Graduate Showcase-Ashley Hille
1. Where are you from?
2. What was defining moment in choosing cosmetology school?
-I went to college on a track and cross country scholarship and kept changing my major. I had always wanted to do hair, but went the college route and couldn’t find my passion. I moved to Hays to go to FHSU and realized that graphic design wasn’t for me. I took a break and met my husband and we both decided to go to trade schools. He an electrician and me HAHD.
3. What fears did you have and how did you overcome them?
-I had a couple of fears. First was men’s cutting, so I went and worked at a salon with a barber and that was the best thing I did for my men’s cutting techniques. The second fear was not knowing if I could really ever build a solid clientele. Moving to KC and working at Beauty Brands for years really shaped me into the stylist I am now. I love school, and it’s your foundation, but I’m still learning every single day, even 12 years later.
4. Fav moments from HAHD?
-I love the passion the instructors have. Some of my instructors are still there and I will always be thankful for them and their true mentoring. I went to school in the old building, there were lots of funny things that happened there. I had one very life changing experience with a client who was a survivor of Hurricane Katrina. I learned how vulnerable clients can be and how we need to have the most compassion for them because they might not get it from anyone else.
5. Where do I work now?
-I booth rent at Savvy Hair Studio in Bonner Springs, KS
6. How long have you been there?
-1 year at this location and 11 years in KC as a stylist.
7. Happy with decision of choosing this industry?
-Yes! Of course! It’s the most versatile career! You never know who is going to sit in your chair. You have the unique and amazing opportunity to truly touch people’s lives daily. I’ve had some awesome opportunities to grow my portfolio and I wouldn’t have connections had I not put myself out there like I do. I enjoy going to continuing education classes now more than ever because I’m my own boss now. I need to continue to push myself and not stay in a box, push the barriers. In this industry, the sky is the limit. My favorite class I’ve taken recently was the Business of Balayage class. Phenomenal class.
8. Career goals and how to achieve them?
-I really feel blessed to have had the opportunities I’ve had in the industry. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing artists. I worked with Paul Mitchell and was an instructor at Paul Mitchell the School in Overland Park. That education was so valuable. I also had the opportunity to work with the KC Chiefs Cheerleaders doing their hair for the 2010-2011 season. That was AWESOME for a huge Chiefs fan! I’ve worked and done hair for KC Fashion week and that was really fun. My goals now are to maintain my business I’ve grown, to continue my education and continue to inspire others to be the best version of themselves.
9. What advice do you have to future graduates?
-My best advice is to truly put yourself out there. Introduce yourself to everyone. Hand your cards out. Each client in your chair, hand them extra cards. I know everyone says word of mouth is the way to build your clientele, it’s the complete truth and I’m thankful for the connections I’ve made.