Alumni profile: Alisha Schick

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Image credit: Suka Clothing Facebook Page

From teenage misfit to Fashion Designer, Alisha has played an important role in the growth of Edmonton’s Fashion Industry. As a 2001 Fashion Design graduate from MC College Edmonton, she is the Owner and Creative Director of Suka Clothing, and a Fashion Instructor at MC College. Since graduating, she has also:

• Showcased in The Park Show in Edmonton and Calgary
• Showcased at Western Canada Fashion Week
• Been featured in Fashion Magazine, Avenue Edmonton, Georgie Magazine and Alberta Venture to name a few.
• Competed in the 2012 Mercedes Benz start up competition
• Done illustration and styling for local publications.

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“Being an instructor has challenged my design beliefs and refined my skills and abilities as a designer. I learn as much from my students as they do from me” (via Fashion Magazine). As an Instructor, she has mentored Designers as such: Nicole Campre, Sid Neigum and Jessilyn Poole (Eve and Enoch) to name a few.

 
She became interested in fashion in High School. “In sewing class, I was with a bunch of misfits…girls that were kind of the rebel type. One of them was going to hair school at MC College and pushed me to sign up for the fashion program” she says. “Fashion for me was a complete accident…I had initially wanted to be a physiotherapist” Alisha continues (Via InTouch News).

 


Alisha’s career in Fashion started when she completed her internship in Toronto. “I interned with Marcus Fraser, a local business owner whose brand came out of Toronto…he was a real person to talk to because he was from Edmonton and his company started very grass roots” says Alisha. In 2007, she launched Suka Clothing. The garments are designed by Alisha and made in Edmonton, and can be purchased online (sukaclothing.co) or in-stores (Bamboo Ballroom).

 
What is your brand about?
“Inspired by our Alter Ego. Suka Clothing is a lifestyle brand with a strong understanding for music, subcultures and high fashion. The brand offers comfortable, detail orientated design with a focus on wearability. Bold, street inspired looks are balanced with feminine silhouettes and simplicity.”


What has been the biggest eye opener since graduating?
“This industry is tough, it takes a lot of hard work…be prepared for heartache and disappointment, it’s the most important step in success…You can never measure your success with anyone else…you have to DO YOU and build on that every time.”


What advice would you give to MC College students and to aspiring fashion designers?
“Leave your ego at the door…Be yourself, be real, don’t give up, accept challenges and…you got to give a shit! There is no half ass in fashion…and be humble because you will never know everything there is to know.”

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Getting your taxes done is easy as mixing color!

taxaesWith a busy day booked with appointments and keeping on top of hair trends, the last thing on your mind is how to claim your expenses and taxes. This year, we teamed up with Canada Revenue Agency to make this tax season as flawless for you as possible. Here are a few tips:

Expensing Supplies and Tools
a). Whether you’re a salon/spa owner, part time worker or paid via salary or commission, you’re considered an employee on a payroll. You can deduct the cost of supplies you purchased for work. Hairspray, shampoo, waxing strips, cotton balls…the list goes on.

For more info, visit: www.cra.gc.ca/employmentexpenses.

b). You could also deduct the cost (up to $500) of eligible tools, such as: curling irons, blow dryers and UV lamps for gel nails. What’s considered an eligible tool? Click here to find out: http://bit.ly/17fbY0l

For this expense, you’ll need your employer to authorize that the tools were purchased by you and used for your work.

For more info, visit: www.cra.gc.ca/trades.

Tips and Gratuities
As a Hairstylist or Esthetician, the majority of your income comes from tips and gratuities. Talk to your employer if any or all of the tips you earn will be included on your T4 slip. If it doesn’t, it’s your responsibility to keep track of it and report them on line 104 of your income tax and benefit return.

Business Expenses
Whether you’re renting a chair, working from home or own a salon/spa, you can deduct any applicable business expenses. This includes: chair rental fees or supplies such as hair colour, shears, microdermabrasion tips, nail polish and much more!

