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Even though it was a dreary day in New York City on Sunday, it was an EXCITING day for 3 professional stylists. One year ago on the same International Beauty Show Mainstage, Nick Arrojo and Frank Schoeneman, Chairman and CEO of Empire Education Group, announced a competition that would give one lucky professional stylist the opportunity to work on stage with Nick at a Masters of Beauty event and also win $10,000. After hundreds of entries and a year long competition, the day has arrived where the winner of the Next Master of Beauty would be announced.

The top 3 finalists who came to NYC to vie for the Next Master of Beauty title are Kelly Hopkins from Richmond, VA (left); Camille Plourde from Milford, CT (center); and Lea Graves from Vancouver, WA (right). These 3 ladies are really down to earth, personable and a lot of fun…and according to Nick, “they are all winners”. They were also very supportive of each other.

Top 3 Master of Beauty Finalists

At 11:00, Nick and his team took the stage to present his modern, multi-texture styles with his new Arrojo American Wave System, which highlights tomorrow’s most desirable looks. The 3 finalists anxiously stood close by watching Nick’s show knowing in 45 minutes they would be on that very stage. As Nick’s show started to wind down, the 3 finalists made their way backstage. After a brief one minute video of the finalists, Nick and Frank introduced Kelly, Camille and Lea to the stage. You can feel the excitement around the stage from their families, friends and supporters.

3 Masters of Beauty Finalists on Stage

Just then they began to reveal the results…Lea Graves would take third place…winning $1,000, 3 Master of Beauty Skill Classes and a ticket to a Beauty Systems Group event. Nick and Frank then asked Camille and Kelly to step forward.                                               Who will it be??

Top 2 Masters of Beauty Finalists on Stage

As Camille and Kelly excitedly stood there Nick finally announced that Camille Plourde would take second place… winning $2,500, 3 Masters of Beauty Classes and a ticket to a Beauty Systems Group event. Kelly Hopkins stood their in shock knowing she was just named the winner of the Next Master of Beauty.

Kelly Hopkins Next Master of Beauty

Kelly not only has the title but she also wins $10,000, present on stage as a Platform Artist with Nick at a selected Masters of Beauty event, 3 Masters of Beauty Classes, 3 day Arrojo educational event and a ticket to a Beauty Systems Group event. Below is the video from the whole announcement:

Even though Camille and Lea did not win the first place prize, they are still thankful and honored for making it this far and the opportunities this contest has given them.

Later that afternoon, Frank Schoeneman invited the Next Master of Beauty winner, Kelly Hopkins, to sit down with him for a Frankly Speaking interview. Frankly Speaking is Empire’s new video series where Frank interviews industry’s movers and shakers to help inspire students to reach their full potential.

Frankly Speaking video with Masters of Beauty Winner

Kelly Hopkins is salon owner of 1213 Hair Studio and has been in the beauty industry since she was 16 years old and studied under her aunt and uncle in the industry. She has the support from her loving husband and 9 year old son. She told Frank, she is a goal setter.  “I first had the goal to get my license, then wanted to work in a busy spa salon and did it.  I then had the goal to open my own salon.  My salon has now been open for 2 ½ years. Then when I saw this contest I thought this is my next goal… I can educate and be on a platform and teach others”.

We are very proud of Kelly, Camille, Lea and all the people who entered and supported the contest.  On May 21st at Empire’s Future Pro Expo we will be announcing the winner of the student contest, “The Master Apprentice“.

Who do you think will be the Master Apprentice??

About Author

Empire Beauty School is a leading cosmetology and beauty educator with over 100 beauty schools and cosmetology schools in the United States. Empire Beauty School offers a variety of beauty programs and cosmetology courses including cosmetology, esthetics, make-up artistry, and cosmetology educator training.

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