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.
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."
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.
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.”
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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