  • Is your salon or spa based out of your home? If so, you can deduct household expenses such as insurance and heating. Who knew!!? For more info, visit: http://bit.ly/1AP8cH

Apprenticeship Job Creation and Tax credit
Are you a salon owner who recently hired a Red Seal apprentice Hairstylist? If so, you can claim the apprenticeship job creation tax credit. This tax credit is equal to the lesser of $2,000 or 10% of the eligible apprentices’ salaries or wages. You can carry the whole credit amount three years back or carry it forward for up to 20 years!

For more info, visit: http://bit.ly/1DnjwvX

Where do you file your taxes?
You can file your taxes with various income tax software, such as: Netfile or Turbo Tax. Don’t want to do it yourself because ‘ain’t no body got time for that’?! Visit your local H&R block and they’ll help you out!

Owning a salon or spa is more than just cutting hair, doing chemical peels, marketing or hiring employees. As a salon or spa owner, you have to ensure that employee contributions, premiums and tax amounts are properly deducted and sent to the Canada Revenue Agency.

For more info, visit: http://bit.ly/1ABN5JA 

The deadline to file your personal income tax and benefit return is April 30, 2015. If you, your spouse, or common-law partner is self-employed, the deadline to file is June 15, 2015. BUT, if you’re self-employed and have a balance owing for 2014, you still have to pay it on or before April 30, 2015.

Mannequin Heads: Behind the Scenes

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Do you remember cutting off your Barbie or Ken dolls’ hair and wishing for it to grow back? Or trying to curl their hair but end up melting it? For many future hairstylists, Barbie and Ken are usually their first clients/mannequin head.

From finger waves to balayage, Hairstyling students use mannequin heads to practice their craft. But unlike practicing on an acrylic/plastic haired friend (we’re talking about Barbie!!), students at MC College learn the Art of Hairstyling on Pivot Point mannequins that are made with 100% real human hair. Working on real human hair allows students to experience realistic results. These mannequin heads are considered as the Ferraris’ in the Hairstyling Industry.

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But…where does the hair come from?

Pivot Point collects hair from China and India. In many parts of the world, people sell their hair for income. Once collected, the hair is grouped based on length and then disinfected several times. From there, it undergoes chemical treatments to achieve different colors and hair textures. Throughout the whole process, the hairs’ moisture and elasticity levels are monitored to ensure it’s still consistent with human hair. To make hair education as realistic as possible, Pivot Point mannequin heads’ features are hand painted to make it look anatomically correct. The hair is professionally implanted (by hand) and evenly distributed to mimic natural human hair growth. From implanting hair to painting it’s on fleek eye brows, the head itself is created and assembled by artists in China.

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To ensure that these artists are treated equally and are given ethical working conditions, all Pivot Point mannequin heads are SA8000 certified. This means that educational goods such as mannequin heads are created in a working environment that’s free of forced and child labor, poor working conditions and wages, and unfair work hours. The certification also ensures that “the quality of goods match the well-being of the artisans who create them”.

So, how do you know if mannequin heads are SA8000 certified? Look for the below tag:

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For more information on SA8000, visit:
http://www.mccollege.ca/web/mcc/images/pivotpoint.pdf
http://www.sa-intl.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.ViewPage&PageID=937

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MC College in the Community: January

Whether it’s pink hair or a new hair cut, the month of January was about helping the community by giving makeovers to those in need and to help raise awareness for children battling cancer. MC College students use their skills for the benefit of others, while at the same time expanding their technical experience by volunteering at community events.

