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.

MC Elite: Shauntel Leffler

shauntel lFacebook: SL Hair (@shaunzhairdesignz)
Instagram: @sl.hair

From spending long nights in the library memorizing the major muscle groups to doing flawless balayage and #fadefridays, our MC Elite for February is going out to Shauntel Leffler from the Saskatoon Campus! “Last year, I was enrolled in Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan. I hated the formality of it…I switched careers to become a Hairstylist because I was unhappy and miserable.”

“Shauntel is very diligent and thorough when it comes to consulting her clients and providing services to them…she makes sure she understands what her clients want. She is very inquisitive especially when she is not busy with clients so that she can take in all the education she can” says Hairstyling Instructor, Marg Ellis.
Why did you choose Hairstyling as a career?
“I wanted to put my personal touch on stuff and be able to use my creativity. In High School, I was really into makeup and hair but I always thought of it as a hobby and never knew I would make it into a career. When I started researching MC College and Hairstyling, I knew it was the path for me!”

#yxehairstylist #yxehair #menshair #disconnected

A post shared by Shauntel Hair & Microblading (@sl.hair) on

 

What do you like most about Hairstyling so far?
“Colour because you can be so creative and it creates the biggest change in someone’s image!”

What do you love about MC College?
“It’s like family. You come here and everyone is happy and friendly. It’s an awesome environment and you actually look forward to coming to school.”

 

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve learned or faced while at MC College?
“The learning environment because it’s so different from what I was used to. In university, it was all about memorizing. Here, it’ all hands-on, technical and creative. I also find it challenging communicating with clients to make sure you know what they want.”

 

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Do what you love. I know that’s cheesy and straight to the point but its true! Don’t stick to something you hate or are unhappy with. This is why I switched careers!”


What’s your secret to getting clients?
“Advertise yourself and showcase what you can do on Facebook and Instagram…that has helped me get my name out there. When you’re in school, people don’t know the awesome stuff you can do and putting it out there makes them see what you can do as a student…having Instagram and Facebook set allows people to find you and get a hold of you to book….Facebook is the best for me because I can reach more people of all ages.”

 

Do you have any social media tips to offer MC College Students?
“Keep your page professional and don’t post selfies and what not. Go with a theme and stick with it. If you’re going to be using a background, make sure your backgrounds in your posts look similar. Be consistent and make sure your posts look presentable.”

 

 

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.

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Student of the Month: Amber Bell

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From ‘behind the screen’ to ‘behind the chair’, the Student of the Month goes out to Amber Bell from the Red Deer campus! As a single Mother of 2, she had always wanted to be a Hairstylist. Because of the booming economy in Alberta due to the oil and gas industry, Amber decided to pursue a career in administration and marketing. Like many others in the oil sector, Amber had to look for new opportunities when the price of oil dropped. She saw this as the perfect opportunity to pursue her dream career: being a Hairstylist.
“Amber is always on point! Even with 2 kids, she comes to school early, dressed up and ready to learn” – Janet Davey, Director at MC College Red Deer.
“She gets herself out there and makes sure she always has a full book..her schedule is all requests from people who’ve seen her work on facebook…She is not afraid to try something new”– Tracey Holmes, Hairstyling Instructor at MC College Red Deer.

What was your career before you decided to get into Hairstyling?
“I worked in the oil and gas industry in administration and marketing…now instead of marketing for a company, I’m marketing myself. I’ll get to use my creativity and work one on one with people.”

#mccollegereddeer #tricolorhair #mccollege #peacockhair

A post shared by Amber 💇🏻 (@hairbyamberdawn) on

Why did you choose Hairstyling as a career?
“I’ve always loved doing my friends and family’s hair. I love how it makes people feel about themselves, including myself! Growing up, I had wanted to be a Hairstylist but I decided instead to go in oil and gas. Because of the economy, it helped me realize that being a hairstylist is what I truly want to be. I saw an opportunity and signed up for the soonest start date!”

