MC ELITE: Ashintha de Silva

Instagram: @ashinthadesilva
Campus: Edmonton
Program: Fashion

Favorite designer: Helmut Lang
Favorite item in your wardrobe: Trench coats are so versatile and are always on trend. I love my classic trench and jacquard leopard print trench coat from h&m.
Who do you follow on social media? @voguemagazine @marcjacobs @helmutlang
Tell us something that would surprise people about you: I was in a dance group called House of Dam. Voguing, freestyling and waacking are dance forms that have played a huge influence on my life, fashion and styling.

Fashion student and yoga instructor by day and performing artist by night, the MC Elite for this month goes out to Ashintha de Silva from the Edmonton campus.

How did you get started in fashion design?
Growing up, I remember spending my waking days sketching gowns and costumes of all kinds but I never knew I could make a career in fashion. There were photographers in my family who influenced me to become passionate and involved in photography. But after High School, I decided to go my own way where I got into a cultural studies program at the U of A. After 3 years in the program, I moved to Toronto for some photography gigs. I ended up doing runway and backstage photos at Toronto Fashion Week (TFW) and did photos at events for Holt Renfrew. It was TFW that opened my eyes to a career in fashion. I never knew about the different possibilities and career choices. When I moved back to Edmonton, I finally pushed myself to enroll in fashion.

What is your favorite thing about the fashion program?
Seeing garments come to life. I’ve always drawn, illustrated and photographed garments but I had never constructed them until I came to MC. The program has given me the tools to create, like pattern drafting!..There’s also a sense of community here. Even though there are 18 of us in the class, it feels like a family. I’ve gone to school at other places and I have never had this experience before. Even between the other programs, there’s a sense of community.

What do you like most about the fashion industry?
Trends are always changing which forces you to always be on point and ahead of the game. I also love the fashion industry because there’s no right or wrong design perspective.

What can we expect to see from your collection at the 2018 New Designers Fashion Show?
You can expect to see a lot of prints and accents of black and gold. The prints are inspired by photos that I have taken, marbling techniques and by the artist, Gustav Klimt.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
My mom has always told me: don’t take things too personally.

#skirtdesign #fashiondesign #fashionillustration

A post shared by Ashintha de Silva (@ashinthadesilva) on

Do you have any social media advice for MC students?
Don’t be afraid to share what you have created and accomplished. I was guilty of this before…I was always telling myself: what if someone judges my work or what if someone steals my idea?. If you’re proud of it, share it!

What are your plans when you graduate?
I would love to start my career at ‘off white’ clothing. What I love about them is that they are experimental in the sense that they incorporate different eras into one garment. My dream career is to create a fashion brand that makes a social impact by providing education and meaningful jobs for communities in developing countries. There is a not for profit brand called Krochet Kids Intl that has really inspired me.

 

MC highlights of 2017 – part 2

From attending a star studded industry event in Vegas to volunteering in our community, this was a busy year for MC College. Here’s part two of our top highlights from 2017!

MC Elite: a year in review

Every month, Campus Directors and Instructors nominate a student they feel should be recognized as an MC Elite. Students are chosen based on their growth as an industry professional and their use of social media to promote themselves. The winner receives an MC College gift card, feature on MC College’s social media channels and website, and bragging rights! Click on the names below to read about the 2017 MC Elites

Younten Tsomo 

Robert Erasmo 

Shauntel Leffler 

 Jasmyne Wishlow 

Karleece Lapointe 

Tamara Hofer 

Natalie Notheisz 

Matt Madill 

Michael Maier 

India Haines 

 

Prosper U

To help MC College Students build their clientele, make more money and give them a competitive edge in the job market, we brought Prosper U to MC College. As the first cosmetology school in Canada to incorporate this program, students learn about personal branding, client retention, customer service, retailing and more. The program was developed by award winning Stylist, Eric Fisher.

For more info, visit: www.mccollege.ca/prosper_u?&edit=1

Industry Partnerships

Throughout 2017, we partnered with industry leaders ‘Brows by G’, and ‘Glam Skin Care Academy’ to offer specialized and advanced education in IPL/laser technician, microblading and micropigmentation.