#PaintingYegPink- Edmonton, Alberta

On January 16th, Edmonton MC College buzzed with excitement as students and staff “painted Edmonton pink” at the annual Hair Massacure event for cancer. From 6AM to 5PM, students pinked over 40 heads and beards (eyebrows included!). But what’s “pinking”, you ask? Pinking is when people raise funds for children battling cancer by bleaching and coloring their hair fuschia pink. Local celebrity, Bridget Ryan from Breakfast Television was on location to interview participants while they got their hair bleached and pinked by our students. This year, the campus was visited by a “furry special” guest, Freddy the Poodle, who wore pink extensions to help participants raise awareness! The second part of Hair Massacure will take place on February 14 at West Edmonton Mall, where MC College students will assist with shaving heads.

“A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support @HairmassacureNA at @mccollegegroup @thestollery @rmhnorthernAB #powerofawish”- @MakeAWishAB via Twitter

Hair Massacure Pinking 2014 Flipagram

Pictures from Hair Massacure Pinking 2014

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Helping the Community, One Cut at a Time- Vernon, British Columbia 

On January 2, Vernon MC College students and staff were invited to put their skills to the test for those in need at Vernon Alliance Church’s Common Threads event. From 1PM-3PM students gave out over 20 free haircuts.

#mcteamfabulous- Vernon, British Columbia

To kick off Vernon MC College’s #mcteamfabulous event, students from Seaton High School were invited for a campus tour and makeover. With High School graduation around the corner, the students received a new hairstyle, learned how to fabulously pose in selfies and experience what student life is like at MC College.

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Parkridge Centre- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Saskatoon MC College students and staff made a special visit to Parkridge Centre. Not only did the students give out mini manicures and hair touch-ups, they also taught the residents about basic body and hair care! Parkridge Centre is a long term care facility for over 240 residents ranging in age from Preschool to over 100 years of age.

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Alumni Profile: Trina De Busschere, co-owner of the Lemon Tree Salon & Studio

ImageFrom an early age, Trina De Busschere always had a passion for the beauty and fashion industry. Growing up, she “found herself always wanting to have ‘her’ hands in people’s hair and found hairstylists fascinating”. After graduating from MC College Saskatoon in 2001, Trina worked at a local hair salon for 7 years, where she developed a large clientele and obtained her Journeyperson Certificate. Between 2006 and 2010, she was hired as a Color Educator for Joico Vero color to teach color classes in salons and cosmetology schools across Saskatchewan, and got the opportunity to work with platform artists across Canada.

Upon graduating from MC College, Trina knew that her ultimate career goal was to be a salon owner: “with my experience and love for the industry over the past 10 years, I took everything into consideration and knew I could create and run an exciting salon in Saskatoon”. In 2010, Trina and a former colleague, turned their vision into reality and opened the Lemon Tree Salon & Studio.

When asked what she enjoys the most about being a salon owner, Trina stated that she “loves coming up with marketing strategies, educating myself…and motivating my team on a daily basis. Pulling out people’s talents they may not even realize and watching them grow is something that I love to see and that is what keeps me going on a daily basis.”

As a stylist, educator and a salon owner, her biggest eye-opener was when she became an entrepreneur, “Until you are a salon owner you will never know how much is involved. From considering employee livelihood…,financial decisions and so much more”.

Her advice to current and prospective MC College students is that “this industry is truly your oyster”. She says that there are endless opportunities for an exciting career in this industry, from salon ownership to travelling the world as a platform artist. “With extreme dedication, hard work, drive and passion you can truly make your dreams become a reality! Always believe in yourself, always be open to change and always continue to grow and you will be successful.”

For more information about Trina and the Lemon Tree Salon & Studio: http://thelemontree.ca/talent/salon-leaders/trina-de-busschere

Have you ever wondered how to start your own salon or spa?

Modern Magazine estimated that the total revenue for all North American salon industry services in 2012 was approximately $75.38 billion and is expected to increase within the next few years. For this reason, many people in the beauty industry are motivated to advance their career by opening their own salon or spa.

