Student Spotlight: Heather, Cosmetology Student

Pictured above: Heather Solomon, Cosmetology Student

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO ENROLL AT THE AVEDA INSTITUTE MADISON?

Great question!  I was a stay at home mom for 17 years.  I had dropped out of beauty school at 900 hours, 17 years ago, because I hated my school.  I never gave up on my dream of finishing, but my hours expired and my dreams were put on the back burner.  After our fourth child, I had severe PPD (Paranoid personality disorder) and anxiety.  My life was turned upside down and I didn’t know how to fix it.  I had an amazing OB who quickly got me in and helped get me back to me with medicine.  Part of that meant lifestyle changes, and I began taking time for me.  I worked out daily, and started training for the Indy Mini Marathon for the fun of it, with my BIL.  I finished my first half marathon and caught the bug, I was hooked.  So I ran another and then was training for my 3rd when my Tibia broke one day on a 9 mile run. My stress relief was no longer there, and I knew I needed a change in life.

So, with my Crazy Boot on, and crutches I made an appt to tour the Aveda Institute Madison, with my husband and 1 year old in tow.  It was perfect!  Classy, clean, up to date, Aveda, small class sizes, and most importantly for me, professional.  So many schools are just not professional and as an adult, I just don’t need that environment.  I knew this was the place for me.  Madison is a 2 hour drive from home, so this was a very serious commitment.  I get up at 4:00 am, leave the house at 6:00 am and get to school anywhere from 8:00am-8:20 am depending on traffic.  I’m here because this is what I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m finally doing it.  I knew if I was going back to school at this stage in life, it had to be at the very BEST school!  I love the Aveda values and standards.

WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING THING YOU HAVE LEARNED SO FAR?

Oh, that’s a tough one.  I have honestly enjoyed everything so far, but hair color has always been my passion and it still is. Learning Aveda Color is amazing.  You are creating your very own personal colors each time, and I love that I fully understand it all.  I can break it down and be creative, it’s so fun!

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AFTER GRADUATION?

I’ve been asked that a lot lately.  I live in a very rural area, where there just aren’t high end salons, and definitely not Aveda salons.  I’ll probably commute for a few years, and slowly try to build up a clientele here at home.  I have big plans for a Salon here at the farm someday.    I love working in a team environment though, and that’s one thing I’ve really grown to love at school.  We have the best students, who genuinely care about each other.  When someone has a bad day, we are always there to pick them up.  When one of us needs encouragement or support, you can bet its always available from students and staff both.  I truly enjoy school, and I’m going to miss it.

Heather and classmates with guest educator, Geno Stampora

WHAT ONE PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS THINKING ABOUT COMING TO SCHOOL AT THE AVEDA INSTITUTE MADISON?

A support system, you need one!  It gets hard.  This is not just a fun, “lets do hair and makeup and play around” program.  There is a lot of learning and book work..  You will have homework, you will have extra activities to take part in and you have to keep up.  I know my circumstances are different than most, but if I can do it, so can you! If you can’t commit to it, then wait until you can, it’s intense.  I’m not saying those things to scare anyone.  I want them to understand this is serious, and someone who doesn’t want to be here brings down the whole group.  We are all talented and we are all here because we love doing hair, makeup, etc…

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AVEDA PRODUCT?

That is so hard! I have so many favorites, but Brilliant Damage Control is my favorite product to date.  That’s subject to change though, haha.  I love it because it’s a super light weight detangler, leave in conditioner, heat protectant and it smells amazing!  It works on all hair types, and is my go to product with every client.  I always spray it generously on towel dried hair.  You can also refresh curls with it throughout the day, or just refresh a style with it.  We use it on my daughter who has very fine, tangle prone hair.  She’s probably the only preschooler who smells like Aveda daily.

A little extra, I have learned so much in my time here.  I’ve really come out of my shell.  I don’t know if anyone would guess that I’m a total introvert, and always have been.  Here, I am not, I am confident in myself and outgoing at times.  The self care Aveda encourages is amazing.  I truly love it here, and have had so much fun with everyone I’ve met and worked with.  I absolutely love learning new things daily, and the girls keep me young. It’s all this together that keeps me going.  Thank you Aveda Institute Madison for all you do!

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