From A Beauty School Drop Out to a Successful Professional Beauty Educator My name is Anita Larsen and my story begins twenty-seven years ago in Salem, Oregon. I was a waitress at a little hole-in-the-wall steakhouse and bar. I decided that I could not see myself serving lunch, dinner and cocktails to wannabe cowboys for the rest of my life, or for that matter for even the next few years. I wanted something more; a career, a profession, a job where I could work daytime hours and feel good about what I did to earn an income. I decided to check out Phagans’ one of the local beauty schools in Salem Oregon to see if I had any talent for the “Beauty Business”.
This is where my story and my new career almost ended. After I enrolled in Phagans’ Beauty School it was not too long before I became distracted and discouraged with personal issues and dropped out. Fortunately, this is not the end of my story, fast forward to six years later. I had moved to Bend Oregon and I was in-between jobs, I was more settled, more mature, but without a job. I decided to give beauty school another try and see if I could turn what I imagined to be a fun job into a profitable career. So this is where my personal story really begins.
I enrolled in Phagans’ Cosmetology College as a nail tech student in 1989. I immediately realized how natural it was for me to use the skills I was learning to satisfy customers, make new friends with clients and other students, and consider the possibility of owning my own business some day. I completed the nail tech course very quickly and went to work immediately in the salon at the local J.C. Penney store. For the next eight years I worked in two different careers: high ticket sales and as an independent nail tech contractor in a small salon, which supplemented my annual income very nicely. However, I began to grow tired of the usual duties of a nail technician in a small salon and aspired to the idea of one day owning and working in my own day spa. These types of businesses were becoming increasingly popular but lacking in our small community, and so my new adventure of becoming a skin care specialist and working in my own day spa began with going back to school at Phagans’ Cosmetology School in 1996.
I graduated and opened the doors of The Oasis Day Spa that same year in 1996 and I am proud to say that the business is still thriving today in 2010, however, under a different owner. I decided to sell my day spa business after five years and pursue a different vein of esthetics with my skills, which led to a new, very interesting, and very exciting position with a cosmetic laser physician in our community.
I began working part time with Dr. Paul Van Camp, and part time at the day spa until the new owner was comfortable managing the business on her own, however it was not long until I was able to work full time for the doctor and so began another new adventure with esthetics in the clinical setting. My skills as a licensed esthetician opened up doors to me in the medical field that I would not have otherwise been exposed to. My advanced training and education from my physician employer taught me new cutting edge skills as an assistant for such treatments as, Erbium and Fraxel laser skin resurfacing, laser hair removal, IPL light treatments, dermal fillers and Botox injections, sclerotheropy treatments for veins, and Tumescent Liposculpture procedures which were all done in the clinic environment. This was a very exciting time in my professional career now as a clinical esthetician. I thought that once I had accomplished my goal as a clinical esthetician I had reached my limits in my profession, happily I was wrong.
After working for Dr. Paul Van Camp for more than five years the doctor decided to retire and at the most opportune time due to the sluggish economy. Nevertheless, I was going to be ok, because of my many years of experience as a professional esthetician and nail tech I now had the exhilarating opportunity to share my years of experience with those interested in esthetics, and so begins my new and latest journey of education in the field of cosmetology as a professional Educator for Phagans’ Colleges. Similar to all my previous paths in the cosmetology profession, the education of esthetics and nails has proven to be challenging, profitable, but most of all personally rewarding for me. I truly can say that my journey as a professional cosmetologist has come full circle and I would never have had the positive experiences and wonderful opportunities available to me if I had not been a beauty school graduate.
For her whole life Aly knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. So, at the age of 18 as soon as she graduated high school she enrolled at Phagans’ Grants Pass College of Beauty. Aly graduated from Phagans' and now has a full time position at Elements Salon and is booked solid. Eventually she would like to move to a bigger city where she can express herself in more creative ways through things such as more extravagant up-do's and makeup. When I asked Aly if she liked her job she said “I get up everyday and do what I love to do, that’s not a job”
Chablis graduated from Phagans' Bend Campus in November 2009. In less than a year, she has built her nail and esthetics clients to the point where she is booking 2-3 weeks out. And because she sees most of her clients every three weeks, her concern at the moment is whether she'll be able to fit in more new clients. 95% of her clients re-book their next appointment before they leave her salon. She is working at Shag Salon in Bend and says her favorite thing about her work is getting to interact with people, to hear what's going on with their lives and catching back up every couple of weeks. Chablis is working 40+ hours a week; she keeps her prices low because of the economy.
"It's better than I expected, it came together really well for me, really fast - I feel really fortunate," says Chablis. Chablis realizes other students and grads may not be as successful as quickly as she has been, and one thing that really sticks out in her mind from school was a client she had, named Betti Dionne. Betti has been in the industry for decades and told her "the way you are in school is the way you'll be out there." Betti meant that practicing working hard in school is what will make a difference for being able to work hard and be successful in the salon. Chablis is proof this is true!
I was in the banking industry, manager of a bank, former manager of a national finance company, I made a pretty good living. Spring of 2008, the height of the recession, the powers that be decided to "down size" this meant eliminating my job.
