The Best of the Best

The upbeat, industrial atmosphere in The Salon Professional Academy alone sets it apart from other cosmetology schools, but for students the difference is in the education and training they receive.

Unlike many other cosmetology schools, The Salon Professional Academy prides itself on teaching students the full spectrum of skills needed to be successful cosmetologists, estheticians, or nail technicians. Each student is taught the five elements of a successful client/stylist relationship—the greeting, the consultation, the workshop, the close, and the follow-up. These elements comprise The Power Wheel.

Stylist Erin Horton studied at The Salon Professional Academy, and currently
works at Argo Hair Company in The Villages.

“Two huge elements of being a successful stylist are communication skills and the consultation,” says Janet West, owner of the Redken Fifth Avenue endorsed academy. “We are training our students on all of the skills needed to work in the top 20 percent of spas and salons in the USA.”

And Janet and her dedicated education team ensure that the academy students have every opportunity to succeed. Twice a year the facility hosts its much-anticipated Career Fair, inviting top-notch salons from throughout the Central Florida area to meet the students. At the same time, academy students benefit from meeting the salon owners and recruiters. It’s a networking extravaganza.

“This event exposes our students to salons that are progressive, innovative, and have great benefits, good client flow, and advanced education programs,” Janet says. “Our savvy students are highly sought-after by salons.”

“The open house events are a win-win situation,” says Yolie Kelly, a salon development manager for Redken Fifth Avenue. “Janet does a wonderful job opening her doors and getting her students placed into quality salons.” 

SPA students gather for a pep cheer before starting their day at the academy.

 “The academy students know the Redken business system,” adds Jessica Collette, a managing partner at Argo Hair Company in The Villages. “Upon graduating, they immediately feel comfortable behind the chair, they look and sound good, and they’re well versed in guest relations. It’s an easy transition for an academy student to begin his or her career at our salon.”

Hair Cuttery Regional Employment Leader Nicole Ruth agrees.

“The Salon Professional Academy offers a high quality education,” she says. “Students graduate and are ready to hit the ground running. The skill level is well above that of a vocational student, and students are educated in all aspects of the business.”

The 10,000-square-foot Salon Professional Academy features five classrooms, 50 styling stations, eight pedicure and manicure stations, a color bar, and a sound-proof esthetic room.

“When students leave the school, they can walk into any facility knowing they will be an asset to the company and that they have the skills and knowledge to succeed in this industry,” Janet says.

Recent graduate Erin Horton describes the academy as the “best of the best” when it comes to cosmetology schools.

“This school helped me mature into a well-rounded career woman,” says Erin, who currently works at Argo Hair Comany in The Villages. “I go to work every day and I love it.”

Throughout the years, there have been many misconceptions about the field of cosmetology.

“People don’t realize that to receive a cosmetology license, students must pass and become proficient in a multitude of courses that range from anatomy, customer service, and bacteriaology to cutting, styling, and coloring,” explains Salon Professional Academy Direc-tor of Operations Kevin Thompson.

“Many people think being a stylist doesn’t pay well,” he continues. “Cosmetology is a wonderful industry, and the income potential is great. Stylists can make six figures.”

Current SPA students (clockwise from top) Andrew Coburn, Jessica Swearingen,
Jenny Caudill, Ashley Powell, and Correy Goddard.

Janet adds that her staff educates the students about other professions within the field of cosmetology including spa/salon ownership, the possibility of working for a manufacturer, teaching opportunities, and distribution work—all of which can be rewarding careers. The majority of their students plan on a career that will take them down the road to becoming a successful “platform artist” with a major manufacturer such as Redken Fifth Avenue.

“It is truly inspirational and exciting when the graduates of our academy go out into the world and pass on their knowledge, experience, and skill,” says Janet.

Yolie Kelly says today’s hairstylist has a career—not just a job.

“The Salon Professional Academy shows students the value of properly servicing the guests,” she says. “You can get a good haircut and color just about anywhere. What matters most, however, is the customer service. The students at the academy get a superior education.”

The Salon Professional Academy
11915 CR103, The Villages, FL 32162

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