challenging to accept that you can’t make everybody happy all of the time. You can’t be everybody’s hairstylist. It’s hard to accept that, especially when you are young. I mean, I was only 20 when I first started. But I’ve learned to be true to myself and be who I am because my personality helps to attract my clientele. Of course, you also have to work every day to be the best professional version of that.

CIIC: Personality and professionalism are definitely keys to success. What other advice do you have for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology’s current students as they complete their training and enter the workforce?

Alissa: Just don’t stress about it too much and enjoy this season of growth. Looking back, you’re going to see that it was such a cool time in your life. When it’s time to choose an employer, find a salon that is going to help you grow and never put a limit on your potential. That was the number one thing I was looking for and, right out of school, I went into this incredible eight-month training program at the salon. It has totally boosted my career. Now, two years later, I’m helping do the training in that program.

By Angela Rose for Creative Images institute of Cosmetology

 

Social Media- Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts

How to keep your profiles appropriate and your employers happy.

By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology

By nature, most successful beauty industry professionals are sociable and engaging. They enjoy interacting with others and spend many hours each day learning about their clients’ lives and sharing stories of their own while providing services, whether they’re cosmetologists, nail technicians or skin care professionals. As a result, the use of social media also comes naturally–sometimes a little too much so. While Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be valuable tools for building your brand and a thriving clientele when used correctly, public posts and tweets that lack an adequate level of professionalism can actually damage your career.

At a time when 81% of the U.S. population has at least one social media profile, 70% of employers are using social media to screen job applicants, and 18% of consumers consider social media presence when choosing a salon, it can make sense to spend some time cleaning up your online appearance. Do so before you finish your beauty school program, and you’ll be ready to job search with confidence.  What should you delete (and carefully avoid sharing in the future)?

Start with the following:

Provocative content – In CareerBuilder’s survey of employers, 39% said they rejected candidates because of provocative photos, videos or information shared on a social media profile. Keep in mind that ‘provocative’ doesn’t just mean sexual in nature. Provocative content may include any post or tweet intended to cause annoyance, anger or other negative reactions, so you might want to remove overtly political posts as well as bikini photos from your public timeline.

Content related to drinking or drug use – Thirty-eight percent of the employers CareerBuilder surveyed had rejected job seekers because of social media content related to alcohol or drugs. While there’s nothing wrong with posting about attending happy hour with a few friends or tweeting about the wine you’re enjoying at a local gallery opening, just do so responsibly.

Discriminatory comments – Negative posts about race, gender or religion caused 32% of the surveyed employers to reject job candidates. Any social media content that suggests you’re less than inclusive of any type of client is a surefire way to limit job prospects. This also brings about the potential of unintentionally turning clients away.

Bad-mouthing previous employers or fellow employees – While the salon industry has a reputation for drama (just think Beauty Shop or TNT’s Claws, for example), savvy real-world business owners are never eager to hire troublemakers. Remove these types of posts and tweets from your profiles immediately and, in the future, air your grievances in person to a sympathetic friend.

Proof that you’ve lied about your qualifications- When surveying employers, CareerBuilder found that 61% review job applicants’ social media profiles in search of information that supports their qualifications. However, 27% have rejected candidates when they actually found proof to the contrary. If you’re attending Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology, you’re learning everything you need to know to be successful in your first cosmetology, nail tech or skin care jobs. Posts about your classes and experiences at school can show potential employers that you’re enthusiastic about your future.

While there are plenty of potential career landmines to avoid when using social media, a professional online persona can actually increase your chances of securing a salon or spa job as well as attract more clientele for your services. If you don’t want to alter the way you engage in your personal life on social media, you may find it easier to set up separate professional Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter accounts and adjust the privacy settings on your personal profiles accordingly.

In CareerBuilder’s survey, 44% of employers said they had found content on social networking sites that actually caused them to hire the candidate. The primary reasons they did so? Posts that illustrated great communication skills (37%), a professional image (36%) and creativity (35%)—all things Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology graduates are certain to possess.

Stylist Survival Guide: Prom & Wedding Season

Stylist Survival Guide: Spring is FINALLY here! That means it’s time for us to bust out the tank tops and jean shorts and really start working on getting ready for that summer vacation. That also means that your chair is about to be filled with soon to be brides and local prom goers. For many new professionals, and even some salon veterans, this time of year can be unbelievably hectic and stressful. Between bridezillas coming in with their bridal back-up party trying to get ready for the big day and young teenagers doing some last minute running around before their senior prom with their entourage of classmates; things can get crazy!

On the upside, with effort comes reward. In order to prepare yourself mentally and physically during this spring season, follow these tips on how to tackle the obstacles that lie ahead.

Tip One: Get Organized Mentally and Physically.

The simplicity of organization is beautiful. Create a calendar and stick to it! Not only does it put your mind at ease knowing what is on your plate for the day, but it also allows you to plan accordingly and avoid any surprises. Knowing what clients you’re going to be helping and if you have any down time will allow you to be as productive as possible. If you just finished a client and you know you have a prom up-do for your next appointment, use whatever down time you have and get prepared! Get all of your supplies in order and lay out all of the tools you may be using. Not only will you save time for you and your client but you’re working more efficiently which will result in fewer mistakes.

Tip Two: Show Off Your Work

Though this time of year may be hectic, this time of year also allows for the most creativity! When it comes to special event hairstyles and makeup, most clients want something designed uniquely for them. Use this opportunity to express yourself and push your boundaries! Get a feel for what the client is looking for and incorporate that into your design. If you are relatively new to the industry, show the world what you got! Share all of your designs and masterpieces on your social media platforms and make sure you use your hashtags. With people now able to follow you through hashtags, this will help broaden your exposure and get your work out there for everyone to see! Make sure you provide your contact information either in your posts or in your bio so when people start to fall in love with your work, they can call to book an appointment with you!

 

Tip Three: Take Care of Yourself

With this season being mentally and physically exhausting, it’s important to replenish! Stylist Survival Guide Stock up on energy bars or quick, rejuvenating goodies that you can go to during your few minutes of down time. That way, in case you don’t have time for a full lunch break, you are still able to get the necessary nutrients to keep you rocking and on your feet. Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep your body and brain functioning at capacity. Even though most salons and spas have dress codes, make sure you’ve got the proper footwear and attire. On the days where you are booked open to close, you want to make sure you have on the shoes that won’t only get you through the day but will also keep you confident and comfortable. Also, don’t wear clothes that are too constricting or ill-fitting. You want to be focused on your client; not on how badly your feet hurt or how soon you can get home and change. Dress for success and you’ll come with the attitude to match because when you look good, you feel good!

 

Tip Four: Know Your Limits

Yes, we all want to make money and yes, most of us like a little bit of a challenge, but don’t over-exert yourself! If possible, make sure you have a little bit of time to yourself throughout your day; it’s good to take some mental and physical breathers every once in a while. Allow plenty of time for each client so you don’t find yourself rushing through services just to make sure you stay on time for your next appointment. Stylist Survival Guide Clients like to feel pampered and that they have your full attention. If you are rushing through a service, not cleaning your work station, or not holding genuine conversations, your clients will notice and that’s the last thing you want. Keep yourself busy but don’t keep yourself overwhelmed.

 

This time of year will be busy with all of the weddings and proms you come across, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stressful! Stylist Survival Guide This is an important time of year for your clients and you get to be a part of it! Don’t forget to just do a little prep work so you can reap the benefits and each spring season will be better than the last.