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Our Alumni

Take a moment to get to know a few extraordinary Paul Mitchell The School Costa Mesa alumni. Their stories speak to the power of dreaming big and getting a great education.

Kirstyn Yanniello

Alumni

Creator of LOX Extensions & LOX Studio. Unicorn Tribe Member. Stylist at Figo Salon & The Knot-Brides (on-line)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kirstyn.yanniello?fref=ts
Instagram: kirstyn_yanniello

How did you get your first job after graduating?
I was working at a salon and a makeup kiosk in the mall while I attended beauty school, and I was able to pay may own tuition. I went to my interview with pictures of all my friends’ hair from high school dances and applied for a receptionist job. They were not hiring at the time, but she loved my ambition and hired me as a salon assistant instead.


What is your advice for someone new in the industry?
Never stop learning and hustle till it hurts. You get what you give, and this industry will evolve with or without you.

How did the school help you to achieve your goals/dreams?
School gave me an environment to grow experiment and challenge myself. I seriously was obsessed with school, the instructors were unforgettable.

What do you love the most about this industry?
My clients, without them I am nothing.

I work six days a week, two at my hair extension company LOX Extensions and four at the salon. I educate through YouTube as well as at trade shows and in salon classes.  I worked as a portfolio artist for L’Oreal Professionel and also led the education and creative department at my salon. Sharing is caring.

Julia Kamp

Alumni

Licensed massage therapist, medical esthetician, laser safety officer, certified laser technician (hair removal, tattoo removal, intense pulse light photofacial, skin rejuvenation lasers, fat and cellulite reduction by radio frequency, and microneedling)

Instagram: juliajkamp

How did you get your first job after graduating?
I went and earned another certification, then made up a resume and went into a few spas after doing research on them. After a few interviews I finally accepted the job of my dreams!

What is your advice for someone new in the industry?
Do not stress out about not knowing EVERYTHING... Not everyone knows every little thing in the industry everyone is always learning something new and wanting to learn something new. And what I love about this field is it's one where you can constantly learn new techniques no matter how long you've been in it for. Coworkers, peers, and mentors are always there for you as well if you ever need to ask anything.


How did the school help you to achieve your goals/dreams?
Honestly, everyone including my graduating class was always so motivating and gave you such self-confidence that even if you felt like you couldn't do whatever the service was they showed you that you can. Even after I graduated and I was looking for a new job outside of a franchise and I lost hope; I talked to Felice and a couple of my peers and they motivated me to keep looking. Everyone is so helpful!

What do you love most about this industry?
Giving others confidence! No one feels like they are perfect, let's face it. But when you show the client their skin or brows after a facial or wax, that confidence can go a long way and help them more than you think. Especially because we can give our clients advice and recommendations so they can keep up with what we've helped them with whatever their concern is.

Megan Thomas

Alumni

Owner of Believe Salon in Clarkston.

http://believesalonandspa.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megan.p.wilson.9?fref=ts

How did you get your first job after graduating?
I applied at a handful of local salons by dropping off my resume that Excel helped me create.

What is your advice for someone new in the industry?
Decide whether you feel ready for your own chair or you would prefer to assist for a period of time. Observe what experienced stylists are doing, how they talk to their clients, their color and cutting techniques and what products gent use to finish the completed look. Ask questions! Continue your education.

How did the school help you to achieve your goals/dreams?
Excel gave me the tools to learn the basics for cutting and coloring (which is what I do most on a day to day basis.) Through games, activities and lots of practice, I learned all the fundamentals of being a hair stylist from the color wheel, the cutting angles and techniques.

What do you love the most about this industry?
I love making people feel good about themselves. It's not just about their physical appearance, we are more than our clients stylists, we are listeners, friends and even counselors at times.  If they leave feeling comforted and confident about their new style, my job is done right .

In my salon, I am the owner. As an owner I am in charge of paying the bills, keeping the salon clean and orderly, making sure everything is up to State Boards standards, keeping the product stocked, and being sure we never run out of necessities even as small as a tissue box. I am also a stylist. As a stylist I get to enjoy seeing clients on a daily basis for cuts, color, highlights, facial waxing, updo/styling, blowouts ect. My favorite part of my job is the friendships I have formed with not only my co-workers, but clients as well. I leave every day feeling fulfilled.

Drew Edward Friebe

Alumni

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/D.edward87

Instagram: drewfriebe

How did you get your first job after graduating?

After graduating I knew assisting was the way to go, so I sought out an educator for the company I wanted to work for, RUSK, and assisted him for a year and a half. In that time I learned new techniques and as I helped him apply color and do a lot of blowdrying, and worked on my own speed for when I got my chair. Outside of that each night after going home from school I watched at least an hour of advanced cutting, styling and coloring techniques to really immerse myself in all avenues of Hair. After that year and a half I went for an Interview/Tryout wherein they chose three of us out of 15 to begin working as Level 1 Designers at the company.

What is your advice for someone new in the industry?

The advice I would give someone new to the industry would have to be the very advice someone gave me when I joined it. This industry has the potential to take you anywhere you want but it isn't one you can sleep walk through, your passion is the fuel that will allow you to reach whatever heights you want. Now as much as we all love to believe we will all end up doing magazine covers and runway hair the truth is its all on you. So if you want to make it somewhere in this industry my advice is this, when you get out of school go assist. Learn from a master stylist all the things you don’t realize you don’t know yet, it will make you feel confident in your abilities and assure your success in years to come. Secondly: Eat, sleep, and breath hair for at least your first three years (though you should even beyond that.) Immerse yourself in it and learn as much as you can about as many things. I promise it will all come in handy one day.

How did the school help you to achieve your goals/dreams?

School helped me out immensely. Not only did it actually teach me all of the basics to actual hair color, cutting, styling and much beyond that. School was were I learned what aspects of hair are my favorite and what was really the catalyst that took the mere flicker of passion I had and turned it into a bonfire. I have always been creative but never knew how to focus it, under the instructors there I learned to channel my creativity and passion into an outlet that I not only love but get paid well to do. I have since taught myself as an international educator in schools across the world and each time appreciate the expertise I trained under at excel.

What do you love the most about this industry?

My favorite part about this industry is that it allows you do achieve whatever dream you want and the way it does it. Working with people to change the way they see themselves literally, is something we overlook, that in time I came to realize is more precious than most things. I have had people sit in my chair who didn’t believe in themselves, felt down, sat slacked in my chair and after two hours of talk, cutting, coloring and styling the minute I turned my chair around you see it all change. You see them, see themselves in a new way. To change that about someone, to make someone feel that way is a gift and by spreading it, it has allowed me to cut hair in every hemisphere, lead fashion week teams and travel to places I never dreamed. Spreading that gift, that love, gives back tenfold and thats my favorite part about what we do.

I currently work as a Master Stylist at Bianchis Salon and Spa of Birmingham. I am one of the lead stylists here and work to ensure our team is strong with a few other stylists on top of my daily work. I do just about everything when it comes to hair as I feel being versatile is one of the best things you can do for yourself. As far as my International career goes I work as one of the lead stylists for Babyliss4Barbers wherein myself and a few others help to direct and coordinate as well as cut with the amazing barbers that work for us, doing shows across the world and educating on Mens Styling.

Since I have graduated from school I have worked for 3 divisions of Conair professional (Rusk, BabylissPro and Babyliss4Barbers) helping to launch each team as coordination is a speciality of mine. I genuinely believe that my experience at Excel and the nurturing instructors armed me with the skills to achieve all that I have since I left.

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