Academy Legends: Alumni Kat Blair

Kyle Richardson#Excellence, Austin, Hair, Springfield, Student Spotlight

Get to know Kat Blair!

Let’s talk about Kat Blair! Kat graduated from the Academy’s cosmetology program just over a year ago. With all the amazing things she has accomplished, it’s hard to believe it’s only been a year!

Right after graduation, Kat moved from Springfield, MO to Houston, TX. Talk about a life change. Here, she could focus on the service she is most passionate about, braiding! Kat’s salon environment changed with this move. She went from taking clients in our student salon and braiding the hair of friends and family to working in a 7-chair salon with 4 other talented stylists in Houston. Over the last year, Kat has created quite a name for herself, she even had the opportunity to do braids for two major Olympians:  Simone Biles and Carmelita Jeter! How cool is that?

You can say the beauty industry is in Kat’s blood. Her father was a hairstylist and salon owner, which means Kat and her sisters grew up in and around the business. They got to watch their father open up multiple salons, he even named one “Kathryn’s Nail Salon” after Kat. Being in this environment and practicing on each other pointed Kat and her sisters to careers in the beauty industry. While she knew she loved hair, Kat wrestled with the idea of going to cosmetology school. Her passion was in braiding and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to learn the other skills that go into a cosmetology license such as cutting or chemical services.

Another obstacle Kat faced was the financial piece. Having already obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources, she was not eligible for any grant money. Kat made the difficult decision to enroll in cosmetology school, relying on student loans to pay tuition. However, Kat didn’t choose the Academy of Hair Design at the time. Her heart just wasn’t in it. Kat had trouble staying motivated and skipped many of her classes. She eventually ended up quitting the cosmetology program.

About a year later, Kat was ready to pursue her passion and jump back into school. She knew that a fresh start was exactly what she needed. This time Kat enrolled in the Academy’s cosmetology program. Things were different this time for many reasons. She was at a different school, had a more motivated mindset, and a much better financial situation. Since braiding doesn’t require a cosmetology license, Kat started a braiding service that put her through cosmetology school. She was so successful that she actually graduated debt-free!

Legend Kat

The Academy’s cosmetology program prepared Kat for her successful future.

Guest speakers and educators offered different perspectives and ways of doing things. The Academy invites many guest educators from local salons as well as Redken Educators to give our students a wealth of knowledge. This experience provided Kat with a vast array of knowledge when it comes to real-world experience. Kat also had the opportunity to go through real-world situations and figure out the best route of problem-solving for her. The resources she was provided at the Academy gave her options that she wouldn’t have had the experience with if she had decided against Cosmetology school.

Learning and practicing new techniques from the educators help lay the foundation for a lot of the styling that I do today!

Kat also loved that she got to choose the schedule that worked best for her. She had tried a program before the Academy and it wasn’t conducive to her schedule. With our flexible scheduling, she was able to really customize her time and prepare herself for setting her own schedule when working in her salon. When Kat first decided she wanted to make a career change she struggled with the idea of going back to school. With the experience that she had in braiding, Kat went back and forth with the thought of doing something different. Kat decided to take the chance and if you ask her today what her favorite service is to perform, she will easily say color.

Kat’s plans for her future and her career In Cosmetology

Kat’s ultimate goal for her future Is to open her own salon, ideally In her hometown. She wants to run her own business in underrepresented areas, with a salon that focuses on curly, kinky, and textured hair. Her passion for the beauty industry and her community is inspiring! She is a perfect example of where hard work can take you! We love seeing Kat follow her dreams and cannot wait to see what she does in the future!

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