Shelly gives us the Mixx on her career and how to become a professional beauty industry educator.
@_ShellyTheHairStylist_ of Salon Mixx in Davie has been a licensed cosmetologist for well over a decade. Here is her advice on how she navigated the hair industry and bit more on becoming an educator or platform artist.
Hello fellow hairstylists! My name is Shelly Quijada, and I have been in the cosmetology industry for almost 15 years. It has been quite the journey, as I can imagine most of you can understand.
From starting out as an assistant, moving up to receptionist in a concept salon, to finally graduating to working behind the chair – many of us have found our way along this same journey. I worked as a freelance makeup artist and bridal hair stylist for some time as well. It took some time, but I was able to eventually build an incredible clientele in Miami, where later I was able to incorporate and rent a booth. I was finally a business owner!!
So here we are, years later, and I’m hungry to learn more. More than just what my peers or a few trade shows had to offer. Suddenly, one day my prayers were answered! Over time, I became friends with the Lanza Sales representative that would visit our salon and she mentioned how I always showed a lot of interest in continuing education. Soon I was introduced to the education recruiter from Lanza Healing Haircare. She said the company was looking for educators and offered extensive training. You can imagine my delight! (Although I do want to note that this is how it happened for me, the process is completely different when becoming an educator today. That information I’ll share at the end of the article.)
I was extremely interested and soon began the interview process. They flew me out to Los Angeles, and I trained for 5 days on all that is Lanza Healing. From the science and ingredients in the hair care products, to the chemistry and healing benefits in their color line. I was trained on presenting in front of my peers, and given notes on my confidence and technique. It was actually a wonderful experience! On top of everything, *every day* I had to present the information we had just learned from the previous day. I stood in front of a panel of hairstylists that were my mentors and needless to say, it could be extremely nerve wracking! I remember crying, thinking I wasn’t good enough, that I was not meant to be there. But I didn’t give up. This was my goal and I was determined to make it… and I did! I made it to the end of the training! I was officially a Lanza educator.
Once back in Miami, I began working exclusively with the distribution center Oito Florida, Inc – they have been representing and distributing Lanza for over 15 years. I helped train hundreds of hairstylists during my 4.5 years with them. Taught product knowledge, demonstrations, color theory classes, along with opening new accounts. I gained a lot of respect for this industry and became so proud to work amongst such talented like-minded individuals.
Fast forward to today – I have since returned to being a full time hairstylist. While I loved my experience as an educator, I personally had a growing family at home and was trying to balance being a second-time new mom and dedicating 4 days out of the week to education. It all got to be too much, and if I’m being 100% honest – I missed my clients. I missed being in the salon. And I really missed my coworkers.
After all is said and done – there are many avenues and many ways to walk them in the beauty industry. I feel extremely blessed to have found Salon Mixx in Davie, which is now my home away from home. I work with the most amazing and talented women who motivate me every day and inspire me to grow as a professional. Here, I am still able to utilize my educator training as we carry and use Lanza healing haircare as our exclusive retail brand. I’m happy to continue educating both my clients and fellow co-workers. Moral of the Story: Do You, Baby!
P.s. For those reading who may be interested in becoming a Lanza educator – here’s how you can get started!
First, send in an application packet (resume, portfolio, and video) to a brand consultant. You can contact one through Lanza.com.
They will then reach out to you for an interview. If selected, two separate training sessions are required; about 8 weeks apart.
Once you have passed testing and auditions in both rounds of training, you have then become an educator!
For further steps in becoming a platform artist for Lanza:
Once you are already an educator, becoming one of the platform artists you see at shows takes a few steps. One must continuously teach classes, do trade shows, and continuing to audition at each level. (It’s a process…) Then you must be chosen by the creative team. That’s the last step. If you feel this is your selected path, let me just say… there is nothing more gratifying than giving back to your peers. You must share your knowledge, and never stop learning. It may not have been where my life lead me to be permanently, but it was an experience I will never regret. Push hard, and you will make it. Good Luck!