Smiley began her cosmetology training while still a high school student and became a licensed hair stylist in 1999. From 1999 to 2010 she worked on her own as a stylist and eventually owned her own salon in Atlanta, Georgia.
After she moved to Phoenix Smiley decided to share her knowledge and experience in the cosmetology field by becoming an instructor with International Academy of Hair Design at Desert Sky Mall. Now she takes on a new role as director of the award-winning, west-side cosmetology school.
“The shift from instructor to director allows me to help create an environment that helps our students succeed in school,” said Smiley. “We have a diverse staff with unique talents. Our Phase I instructor, Lorena, is a color specialist, particularly with the Pravana™ hair care line we carry that is popular with ethnic and darker hair color. We have our Phase II instructor, Bridgette, who specializes in razor cuts and short hair. Our Clinic Floor Nights Instructor, Kathy, specializes in razor cuts. My expertise is on staying focused on your goal and developing the skills you need to be successful working on your own.”
To help demonstrate to students how what they learn and do can translate into income, Smiley has her students record the services they perform at school and she later calculates what they would have earned at a salon.
“It’s important for the students to understand the correlation between the work they perform and how that translates into income,” said Smiley. “At International Academy of Hair we also understand that students learn differently and we work with them to help them achieve the ultimate goal – to graduate, pass their state board and launch into their respective careers.”
The future continues to look bright for hair stylists. According to a U.S. News and World Report hairdresser is cited as one of the best jobs of 2013. In a March 21, 2012 article in USA Today, beauty salon sales grew 5.4 %.4 in the last two years vs. a 2.3% sales increase in 2009. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics projections of 15.7% employment growth expected by 2020, the future of hair salons and the future of hair stylists should continue to grow.
In addition to the Desert Sky Mall location, the company owns International Academy of Hair Design schools in Mesa, 1445 W. Southern in Mesa at Fiesta Mall, IAHD in Tempe, 4812 S. Mill Ave. in Tempe and 9617 N. Metro Parkway in Phoenix at Metro Center Mall. The company also owns Olympian University schools in Alamogordo, Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Roswell, New Mexico, ITS Academy of Beauty schools throughout Texas and Lawton, Oklahoma, as well as Hair Benders Academy in Florida.
For more information visit www.intlacademyaz.com. To tour the school as a prospective student or to book client services call IAHD at the Desert Sky Mall location at 623-846-4000.