Because many MC College students aspire to opening their own salon or spa, MC College is offering an entrepreneurship course to help Full Time Hairstyling students succeed as an entrepreneur in the beauty industry. With the help of Grant MacEwan University, industry experts and the Education Director at MC College, the course teaches students how to promote and differentiate their product and services, accounting/financial processes, and how to write a business plan. In this 5 day course, students travel to Grant MacEwan University to receive practical, hands-on training while at the same; experiencing what university life is like (did I mention that this course is provided to Full Time MC College Hairstyling students at no extra cost!).

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The Salon Entrepreneurship course is a complement course to MC College’s salon business program, ‘Shaping Your Success’. This program gives students the skills and knowledge to succeed in a client driven industry by focusing on topics such as personal marketing and client building/retention.

The Salon Entrepreneurship course is currently only offered at the Edmonton MC College Campus and is taught by Frank Saccucci, a professor in the School of Business at Grant MacEwan University. He has over 25 years of professional experience in management consulting, commercial banking and venture capital.

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For more information: http://www.mccollege.ca/programs/?
To download a program brochure: http://www.mccollege.ca/brochure2013

Beauty Tips with Dawn-Marie: Choosing the Best Hair Color for Your Skin Tone

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Wondering how to choose a hair color that works best with your skin tone? The best way is to determine whether you have a cool, warm or neutral skin tone. Here are a few tips to determine yours:

1). Hold up a piece of silver and yellow-gold jewelry against your skin. If the silver looks better against your skin, you have a cool skin tone. If the yellow-gold looks better, you have a warm skin tone. If both pieces of jewelry look equally as good, you have a neutral skin tone.

2). Look at the veins on the underside of your forearm. If your veins are blue, you have a cool skin tone. If your veins are tinged with green, you have a warm skin tone. If you have both blue and green veins, you have neutral skin.

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People with a warm skin tone look best with hair colors that have a warm overtone. People with a cool skin tone look best with hair colors that have a cool overtone. If you fall under the neutral category, you look good with any hair color (lucky!).

Skin tone hair color matches:

Warm

  • Gold
  • Honey
  • Caramel
  • Copper
  • Red
  • Mahogany
  • Strawberry Blonde
  • Ginger
  • Dark Brown
  • Rust

Cool

  • Platinum
  • Ash-blonde
  • Sandy Blonde
  • Medium Brown
  • Jet Black
  • Fawn
  • Mid-level blondes
  • Wine
  • Burgundy
  • Mahogany

cool vs warm

Tips:

  • If you want to change your hair color or add highlights, don’t go more than two shades above or below your natural color.
  •  Adding a few face-framing highlights will add dimension to your hair (especially if you have layers)!
  • The key to having black hair is to add tons of shine because this shade can easily look dull or dry.
  • If you naturally have fair skin, you’re best suited for a cool beige or platinum hair color.

Trip to Saskatoon

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Paris of the Prairies. City of the Bridges. These are just a few names to describe Saskatoon; home to over 200,000 people. As an Edmontonian and my first trip outside of Alberta (shocking, right?), Saskatoon felt like a home away from home: a big city with a small town feel.

As I arrived for my first visit to the Saskatoon MC College Campus, I was met with the sounds of excitement as students worked on clients and prepared for graduation. During the campus tour, I was able to see the hands-on training the students were receiving, as well as visit the beautiful spa area. Speaking to the graduating students, it was inspiring to hear their reasons for pursuing a career in the industry. It was also great to hear that a majority of the students had a job lined up for them after graduation. Many of those jobs were acquired through hair demonstrations held at MC College and establishing technical experience through volunteering at events such as: Sears Beauty Gala, Woman’s world, Miss Teen Saskatchewan and Fantasy Fashion Show.

As a guest at their graduation, it was amazing to see the overwhelming amount of support at graduation. I had the pleasure of meeting an inspirational and industry-passionate individual: Laddie James, Owner and Hairstylist at Hairstyle Inn. Not only is he a huge supporter of MC College students, he also awards the top student with a scholarship award, the MC2 award. At this years Fall 2013 graduation, Hairstyling student, Carley Aldous, was awarded with the MC2 award and a $500 scholarship.

