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A cosmetology school opens in Charlotte at What's Your Forte Salon

Angela Forte is blowing drying Abigail Allen's hair.
Posted at 3:49 PM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 17:03:49-04

CHARLOTTE, Mich. — It’s been almost 30 years since Charlotte had a cosmetology school, but that will change in about a month.

Classes at What’s Your Forte Salon will start on Aug.23.

Blow drying hair
Blow drying hair

Instructor Angela Forte has 20 years of experience in cosmetology and said it has been her dream to open her own school since she was in school herself.

“It took a little bit longer than I expected, but we’re here, and I’m so excited," Forte said. "When we were getting to know each other [my husband] expressed that he wanted to open a cosmetology school and I was like, 'Shut up.' So, it works out great that we can do this together."

Instructor Angela Forte
Instructor Angela Forte

Ten students can fit in the space they have, and so far, they have three enrolled in the program.

Forte said location will be an advantage. The closest beauty school is the Douglas J Aveda Institute in East Lansing, 25 miles away.

Location is one of the many things that interested one of the students, Abigail Allen.

Allen lives in Eaton Rapids and said she wanted to attend What’s Your Forte Academy because it’s closer to home, and it’s going to be more "one-on-one" than some other schools.

“I’d be able to ask more questions and learn easier,” Allen said.

What's Your Forte cosmetology program
What's Your Forte cosmetology program

Allen said, she knew she wanted to go into the cosmetology field since fifth grade when she taught herself how to braid hair.

“Ever since then, I always found it interesting all the things you can do with hair and with makeup. And how creative you can get with it. And I’ve just always wanted to take it further,” she said.

Kristan Sayers is the president of the Michigan Association of Beauty Professionals and a salon owner in Brighton. She said there’s a demand for hairstylists.

“I think that there is definitely a demand in our industry like there always has been. And I think that anything that’s going on in the world whether it’s financial or a pandemic, what we currently went through, for some reason our industry always comes out stronger, the beauty industry," Sayers said. "So, it just goes to show how much we can help people and make people feel good about themselves.”

What's Your Forte Salon
What's Your Forte Salon

Right now, students aren't able to receive federal financial aid to attend the school. Forte said you have to be in business for a certain amount of time to become accredited to receive financial aid.

“There are a lot of banks out there that do personal loans that are geared specifically towards education as well but not financial aid," Forte said. "So, we do offer a payment program as well. You can pay monthly.”

Forte anticipates What's Your Forte Academy will outgrow the current space within two years. Then the plan is to switch places with the salon and move the school to the front of the building.

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Cali Montana

Cali Montana

2:27 PM, Jan 20, 2021

Charlotte & Eaton Rapids

Neighborhood Reporter

Cali Montana

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