It's National Apprenticeship Week!
We have been so busy behind the scenes building our Apprenticeship Program and we want to tell you all about it. We know you’ve probably seen our social media posts highlighting our current Apprentices, but there’s much to be celebrated in the changes that we are making to help develop the next generation of hair stylists!
Kantor and Company has always been an advocate for education and training in the hair industry. Back in 2021, K&CO launched the Academy, so that Eileen Kantor could train stylists according to her experience, philosophy, and creative talent. What started as a year long intensive educational training program, is now developing into an apprenticeship model, supporting the learning and growth of individuals, while giving them jobs in the salon from the beginning. The goal of the apprenticeship program is to reduce the training time and barriers to entry to the hair styling industry. K&CO wants to help people build a career, train them properly, and give them a job all at the same time!
I interviewed Eileen Kantor to get her take on the apprenticeship model:
Can you tell me about your current apprentices? What is it like having apprentices in your salon while you are working?
Eileen: My current apprentices in order of experience are as follows:
- Rabee, 17+ years experience. Rabee is originally from Nepal and got her original license there. She is an expert on perms, threading and long hair. She also gives a KILLER shampoo blow dry. Rabee is a part of the Apprenticeship program to acclimate herself to American styling and techniques. Many of her techniques translate. Rabee is a perfectionist and is studying daily to be an all star behind the chair at K&CO.
- Lucien, 3+ years experience. Lucien worked in barbershop style salons prior to coming to us. Their specialty is in masculine presenting haircuts and creative/ fashion colors. Their goal in being at K&CO is to become more well rounded. Right now they are in the salon on fridays. Their haircut * all genders and ages* is $30. This includes a wash and style. Do not miss out on the opportunity to book with them while they round out their skill set.
- Xander, 6+ months post graduation from the Aveda Institute in Denver. Xander is looking to become a European trained stylist. I am pulling out gems from past trainers I have had that really made me think deeply about what I was doing. We are focusing on the details of doing hair and the importance of them all. Xander enjoys doing color, shags, braids and tinsel.
- Caris, 3 months post graduation at Toni & Guy Academy. Caris has relocated from Texas to join our team. She is just starting her journey in our program, which is mostly focused on learning the front desk- making appointments, answering the phones, keeping up with cleaning around the salon. She has joined in on class and is excited to jump in and learn.
I currently have 2 apprentices that are enrolled in the Arapahoe Ridge/BVSD Boulder TEC cosmetology program, Jared and Desirae. The TEC program is one where a person in high school simultaneously works towards getting their hours towards their cosmetology/hairstyling license. This program is one that I am passionate about as I am on their advisory board.
- Jared is a kind observer. He is willing to jump in on any project and help out. He has a growth mindset and when he is in the salon everything is running smoothly. I can not wait to see him develop his skill behind the chair.
- Desiree is getting to know the ropes around the salon. She knows about the level of sanitation we like to keep. She makes sure the color room, the salon floor and the retail area are looking the way they need to. She is just starting to jump in assisting which means she is just starting to be able to answer the pop quizzes that I throw at her.
All of my apprentices are a joy. Friday is a fun day in the salon to teach, learn and grow. This is for both the apprentice and the client that is in their chair.
How does the Apprenticeship model support local salons?
Eileen: Right now there's a shortage of salon professionals. In the apprenticeship model we are able to train people while pairing them with other salons that are looking to grow. They can be learning and making money in their chosen profession all at the same time.
How does the Apprenticeship model support individuals looking for jobs in the hair industry?
Eileen: As you mentioned earlier, it lowers the barrier to entry. A person who wants a career as a stylist can be trained in a salon, learning from experienced stylists in the field in real time. This real time education is what makes a person more confident to do the job post graduation. This makes it so that the stylist can boost their earning potential earlier on in their career.
Who can become an Apprentice? Can anyone apply?
Eileen: Anyone who is interested in developing a career in hairstyling! This program is suited for people interested in learning in real time vs. lots of talking about techniques and not applying them to real life. Work in the hair industry is mutli-faceted, meaning the job dabbles in art & science, people & human relations, philosophy and psychology. If you have the drive to succeed, we encourage all to apply.
Do you take new apprentices at any time?
Eileen: The next group we will be accepting will be in Fall of 2024
I’ve seen posts about getting an appointment with an apprentice. What is that like?
Eileen: It depends on the day that you come in. Of course my favorite day is Friday because we get to make all the hair projects a lesson. I will jump in and demonstrate, they will execute. Everyone learns and has fun. Other days of the week I may pop over for a visit and jump in a little. Fridays are the days for the high stakes projects. During the week is for people who are wanting touch ups and trims- not makeovers.
We offer apprentice level services, for those that are cost conscious or for those who just want to support our apprentices’ hands-on education! While they are still learning and practicing, you can get services done for a fraction of the cost of a seasoned stylist. Apprentices always have a master stylist present to give advice or help with color formulation. Here is an example of the apprentice level pricing:
Children’s Haircut $20
Wash & Style $25
Toner, Wash & Style $40
Partial Highlight $100
Full Highlight $150
*Supply charges will also be added on to the service fees.
**If you have a big project in mind- FRIDAY is the day to book
See our apprentice team at work!
If you are interested in the apprenticeship program at Kantor and Company, please reach out! If you are an individual looking to be trained in the hair industry, or if you are a local salon, looking for a Sponsor in the apprenticeship model, we can help! Together we can collaborate to build up the talent in our industry and increase the earning potential for salons and stylists in our area.