Cosmetology Student Success Story: Grace Nelson
Our newest location had the opportunity to recognize a future professional; Ms. Grace Nelson, in our Shoreline location for going above and beyond by connecting a marketing to future clientele. Being able to share her story is a privilege.
“A little back ground on myself, I come from a right brained family– growing up I experimented a lot with painting, drawing, sculpting, makeup, and hair. Anything that I could get my hands on to make something. Before deciding to pursue cosmetology, I was a confused high school graduate with my Associates Degree from the Running Start Program. I knew I loved art, however, I had ALWAYS wanted to be a Psychologist/Counselor.
“My biggest goal in life is to make a positive impact, I want to live every day knowing that I am able to improve the lives of others– even if it is telling a joke to make somebody smile. Everyone deserves to feel listened to, cared about, loved, and happy. With this mindset, I moved to Bellingham to study sociology and psychology up at Western Washington University. I loved being up in Bellingham, and I loved what I was studying. Unfortunately due to a series of tragic events, I ended up moving back home to be closer to my family. I worked very hard for a few months, earning money to help support me and my family. I really looked forward to getting my hair done every couple months because it was my ‘ME’ time, when I got to feel pampered and beautiful. I am very close with my hairdresser, and we talk about everything. I remember talking to her about my situation, my concerns, and what I am passionate about, and I told her that I love psychology, and I really do want to help people, but on the other hand I really love art; I also needed to be close to home and working.
“She looked at me and told me “Grace, I truly believe that you would make an amazing hairdresser/makeup artist.” She explained that in this career, you ARE counseling clients to an extent, and you get to do that while doing art- like a color service, cut, or a makeover. Once you build a relationship with your client, it can be so rewarding because they really do open up to you, and listen to you. On top of being able to help in that sense, you also get to make them feel beautiful and confident. That is when I realized I wanted to give cosmetology a go. I am so thankful for that conversation, and everything that brought me to this point,” Grace shared with us when asked about her background and why she considered stepping into the world of beauty.
When looking into beauty school we asked Ms. Grace why Evergreen Beauty College, and her response is quite different than the usual response. “I actually began as a student at another Cosmetology school which was eventually taken over by Evergreen. I like to say EBC chose me. Honestly I was really nervous about the school changing over, but I think it has been a blessing. Evergreen has been around a long time and has had a lot of time to perfect their curriculum. I have learned a lot and have been pushed to be my personal best here,” admits Grace. We believe things happen for a reason here at EBC, and that we have been given a blessing and opportunity by being able to step in and be apart of these individuals journey into the beauty industry and are happy, Grace, that you’ve been able to experience it first hand!
Since starting the cosmetology program with us Ms. Grace has shared some of her highlights of what she has enjoyed, what has helped her so far and what sets her apart from other cosmetologist:
“Since I ventured into this new path I have found that I am partial to makeup, styling/updos, and hair color. The reason behind this is that I feel like everybody is different with what they want. I get to be challenged daily to use my creativity, and knowledge to figure out how to get from point A to B. I do enjoy cutting hair, but I feel like it can be the more precise and structured part of cosmetology. I also feel most confident in my abilities in color, styling/updos, and makeup– Having had the most practice in these areas, I am more able to focus on listening/having a conversation with these clients since I don’t have to think so much about what I am doing.”
“As for assignments being helpful, I would say the outside opportunities and hands on experiences have been the most helpful. Outside experiences, like the Beyond Project, have given me a chance to see cosmetology in a different light, outside of school. Instead of being seen or seeing myself as a student, I feel like a professional which leaves me feeling empowered and helps boosts my confidence.”
“As I mentioned, I feel my strengths are styling, makeup, and color. My background in art gives me an advantage when considering things like color and overall composition. I think my biggest strength overall though is being engaging and personable. I am told I’m very good at putting people at ease and making them feel comfortable, cared about, and listened to. To me, that’s a success win!”
“What may set me apart from other stylist or why I believe someone would book an appointment with me? I would say my ability to communicate with clients. I have always been good at being friends with people, I never had a “group,” I was friends with everybody. I am able to have a conversation with a client, and have an excellent awareness of that perfect line between professional and personal. I find that many clients feel comfortable, and find it easy to talk to me. Clients often share that they enjoy their time with me– it doesn’t feel like they’re just getting their hair done, rather it feels as though their friend is doing it. Hands on skills are important in cosmetology, but also very common– an expectation in fact. I believe that it is much more difficult to find somebody who is skilled and also personable.”
Thinking ahead in her future, Ms. Grace has some great goals lined up to help transition her successfully into the industry. Grace shares, “I have many plans for when I graduate. Cosmetology wise I would love to find a salon to do an apprenticeship at in order to grow and gain more knowledge and experience. Eventually I would love to work in a salon to grow clientele and more experience/knowledge. My end goal is to eventually buy a house and convert a room into my own single-person salon. I want to be able to work from home and raise my family at the same time and this will help create that perfect work/life balance.”
“My advice for incoming students is use your resources, don’t be scared, fake it till you make it, and believe in yourself. If you find that you are doubting yourself, use the students and staff around you – they are your best resource. I have always lacked confidence, and been an anxious person. Talking to people around you and expressing your concerns is helpful because the EBC community is so supportive, and so helpful. When I have those insecure moments, and talk to people around me, I always leave feeling better because they will either help me come up with a game plan or remind me how far I have come and that I AM good enough. Everybody is willing to help you. People understand you are learning and it is important to use your resources if you are feeling uncomfortable, nervous, or doubtful. This is how we improve ourselves,” expressed Grace when sharing successful tips for incoming students!
Ms. Grace Nelson is set to graduate early November 2019 and what better way to support her other than to stop by our newest campus, Shoreline! And if you are interested in continuing to follow Grace throughout her cosmetology program, you can check her out on IG: @cosmetologeee . Congratulations Ms. Grace, Evergreen can not wait to see the impact you make in this beautiful industry as you utilize all the different aspects of your education within your future career!
If you are interested in pursuing a career in the beauty industry take the Beauty Biz Readiness Quiz, you can also check out our programs or contact us at one of our five locations: Everett, Renton, Shoreline , Yakima, and soon to be Mount Vernon as well.