What do you like most about Hairstyling so far?
“I like that I’m able to use my creativity. The best is when someone comes in with virgin hair and wants a funky colour. I always tell my clients to send me before and after selfies as soon as they leave. You can see such a big difference!”

What do you love about MC College?
“So much! I love that every teacher at school has something different to offer and a different skill. I love that there is openness between the teachers and students…you never feel scared or dumb asking questions.”

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve learned or faced while at MC College?
“Updos are always a struggle but I’m always learning to make my updos better…compared to my job before, I was sitting down in front of the computer all day. It’s going to be interesting to adjust but nice at the same time that I get to be on my feet for most of the day.”

You went to the North American Hairstyling Awards in Vegas with MC College, how was that!??
“It was amazing and inspiring…I’m going to enter the NAHA’s, maybe not today but for sure in a few years. I got to meet the Schorem Barbers at the show! It was like meeting Justin Beiber but better. Actually, I’ve met Justin Beiber before but meeting the Barbers was so much better!”

Who met the #scumbagbarbers !? WE DID!

A post shared by Amber 💇🏻 (@hairbyamberdawn) on

What are you looking forward to at MC College?
“Graduating and being able to get out the door and start working. I already have 3 places that offered me a job!”

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“The best advice I’ve ever got is ‘you do you…just be yourself and always do what makes you happy’. I feel like this is a theme in my class right now”.

What advice would you give to MC Students on using social media to promote themselves?
“Actually use it! Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag!!! I find that I’m getting more people through word of mouth because of social media. My friends share my colours and cuts on their facebook and their friends are booking with me”.

Follow her!
Instagram: @hairbyamberdawn
Facebook: Hair by Amber Dawn

MC Pop Up Salon presents: Shear Envy ✂️

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Located in the heart of the Ice District in Edmonton, the MC Pop Up Salon was up and running for business last month! From February 23 to 27, MC College Hairstyling Students: Kelly Shirtliff (@kdshirtliff), Desire Poulin (@hairbydesirep), Nicolette Pirrott (@sharksloveteeth) and Taya Tkachuk (@taya.hair) worked as a squad to manage and operate their own salon, Shear Envy. “We got the opportunity to run our own salon. We built the prices and brought in our own clients. Just getting a feel of what a salon would be like was the best part!” says Desire.
Check out their Instagram and @mccollegegroup for some of the lit hair transformations they did!

Under the guidance of our Education Director, Anna Gemellaro, the students had over 36 customers and did 102 services – from candy colored hair to cuts and balayage. We even had return customers from our past Pop Up Salon! “They had great people skills and were independent yet willing to learn…They were never afraid to try a new technique…They kept me young at heart. BRAVO!” says Anna.

 

Before beginning Shear Envy, the group presented a business plan and collaborated with MC College’s marketing department to create a logo and promotional materials. The students were provided with a POS, appointment booking system, and a full blown color and retail bar to enhance their experience as a salon owner.


We asked them: what was your favorite part about the experience?
Desire: “The team atmosphere. We all pulled together and really stepped on board. I learned how to customize every client and personalize their experience. ”
Taya: “It was a great experience outside of school! It helped me understand what goes on behind the scenes of a salon”.
Kelly: “I loved the atmosphere, clientele and our team. This was such a great opportunity to learn the business aspect of a salon”
Nicolette: “The infinite amounts of coffee and of course being able to make the rules!!…It’s all about your team and working as one”.


A pop up store is a temporary shop that could be in business one week and then gone the next. As part of the MC Pop Up Salon initiative, a team of students get the chance to own a salon for one week. They learn on-the-job skills in marketing, finance and operations, as well as develop their technical and communication skills.


Follow us on social media to be the first to hear about the next Pop Up Salon!
For info about our Pop Up Salon, visit: Pop Up Salon 

Top stories from 2015

From 💃flamenco dancing💃 in Barcelona to Marlo Steenman’s Spanx for not letting her down, these are the top MC College stories from 2015 (in chronological order):

Nepal Fundraiser 
MC College organized a company wide fundraiser for the Canadian Red Cross. 50% of proceeds from salon and spa services on May 5th, at all six campuses, were donated to the Nepal Regional Earthquake Fund. We fund-raised over $5000!

