Beauty Link - Volume 4, Issue 1 - (Page 24)
Turning Dreams into Reality
EVER HEARD THE PHRASE, “It
I tell students it’s all about ﬁnding their niche in this industry. Find what you love and build upon it. I never dreamed I would invent something.
came to me in a dream”? For Skyler Brooks, 33, the solution for shampoo-bowl drips and stains arrived in just such a dream. But Skyler’s dream didn’t end with the alarm clock ringing nor did her success happen overnight. A single mom at 17, Skyler struggled to ﬁ nd a career that provided the ﬂexibility she needed to care for her son while making ends meet. While she’d always enjoyed doing her friends’ hair, she initially pursued other career paths. “I tried art school but it wasn’t for me,” Skyler noted. She also studied massage therapy but found the career was “too mellow” for her high-energy, exuberant personality. Then she enrolled in cosmetology school and knew she’d found her calling. Soon after enrolling, her school was purchased by Empire Education and Skyler immersed herself in student council activities as well as entering student competitions, where she won numerous honors. Skyler is quick to point out that mentors were instrumental in her success even after graduation. “Apprenticing taught me so much. A woman who had done hair for 43 years put off retiring because she wanted to teach me,” recalled Skyler. After earning her license in 2009, Skyler worked as a hairstylist at the State of the Art Design salon, in Phoenix, whose afﬂuent clients ranged from ladies who lunch to Sandra Day O’Conner, the ﬁ rst female member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Many of her clients arrived in expensive work clothes and Skyler realized she couldn’t send them back to the ofﬁce with hair dye on their collar or a wet blouse. She developed makeshift solutions to keep her clients dry at the shampoo bowl, such as improvising capes out of plastic wrap. “Clients were paying so much money for services that it seemed demeaning to wrap them in plastic,” said Skyler. Literally sleeping on her shampoo bowl frustrations, Skyler dreamed of a waterproof cape that could also function as a shampoo bowl and detach at the neck. The morning after her dream, she began researching water-proof and shrink-proof fabrics. She sketched variations of the cape and found a local seamstress to sew some samples. She also initiated the patent application process. With samples in hand, Skyler began attending industry shows to gauge professionals’ reception to her invention. The market appetite existed, but she still needed a manufacturer to produce the capes. Persistent research and inquiries led to a manufacturer and Skyler continued to take the Drape Cape to industry shows, including the AACS Annual Convention. A dedicated entrepreneur, Skyler created a website to market the capes and began talking about the Drape Cape to salons, beauty schools and beauty supply stores. Her ingenuity caught the attention of a leading beauty supply chain and as this issue of BeautyLink went to press, the chain was considering an order for more than 5,000 retail stores. Skyler continues to inspire future beauty professionals. In May, she will speak at the Empire Expo and in November 2011 she spoke at the Beauty Changes Lives event in Phoenix. “I tell students it’s all about ﬁ nding their niche in this industry. Find what you love and build upon it. I never dreamed I would invent something,” she said. And Skyler is quick to point to the contributions of others in making her dream come true. “I couldn’t have achieved all this without the support of early mentors, co-workers and the people I’ve met since graduating. They have all been part of making my dream come true,” said Skyler.
Do you know a superstar graduate? Send a brief bio along with the graduate’s contact information to editor@ beautyschools.org. Your superstar could be featured in the next issue of BeautyLink!
| B E AU TYLINK | COLLA BORATION | 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Beauty Link - Volume 4, Issue 1
Message from the AACS President and CEA Chair
Workings of Washington
A Trade Show Workout
Building a Bulletproof School
The Art of Edutainment
Beyond the Fluff
And Then There's Compliance
Beauty Changes Lives
Spring Operations Conference Info
AACS Is Connecting Members
Associate Member Profiles: Collections
People & Places
New Products & Services
New School Members
Upcoming 2012 Events
Index to Advertisers
Beauty Link - Volume 4, Issue 1
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