By Amy Nicole
I believe achieving success can be attributed to one main principle. Always set goals. Write them down, think about them and then get to work to make them happen. These are virtues that I hope to pass on to our graduates at Chicstudios NYC, and also to other inspiring young women. If you believe in yourself, you really can do anything you aspire to do.
After graduating from esthetician school over 14 years ago, I started what has been a long and rewarding career in the beauty industry. At the time, I knew I had a passion for beauty and started out in skin-care doing facials and waxing. I loved the experience of getting to know my clients and empowering them to feel their best; however I felt like there was more out there for me, something bigger for my career. I knew that to make my dreams a reality, I would need to set goals for myself.
My first goal was to become a professional makeup artist. I knew that if I could combine my experience in skin-care, with the right education I could eventually open my own business. So, I subsequently enrolled into a makeup artistry school in Canada, as well as business classes at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. After graduation, I continued to take as many advanced makeup courses as possible.
I studied in various cities, like New York and San Diego, while also working as a freelance artist with a top-modeling agency in Canada. I was blessed to eventually work my way to Lead Makeup Artist at the agency, where I had the opportunity to work on photo shoots, TV segments, fashion shows and other international campaigns. At this point, my career and wishes for my future had just begun.
Seven years after I set my first goal I moved to Los Angeles, where I knew there was more work and greater opportunities. During my move to LA, I set my next goal to become a celebrity makeup artist. Little did I know it was my experiences in LA that would lead me towards my ultimate calling. During my time in LA, I started working with at a beauty boutique in Beverly Hills. I was working with socialite and celebrity clientele for events and campaigns. It started to feel like I was really making progress on my new goal, but there was something inside of me that still wanted to do more.
During one sunny LA afternoon, I was having coffee with a close friend who also worked as a professional model. We were talking about various jobs and plans for the weekend, when she asked me, “Could you teach me to do makeup professionally to become a makeup artist? It would be good to have something to fall back on when I am not modeling!” I immediately thought, “YES! Yes I can do that!” That next day I began writing a curriculum to bring this new concept to life and set another goal. I wanted to create an education platform within the makeup industry that I wished existed when I was looking at makeup schools a decade ago.
Many popular makeup programs were over 10 months in duration and focused on film makeup, theater makeup and, or special effects; while shorter programs teaching beauty and fashion makeup lacked in the quality of their education and opportunities after graduation. I knew that if I could create a program that was focused on beauty and fashion makeup, while still fashion-forward and inspiring, it would fill a current void in makeup training. I started teaching private lessons to friends and other connections. It was an amazing feeling to be equipping others with the tools to be successful in the beauty industry. I had finally found my mission and I wanted to take it to another level.
In 2009, I moved to New York City with my next goal in mind, to start a makeup school in the Big Apple. At this point I had been doing makeup for 9 years and found a love for both the business aspect and educating others about the artistry of professional makeup. So Chicstudios NYC was born! We started with one small classroom, myself teaching, and one assistant. Students continued to enroll and eventually we had to move into a larger space. Now at our current location in downtown Manhattan, we have 4 classrooms, a student lounge, a library and admissions office.
My next goal, 6 years since Chicstudios first classroom began, we are set to launch our second school location, in sunny Los Angeles (2015.) As Chicstudios has grown, I’ve stepped out of the role of instructor in order to manage development and operations. However the school’s mission remains the same, to provide aspiring makeup artists a condensed, fashion-forward education that will equip them with the tools necessary to succeed in the beauty industry. We also offer all graduates access to our CHICPro Community, a platform for makeup gigs, job opportunities, hiring fairs, events and more!
It has been an amazing 14-year journey thus far, and some days I feel like I am still just getting started. I still set goals, and find great inspiration in the enthusiasm of our makeup graduates. To this day when students ask me for advice I go back to the same phrase. Always set goals. When you set goals, work hard and believe in yourself – the sky is the limit!
Amy began her career 14 years ago, refining her knowledge and trade-skills, arriving at advance principles in makeup artistry techniques over these years. Her desire was to develop a school that offered professional training, resources and the tools necessary to help makeup artists launch into a successful career.
Chicstudios makeup artistry school opened its doors in New York City in 2009 to provide aspiring and established artists a well-rounded education with techniques and skills needed to succeed in the beauty industry. The school boasts an array of highly qualified instructors, several intense and comprehensive curriculums, and offers lasting relationships with the ‘CHICPro Community’ offering gigs, hiring fairs, job opportunities, and much more.
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