 

MCXNAHA 2017

From taking selfies with Sam Villa at the NAHA’s to watching the light show on Fremont Street, over 80 MC College Students and staff made their way to Las Vegas this past July for the 12th annual MCxNAHA show and 28th annual North American Hairstyling Awards (one of the biggest events of the hairstyling industry). Every student that enrolled in the June Hairstyling program went on this trip for FREE. Thanks to MC Edmonton student, Patricia Lopez for creating this video:

Open House

On April 8, all MC College campuses held an Open House that was littt; from special effects makeup and live fashion sketching to mini DIY (do-it-yourself) stations. Across the 6 campuses, over 300 people attended the event to experience what the #MCLife is all about, and to learn about career opportunities in the Beauty and Fashion Industry. Attendees tested out our interactive learning platform, Learn About Beauty, while getting the chance to tour the campus and meet the MC Squad: staff, students, graduates and industry partners

 

Sharing the love
At MC College, we are a proud supporter of many community events, charities and not for profits. Whether it was doing haircuts for the less fortunate or manicures at a local emergency shelter, staff and students from all 6 campuses volunteered their craft and time at 275 community events in 2017. Because that is way too many to list, here are a few of our favourites:

Kelowna

  • Did hairstyles, makeup and mini manicures at Okanagan Pride.

Edmonton

  • Pinked and shaved heads at the 14th annual Northern Alberta Hair Massacure event. Over 800 people visited the campus to get their hair coloured pink.

Red Deer

  • Made monthly visits to the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter to provide haircuts and manicures for clients and volunteers. 

Calgary

  • Kicked off the Southern Alberta Hair Massacure event with a full day of pinking. Over 500 stopped by to get their hair coloured pink!

Saskatoon

  • Mini manicures and hand massages for stressed out students at the University of Saskatchewan’s Stress Less event.

Winnipeg

  • Haircuts for the less fortunate at the 6th annual CEO Sleepout. Since the Sleepout began in 2011, just under $800,000 has been raised to end homelessness.

MC highlights of 2017 – part 1

From the gardens at Versailles to braids and buns with Dads, we’re taking a look back at the top MC College highlights of 2017.

STUDENT SUPPORT PROGRAM
Starting school and studying for exams while juggling personal relationships can be an exciting and stressful time for students. This December, we partnered with Morneau Shepell to bring MC College students the Student Support Program (SSP). Through this program, students have immediate and free access to mental health and wellness support. At the touch of a button, students can anonymously call or live chat, 24/7/365, with a qualified counsellor with years of clinical experience.

For more info, visit: www.mccollege.ca/student_support_program?&edit=1

 

MC ABROAD: PARIS
From September 14 to 21, MC College graduates, students and staff jetsetted to the fashion and beauty capital of the world: PARIS! The trip was the perfect opportunity to travel, network with industry professionals, and draw inspiration from Parisian culture, art and architecture. From climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower to attending one of the biggest beauty exhibits: MCB by Beauté Sélection, take a look at some of our adventures from the trip:

 

NEW DESIGNERS FASHION SHOW
From bold African inspired prints to faux fur and Japanese minimalist designs, graduates from the fashion design program in Edmonton and Winnipeg showcased their 8 outfit collection this past fall. Each garment was designed, constructed and produced by the graduates. Both shows were sold out to an audience of family, friends, MC College staff and alumni, media, fashion bloggers, local designers and representatives from Canadian retailers.

 

DIY STUDIO EVENTS
Throughout 2017, each campus held a series of DIY Studio events that are free and open to the public. At these events, MC College Students and Staff show attendees how to create gory zombie makeup, apply falsies and more. This year, we had the following themes: the art of braiding, make & take body scrub and oil, lash bar, patch denim jacket, my Dad did my hair and Halloween makeup. Stay tuned for the next DIY event!

MODERN SALON
For this years’ Modern Salon’s Excellence in Education Awards, we were honoured to place first in the ‘alumni and advanced education’ category for our submission about our industry partnerships, MC Abroad to Paris, alumni program and the launch of the MC alumni web page. We were also a finalist in the ‘community involvement’ category.

