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A look at Rochester’s first Black-owned and operated cosmetology school

todayFebruary 8, 2024 5

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — After 21 years in the business, the owner of Visions Beauty Salon says she saw a void in the region and opened the first Black-owned and operated cosmetology school in Rochester.

Kenisha June says it took more than a vision to meet all the state requirements and get the business started.

“It takes a lot to open up a beauty school, and basically dealing with New York State, New York State is very difficult,” said June. “It’s a lot of red tape, but with patience and endurance, you can do it.”

Visions School of Beauty holds grand opening!

Two years ago, the head stylist and owner of the salon noticed a growing trend of stylists who lacked the desire and skill set to work in a salon.

“When I started working, we were a team, five or six stylists in one salon. We grew together, we learned from one another, but I see that isn’t the same anymore,” June said.

She started doing hair when she was in high school — in the basement of her home. Later on, she went to Edison Tech and got her Cosmetology license. In April, she’ll celebrate 21 years in the business.

June says COVID-19 restrictions coupled with the mindset of younger stylists have changed salon culture.

“Social media played a big part in it. Be your own boss and own your own thing. People took that to a level without fully understanding what that means,” June said. “Then also with social media, this is my space, this is me, and no one wants to work under anyone anymore. That’s why we’re seeing that. People get out there and then they don’t know how to operate a biz and stay in a business.”

She says that’s one reason she decided to open a cosmetology school.

“I feel like when they go to other schools, they’re just a number and because they’re just a number, I think they’re not getting that true management opportunity to learn those different things, which is important but they’re not actually learning how to become a beauty boss,” June said.

Black History Month: Rochester’s lasting impact

All students who enroll can expect to receive specific training on how to properly care for Black hair along with the state-approved curriculum. June adds her mission is to provide affirmation along with information.

“I’m looking to serve anyone who is ambitious, willing to learn, and look at this profession seriously,” she says. “If you want to own a salon, if you want to rent a booth, if you want to do hair shows, sell products, I’m able to point you in the right direction, but you need a license.”

It takes about a year and a half to complete the curriculum and costs just over $ 12,000 to attend. Since it’s a new private school, state grants aren’t accepted at this time, but the owner says they will provide discounts and work out payment plans with those who enroll.

Students will also be able to learn hands-on experience since Visions Beauty Salon is right next door.

​ ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — After 21 years in the business, the owner of Visions Beauty Salon says she saw a void in the region and opened the first Black-owned and operated cosmetology school in Rochester.

Kenisha June says it took more than a vision to meet all the state requirements and get the business started.

“It takes a lot to open up a beauty school, and basically dealing with New York State, New York State is very difficult,” said June. “It’s a lot of red tape, but with patience and endurance, you can do it.”
Visions School of Beauty holds grand opening!
Two years ago, the head stylist and owner of the salon noticed a growing trend of stylists who lacked the desire and skill set to work in a salon.

“When I started working, we were a team, five or six stylists in one salon. We grew together, we learned from one another, but I see that isn’t the same anymore,” June said.

She started doing hair when she was in high school — in the basement of her home. Later on, she went to Edison Tech and got her Cosmetology license. In April, she’ll celebrate 21 years in the business.

June says COVID-19 restrictions coupled with the mindset of younger stylists have changed salon culture.

“Social media played a big part in it. Be your own boss and own your own thing. People took that to a level without fully understanding what that means,” June said. “Then also with social media, this is my space, this is me, and no one wants to work under anyone anymore. That’s why we’re seeing that. People get out there and then they don’t know how to operate a biz and stay in a business.”

She says that’s one reason she decided to open a cosmetology school.

“I feel like when they go to other schools, they’re just a number and because they’re just a number, I think they’re not getting that true management opportunity to learn those different things, which is important but they’re not actually learning how to become a beauty boss,” June said.
Black History Month: Rochester’s lasting impact
All students who enroll can expect to receive specific training on how to properly care for Black hair along with the state-approved curriculum. June adds her mission is to provide affirmation along with information.

“I’m looking to serve anyone who is ambitious, willing to learn, and look at this profession seriously,” she says. “If you want to own a salon, if you want to rent a booth, if you want to do hair shows, sell products, I’m able to point you in the right direction, but you need a license.”

It takes about a year and a half to complete the curriculum and costs just over $ 12,000 to attend. Since it’s a new private school, state grants aren’t accepted at this time, but the owner says they will provide discounts and work out payment plans with those who enroll.

Students will also be able to learn hands-on experience since Visions Beauty Salon is right next door. Read More Black History MonthRochesterFirst  

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