While getting a haircut from my local barber, he asked me something at that point that would change my life. "Have you ever thought about becoming a barber?"
Enter Phagans' Cosmetology College
I'm good with people and the rest I figured I could learn as I went. Four days with a doll head and I was cutting hair on Friday with a live body, I was nervous, and I am not a person that really gets nervous. I was confident in my skill, and had cut hair before, but there is something about the 1st time you do it in pre clinic that is different! I made it through, sometimes with much chagrin. I made it through school; I was bound and determined to be one of the very few who graduate on their 1st contract date, I was bound and determined to be one of the few barbers who met their goals on marathon day, I was bound and determined to be the 1st barber on design team, I met every goal. 45 miles one way drive, I was at school every day by 8am for the work study program, I stayed to do any haircut even if the client walked in the door at 5:29pm I had my criteria done a full month and a half prior to graduation and my last day was exactly 2 and ¾ days past my 1st graduation date. My time at Phagans made me realize a few things about myself, I loved to cut hair, but I had found a new passion, I enjoyed teaching others how to do it more!
A new Career
After being a senior mentor to some of the newer students, I graduated, moved, got my license and was working at the Phagans' Newport Campus within a few months. I haven't looked back. Every day is something new, something to learn something to share. I work for a truly outstanding company, one of integrity, and respect. I came here with the attitude that you get back what you put in, I love what I do, truly love, and there are days it is a love/hate relationship, but I know I change lives, and to me anything that is difficult can be outweighed by the fact that I get a satisfaction from doing what I do. When students run, literally run to find me after pre-clinic or after I have been in the office just to tell me about a haircut they did, or about the shop they are opening, the sense of pride that I get is beyond explanation.
My Story goes back to when I went to Phagans’ in 1995 for Nails and Skin Care. I graduated in 1996 and then moved to Bend, Oregon and worked at the Oasis Spa for close to 7 years. It was a great place to work and I put up a pretty good clientele. Although I wasn’t licensed in Hair, I watched the other employees and how much more marketable they were. I wished I had known this when I went to school the first time. So after some time now I am living back in the valley area and have decided to come back to Phagans’ and complete my education. This way when I graduate I will be able to meet the needs of all my clients and give them well rounded service.
I am a twenty-nine year old male that recenty graduated from Phagans' School of Beauty. I started my journey in this field when I was about 13 years old, I never realized that when I was cutting my friends hair that it would lead me to this place in my life. When I was 28 I was working a dead end job and looking for something that I loved and enjoyed to do, not knowing what that might be.
Phagans' ... best decision I ever made. I never felt more myself then I did when I was at school All the educators were very open and willing to share their knowledge. Even on my toughest days, when I was feeling down or discouraged, one of the educators was always there to pick me up - whether it was with a smile, a hug or just words of encouragement. It was my five year goal to open my own business; I achieved that goal in less than a year. I would recommend that if anyone was interested in fulfilling their dream to become a stylist or a barber, they should go to Phagans' ... it changed my future.
Max’s Old Time Barber Shop and Salon
Max is a second generation barber with a passion for riding and building custom Harley’s and street rods. His dad, Max Sr., spent close to 40 years behind a barber chair. Max would watch his dad cut hair, and helped him with his hobbies of motorcycles and street rods. It was predictable that Max would follow in his father’s footsteps.
In 1983, at the age of 21, Max enrolled in Beauty College in California. Before his start date he changed his mind and decided to work in a “real man’s” job by pouring concrete while continuing his passion for building Harley’s. After years of making money for his bosses Max started his own concrete business in Lincoln City, Oregon in 1996. The long hours and hard work of pouring concrete began to show its effects on his body. He soon got out of the concrete business but continued to build custom Harley’s and cars.
In 2008 he entered his first custom built Harley in the Easy Rider Bike Show Tour. His bike took second place, beating out several seasoned bike builders, a great success for a newcomer. He posed for pictures that were put in the Easy Rider magazine.
In January 2009, Max enrolled in Hair Design at Phagans’ Beauty College in Corvallis. This time he did not change his mind. Max’s persistence, infectious good nature and personality gained him the respect from his educators and fellow students. He continued to sharpen his skills in all aspects of hair. He even earned the title of “Perm King” and the “Prince of the A Line” on the clinic floor.
Max added barbering a few months before his graduation date. This decision added 200 extra haircuts and a spot in facial pre clinic, which was an experience he and others will not forget, being the only man in a class of women. He spent days on doll heads and customers to complete the additional requirements.
Max graduated in December of 2009, and did what no other new graduate would consider. Max opened Max’s Old Time Barber Shop and Salon in Albany, Oregon on May 1st of this year.
On May 8th, Max allowed students from Phagans’ to do a fund raiser at his place of business. 9 students cut hair under the supervision of educator, Tena Lange. In 6 hours, 58 customers had their haircut in the new business, earning $290.00 for Missing and Exploited Children. Max donated all his earnings that day to the cause. This event started a snowball effect, keeping Max’s barber chair full.
Since his opening he has served 8-16 returning and new clients per day.
Max is on his way to a bright future and a successful career in barbering by following his dream of combining his passion for Harley’s and barbering into his reality.