Student Spotlight: April Frazier
April Frazier started her first business venture at the age of 28.
That's when she opened Chances Beauty Supply, a 2,400-square-foot store that retails beauty products, hair extensions and general merchandise. One year later, she met two customers who would change her future: Bea Brown and Yolanda Curry of College of DuPage.
“Their original goal was to simply purchase products for the school,” she said. “Mrs. Brown introduced herself as the director of the Cosmetology program at COD. I expressed how I was interested in gaining more education in hair care, especially since I retailed the products. She agreed and extended a warm invitation to the program. So, in August of 2009, I joined the Cosmo family at COD's Addison Center, just a quarter of a mile away from my store. There are no coincidences.”
During her time in the program, Frazier competed in two hair competitions, placing seventh in her first and second in the following one. Also, since her sister, who is a cosmetologist, used her as a test “dummy” while in school, Frazier already possessed some hands-on skills that not only helped her succeed but also allowed her to help other students.
“Instead of sitting in a corner twiddling my thumbs when I completed a project before my classmates who struggled, I helped,” she said. “I helped in my class; I helped in the other classes. I even helped the first year students. I loved teaching what I knew. I loved coming up with different strategies outside of textbook lessons to help my classmates. For example, almost everyone hated finger waves. And to make matters worse, we had to do a hundred of them on the mannequin head to complete our goals. I could do finger waves in my sleep because of my sister. So I went to every student who needed my help and taught finger waves in a way they would never forget. I won’t go into details, but about 90 percent of my class graduated with finger wave skills.”
Frazier describes herself as a hard worker who is motivated by her daughter and son. And after graduating with her degree in 2011, she opened her second business venture, which is her first salon/boutique in Glendale Heights retailing Virgin Hair Extensions and trendy plus-size apparel for women. Her new businesses are Who Does Her Hair Salon (www.facebook.com/herhairsalon) and Plush Hair & Fashion Boutique (www.facebook.com/plushhairfashion).
And she's not stopping there.
“I’ve taken the skills and knowledge given to me by my instructors and doubled my clientele within a year. I’ve also opened my first salon within two years and hopefully will be teaching by 2015,” she said. “I had no idea when I opened my store that this industry would take me so far.
“Cosmetology is more than just doing hair. Cosmetologists are the only professionals outside of doctors licensed to treat your hair, scalp, skin and nails. The world needs cosmetologists. We are groomers – stylists. We are educators – as Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Curry, and Mrs. Jackie (Tredup). We are inventors – Madame CJ Walker. We are innovators – April Frazier.”
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