Kerri Hall completed her Esthetics Certificate in Fall 2013. The quality of her instructors and practical training provided the foundation that helped her expand her makeup studio, Charlie Mae by Kerri Hall, into a 700 square foot spa in the Village of West Greenville.
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Student gives up real estate and mortgages for new career in esthetics
During prom season at Greenville High, Nancy Granger was always the one friends turned to for hair and makeup that looked just right. So it seemed only natural when, after a semester in elementary education, she decided instead to do something she'd love forever. Even so, some of those same friends weren't sure cosmetology was a real career that could bring in real money.
Granger was sure of her choice though. She enrolled in the Cosmetology Program at Greenville Technical College in 2006. A year later, she captured second place in South Carolina's SkillsUSA Competition. A few of the judges came from Ivy Salon.
Impressed with Granger's skills and her work ethic, they encouraged her to come to a group interview at the salon. She got the job, and now works as a receptionist for Ivy, with downtown and Thornblade locations.
Once she graduates in December, she'll start out as an assistant, receive training in Ivy's advanced techniques, and then move on to a stylist position. The timing depends on her qualifications, but another assistant moved up in just a month.
"You talk together and figure out when they think you're ready and you think you're ready, and then you go out on the floor and start taking on clients of your own," she said.
Those who were iffy about her career choice once have come around. "They're really proud of me," she said. "People are thinking twice about it. A big part of who I am and where I work is showing people the stereotypes aren't true. We're people who are creative, artistic and hardworking. There's a lot of technique and skill that goes along with being a stylist."
Marguerite Glassman and her husband worked side-by-side in successful mortgage and real estate companies. After 10 years of togetherness, Marguerite decided she wanted to do something different with her days. So she enrolled in the Esthetics program at Greenville Technical College.
In the one-year certificate program, she learned to clean and beautify skin by providing facials, full-body treatments, hair removal, and head and neck massages. Her instructors brought their many years working in salons and spas to the classroom, where Marguerite enjoyed the benefit of their experience.
"The atmosphere was professional," she said. "The instructors were completely knowledgeable."
Licensure is required for estheticians, and Marguerite felt as confident going into the exam as she does going into the career.
"I have great confidence that I'll be successful in the field of esthetics. The teachers were great, supported everything I needed, and were there every step of the way, guiding and encouraging me to develop my skills to achieve my dream," she said.
In her esthetics classes, Marguerite encountered students of all ages and from a wide variety of backgrounds. "We had people in class who were 18 and people up to age 50," she said. "I liked getting to know my classmates."
Someone who has always been interested in makeup and preventive measures for aging, Marguerite looks forward to working in a spa, and someday, possibly owning her own business. If that happens, it will be another enterprise the family owns, yet something very different from the field of real estate and mortgages.
"After years of working in a stressful environment, I am thrilled to change fields," Glassman said. "Now I have a job where people are happy when they see me and feel better when they leave me. How many people have a job like that?"
Janet Cash worked as a homemaker, while her husband was a CFO. When they found themselves at a crossroads and decided not to make another move, they decided to look into owning a small business in Greenville and found something they could do together.
Seven years ago, they became franchise owners of five Great Clips salons in Greenville. The opportunity allows Janet, a people person, and her husband Monty, who's great with numbers and planning, to work together while capitalizing on their individual strengths.
Janet is responsible for day-to-day operations. To grow personnel for the salons, she works closely with Greenville Technical College's Cosmetology program, providing monthly workshops for the students on everything from professionalism to styling techniques.
She likes the program, she says, because it goes well beyond the minimum standards required by the South Carolina State Board of Cosmetology.
"It's so important to give that additional education because the state board is good, but the standards are minimum," she said. "Added training is beneficial to take students beyond the bare essentials."
While students are still in school, Cash recommends that they begin work at a salon as a receptionist. "From there, we give additional training," she said. "They have time to observe the stylists and learn about the personal side of pleasing customers. We provide mannequins for them to practice on, but we don't get ahead of the instructor."
The addition of a cosmetology program at Greenville Technical College has helped Cash and her husband find qualified people. "I highly encourage people to go to Greenville Tech," she said. "It's a wonderful program. It makes students so well-rounded no matter what salon they want to go to."