by: Liz Rapalus, Learning Leader
What is Caper ‘16?
Caper ‘16 is an event hosted by Paul Mitchell Schools. Future Professionals sell Paul Mitchell products that are packaged together at a discounted price, in order to win a spot to attend a V.I.P. once in a lifetime education based event called Caper.
Who went to Caper ‘16?
As a student, more than six years ago, I just couldn’t make it happen and did not attend Caper. After attending a FunRaising event in Beverly Hills, CA called the GALA, I was invited by my school owners, Sharon and Charles Riser, to attend Caper ‘16.
Each year THE TEMPLE: A Paul Mitchell Partner School sends 20 students and three team members to attend Caper. This year we had our Future Professional Advisor, the Admissions/Marketing Leader, Co-Director/Admissions Leader and a member of the Education Team attend. Each team member has their own schedule and role during Caper.
Where did you stay?
We stayed in Disney’s Coronado Springs resort. It was huge! It was also so easy to keep everyone together. We had beautiful rooms that were situated close together so we could keep an eye on each other and mingle. There were a ton of walking paths and in the center of the resort was a huge lake. It was gorgeous.
Paul Mitchell Schools pretty much took over the entire resort during Caper. (Black clothing everywhere!) We had branded posters everywhere not to mention the learning demos going on in every part of the main hotel building.
What did you do day one?
When we arrived at the resort it was around 2:00 pm. We got checked in and dropped bags our bags in the rooms. No time to relax though! I hit the cutting room immediately to help set up the tables that were assigned to me.
Steve Cowan, owner of the Paul Mitchell The School: Chicago was the lead of the room. There were about 20 education team members from schools all over the United States setting up for over 1,500 Future Professionals the next day. Each table were responsible for had five stations on it. Each station had to be equipped with a water bottle, product to support the cut, a mannequin head, a towel and a stand. Product was arranged in the center of the table with a towel and water bottle and mannequin head at each stand. A mannequin head that is parted off in the sectioning for the first cut had to be placed in the middle of the table, with a love note written on the table complete with the caper #hashtag and the name of the person in lead of the those tables.
The day capped off with two mentors showing us the two cuts that we would be helping the future professionals through the following day. The first was a super cute triangular bob and the second an edgy razor short cut.
You could feel the excitement in the air at the end of the work day!
With an evening off, future professionals and staff were able to visit the Disney Park of their choice or go out to eat. I opted to take it easy in my room because I wasn’t feeling 100% from my day of travel. (Better to rest up rather than be sorry!)
What about day two?
We were up early! With a start time of 6 a.m. and an end time of 6:30 p.m. We all arrived coffee in hand and ready to start the day and truly create magic amongst the future professionals.
Our first job was to dunk the mannequin heads in big tanks of water to get the hair wet and make the future professionals learning that much easier. The room and tables were lined with plastic to ensure that we didn’t ruin the carpeted convention hall rooms. Honestly, this made this job fun! (It was like a huge slip and slide!)
After this was all finished two members of the education team came in and demonstrated the two cuts we would be teaching. After we watched the demos we were able to take a break and grab something quick to eat and sneak into the welcoming ceremony in the main room.
Each round of Future Professionals had two hours in the cutting class. We began our class with a cut similar to triangular graduation, worked into tri layers with the end result of a very on trend bob. This cut was truly something the future professionals could take back and work on and perfect for their clients!
The second cut was all with a razor. (Which can be exciting and scary at the same time.) After a little extra insurance from their table mentor about having fun and just do the best they could with the cuts, everyone had a great time.
It was nice to work with students from all over the United States and create magic with each one in a different way and truly a blessing for me to be part of this for the visionary future professionals.
How was the White Party?
It was well, WHITE! All joking aside it was a great time! Everyone was dressed in white, head to toe. Some in gowns, some in pants, some in summer dresses. Everyone looked stunning!
We all got the chance to get together as a school and take a big picture with our industry mentors and celebrities. Not only that but Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck all showed up (in their finest white garb) to hang out and take pictures with the Future Professionals.
There was also chilled sparkling cider (non-alcoholic), decadent desserts and a phenomenal dj. We partied into the night and enjoyed every minute of it.
What was the final day of Caper like?
Amazing! We got special back stage passes through our owners. Myself and two other team members got the privilege of heading in early at 6:30a.m. to meet a special surprise guest.
And guess who that guest was?
Wait for it… TABATHA COFFEY! She was so very cool!
Because we were there early we got the opportunity to watch the Future Professionals get ushered in. And by ushered in I mean running in! Some of these folks had camped outside the doors since 5 a.m. they were so excited.
We were welcomed by Winn Claybaugh and then Tabitha Coffee came out and inspired the crowd. Geno Stampora hit the stage after Tabitha and man, can I say that I just love him? I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him speak at the school as a guest artist twice and at our last graduation. His daughter in law graduated from our school. But this time Geno was different. He was pumped up and on a roll about how life is and can be and how you can do anything you want to do but it takes time and passion and drive and pain.
After Geno we met Alvin Law and learned about his story. Alvin is a man who was born without his arms. His biological mother had taken a morning sickness drug which was discovered to have had serious side effects. She gave him up for adoption resulting in him finding a mom that was so strong and visionary that she saw him as a soul and not just a body. He went on to tell some funny stories about growing up with no arms and how he overcame challenges. (The man can use a phone, play piano and drums!) He really made you question ways that you might be thinking about yourself and your actions. It was a great message and I believe he truly changed me in a ways I can’t explain.
After Alvin was Tim Storey. Tim really got us up out of our seats and had us cheering and repeating powerful messages about being creative, making creative choices and making sacrifices to get to your dream. In case you didn’t know, Tim Story is a life coach for people like Oprah Winfrey and Robert Downey Jr. (BTW: He is coming to our school in the future and I’m very excited to hear more of his message!)
Last and definitely not least, we met Kathy Buckley. She is probably the best speaker I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. She made me cry like a baby. She motivated me to text my mom and thank her for paying for my education six years ago. She even made me look into myself to examine why I am the way I am. Not only that but she had me laughing so hard that my sides hurt.
In case you aren’t familiar with her, Kathy has a hearing disability. At first glance she was someone that I thought, “ oh just another person to say this is a challenge I have and this I how I overcame it.” Oh how wrong I was! Kathy is coming to the speak in April and I am truly excited to meet her after hearing her speak. I really just want to hug her and cry on her shoulder. She is a gift and I am so happy that the future professionals at my school will get to experience her and her powerful message.
What’s life like after Caper ‘16? To say that I’ve changed is an understatement! I have a different way of looking at my role at THE TEMPLE and what my goals are. I’m so very grateful that I got the opportunity to share in the Caper ‘16 experience!
This truly has changed my life!