Future Professional Spotlight: Serena Russell
Tell us a little about yourself…
I am a dork, and a complete Harry Potter fanatic! I was originally born in England. You’ll always see me with a smile on my face. I have a lot of big dreams, like Harry… I am going to catch the “snitch.”
Did you always know that you wanted to work in the beauty industry?
Yes and no. I have a degree in photography and was a make-up artist for five years. So I enjoy beauty. However, people began asking me to do their hair and I had no clue how. This is what led me pursue my cosmetology education.
Why did you choose The Temple: A Paul Mitchell Partner School over other cosmetology schools?
I had heard from friends in the salon that a Paul Mitchell school would be best. The joyous feeling I received from walking into The Temple was unmatched by any other school. After my tour, I knew this was the school for me!
As a Future Professional you participated in many events while participating in on our Student Run Programs. Which ones were your favorite?
My favorite events were A Night to Shine and Hair Cuts for the Homeless. I love the feeling I get knowing I’ve made someone else feel great about themselves. I love giving back and love that it is a part of the Paul Mitchell culture here at The Temple. Another awesome event I got to participate in was working behind the scenes of the Cosmoprof Fashion Focus Hair Show at the National Harbor.
Congratulations, by the way, on winning the Electric Youth Contest! Tell us a little about the contest and the incredible grand prize you won.
For the Electric Youth Contest I had to submit a photo of a hairstyle inspired by the new Neon product line from Paul Mitchell. I chose to do a braided on purple hair with wooden toothpicks. I submitted my entry on the last day of the contest. Only one Future Professional and one Learning Leader in Paul Mitchell Schools across the nation were chosen. I was so excited to discover I won! The grand prize was that I got to go to California and work among the beauty industry’s best professionals for a Paul Mitchell photo shoot!
How was it working behind the scenes of a photo shoot with some of the top stylists/educators in the Paul Mitchell world?
Working behind the scenes was incredible. I met and assisted Noogie Thai, LaDonna Dryer, Mary Cuomo, Robert Cromeans, Stephanie Kocielski and Lucie Doughty. I learned so many tips and tricks regarding hair, and I got to see how it was working on an editorial photo shoot for Paul Mitchell. The outfits, hair, and models were flawless – I was completely beside myself. Considering my passions are hair, make up, and photography, this trip was a dream come true for me.
Let’s talk about your experiences with guests on the clinic floor. What are your top three favorite services you performed?
Of course, I loved doing any and all make up applications. (It’s one of my favorites.) I enjoy doing avant garde updos, too. However, I love the challenges presented by a double process. [Double processing is taking a guests’ hair light in a two-step process.] For me, taking a guest’s hair blonde is challenging and rewarding at the same time!
What advice would you give to people who have an interest in pursuing a career in the beauty industry?
This is an industry full of people who love what they do! Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life. Go for it – this industry is full of opportunity and wonder! I never would’ve imagined traveling this much to do what I love. I have been blessed to be apart of The Temple and the numerous opportunities that were presented to me.
Graduation is quickly approaching for you! What are your plan for when you finish your 1,500 hours?
After graduation, I will be working at Plane Jane Salon in Bethesda, MD. I cannot wait to begin working there to continue building my beautiful, vibrant and colorful clientele. After having my licesned for two years, I plan on obtaining my senior cosmetologist license!
So, do you see yourself being behind the chair forever? If not, where do you see yourself? (What is the big dream?)
I am excited to be working behind the chair. However, I do have bigger dreams. One day, I hope to be an artist for John Paul Mitchell Systems and become a salon owner. (It would be my own version of the Pulp Riot Butterfly Loft!)
Lastly, what message would you send to your fellow Future Professionals?
Say “yes” to absolutely everything. Say yes to every event and every opportunity that is presented to you. Apply for Student Run Programs and Phase 2! Participate in Beacon, Caper, and all contests that you can. Do it all – there is nothing more rewarding. The opportunities at The Temple have shaped me into the person I am today. Only one year after starting school, I am more confident than I have ever been. I am not afraid to do anything, and have had the chance to travel while being among the greatest in the beauty industry. This experience has truly bettered me as a stylist and student.