Drew Inge is a master stylist and salon owner. In this Q&A with Beauty Launchpad, he shares his memories of the time he first graduated and what advice he would give to new pros who’ve just graduated.
Beauty Launchpad (BLP): What do you remember about the time when you first graduated?
Drew Inge (DI): Being terrified of what I was going to do and the first salon I was going to work in. I’ve been in the industry for 12 years, and a lot has shifted in that time. When I started, new stylists were expected to do any and everything that walked in the door. Nowadays, stylists can specialize in certain fields, but I still think doing everything for a while gives you experience, and lets you decide what you really love and find your area of expertise and what you really shine in.
BLP: What do you wish you knew when you graduated that you know now?
DI: That you don’t have to do everything to be successful. The “bread and butter” mindset is not reality for today’s market. You can specialize in certain services and have a successful career and not waste your time doing things you hate or aren’t great at doing.
BLP: What are important steps for new pros to take after just graduating?
DI: Continuing your education. School gives you the foundation, but now it’s time to build the house. You need to expand your skills and really experience the work behind the chair.
BLP: What advice would you give new pros who’ve just graduated?
DI: Don’t get discouraged. Many new stylists get discouraged and quit and go to another field. I think the success rate of beauty school graduates is extremely low because they get discouraged or they don’t have mentors to help guide them. The first couple years you’ll make mistakes, but they are learning experiences. Even seasoned stylists make mistakes. The trick is to learn from it, own up to it and make it a learning experience and move on.