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How to Become a Successful Cosmetologist: A Beauty Chat with Erica Erwin

Erica Erwin came to American Institute of Beauty with big dreams and a passion for cosmetology. Now, almost 5 years later, we sat down with her to talk all things cosmetology and beauty industry related. Erica shares her story from graduation to salon management, and offers our future professionals advice as they pursue their dreams!

What has your experience been since graduating beauty school?

Erica: After school I took a job at one of the local salons. I was there for 2 and a half years. I learned so much! I learned a huge great deal of color theory, which was very confusing for me in school, but once I got out into the real world and started applying what I did learn from the school to actual people that I was working on, it was like a light bulb went off in my head, and then I found my love for color. So, I knew then that I didn’t want to go to a salon where I couldn’t do color. Then, after that 2 and a half years, I felt like it was time to take another step, and that’s when I came to Supercuts.

Erica: Supercuts gave me a ton of education on clipper cuts! Which for me, and I know for a lot of you, is terrifying. Clipper cuts are terrifying. But they put me through a weeklong course, they paid me for it. I got behind the chair here, worked for 5 months, loved it, improved my skill even more so. And then they offered me a management position. Now I’ve been here 2 and a half years, and it’s been a good 2 and a half years.

What do you LOVE about the beauty industry?

Erica: I got into the beauty industry because I really love all the avenues that you’re able to take once you’re in the field. You can get involved in just about anything- t.v., private care, education, you can just be behind your chair, you can be on the news. There are so many different avenues. Endless really!

Why were you interested in a career in the beauty industry?

Erica: I chose the beauty profession because I like to work with people on a very personal level. Large crowds have never interested me and coming from the restaurant business where you’re always dealing with large crowds, it made the beauty industry and that personal experience call to me more. When you’re behind your chair just working with that one person, it’s very personal, and I like sharing that stage with that one person.

Why did you choose AIB to LEARN Cosmetology?

Erica: I chose AIB for my education, funny, I actually went to go visit several beauty schools in the area, but I only made it to AIB. I was greeted by a very friendly staff. And I know this sounds weird, but the smells that hit me when I walked into the school just took me back to being in salons when I was a kid. It just gave me a very comfortable feeling, the acrylic, the perm solution, the hair products. It was a very unique experience for me, and I couldn’t go anywhere else. AIB was home.

What advice can you give current future beauty industry professionals?

Erica: To the future professionals in this industry, just get through school. School seemed to take forever for me, it didn’t really, but it just seemed like it took a really long time. And I always had this thought like “what if I get out into the real world and I hate this and did it for nothing”. But the fact of the matter is, once I got through school, took my state board, and got behind the chair my whole world opened up. So really, just get through school, find your passion, get behind the chair, and start making money doing what you love, what you’re passionate about. Because at the end of the day, that’s what matters- passion and money!

How do you see yourself LIVING your beauty dream in 5 years?

Erica: In 5 years I see myself anywhere I want. Remember what I said in the beginning about avenues? They are endless in this position. Get out there and go for it! Land yourself where you dream, and dream big!

Join Our Family!

If Erica’s story inspired you, contact American Institute of Beauty today to learn more about our programs! Our experienced staff and educators want to help you pursue your goals in beauty. Whether you’re interested in cosmetologyskin care, makeup, get in touch with us today! We can’t wait to meet you.

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Largo Campus
3665 East Bay Drive, Suite 164
Largo, Florida 33771
727.532.2125

Campus Hours
Monday-Friday: 9:00 am-9:00 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
*Appointments Recommended*

St. Petersburg Campus
2800 34th St. North
St. Petersburg, Florida 33713
727.826.0969

Campus Hours
Monday-Friday: 9:00 am-9:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Sunday: Closed
*Appointments Recommended*