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Charease Pridgen ….See What 21 Years In The Cosmetology Field Looks Like.

August 9, 2014

 

 

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I have been in this industry since 1993. I started out in my mother’s kitchen. I remember when I was in school, every weekend I would load my supplies in my car and practice being a mobile stylist. During that time I was living in Virginia, my aunt would schedule appointments for her co-workers and I would go to their houses and do their hair. Those opportunities gave me the experience that school sometimes can’t give you.
Why did I decide on this industry?
Being a cosmetologist was not on my agenda. Although, I would experiment with my cousin’s hair growing up, this wasn’t what I desired to do for a living. I guess during that time I was like many teenagers, I just wanted to make a lot of money. I wanted to be an attorney. As I got older I decided that I didn’t want to attend college for as long as it would take to get a law degree so, as life would have it I got into a little trouble after graduating from high school and my aunt in Virginia thought it would be a good idea if I moved back there to attend the local cosmetology school. I attended the Virginia School of Hair Design. It was there that my love for cutting and styling developed.

 

 

 

Some of the challenges?
Well, starting out I was very timid. After graduating from cosmetology school it took me almost two years to take the state board exam and go to work in a salon. I was content doing my family member’s hair in my home but that’s not where growth comes from. I had to get out of my comfort zone so when a relative gave me the opportunity to work in her salon rent-free, I took it. To make a long story short, I guess you can say my biggest challenge was getting over the fear of not succeeding.

Some of my best experiences have been with some of the stylists that I have had the opportunity to work with in this area. I have worked with some of the best, most creative, fun loving and innovative stylists in this area. Although, it has been years since some of us have actually worked together, we still have a certain kind of connection.

I try my hand at many things. A lot of them have nothing to do with this industry. I have a passion for remodeling old things. I love to take an old home or piece of furniture and transform it into something of beauty however, my current project is getting my boutique, Fashionably Late, up and running, but if you hear of me building a house, don’t be surprised.

The advice I would give someone just entering this industry is; be patient, put your trust in God, don’t doubt yourself, and find a good group of people to work with. It doesn’t matter how large or small the salon as long as there is peace and comradely between you and your co- workers.
Let’s see, my sense of style? I guess you can say that I express my sense of style through my clients. Some days I’m feeling adventurous and most of the time it reflects in my client’s hair styles on those days. Some days I’m a little more reserved and on those days I might have clients that get more casual hairstyles. My style may change from time to time.

Yes, I do have a personal Facebook page, and you may see some hair pictures posted from time to time. I recently created an Instagram page for the salon, but I haven’t posted any pictures yet. I will be the first to say that I need to put a little more into the social media thing.

Sometimes my inspiration may come through a dream; or other stylists inspire me, or sometimes it may be a particular style I saw on Instagram that I might want to try. I love short cuts and styles so most of my creativity tends to gravitate towards styling short hair.

Many people have motivated me. There has been a few times in the 14 years that I have been a salon owner that I have wanted to give it up, but when I’m at that point God always increases my strength. I don’t really think about the ones that are still here, I think about the people who have given up. I think about the “what if” factor. What if they would have stayed a little longer? Where would they be now? There is a bible verse that says, “The race is not given to the swift nor the strong, but it is given to the one that endures until the end.” As long as God gives me the strength, I plan on enduring until the end.

 

 

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