Student Stories: Kaitlyn S.

Jan 04 2019

graphic reading "student stories: kaitlyn s."
We know we’re biased but we truly think our students are the best. Each one brings a different degree of passion and precision to their art. Kaitlyn’s passion for beauty stems from her job as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and wanting to help her patients feel beautiful. Between being a working mom and a cosmetology student at Douglas J Aveda Institute, Kaitlyn has some big dreams for her future and we can’t wait to see her accomplish them!

About Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn is in the cosmetology program at our Grand Rapids campus. She is graduating in December 2018 and she couldn’t be more excited! She has loved her time at Douglas J Aveda Institute but she’s excited to begin her cosmetology career. Kaitlyn is not only pursuing her beauty education, she’s also a working mom. Currently she works as a CNA at a local hospital. She loves interacting with patients and takes every opportunity she can to help them feel beautiful. When her patients have bed head or are bedridden, Kaitlyn will wash and braid their hair. She knows that having clean, manageable hair can make a world of difference.

“When you look good you feel good.” – Kaitlyn

before and after pics of middle-aged african american woman getting her hair done and smiling

Why Beauty?

Kaitlyn has been braiding hair since she was in the sixth grade. Growing up she always knew she wanted to be a nurse or a hairstylist. While they both seemed reasonable, Kaitlyn decided to become a CNA first. For the past six years Kaitlyn’s been working at a local hospital and she truly loves being a CNA. Being able to help people feel better is what Kaitlyn enjoys the most.

While working at the hospital she found herself braiding hair any chance she could get. She would braid her patients’ and fellow nurses hair. Everyone loved her braiding skills! This is what helped her realize that she wanted to pursue a career in beauty.
before and after pics of hair transformation to bright red hair

Why Douglas J Aveda Institute?

Kaitlyn had friends that attended Douglas J Aveda Institute and loved it. One of her fellow CNA’s even started going to the evening cosmetology program here and encouraged Kaitlyn to join her. The timing wasn’t quite right, but she kept it in the back of her mind. When the time finally came for Kaitlyn to pursue cosmetology school she made sure she made the best decision for her. She looked into and toured several schools looking for the right fit.

Ultimately, Douglas J Aveda Institute was the right choice for her! She took a tour of our Grand Rapids campus and knew it’s where she belonged. Even though she didn’t go to cosmetology school straight out of high school, Kaitlyn didn’t let it stop her from pursuing her dream. We get the question a lot, “how old is too old for beauty school?” The answer is there is no such thing! Whenever it fits best in your life is when you should pursue your beauty education.

Future Plans

Once Kaitlyn gets her license she wants to start building up her book of business and mastering her craft. In the long run she would like to be able to give back and cater to patients that are disabled, homebound or bedbound. From her time at the hospital, Kaitlyn knows what a big difference it can make for patients to feel clean and beautiful. Her dream is to own a mobile salon that she can take to patient’s homes or clinics and give them the salon experience. Kaitlyn gets the same rewarding feeling when she cares for a sick patient in the hospital that she does when she turns a guest around in their chair at the salon. So why not combine both of those? That’s exactly what she plans to do in the future. We love this because it is one of the many things that shows how cosmetology is a career that extends beyond the chair!
before and after pic of blonde/brown hair being colored and styled

Advice for Other Career Changers

Kaitlyn has a career as a CNA and loves the work she does. Deep down she always knew that beauty is where she belonged. It can be tough to take the leap to change careers when you’re already settled. It can also be worth it. Kaitlyn’s advice to other people out there who are considering a career change is:

”Don’t give up. If you’re passionate about something, make a way.”

After years of raising a family and working at the hospital, Kaitlyn made the decision to go to cosmetology school. When she made this decision she knew the timing wasn’t right just yet. She didn’t give up. She laid out a plan, balanced her life and made a way. Kaitlyn is very proud of herself for putting in the work to pursue her dream and we’re very proud of her!

You Can Do It Too!

Do you find yourself in a situation similar to Kaitlyn? Maybe you’re not fresh out of high school, you are raising a family or you already have a career. If you know deep down that you belong in the beauty and wellness world, we encourage you to go for it! Take a look at our cosmetology, esthiology or massage therapy programs. We have day and evening classes available to accommodate work and family responsibilities. Feel free to contact us with any questions. Plus, check out our career dreams series to get an idea of a career you might want to pursue!

More Student Stories to Inspire You

Read: “Student Stories: Nicole S.”
Read: “Student Stories: Madison A.”
Read: “Student Stories: Christina E.”
Read: “Student Stories: Serene R.”
Read: “Student Stories: Tommy B.”