Living Your Passion through Cosmetology

by Jesse Harp

Students at Empire Beauty School in Louisville, Kentucky are finding their purposes and living out their passions in the classroom and on the salon floor. Empire videographer, Chris Knight, sat down with some of these students and they shared with him the joys of being students at Empire Beauty School and their cosmetology goals for the future.

If there’s one major commonality to be found in Empire’s students, it’s the sense of support and community they find themselves surrounded by.

“If I could choose Empire Beauty School a hundred times, I would,” Ginna Sariento said. Sariento is a hair-coloring enthusiast who has enjoyed playing with hair and make-up her entire life. “They fully equip you physically and mentally. I think they’re really there for us when we need them. And I’ve been really appreciative of everything this school has given us.”

According to many students, the educators and students at Empire are all extremely invested in one another’s aspirations and goals. While students encourage one another, educators consistently make themselves available to help students and share in the joy of their triumphs.

“What really wowed me about Empire is their excitedness for me,” Brooklyn Wundrock said, who is also fascinated not only by hair-coloring but hair extensions. “They really pushed me. They could see the eagerness in my eyes of knowing that this is what I want to do. They really helped me and made me feel extremely welcome and comfortable here and compared to other schools that I looked into, that was something that really caught my eye with Empire.”

Some students feel that the connections they’ve made in the classroom and on the salon floor are akin to that of a family.

“They’re family,” student Autumn Martin said. “When you’re here, you build that family. It’s a sisterhood. Even when you graduate, you still have a family.”

The creative license that can be found in many aspects of cosmetology is one element of Empire Beauty School that appeals to many of its students. Hair coloring and styling, make-up artistry, and nail care all allow creative students to express themselves while also learning how to provide a quality service.

“Hair coloring is really like art to me,” Alexis Allen said. “I usually have a really fun color in my hair. That’s a lot of fun for me to be able to do that for someone, to make someone feel like a piece of art.”

Allen, who has been doing her own hair since she was 16, comes from a family of cosmetologists, including an aunt that actually graduated from Empire beauty school herself and encouraged her to attend.

Similarly to Allen, student Cady Mitchell, who came to Empire Beauty School to pursue her passion for make-up artistry, finds freedom in the creativity she is able to exercise through cosmetology.

“I’ve always had a passion for it,” Mitchell said. “I love the artistry in it and how there’s so many things that you can do with it and so many different things that you can create. There’s really no limit to what you can do.”

At Empire Beauty School, there’s not only diversity in the practice of cosmetology, but also in the individuals involved, according to student Tanesha Muldrow.

“What I love about cosmetology is the creativeness and the fact that it brings together all different walks of women,” Muldrow said. “That there’s no right or wrong, so you can do whatever it is you set out to do and just expand from it. And I love the support system as well.”

More than anything, the one quality Empire possesses that continues to draw in students, is the opportunity to serve others. When asked about the most fulfilling part of their cosmetology journey, most Empire students shared that having the ability to not only connect with their clients but to impact them in a positive way is a driving force in what they do.

Brooklyn Wundrock is a shining example of this. After graduating from Empire, Wundrock plans to work at a salon that’s primary focus is restoring confidence to women who have experienced various diseases, postpartum hair loss, and more.

“That’s what I’m looking forward to the most,” Wundrock said. “To transform and give confidence back to those who have lost it. Everyone wants to be successful and be stable in their lives, but really just to give back to others, to give people back what they used to have and used to feel so confident in, but now feel like they have to go around hiding because of something that’s happened to them, so that’s what I want to do. I want to give back and give women the confidence that they once had.”

Regaining this sense of confidence is something that many students can relate to on a personal level, according to Tanesha Muldrow, who not only enjoys cutting hair but is also an EIT (Educator in Training) at Empire.

“Cosmetology shaped my whole entire life so to speak,” Muldrow said. “I had a lot of insecurities. I was broken. I didn’t know myself. So in being able to do hair and meet girls and things like that, I’m just back here to help young females who probably have an insecurity issue or something like that to just let them know that anything is possible. It starts with loving yourself. So a lot of cosmetology has to do with self-reflecting and beauty.”

In true Empire-fashion, the students at our Louisville Campus love seeing others succeed and overcome obstacles in pursuit of their goals. They encourage anyone who has ever considered cosmetology as a potential career path to go for it.

“Follow your heart if it’s something you really enjoy,” Ginna Sarmiento said. “Don’t second guess yourself. If you really enjoy it, and you think it’s something you will always enjoy, just do it.”

For more information about Empire Beauty School, or how to enroll, please visit

May 13, 2021

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