MC ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS, FINALISTS & SEMI-FINALISTS
Whether it’s a graduate fresh out of school or a graduate with over 20 years of experience, we are so proud of the MC alumnus who were named semi-finalists, finalists and winners at some of the industry’s biggest events. Congratulations to:

Mirror Awards
Alicia Soulier, Capelli Salon Studio – Saskatchewan Salon Stylist Winner
Kelsie Kitzul, Chel Salonspa – Saskatchewan Salon Stylist Finalist
Julie Baker, Chel Salonspa – Newcomer of the Year Finalist
Sasha Gagne, Koko The Salon – Alberta Salon Stylist Finalist
Tony Ricci, Ricci Hair Co. – Canadian Hairdresser of the Year Finalist

 

Contessa Awards

Alicia Soulier, Capelli Salon Studio – Saskatchewan/Manitoba Hairstylist Winner
Kelsie Kitzul, Chel SalonSpa – Saskatchewan/Manitoba Hairstylist Semi Finalist
Darci Ash, Enigma Salon & Studio – Master Colourist Semi Finalist
Alan Sluser, Koko the Salon – Canadian Colourist Semi Finalist
Tony Ricci, Ricci Hair Co. – Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Finalist
Sasha Gagne, Koko the Salon – New Hairstylist Finalist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MC ELITE: Robert Erasmo

Instagram: @crazykut_classick
Campus: Winnipeg
Program: Hairstyling

Favorite food: burgers and fries
Favorite item in your wardrobe: I love my sneakers…I’m a sneakers kind of guy
Who do you follow on social media? @famos, @juliuscaesar

 

From steel toed boots and hard hats to shears and electric clippers, our December MC Elite goes out to Robert Erasmo from our Winnipeg campus! “Before I realized I even wanted to do it as a career, I was working in construction. One day, I realized that I made more money cutting hair than what I made in construction, and it was something that I really liked doing.” As a new dad and future insta-famous barber, he is excited to start a career he is passionate about. “I’m having a baby next year so I can’t wait to focus on starting a family when school is done. Everything works out for a reason.”

 

What did you choose Hairstyling?

When I was a teenager, I hung around with the wrong crowd. It got me into trouble but that’s my life and you can’t hide it because it’s my story. It’s what made me who I am today. It made me grow up real fast though. During this time, a friend taught me how to cut hair. At first I was doing it to help me get back on my feet. All my friends and their friends and their extended family started asking me to do their hair and I guess it kicked up from there. My family really supported my decision. Hairstyling helped me gain control of my life back.

 

 

What do you like most about the industry?

It doesn’t matter how long you have been doing it or how good you are or how good you think you are, there is always more to learn and that’s good for me because it’s a field that’s always changing. There are always new trends and styles to learn so it can never really get over saturated because each person will have what they are good at.

 

What do you like most about being a student at MC College?

I have learned so much from everyone here and from work experience. My instructors, peers…just everyone I’ve met. The school has not only opened my eyes to what’s available as a stylist but I learned about the professional side too – like how to sell retail and how to engage with clients.

 

 

Who or what motivates you?

My family and friends especially after all that I and they have been through. Sometimes when stuff happens to you, it’s hard to be confident in yourself, be out in the community and pursue your dreams. My family and friends were by my side at each step and really encouraged and motivated me. They are the reason for keeping me grounded and focused on my dreams and career.

 

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars. Either way, as long as you’re going somewhere, you’re going to get to some place.

 

 

Do you have any social media advice for MC students?

We are our biggest critics. Many of my peers take a picture and think that their work is not good enough and that people would think it’s ugly so they don’t post it. If you are proud of it, that’s all that matters, just put it out there and people will eventually notice you and your work.

When you keep posting, in a matter of a few months, you can look back and see your progress and that’s something people like to see: progress.

 

What are your plans when you graduate?

There are a few barbershops that I am really interested in. Places that I know I can take my career to a new level. I’m having a baby next year so I can’t wait to focus on starting a family when school is done. Everything works out for a reason.

RECAP: 2017 New Designers Fashion Show

Photo credit: AJ BATAC ajbatac.com

Photo credit: AJ BATAC ajbatac.com

From internationally recognized brands such as Canada Goose, Manitobah Mukluks and Silver jeans to local designers such as Lennard Taylor, Winnipeg has historically been Canada’s garment manufacturing centre. On October 18, graduates from our Fashion Design program in Winnipeg showcased their 8 outfit collection at the 7th annual New Designers Fashion Show at the Manitoba Museum.

