Bellingham Beauty School – The B’Ham Story

For Immediate Release

Evergreen Beauty College is thrilled to be part of the Bellingham Community.

Nearly 20 years ago we had our first campus located in Everett, Wa. We had students driving nearly 2 hours each way to attend school from Whatcom county.

Map of Washington State with EBC locationsOpening a beauty school in Bellingham has always been a dream for the Trieu Family. “I remember when I used to work at the front desk. I would see the carpool of students that drive from Bellingham & Lynden clock in the morning with smiles on their faces. They are some incredible individuals with great work ethics. We are so blessed to have students willing to drive to Everett to go to school with our family.” said Joe Trieu, President of Evergreen Beauty College. Therefore, opening a beauty school in Bellingham is a great moment for the Trieu Family.

Why is Evergreen Beauty College’s next location in Bellingham?

When Evergreen considers expanding, the community that we are joining needs to be a match. There are three (3) key questions:

  1. Is this a community that will embrace our culture?
  2. Will the right educators emerge to support the students that will be part of our school?
  3. What are the job opportunities waiting for our graduates after they complete?

Spoiler Alert: The Decision

For those who just want the punch line, this is your section. For those who want to read the full story and journey, feel free to skip the next paragraphs and start at the “The Prequel”.

Near the end of 2020, Bellingham Technical College announced that they would be closing their Cosmetology Program in the summer of 2021. This meant students who wished to join the beauty industry would not have an accredited option throughout Washington’s northernmost county, Whatcom County. Salons and spas were concerned as this would challenge the future of the local industry.

After launching an exploration effort, Evergreen Beauty College (EBC) had made their

Instructor Training classmates standing in front of front desk sign

This picture was a text message to Mr. Joe from the Instructor Trainee class asking if Evergreen would open a school it Whatcom county because they wanted to teach.

decision. First, the job demand for personal grooming in Whatcom county is strong and in need of graduates. Second, within the EBC organization, there are staff members expressing interest to re-locate to the beautiful and vibrate community and spread our culture along with a long history of graduates who would love to contribute to the undergraduate training education experience. Therefore, EBC made the decision to provide an accredited option for the beauty community in Whatcom County.

The Prequel

Evergreen Beauty College was started by Mama Thi & Hoa Trieu back in 1996 in Lynnwood, Washington. After re-locating the school to the city of Everett, the Trieu Family experienced students who traveled from afar. With each graduate’s exit, feedback was shared the special

Barber class in back parking lot

This was the barber class of 2011 that drove from Bellingham, Ferndale, Arlington, Blaine & Burlington.

experience they had at EBC, they wished there was an option like Evergreen closer to where they lived. “I always wished we could open a school in Bellingham, but as a refugee from Vietnam with limited English, I felt I was already over my head with one school, how could I even imagine to have two schools so far away?” shared Thi Trieu, Founder of EBC. “The students that attended came to us from hours away up north…I loved them dearly. They were committed, kind, with great vision and I felt a great responsibility that trust they would put into my little hands; I needed to give my best.”

A decade down the road…

At the American Association of Cosmetology School conference in Arizona, Mama Thi and her children that were in the business (Mr. Frank, Ms. Theresa & Mr. Joe) was approached by the school owner at the time of Bellingham Beauty School. The owner was looking to retire and asked if they would like to purchase the business. The 2nd generation of Trieus had just taken over the 2nd EBC location in Bellevue and did not feel they had the experience or resources. Frank mentioned, “We needed the right teachers to make this work. That is the secret. We had some great graduates that expressed they would want to teach someday, but that day wasn’t now.” That was the moment, the seed was planted that someday, Bellingham would be a viable option during the 2nd generation of owners.

BuildingIn 2017, the owners of another accredited Bellingham beauty school reached out to Evergreen to see if we would be interested in taking over. With excitement, Evergreen was at a place where we had staff members interested in relocating to B’ham. An explorations effort was made. As resources were being planned for, it took longer than what the local beauty college was able to stay open for. By the time the stars seem to align and a location was available, Bellingham Technical College had announced the opening of their Cosmetology program.

Therefore, the owners made the decision that since Bellingham will be supported by the Technical College, Evergreen will provide educational support for the Skagit county community and there the Mount Vernon campus was born. Now, just 1 year later, COVID-19 hit the United States and the operations.

Near the end of 2020, Bellingham Technical College announced that they would be closing their Cosmetology Program in the summer of 2021. This meant students who wished to join the beauty industry would not have an accredited option throughout Washington’s northernmost county, Whatcom County. Salons and spas were concerned as this would challenge the future of the local industry.

Women in front of building signAfter launching an exploration effort, Evergreen Beauty College (EBC) had made their decision. The job demand for personal grooming in Whatcom county is strong with salons, spas, barber shops and industry employers needed graduates. Within the EBC organization, there are staff members expressing interest to re-locate to the beautiful and vibrate community and spread our culture along with a long history of graduates who would love to contribute to the undergraduate training education experience. Therefore, EBC made the decision to provide an accredited option for the beauty community in Whatcom County.

The end is just the beginning…

This story of opening a beauty college in Bellingham, Wa didn’t just happen because of a recent event. It has been discussions and efforts built up over a decade. This has always been a dream, then a goal and now reality to team up with our graduates to extend the Evergreen Beauty College family. Evergreen will initially offer cosmetology, hair design and esthetics with the goal of all 3 programs started by the end of 2021. EBC will be located on 2 floors in the Renaissance building located at 1414 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225.

We thank you for all the support and kind words from our graduates welcoming us to the B’Ham community.

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