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Red Deer Express
In June, MC College Red Deer was named top 3 best spas by Red Deer Express’ ‘Best of’ awards. Thank you to all of our clients and students for the support and the vote! 💅👏

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Creative Jam 2015
Last June, Pivot Point International hosted its first Creative Jam in Canada – a 2 day event of ‘hairspiration’ for Hairstylists and Educators. Our Educational Director, Anna Gemellaro, and MC College Instructors travelled to Toronto for hands-on education with industry leaders Yolly Ten Koppel, Joakim Roos, Severine LeBrun, Sabrina Hagenmueller and Laddie James. 💇

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Pop up Salon
Last summer, we launched our first Pop Up Salon in Edmonton: Colour Art Salon by Dona Karunathilake! From creating a dress code to setting salon prices, Dona and her team got to the #WorkGrind and experienced entrepreneurship firsthand. The Pop Up Salon gives students the chance to experience what it’s like to own a salon and learn on-the-job skills in marketing, finance and operations.

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The next Pop Up Salon is February 22- 27. To pre-book your appointment, call 780 429 4407 or email salon-ed@mccollege.ca (don’t forget to mention pop up salon!!).

#MCxNAHA 2015 
From July 11th to 13th, over 80 MC College students and staff boarded a plane for Las Vegas for the 10th annual #MCxNAHA show and the North American Hairstyling Awards. The highlight of the trip? One of our Hairstyling graduates, Marlo Steenman, won Hair Colorist of the year!

 

Global Beauty Masters
Reality TV meets the ABA show to the extreme. Two MC College students, Tao Ping and Nicolette Porritt, went to Las Vegas in September for the second annual Global Beauty Masters Competition. Working together as the ‘MC Team’, Tao and Nicolette endured a week of intensive competition with 13 teams from around the world. The show is set to premiere on TLC on March 17, 2016! 📺
Watch the promo video

 

Beauty Abroad: Barcelona 
From November 3 to November 11 2015, we packed our bags and jet setted to the cobbled stone streets of Barcelona! “My days in Barcelona were filled with culture, shopping, dining, and training…. It was an experience I will never forget” says MC College Hairstyling Student, Meaghan Palmer.

 

Graduation
Saying ‘bye Felicia’ to their mannequin heads, creepy looking practice fingers and pulling an all-nighter to finish a garment can only mean one thing: it’s grad! In Spring and Fall 2015, over 400 Hairstyling, Esthetics and Fashion Design students across six campuses celebrated their success with friends, family, industry partners and MC staff.

vmo3e

 

New Designers Fashion Show | Edmonton & Winnipeg
From floral appliqués surrounded by fighter jets to being the show to launch Western Canada Fashion Week, our annual New Designers Fashion Show was SOLD OUT in Edmonton and Winnipeg. Read more:
Edmonton


Winnipeg

 

Sharing the Love
Throughout 2015, MC College Students and Staff at all campuses volunteered at a variety of events. Because we couldn’t just choose one event to highlight, we made a list of the top 2 events at each campus:

  •  Kelowna
    • Mini makeovers for the City of Kelowna Camp Girlz Summer Camp
    •  Cuts for a Cure at Kelowna Secondary School

 

  • Edmonton
    • “Pinked” and shaved heads at the 12th annual Hair Massacure event
    • Hair cuts at Homeless Connect
  • Calgary
    • “Pinked” hair for Hair Massacure in support of the Make a Wish Foundation
    • Mini manicures and backstage hair + makeup at the Calgary Women’s Show
  • Red Deer
    • Hair and make up for Central Alberta Theatre
    • In partnership with 90.5 shine FM, we did mini manicures and hairstyles at the Only Women’s Fun Run (in support of the Women’s Outreach Centre)
  • Saskatoon
    • Hair and make up for the contestants at Miss Teen Saskatchewan Pageant
    • Hair and up dos for graduating high school students in need (The Princess Shop)
  • Winnipeg

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.