The museum was the perfect venue as it was a walk through the history of Manitoba and Canada. Surrounded by exhibits about Indigenous lifestyles to vignettes celebrating Winnipeg’s historic streetscapes, the fashion show featured collections from Amy Aingidlik, Amy McPherson, Chelsea Sumter, Dimple Patel, Kalli Vera, Karleece Lapointe, Nancy Humann and Wendy Sinclair.

As part of the fashion program, each graduate designed and constructed each garment from start to finish. Graduates drew inspiration for their collection from various aspects of their life and surroundings – from their cultural heritage to the concrete jungle.

Voted as top 3 fashion events in Winnipeg by the Winnipeg Nightlife Awards, the show was sold out to an audience of family, friends, MC College staff and Alumni, media, fashion bloggers, photographers, local designers and representatives from Canadian retailers such as Nygard International, Reitman’s and Mondetta.
From embroidered details to bold African and Ojibwe inspired prints, here’s a recap of the New Designers Fashion Show:

 

 

After a year of being diagnosed with brain cancer, Tragically Hip Canadian superstar, Gord Downie, passed away on October 17, 2017 at the age of 53. As our final farewell and a tribute, we played “Ahead by a Century” during a portion of the fashion show. “Music brings people together. So my function in anything I do is to help bring people closer in” – Gord Downie.

Did you catch us on Global Winnipeg? See it here!

 

For more images, visit: http://ajbatac.com/2017-mc-college-fashion-show

MC Elite: Natalie Notheisz

mc elite

Instagram: @NatalieNotheisz

Program: Esthetics
Campus: Kelowna
Favorite nail or make up artist you follow on social media? “Wayne Goss. He’s a makeup artist and beauty guru on Youtube.”
Tell us something about yourself that will surprise people: “I used to be a flutist and singer!”
From stethoscopes and steel toed boots to pore extractors and microdermabrasion machines, our October MC Elite is Natalie from the Kelowna campus! “I was a paramedic for 12 years but I decided to leave to help open an industrial repair shop where we did maintenance work in mines.” After a car accident that rendered her unable to work in her industry, Natalie decided to choose a different career path that she had always dreamed of.

Cato shoot

A post shared by Natalie Notheisz esthetician (@natalienotheisz) on

Why did you choose to become an Esthetician?
“A few years ago, I got into a car accident. Recovery took a long time which made me think about a career change. First, I thought I wanted to be a nurse but I was still recovering and wasn’t able to finish the program…I like working on the medical side but I also knew I liked Esthetics. I was scared that I couldn’t make a living out of it but after talking to people in the industry and seeing what I could do, I decided to go for it….last February, I sold everything I had in Grand Forks and moved to Kelowna for school.”

What do you like most about the industry so far?
“I love dealing with the clients. It’s rewarding when they are happy, especially when you create a special bond with them.”
What has been the most challenging thing you’ve learned or faced while at MC College?

“I am much older than many of my classmates. Being 48 and going into the industry, the age difference between me and my classmates intimidated me. It was hard in the beginning to get used to it but now its not…I also came from steel toed boots, hard hats and rough hands so this has been a new and exciting adventure for me.”
What do you love about MC College?

“Everyone here is so welcoming and accepting. When I started, I was scared that it would be awkward because of the age difference. I mean who wants to go to school with their mom?!…This program showed me the confidence I never knew I had. I have become a different person. The school has been such a blessing in my life. I say to my fellow students the only limit in life is yourself!”

Lash extentions

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Do you have any customer service or social media hacks?
“Be genuine. And be confident in the services you are doing. When you lack self confidence, clients can see it and feel it and that won’t make them come back to you”

“For the month of September, Natalie was killing it in retail and services! She is one of the most highly requested students and is always booked solid” says MC College Director, Crystal Shearer.
Who or what are you inspired by?
“My family and friends”

 

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MC ELITE: TAMARA HOFER

Tamara hofer

@hair.bytam

Program: Hairstyling
Campus: MC College Winnipeg

Favorite emoiji: 🐵🙈🙉🙊🐒
Favorite food: “chicken. Actually, I love fried chicken more!”
Favorite stylist that you follow on Instagram: @hairbyamberjoy. (she’s an MC hairstying Alumni!)

