It’s important to us to be leaders in our community. Here at The Salon Professional Academy D.C., we believe in celebrating everyone for who they are. With the upcoming Pride 2017 celebration and our Grand Opening on June 8, we decide to speak with a handful of our students to find out what makes them proud to be students at TSPA D.C.
Q: First of all, why did you choose the beauty industry? What drew you to it?
Tracie Rathsack: “It’s actually my second career. I worked as an executive assistant for a while, and I was in that industry for 20 years. My brother is a cosmetologist, and I’ve been interested in it as a side job, and then one day he just pushed me to pursue my dreams. I just decided to make the jump.”
Gillian Andrade: “I went to college, but I didn’t like it. I think the beauty industry is a fun way to start your career. I’ve heard a lot of good things about TSPA from my boss at work, so I chose TSPA D.C. as soon as they opened.”
Mike Barrios: “I started in the beauty industry 5 years ago. My friend wanted me to be an assistant, and he wanted to teach me. I got the job, and I worked at that for 4 years until my ex manager opened a salon with Patrick. I cannot say it’s always been my dream, but now that I’m at school, it makes me feel good. I’m grateful I started school.”
Q: So why did you chose TSPA D.C.? What makes them different in your eyes?
Tracie: “I am their first transfer student. My other school was further away, and I felt like the way that TSPA teaches was a better fit for me and the way I learn. It is also a better fit for my personality. People here are really excited. There’s a lot of energy! The D.C. area is more youthful and driven. They’re trying to prove themselves, and I like a place where I am challenged. Patrick really pushes you to take it to the next level.”
Gillian: “They have a level system here, and I think TSPA students transition into salons better after graduation. I feel more prepared. I work at The Hair company, and I don’t want to be a receptionist for ever!”
Mike: “I chose D.C. because I knew Patrick through Elena, and Elena was the one who got me to go to school. She pushed me to start. I picked TSPA because I know them, and I trust them. They’re good people.”
Q: What about TSPA D.C. makes you feel safe to be yourself, and why is that important to you?
Tracie: “Everyone is so helpful and supportive. Everyone was willing to help me when I first transferred. I felt included right away. They are so welcoming and open, and I never felt like an outcast. There is no judgement here. No one is judged on how they dress or the way they look. The times are changing and everyone can be themselves.”
“I’ve worked in several places that are the opposite of TSPA D.C. To see a place where people can be safe and be who they are and be celebrated for what they do, as a human who wants others to be themselves, that’s important to me.”
Gillian: “TSPA D.C. is really diverse. Everyone is really open and accepting. They’ve given us all a place to feel comfortable. They make sure everyone has opportunities. They don’t single anyone out, and we can also speak up. I think they have a great way of making everyone comfortable.”
“High school for me wasn’t the nicest. Where I grew up, I didn’t have the greatest time, and I couldn’t wait to get out. It is nice to go to a place where everyone has a say, and no one is bullied or picked on.”
Mike: “I feel safe at TSPA D.C. because I am not the only gay guy here. When they are more people like you, the more comfortable you are. It feels like home. There is a lot of diversity. TSPA is a great school, and if someone else wants to go to beauty school, TSPA is a great choice. I know the owners and I trust them. Elena is always taking care of me. This is more like a home, not a school. We are so loved.”
We strive to create a culture that celebrates everyone and their differences. In an effort to infuse our culture into our local community, we want to invite everyone to our Grand Opening on Thursday June 8 at 4PM! Come and join us for cuts and styles, and get to know us. We’re also giving away prizes during a raffle. From Tuesday until Saturday the week of the 8th we will also be donating the proceeds from all cut and blow-dry styles to the Whitman-Walker Clinic. Please join us for this fun celebration of diversity and acceptance!