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Collectiv 3Collectiv Academy reimagines both basic and advanced education to set up stylists for salon success and elevate the entire industry. —TRACY MORIN

Pundits often lament our industry’s issues—high dropout rates in schools, unprepared stylists fleeing the business after only a few years and independent schools flailing or folding. But Kenny and Lenore Gibson, owners of Collectiv Academy (, were determined to do something about it. Alarmed by the woeful stats, they rethought education—e.g., dull classes designed to help students pass a state exam—and refocused on real-world success, building students who are well prepared for the salon with “predictable, repeatable and desirable” skills. “People often say you ‘have to’ do this or that, and those beliefs aren’t usually challenged,” Kenny muses. “How could we give students what they imagined and expected when they signed up for beauty school, making education exceptionally relevant?”

But Kenny and Lenore Gibson are no newbies— with Toni&Guy Salon and Academy Divisions, they spent decades educating tens of thousands of stylists. Today, they also spread the net wide: With the tagline “Industry Fierce,” Collectiv encompasses both advanced education and in-salon training for owners and stylists. Collectiv Academy Hairdressing Experience, a boutique cosmetology school, teaches fundamentals and business-building skills to students at all levels. Independent schools are joining the Collectiv Alliance by adopting its education and operational systems, while a Collectiv Lab education center opened in Dallas to support three salons. “Collectiv is an idea, a concept, just as education is a collective of the ideas that have grown to form modern hairdressing,” Kenny explains. “Unfortunately, our industry is judged on what we’re doing poorly, and if you get an average education, you get an average job and become one of the statistics.”

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The Gibsons believe everyone in the industry should take responsibility for upending the status quo, advising successful stylists to visit schools and share their knowledge with students. Meanwhile, they’re changing the landscape, one school, salon and student at a time, with a fresh approach to education—think photo shoot experience and Hair Camp, where students study one-on-one with top pros. “Unless we’re imparting students with the confidence and skills to compete, we’re not doing them any favors,” Kenny concludes. “Pushing the envelope on education helps us all rise to the top. Let’s fi ght for change, not against it.”

Collectiv Academy
7353 South 900 East Midvale, UT 84047
Find applications for student enrollment at Collectiv Academy,  or call 719.276.9024. 


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