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At every graduation, the Frank Cairo Award is given to the student who best represents the qualities of: Commitment, Integrity and Respect. These qualities were the basis of Frank Cairo’s success in the industry. This year, Hermien Brits from the Hairstyling program and Bailey Dash from the Esthetics program  received this prestigious award.

MC College hosts two graduation events at each campus every year. The graduation allows the graduates, their friends and families, and the faculty and industry to come together to celebrate and recognize their achievements.

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For more information about the programs at MC College:

http://www.mccollege.ca/brochure2013

To read about Frank Cairo:
http://mccollegeblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/frank-cairo-awarded-the-queen-elizabeth-ii-diamond-jubilee-medal/

To learn more about Laddie James and the Hairstyle Inn:
http://www.hairstyleinn.com/

Alumni Profile: Jeff Louis, National Artistic Director for Artègo Canada

jeff louisJeff Louis,  the National Artistic Director of Artègo Canada is a Western Canadian award winning Hair Stylist and salon owner. He began his career in the industry by working at high-end salons in Canada and showcasing his creativity at competitions. His passion for the industry led him to open his own salon: Elysium Hair, Body and Spirit Salon. Throughout his career, he has been nominated and has won several awards from the Canadian Contessa Awards, including:

2005 Finalist Canadian Men’s Hairstylist of the Year
2006 WINNER Alberta Hairdresser of the Year
2006 Finalist Canadian Hairdresser of the Year
2007 Finalist Alberta Hairstylist of the Year
2008 Finalist Men’s Hairstylist of the Year

As an Artego Team Member and an educator, Jeff has travelled to Italy to train and perform onstage at the Globe Show. He enjoys working with Artègo Canada because “it inspires and connects hairdressers all across the globe everyday. It’s constantly evolving and pushing the boundaries of our industry by developing new products that unleash our creativity as artists”.

on stage jeff louis

When asked what advice he would give to a new hairstyling student, Jeff replied “The best advice I can give someone starting out is some advice that I got from a mentor when I was just beginning my career when I was worried about how was I gonna find new clients. He said: ‘worry about getting good and you will never have to look for clients , they will find you…’”.

For more information about Artègo Canada: http://www.myartego.ca/

To view Jeff Louis’ portfolio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuEyMI5NyxQ

Alumni Profile: Jasmine Champagne Lusty, 2011 Fashion Design and Apparel Production Program

jasmine-lusty-e1351648897769As the Valedictorian in the Fashion Design and Apparel Production Program at MC College, Jasmine Champagne Lusty has been designing and creating her own clothing since her early teens. Based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, she is the founder and designer of Champagne Dreams Design House. Her designs are inspired by timeless elegance and Hollywood glamour, and includes convertible pieces made from silk, organza and lace.

Her extensive portfolio includes a collaboration with the Canadian Fashion Designer, Justina McCaffrey; creating a hand-beaded evening gown for Laureen Harper, wife of Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

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Jasmine became involved in charity for Africa when she organized a fashion show fundraiser for an orphanage in Sierra Leone, Africa; raising over $2000. In November of 2012, Champagne Dreams Design House partnered with a Manitoban Impact Investment fund and Deliberate Economics to develop a partnership with Ibrahim Bangura, a survivor of Sierra Leone’s civil war and a bag maker/seller. Jasmine works with Ibrahim to sell his bags in the Canadian market and invests in his company by “helping him develop better facilities, staff, skills and the success he so deserves.”

On November 16, 2013, Champagne Dreams Design House is hosting a fashion show fundraiser, ‘Making Dreams Come True’, with “all proceeds going directly to assist Ibrahim to set up a shop in Freetown where he and his employee’s will earn a fair living wage”.

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For more information about the fashion show fundraiser:
http://champagnedreams.biz/

To learn more about Ibrahim Bangura:
http://www.jhr.ca/blog/2013/01/ibrahim-di-bag-man/