Denise Gallant, owner of the Cosmetology Institute of Las Vegas, understands something about dreams. She had wanted to return to her passion working in the beauty industry after years in other fields as well as open her own school for over a decade. Now that it is a reality, Gallant is ready to help others achieve their goals.
The mission of the school is three-fold. First, it provides high quality, professional training in the art of cosmetology. Second, it prepares students to become leaders and productive citizens for employment and the entrepreneur mindset. Third, it promotes positive community values through service and advocacy.
The possibilities in the beauty industry are limitless. One could become a celebrity stylist, celebrity make up artist, salon manager, salon owner or licensed instructor.
But Gallant, with training in the beauty industry, and Cosmetology Institute of Las Vegas offers more than just training in services. The beauty industry requires an entrepreneurial mindset and Gallant includes financial literacy training.
“When I was trying to start my career, there wasn’t a lot of opportunity available to me. When I found that I wanted to provide a certain lifestyle for my family, it was important to me to create my own opportunity,” she explained. “When I developed this school, while it is easy to get training in cosmetology, a business mindset must be developed to be successful in the industry.” With financial literacy as part of the curriculum, students are taught work ethic, as well as thinking as a business owner and not just a freelance cosmetologist.
Also, it is more common to have to rent a booth or space in a salon, which means rent must be paid. With this arrangement, the cosmetologist is responsible for purchasing beauty products and building a following. If there are few walk-ins, it can be difficult to build a business. Some salons will offer a commission-basis (usually 40 percent for the salon) and some will hire cosmologists as staff. Still, students need to be prepared and Gallant takes pride that her school offers this training.
…students worked for 20 hours making human hair wigs for breast cancer survivors. The students reached their goal of making 20 wigs during the two-day Wigathon.
Another important aspect is involvement with the community. Cosmetology Institute of Las Vegas recently partnered with National Coalition of 100 Black Women. For the three-day event, students worked for 20 hours making human hair wigs for breast cancer survivors. The students reached their goal of making 20 wigs during the two-day Wigathon. During the third day, 10 breast cancer survivors, along with their champion, came into the school, had their wigs styled and then were given a full makeover with a glamour photo taken. Champions are the people who gave support to the survivors.
“It was the most humbling and inspiring event for me and my students,” Gallant said. “Everyone was so blessed with the events. The students realized how good they can make people feel and how they can help.”
For those who attend classes full-time, it can take between 10 to 12 months. For those attending on a part-time basis, it can take 18 to 20 months.
As Gallant stated, “We are just not a school in the community but a community school. We are working very hard to provide as much service and support to our community as possible.