What year did you graduate and from what campus?
Graduated from North campus in 2005.
Why did you choose a career in cosmetology and why Gene Juarez Academy?
From a young age my mom enrolled me in all types of art classes — Calligraphy, drawing, sculpting and painting. I didn’t have the athletic success my older sister had. It was instilled in me to always be creative in my adult life and so I wanted a career that allowed me to do that as well. Hair seemed like a great option and GJA had the reputation to give me the tools to be the best.
What are you currently doing now and what other industry related experience do you have other than your current position?
I am currently the Artistic Educator for Redken 5th Ave NYC in Washington State. In this position, my main role is to be the brand ambassador to support local stylists using our products. We are all about growing stylists to be more successful behind the chair. When I am not in the field working with other stylists, I work at FIX salon in Seattle as a colorist one day a week.
After graduating GJA, I attended the Gene Juarez Advanced Training Salon specializing in color and then went on to teach there while also working at both the Gene Juarez Alderwood and Downtown salons. I also spent 3 years recruiting for Gene Juarez to find new talent.
How did your training with GJA prepare you for the industry and the work you are currently doing?
Building a foundation is one of the most important things we can do in this industry. GJA taught me the this foundation so I could further build my skills and gave me the drive to push myself to the next level.
What do you enjoy the most about your current position? What is your typical day like?
Every day is different! Whether I am sharing new products & techniques with stylists, working behind the chair, helping at a sales meeting or traveling to another city for training, I enjoy that this job has given me so many opportunities to work with amazing people who truly care about the hairdressers in our industry.
What is your fondest memory of GJA?
All of the relationships I built along the way and the discovery of loving this industry more than I thought I would.
What advice do you have for current students starting out in the program and those getting ready to graduate?
Never, I mean NEVER stop learning. We are lucky enough to work in an industry that changes every 6 months. Stay on top of it or it will leave you behind. The best & most successful hairdressers I know live by this and always stay relevant.
What advice do you have for people that are interested in going to cosmetology school?
Follow the rules you are taught until you know why you are doing them. Then feel free to play and make mistakes – but always have enough integrity to fix them.