By Shaya Rogers, Features Reporter
Cosmetology graduate Molly Erickson is the proud owner of Brilliant Hair Studio, she said.
The full service salon was formed in 2010 by Erickson and her business partner Kerry Dickson, but it never would have happened were it not for the education she received at CNM, said Erickson.
“I probably would have never opened a salon had I never gone there. I wouldn’t know where to start and I know I wouldn’t be a third of the hairstylist I am if I hadn’t gone to CNM,” she said.
The Cosmetology program focuses on several aspects of the beauty industry, and gave her a well-rounded education that has impressed veteran stylists, she said.
During her first week as a licensed stylist, Erickson said another stylist, who had been working in the field for 25 years, asked her about her technique.
“When you have someone who has been doing hair for decades ask you, ‘How did you do that?’ and you just got out of school, it’s like ‘Wow, I got a really good education,’” she said.
The compliment from the other stylist is what gave Erickson the confidence to move forward in her career, she said.
In the last decade, the beauty industry has been widely recognized as an exciting and worthwhile career choice, she said.
“I do think it’s a serious career choice and there’s a lot of good money to be made in this industry and there’s good people,” she said.
The creative aspect of being a stylist is important to her, and since she is a hands-on person, the salon is the perfect environment, she said.
“It’s really good for me to have an outlet where I get to, not only be around people and connect with people, but it’s also a professional environment and it’s my job, which is super cool because I get to come here and play beauty shop all day,” she said.
Many women in her family have been business owners and she does not know where she would be working if she was not running her own salon, she said.
“The women in my family have a long legacy of sort of cutting out their own little corner of the world and I’m really glad that I met Kerry and we were able to carve out this little niche for ourselves and the people that rent here,” she said.
Despite the economic troubles in the country, Erickson has not seen a negative effect on her business, for which she feels very grateful, she said.
“This is the first time in my adult life that I’ve ever lived through an economic collapse so I hope it never happens again, but it’s nice to know that if it does, my job is relatively secure,” she said.
The beauty industry seems to be somewhat recession proof for businesses with well-trained employees that care about what they do, she said.
“If you have a well-rounded skill set, like the one that CNM offers, and you’re good at what you do because you’ve had a good education, people really take note of that,” she said.
As for students going through the cosmetology program, Erickson said she knows it may be tough and that is requires a lot of time and energy, but in the end it is worth it.
“Eventually, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, stick with it. You won’t be sorry; it’s the best cosmetology program in the state and you are lucky to be there,” she said.