By Silvia Uribe
During difficult financial times, the ones who can still pay the bills are those who have a specific skill or craft to offer, while many others scramble for the few jobs available in a tight market. Good promotion of a good service helps these lucky—oops, I mean skilled—individuals do better than others who may be job hunting for months on end. They can be more independent.
I chose cosmetologists as an example because of the many options available in their field, the good tips, and the commissions. Griselda Rosas, cochair of the Santa Barbara City College Cosmetology Academy could not agree more.
“The beauty of our industry is its flexibility,” she said. “We work seven days a week, if we want; we can work in the mornings, or on weekends. With salon chains, people can move around, and be transferred from city to city, keeping their seniority. They can assist other well-situated stylists, and learn more at the same time. Cosmetologists can make good money by selling products and getting the commissions. When they have a clientele built, their income can be really good.”
The Cosmetology Academy is right here in Goleta, and if you’re about to decide on your future career, this could be an excellent option. “From working for a cruise line, or as a makeup artist in Hollywood, as some of the graduates do, to working at a salon, or doing home visits, program participants can choose the career path that best fits them,” said Rosas.
As an experienced cosmetology instructor, with 10 years working at the academy, Rosas enthusiastically explained:
“We have 115 students at this time, and we always have a waiting list. Every time there’s a new class we have to turn people away. We have two programs — cosmetology and esthetics. You have to decide if you want to be a cosmetologist, an esthetician, or both.
“Some of the classes that we offer are: manicure and nails, pedicure, hair cutting, hair styling, permanent, color, high lighting, hair relaxing (for very curly hair), up-do’s (for special occasions), curls, makeup, waxing, eyebrows, and tint for brows or lashes, plus electric treatments for the thinning hair (which work really well.)
“Cosmetologists are trained on everything, whereas estheticians concentrate on facials, makeup, and hair removal.
“We also teach them basic bacteriology, chemistry, anatomy, and electricity.”
Rosas proudly shared that the Cosmetology Academy graduation rate is 80 percent.
When asked about the skills necessary to be a successful cosmetologist or esthetician, she did not hesitate. “The most important one is people skills,” she responded. “Eighty-five percent of this line of work is based on how we relate to people. When clients feel good, they will for sure go back to see that person again.”
I asked about men who attend the school, and Rosas mischievously laughed as she explained. “Usually, the number of men students is small. Right now, for instance, we only have two. The reason is simple: They will be surrounded by many women here. Before making a decision they need the approval from their girlfriend or their wife.”
Students at the academy can graduate in 11 months, and immediately afterwards take their California State Board licensing exam in cosmetology and esthetics. “The written test is not difficult at all,” Rosas said. “The greatest difficulty is the speed. Although graduates know how to do things, they need to do it within certain time.” She added that once they are licensed, cosmetologists may go one to earn the hours required to become a licensed cosmetology instructor.
The academy also offers services to the public. “We have a lot of students and they need the practice. We can take walk-ins, or make appointments. Our prices are half the average price, and the advantage is that students are never in a hurry. Our clientele includes many senior citizens, and they don’t like to feel rushed.”
Rosas shared her reasons for teaching at the academy. “I never thought I would be an instructor,” she said. “This was not on my list. But once I did it, I loved it. Here, I see the students’ progress and I feel that my day was worth it. It makes me really happy.”
Five Important Things to Remember About the SBCC Cosmetology Academy:
1) The Cosmetology Academy is conveniently located at the Magnolia Shopping Center in Goleta, and it is open to the public.
2) They do hair and skin care.
3) Prices are extremely affordable.
4) Students are eager to do a good job.
5) Students are constantly monitored and supervised by instructors with more than 25 years of experience in the field.
To contact the Cosmetology Academy, call (805) 683-4191, ext. 2, or go visit them at 5160 Hollister Avenue.
Silvia Uribe is a freelance writer with a Latina perspective.
Cross-published at The Independent