Balayage & Braids 😍 #throwback

A post shared by Tamara Hofer (@hair.bytam) on

From ashy blonde to caramel balayage, search up Tamara on Instagram and you’ll see all of the awesome balayage she has done! Growing up in a Hutterite colony, Tamara never knew a career in Hairstyling could even be possible for her. “It’s so different living there. You don’t have a lot of freedom and you can’t leave. You have to keep your head covered and dress modestly. We moved when I was 10 years old and left a lot of family and friends behind. I finally got the chance to see the world outside. I had never left before that because only adults were allowed to. We were told that we weren’t allowed to come back, not even to visit. We were shunned. But after a few years, they finally let us visit” says Tamara.

Some hidden colours for the beautiful birthday girl😘🌈

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Why a career in Hairstyling?
“I have a lot of sisters. Growing up, I learned to love hair because I was always the one who braided my siblings’ hair. My family lived in a Hutterite colony where you had to have your head covered. Anything that had to do with hair or even beauty was considered as sinful. When I was 10, my family left the colony and moved to Winnipeg. It really opened my eyes to the different hairstyles and hair colours out there. I thought to my self…why not make this a career! At first, my parents weren’t 100% ok with my choice but after they saw what I could do with it, they supported me. My parents are my number 1 fans.”

What do you like most about the industry?
“Meeting new people. You never know who is going to sit in your chair. I love that every person has a different story. When I started at MC College, I was super shy and awkward. But being here made me outgoing and made me break out of my shell…I love doing balayage and crazy colours because those always puts a smile on peoples’ faces.”

Had some fun with blue today 🔹🔷🔹

A post shared by Tamara Hofer (@hair.bytam) on

Who or what motivates you?
“My parents! They have done so much for me and my siblings and have sacrificed so much for us. Everyday they ask to see pictures of hair and mannequins that I’ve done.”
What the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Step out of your comfort zone.”

Because blondes have more fun✨

A post shared by Tamara Hofer (@hair.bytam) on

Do you have any social media advice or MC Students?
“use the same background and filter for all pictures and always use hashtags!”

What are your plans when you graduate?
“After I gain more experience, I definitely want to open my own salon!”

 

Always a good day for caramel balayage😍(swipe for before) #mclife

A post shared by Tamara Hofer (@hair.bytam) on

MC Elite: Matt Madill

 

matt 2Instagram: @5threalm5

Program: Hairstyling
Campus: Saskatoon
From the kitchen to behind the chair, our MC Elite for August is Hairstyling Student, Matt Madill!

Favorite emoji: ✌️😂

Favorite hangout spot: “The Woods Ale House in Saskatoon and Leopold’s Tavern in Regina.”

Favorite food: “An East Indian dish called dal makhani.”
Favorite item in your wardrobe: “Bow toes. The real ones…where you the tie them yourself.”
Favorite stylist or barber that you follow on social media: “Matt Beck. I actually got to meet him a few weeks ago in Vegas! He is super humble.”

Why did you start a career in Hairstyling?
“Hairstyling and barbering has always been something in the back of my mind…my mom was a Stylist and I grew up in the salon…Some of my first memories from my childhood are being my mom’s guinea pig. Many times she practiced perms on me, I cried a few times and disliked the rotten egg smell…I grew up folding towels and hanging around answering phones. When I became a bit older and could help, I would sweep hair and wash people’s hair without spraying them down…Being from Regina and growing up in a salon, I saw lots of the same things for years but when I ventured into social media, I saw how many more things people were doing like rainbow hair, pastel colours, bright-and-vibrant to soft-and-faded.”

A post shared by Matthew Dwayne (@matts.vibe) on

What did you do before starting your career in Hairstyling?
“I was a cook for my entire life. With Hairstyling, you get to work with other people and be your own boss at the same time. At the end of the day, it’s your chair, it’s the effort you put into it. In the restaurant industry, you couldn’t really do that unless you were a restaurant owner or investor… in a few days I’m going to be 33 and I wanted a career where I could connect with people.”

What do you like most about the industry?
“I love the people. I love talking to them and seeing them smile after you give them a haircut”

Who or what motivates you?
“My fellow classmates. Everyone is talented. There are going to be some millionaires here because they are that good!”

