Last month we had the privilege to meet Cheryl Livingston, one of the amazing owners of The Salon Professional Academy(TSPA) Fort Wayne, Indiana location. While this school isn’t open quite yet, the owners are already hard at work making the school beautiful and ready to welcome the very first students in their doors.
This month, we were able to sit down with one of Cheryl’s co-owner, Aimee Black, and talk to her about her beauty background, as well as learn about what drives her. With years of experience and a passion to help students succeed, Aimee is dedicated to make this new TSPA location a staple in the community and one known for producing talented students.
”It’s Never Too Late To Change.”
Aimee is a testament to following your heart and never saying no to a passion. After all, her working career didn’t start in the beauty industry. Aimee began working in restaurants and spent many years as a manager before contemplating a career change after the birth of her daughter.
Drawn to creativity, something that infuses every part of her life from hair to decorating her house, Aimee obtained her cosmetology certificate at 31 years of age, proving that it is never too late for a change or to pursue a new passion.
This simple life lesson is something that she hopes to teach each of her future students. Known for her witty honesty, Aimee welcomes every new guest through their doors with the phrase “Thank you for giving us the opportunity to mess up,” going on to say that “Sometimes you learn more from the bad people, and the bad experiences in life, than you do the good ones.”
“Never Let Go of the Hose.”
Failing is something that Aimee has done many times and also something that she has learned from. In fact, one of her greatest (and first) mistakes within the beauty industry was back in cosmetology school. Upon leaving “the Dungeon” of foundations classes, a term used to describe the classrooms of her school as they are all located in the basement, Aimee was finally welcomed onto the floor of her school, mannequin head in hand. Given the task of shampooing the head’s hair, Aimee ended in disaster as the hose went haywire, sending water all over everything: staff, clients, floor and ceiling. Everyone yelled at her to turn off the water, to grab the hose, but both evaded her, leaving her soaking and humiliated on a task that should have been easy but instead taught her a valuable lesson of failure and the value of never giving up.
The successes that have followed the experience, not only push Aimee to do better, but to teach others that lessons and accomplishments can be hidden in failing.
“I never let go of the hose.” She told us, making it clear that that lesson serves as core strength.
“It’s Our Culture That Makes Us Great.”
When Aimee first entered the beauty industry after graduation she was lucky enough to work in a salon that was run by one of the original Redken Educators. This woman took her under wing and served as not only her mentor but as the basis for much of her standards within the industry. It was this first, impactful experience that fuels Aimee’s drive to teach and educate young students and give them the skills they need to become valuable assets in their future careers.
It’s more than her mentor that keeps her passion for the industry alive, however, it is her determination and faith in a culture that has often been viewed as an underdog. Seen for years as the career for unsuccessful cast offs, the beauty industry has risen above that standard; driven by a loving support structure that can be seen in both the community and culture. It is a culture that she is proud to be a part of but also proud to help grow as she begins the task of training the next generation and continuing a tradition of determination and love.
Feel infected by Aimee’s passion and determination? You are not alone. Join her and Cheryl as they impact an industry and their town. If you are interested in learning more about TSPA Fort Wayne’s programs or would like to be part of our inaugural class and take advantage of our steep discount, contact our admissions department.
For more information about our graduation rates, the median loan debt of students who completed the program and other information vist www.tspafortwayne.com