It’s been over 20 years since I started out in this wonderful industry of Hair Design, Cosmetology, Hair Styling, Hair Dressing, or whatever you wish to call it.  I consider myself very lucky that I fell into my passion.  As a teenager I gave my parents many headaches, wondering what would become of their lost daughter. 

My career ambitions changed weekly, and traditional education didn’t hold my attention.  Thankfully I’ve always had a strong work ethic, started working in the restaurant business when I was 14 and loved it!  From the day I started working I knew I would be in customer service forever, the thrill of making someone smile never goes away. 

When the time came for me to start thinking about a career I had so many ideas it was overwhelming, but my grades and lack of interest kept me from a “higher education”.   I was forced to take a year off while I figured out my future.  During this educational hiatus my employer closed their business. 

I was 19 and on unemployment, whoo hoo!  I thought it was great, I had a car and enough money for gas and some fun with friends.  While collecting unemployment, I went to a workshop about re-education and learned that the government would pay for me to re-educate myself.  This seemed hilarious to me since I had virtually no education past grade 12, but why turn down such an offer?? 

“I had no idea when I graduated how much this industry would change me, or how much I would love it 20 years in!

I decided to go to Career School of hairstyling for a 10 month program in Cosmetology, although I really had no prior interest in it.  My big plan was to take the course then go to college the following year. I figured I could do my classmates hair for cash on the side rather than getting a real job.   Three months in I was hooked, and knew I was going to do hair for the rest of my life.  

Thank-you to the wonderful sisters at Career School of Hairstyling, especially Suzanne Lanteigne for their inspiring education.  I had no idea when I graduated how much this industry would change me, or how much I would love it 20 years in!

A couple years later, I was so proud to be establishing a good client base and having some success as a stylist when it hit me.  I was the only one in my salon that was single and devoted a ton of time to my career and passion.  The girls I worked with were fabulous, but had families and that’s where their priorities were, understandably.  

I wanted MORE! 

So that was it I headed to Toronto, I wanted to experience all that this industry had to offer.  After a few interviews that included bringing in models to show my work I was offered a job at two high end salons.  

I only applied to salons that were on Cityline at the time 😉  One salon insisted that I specialize in either styling or colour, when I was told this I asked what they thought I should choose.  The answer helped me decide where I should work.  The owner of the salon that I had interviewed with told me my skills were great in both areas and that they were hiring both so I could choose.  

I asked for some time to think about it and simply couldn’t choose.  I love both! How could I lose either?  The second offer didn’t require me choose I could do both. So that was it, despite the fact that the “specializing” salon was bigger and better known I knew I had to work where I could maintain both skillsets.  

Off I went, a somewhat naive girl from the Shwa.