So far, what are your career highlights?
“I got the opportunity through MC College to work with Paul Mitchell. I was in Vegas a few weeks ago during the NAHA’s for education. I am so fortunate and grateful for the opportunity MC gave me”
“We had Paul Mitchell in the school back in January. Matt took it upon himself to go downstairs and ask if he could watch and observe. They ended up asking him to assist them for the 3 days (Sat, Sun & Mon). He did all 3 days. The Saskatoon rep offered him a job on the spot” says MC College Saskatoon Director, Vanessa Slater.

 

What are your plans when you graduate? What’s your long term goal?
“I would love to be an educator. I also want to travel to the Middle East and take my trade with me. What I love about hair is that there is no language barrier…well I mean there is but you can work your way around with pictures and demonstrating”

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“If you’re in a bad mood, don’t take that out on people. Put your best foot forward.”

 

Every month, Campus Directors and Instructors nominate a student they feel should be recognized as an MC Elite. Students are chosen based on their use of social media to promote themselves and by tagging #mccollege and #mclife in their social media posts.

DIY Studio: My Dad Did My Hair Recap

It’s a job usually left for moms but sometimes a girl’s got to turn to her dad for some hair love. Last week, all 6 MC College campuses held a DIY Studio event ‘my dad did my hair’. With back-to-school around the corner, this was the perfect time for dads to practice what they already know and to learn new skills. From a simple pony tail to fishtail braids and the Princess Leia bun, we showed Dads how to step up their daughters’ hair game to the next level! Did you catch us on CTV, CBC and Castanet? Watch our live features here:

 

 

Couldn’t make it to our event? We’ve rounded up the top social media posts from the event!

RECAP: 2017 MCxNAHA

VEGAS 2017

From taking selfies with Sam Villa at the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) to watching the light show on Fremont Street, a trip to Las Vegas was the perfect way to launch a career in Hairstyling!

From July 8 to 11, over 80 MC College Students and staff made their way to Las Vegas for the 12th annual MCxNAHA show and 28th annual NAHA’s (one of the biggest events of the hairstyling industry). Every student that enrolled in the June Hairstyling program went on this trip for FREE.

At the naha's 2017 #MCCollege

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At the MCxNAHA show, groups broke out into 3 sessions:
1). Hair Improv
Presenters: Yolly ten Koppel (Artistic Director, Pivot Point International) and Laddie James (Owner and Master Stylist, The Hairstyle Inn)

Breakfast with a bit of inspiration #mccollegekelowna #mccollege #mclife #mcxnaha

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2). Creating a NAHA entry
Presenters: Cheryl Harrison (VP Operations, MC College) & Jeff Louis (National Artistic Director, Artego)
From lighting and photoshop to choosing a model, the process behind a NAHA entry can be intimidating, especially for a Student! Using the 2017 NAHA entries and previous MC College graduates’ entries, students got an inside look at what to look for when creating an entry.

 

3). Building your personal brand on social media
Presenters: Nikki McCrimmon (Admissions Leader, MC College) and Chinda Sin (Marketing Coordinator, MC College)
Whether it’s finding love on Tinder/Grinder or using Pivot Point’s LAB, everyone’s on social media so there’s no excuse to not use it to build a brand. Before students went out and became the next social media rock star, we gave them the top 5 tips to creating and building a brand on social media.

 

Enroute to #naha2017!!!!

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From poker tables to the slot machines, all eyes were on the MC Squad as we made our way to Mandalay Bay for the NAHA’s. At the show, students got the chance to watch hair and fashion presentations by the biggest names in the industry, network with celebrity hairstylists such as Charlie Price and Vivienne Mackinder, and watch industry innovator, Sam Villa receive an NAHA Lifetime Achievement Award.

“In Vegas we had amazing opportunities that I will never forget…while watching all the NAHA finalists walk down the red carpet, I met and spoke to some amazing people…When we sat down to watch the award show I got to sit beside a couple who has known Sam Villa for many years and that alone was awesome!!!” says MC College Edmonton Hairstyling Student, Amber-Rae Ens (@got_Rootz)


Missed our live feed from our social media? Search up #MCxNAHA on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to get caught up!