Alumni Profile: Alicia Soulier

Alicia Soulier 2

Alicia graduated from the Hairstyling Program at the Saskatoon Campus in 2005. Since then, she has:

• been the lead Stylist at Saskatoon’s Fashion Week
• Won ‘Saskatchewan Salon Stylist of the Year’ at the 2014 Mirror Awards.
• Styled hair at Spring/Summer 2015 New York Fashion Week.
• Been nominated for ‘Saskatchewan/Manitoba Hairstylist of the Year’ at the Contessa Awards.

Currently, she is the owner and educator at Capelli Hair Studio, one of Saskatoon’s most prestigious salons.

capelli

Why MC College?

Styling her Barbie dolls hair and making friends with Hairstylists was an early indicator that Alicia would start a career in the Beauty Industry. After taking Cosmetology classes in High School and receiving a scholarship, Alicia decided to accomplish her dream to become a Hairstylist. Her entrepreneurial spirit, need for hands-on education and word of mouth led Alicia to enroll and graduate from MC College Saskatoon. “MC College will teach you the fundamentals to becoming the best Hairstylist in the world…they give you a great foundation for the real world” says Alicia.

Alicia Soulier 1

Soon after graduating, Alicia was set on becoming a salon owner. After realizing that one of Saskatoon’s premiere neighborhoods lacked an upscale hair salon, she pounced on the opportunity and opened ‘Capelli Hair Studio’. In 2012, it placed top 5 in Contessa’s ‘Salon Interior of the Year’ award and was named as the best hair salon in Saskatoon by Fine Lifestyles magazine.

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Advice from Alumni

“Be humble. Be Passionate. Be respectful of your Mentors. Be passionate about what you do”

As an award winning superstar hairstylist, salon owner, educator and a board member of the Saskatoon Fashion and Design Festival, Alicia credits her success to her mentor, Kim Regier of Chel SalonSpa and her need for continuous learning. “Never think you know it all. Always strive for more education and inspiration” says Alicia. She is known for mentoring her staff, new Hairstylists and students so that they can become successful in their career.

Today, she continues to enter hair competitions and currently styles hair in photoshoots and fashion shows. She has done hair for Edge Agency and fashion houses such as White Dhalia House of Fashion, Hillberg and Berk, , Pyer Mossto and  Concept Korea to name a few.

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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

Entrepreneurs in the Hair Industry

Around 30 years ago, we began to see the first chain salons open. There was a general concern amongst salon owners at the time, that this would mark the end of the independent salon…Fast-forward to today and both chain salons and independents co-exist within our industry. Chains may have taken up to 50% of what was once all independent salons, but the industry will never completely change to corporate run salons. That is because our industry is filled with entrepreneurs. And speaking as one myself, we don’t work well for others.

I may take some flak for this but I believe the true strength of the hairstyling industry is not in the artistry (although that is our tagline). The true strength is the entrepreneurism…our ability to create a business and a life that is satisfying both financially as well as artistically.

For the past 20 years at MC College, we have surveyed our graduates. Asking them “Why” they chose a career in hairdressing. The top 2 answers were always “creative and artistic freedom” AND “the ability to be self-employed” . The largest demographic of students at MC College right now are the 18-25 year olds, also know as the Millenials. This group is often characterized as the generation most likely to set up their own business than work for large companies.

This is all good news. Not just for the Hairdressing industry but also the economy. Small businesses are the backbone of any nation’s economy, they keep people working, money changing hands and taxes flowing.

It is for these reasons that MC College in Edmonton has partnered with MacEwan University to create a Salon/Spa Entrepreneurship program. For the past 2 years we have been offering all Hairstyling students enrolled in the Edmonton campus 40 hours of instruction at MacEwan University. This 5 day program provides students with instruction from a MacEwan Business Professor on the specific needs to open and run a salon and the students leave with a draft business plan. But what the program really does is provide potential entrepreneurs and future salon owners with a roadmap to success.

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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