It can be overwhelming at first; figuring out if a career is right for you, the financial and emotional investments, and the little voice in the back of your head that has you questioning if you’re cut out for it. We get these types of questions a lot from prospective students wondering if our programs can help them build the life they envision. In a new blog series, Success After School, we’ll be catching up with graduates from CEA about how their new career has changed their lives and what struggles they may have had along the way.
This month, we touched base with electrologist Ashley Letoa. Ashley completed the 600 hour program through CEA in Spring of 2021. Within just a few short months she has a bustling schedule and big dreams in the future.
While looking into other forms of hair removal for herself and her cousin, the permanence and FDA approval really stood out when researching electrology. At first it was just to be a client but the more she learned, the more it seemed like something she could see herself doing long term. “I went to Electrology.com (American Electrology Association) and sent out emails to 40 or 50 electrologists to see how they liked their career and they all loved it. The only negative I was able to really get feedback on was their posture!” The successes that she heard from other electrologists was the push she needed to look into schools. That is when she found CEA and got personal feedback from current students which solidified her decision to start.
The COVID-19 quarantine provided the opportunity to focus on her online theory course and prepare herself to start her own business. “It was nice being able to focus on each detail, like learning how to set up a website, curate the vibe in the studio and really hone in on schooling.” March 2021, Ashley completed the 600 hour course at CEA and quickly passed her State Board exams to become a practicing electrologist in sunny Southern California. It wasn’t without some rough patches. “I don't think I had any support from my family throughout my program...” She explained. “They were always very negative and didn’t think I should be going out and doing my own thing. But I became very confident quickly as I shared the knowledge I learned with my clients and saw that I was making a difference for people. A lot of people struggle with their hair and I love being the one who can help them. I’ve even had a few clients get teary after seeing their face cleared! That is one of my proudest moments!” As an electrologist, we know our work is important for so many reasons, but seeing the difference you’ve made in someone’s quality of life is what makes the long process worth it.
It’s not all about the emotional rewards though. Within her first 3 months with her new business, Silky Smooth Skin Electrolysis based in Sola salon suites in Rancho Cucamonga, Ashley has over 45 clients and a full schedule. “I’ve been able to pay off my credit cards, which was a struggle before I started. I’m also looking at buying a house that never felt like it was going to happen for me! Most of all, I’m able to spend time with my son. I can block off whatever time I need in my schedule to be there for his biggest moments. I’m my own boss and don’t feel bad anymore for taking time for my family and I!”
So what’s next for Ashley? “I’m hoping within a year, I’ll be able to open up my own salon and even hire another electrologist! I never thought I would get to that point but the busier I get, the more excited I am for that next step.” Seeing our students go from apprehensive and shy to confident and successful is one of our proudest moments as instructors. We look forward to sharing more Success After School stories with you all over the next year!