Garnish Academy: Class is back in Session!

Recently, Candice had the opportunity to go out to the Paul Mitchell School in Raleigh alongside her apprentice team to speak to the students there. We interviewed her about the experience and why it was so important to her.

K: Tell us about why you were at the Paul Mitchell School.

Candice: I’ve been in the industry for 17 years and last year I created the Garnish Academy, my apprenticeship program. Through that program I’ve been able to invest back into the industry and help guide two new stylists through their first year (plus) out of school. I’ve seen what a difference a strong academy program can make and I wanted to be able to share that perspective with soon-to-be graduates to help them choose their path after graduation.

K: What are some of the pros and cons that you shared with them about choosing an Academy vs going straight behind the chair?

Candice: In terms of going straight into a salon… the pros are instantly starting their career, there’s a temptation of starting to build a clientele and make potentially more money in the short term. The learning curve is by hands-on experience, which can be both a pro and a con. Other cons would be having minimal experience with some of the advanced techniques required to achieve some of the current trends. We see a lot of corrective color these days along with beautifully blended, melted colors, which just require additional training than the traditional school offers. Being able to replicate inspiration photos really requires some hands-on training from an experienced mentor.

K: So the pros of an Academy is the advanced training… what else?

Candice: In addition to being in a learning environment with a mentor who can educate and guide in a very hands-on way, the Academy focuses on sustainability.

K: What does sustainability mean in terms of a career in the beauty industry?

Candice: The 3 Ps. During my talk at the school, I discussed the importance of this concept. Passion, which for most artists in the industry is the easy one because our passion is why we started this career to begin with. Profit, which is about more than just “making money” but truly being able to live a sustainable lifestyle. It’s direct, but true, that the artist “dies” when you can’t pay your bills. And the final P, Purpose. Purpose is about fulfillment—how you make someone feel, the confidence you can help them achieve, etc. Having a balance of all 3 Ps is important to create sustainability within a career.

K: Why was it so important to you to bring Kari and Reece with you to speak to the students?

Candice: They both graduated from that school and I met them both through previously speaking at the school. Most recently when I spoke about creating a program that’s a little different—more in depth, but truly career-changing in terms of the focus on not just hands on, but all aspects of being a successful stylist, Kari was still a student at the school. She told me that what I said really resonated with her and drew her to Garnish. I wanted them to be able to explain first-hand why they chose the Garnish Academy to begin their career.

K: What’s the biggest takeaway for you in terms of being able to share your experience with the next generation of stylists?

Candice: If I can take my 17 years of experience and help just one new stylist find the right path for their career, then I know I’ve made a difference. I love being able to take everything I’ve learned and pour into other people. It’s part of my current 3 Ps.. having a passion for education, and a purpose of growing new stylists in their craft contributes to the sustainability of my own career.


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