Jake’s Story

JAKE IVINS

Cosmetology Educator
Aveda Institute Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Our graduates come from all walks of life and their careers span a vast array of fields within the beauty industry. What they all have in common, is that their story started at the Aveda Institute. We sat down with some alumni to hear their story in their own words.

We’re excited to share their stories to inspire you to start your great story with us!

If you’re an alumni and want to tell your story, email greatstories@nurturaveda.com

Tell me your story, in your own words.

My journey started when I was in middle school. I had had an arrangement with a hairstylist in my hometown that she would do my hair for free If I would let her do whatever she wanted to it. I met the stylist through a friend of mine who was attending cosmetology courses at the local community college. I always had an interest in the beauty industry in general. I went to North Carolina school of the arts for high school for a short time and ended up teaching dance for 8 years. After my second-year teaching dance I needed something to supplement my income because the hours were pretty restrictive. I needed something to fill my days, so I began attending cosmetology school in 2012 at the Aveda Institute in Chapel Hill. Many of the instructors I had in school are still here today, which I think speaks volumes for the company!

I had had an arrangement with a hairstylist in my hometown that she would do my hair for free If I would let her do whatever she wanted to it.

I graduated from the cosmetology program in 2013 and jumped right to the salon and I had a great career there. I ended up branching out into different aspects, working for different cosmetics lines, including Laura Mercier, where I was the first person certified in the Southeast. I was in charge of setting up the events all over the Southeast, I had a blast doing that.

That’s where I feel like I truly found I was able to combine the passion for education I discovered teaching dance and my love for hair and beauty industry.

Then, I kind of felt like I was missing something throughout that experience. I’ve always had a passion for education. Which stems from me teaching dance for 8 years. When I was in school, I had originally planned on doing the instructor training program. One of my mentors suggested I should go into the workforce. So, after I began to feel like something was missing, I reached back out to the school and I was just gonna give it a go – just try the instructor training program and see how everything played out. That’s where I feel like I truly found I was able to combine the passion for education I discovered teaching dance and my love for hair and beauty industry.

Did you always wanted to do something in the beauty industry?

It kind of evolved. It started with art, through dance. When I was younger, I always loved going into the salon and having my hair done. I used to sit around and wait for my friends at the salon to get off work. I just loved that environment in general. I really just look at it as all one art form – dance, hair, the beauty industry, it’s all tied in together for me.

I really just look at it as all one art form – dance, hair, the beauty industry, it’s all tied in together for me.

What were your dreams in the beauty industry when you started?

I was just gonna hit the ground running. I feel like when you graduate school you don’t really know what your dreams are. I was presented with a job right away for a salon that my friend got me an interview with. I had fun doing it. Now I honestly don’t crave doing hair outside of education. That was something that came to light after  doing the instructor training program for a while.

I feel like when you graduate school you don’t really know what your dreams are.

 

What is the most rewarding part of education for you?

Watching their students grow and flourish. Their “Ah Ha” moments, when it clicks for them. All of the celebrations – I love to work with my students on their social media and just putting things together. And I just love working with them and watching them grow as students.

 

You mentioned mentors a couple times too. How did some of the mentors you had shape who you are as a professional?

Tasha, who’s still an educator in our network, first made me interested in teaching. Her passion inspired me. Since then she’s transferred to a different location back in Ohio, but she definitely set it for me. Also, Dario, Cheryl and Erin during my Enlightenment phases were always big inspirations too.

 

What are some of the non-technical skills you learned either through your education or through your mentors that have been essential to your success as an educator?

I like the fact that the Aveda Institute shows students what it’s really like to be in the industry. I like the fact that they put more emphasis on what it’s truly like outside of just the cosmetology school. And I also love the Aveda network in general which can open up many doors for you.

The Aveda Institute shows students what it’s really like to be in the industry.

 

I know we talked about dreams when we first started but what are your current dreams? What do you want to do still in your career that you haven’t yet?

I would love to own my own school someday.

 

What are some hurdles you had in your education and in your career that you had to overcome? And how did you overcome them?

JI: Well, you gotta show up! {laughs} If I’m being honest, I was not the greatest student, when it came to attendance. I had such a great time when I was in school, but, I feel like the biggest and scariest thing you do while you’re in school is work with such diverse cliental. With the hands-on experience and walk-in appointments, you get to meet all kinds of different people that come from all different backgrounds. Also, learning how to make your client comfortable and making sure that you’re going above and beyond in order for the client to come back to you.

If I’m being honest, I was not the greatest student, when it came to attendance.

 

How about in your career as an educator?

I love my job, I have so much fun. I mean every job has good and bad, but the fact is that I’m having fun and that I’m enjoying every day that I’m working. That’s priceless to me. Time is more precious than money and that says a lot. If I’m gonna be out here doing it, I might as well be enjoying myself. I’m not a clock in/clock out kind of guy.

I love my job, I have so much fun. I mean every job has good and bad, but the fact is that I’m having fun and that I’m enjoying every day that I’m working. That’s priceless to me.

 

If you could go back and give yourself advice on day one of cosmetology school what would you give yourself?

Everything’s gonna be alright!

 

I like that! How has being in the beauty industry value added to your life?

It’s really about the feedback you get from the clients. When you can make someone feel good on the inside and on the outside. I mean there’s just nothing like it. You never know what people have going on in their lives outside of before they sit down in your chair. And I’ve seen some truly amazing things happen. Some people are overcoming an illness or some sort of trauma and they’re just looking for wellness. They’re looking to feel like themselves again. Any opportunity I have to make someone else feel good, you know, my cup overflows. I just love helping people just to feel and look their best.

Any opportunity I have to make someone else feel good, you know, my cup overflows. I just love helping people just to feel and look their best.

 

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

There have been many. If I’m speaking from an educator standpoint – Earth Jam, hands down. It’s the one time when students just get to go nuts. I get to see how they express themselves and I love the show aspect of everything. I love tying all that in together. Earth Jam every year is probably the highlight for me.

Earth Jam every year is probably the highlight for me.

 

How does the Earth Jam experience differ as an educator than as a student?

It’s hard not to get your hands in there. It’s easy to want to take over, but you have to take a step back and say, “I have to guide from the side.” I’m here to guide, I’m not here to do it for them. Letting them fall and helping them learn from that and grow from those mishaps is very rewarding.

If you could start over all of this, would you do anything differently?

No

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