Student Star: Combining 2 Passions Into 1 Career—Kayla SmithBlog ▸ Student Stars | January 13, 2016
For Empire Beauty School graduate Kayla Smith, the road to her dream career wasn’t always crystal clear.
“I love working with children. I love kids. I always have loved kids.” says Smith. So when it came time to decide on a career, Kayla says she went with what seemed to make the most sense.
“I went to a community college for Early Childhood Education.”
But for Kayla, there was another interest that kept her from fully embracing her teaching goals. Cosmetology was something she had always been drawn to. It was her creative outlet. She had always loved beauty, trying new ideas and hairstyles on herself, her family and friends.
Kayla began researching cosmetology schools, eventually visiting Empire Beauty School in Whitehall, PA.
“The first day that I walked in, I loved it. I felt a sense of warmth and everyone was so nice and inviting.”
Making the decision to switch not only schools, but her entire focus wasn’t always easy for Kayla. Like many students, there were days she says she felt like school was getting the better of her.
“I had all this love and support from my teacher and my classmates. They would tell me, ‘don’t give up, you need to give it your all.’”
Soon, she began to see the results of her perseverance. Her technical skills were getting better each day, and she could finally make connections between what she was learning in the classroom and how it translates to today’s beauty industry. “Everything you learn is for a reason. It will help you build your skills.”
And Kayla says her education at Empire prepared her for her full-time stylist job in a very big way. It wasn’t just the art of cutting, coloring and styling, but the business skills she learned that have helped grow her clientele.
“If I wasn’t taught how to sell retail, or do a proper blow out or book my next appointment, then I wouldn’t be doing that in my job now. And my clients would suffer.”
And those clients are near and dear to her heart. Kayla now works at Sweet and Sassy Salon. A day spa and salon, for kids.
“I always thought I would be working in some high end salon and missing working with kids, but I really do get the best of both worlds.”
Today, Kayla is back at Empire, training for her Teacher’s License. “There are so many different things you can do with your cosmetology license. I am thinking of opening my own children’s salon, or teaching High School students cosmetology.”
And for this once divided young student, she is enjoying where her passion and career is taking her.
“The fact that I am doing what I love with children now and I am working toward a greater part of my life makes me really happy.”