Advice From Alumni – Become a Stylist
Meet Toni Maccariella! Toni is a 2012 graduate of PB Beauty School’s Cosmetology Program and has been working in the industry for 9 years as a stylist. Currently, she is a stylist with her own chair at Karoleena Michaels Beauty and Hair Salon and simultaneously going back to school to study Mortuary Science to become a Forensic Cosmetologist! I had the opportunity to visit Toni at her salon to see her in action and was able to sit down with her to find out what she’s been up to since graduating. She is the definition of a hard-working go-getter and has loads of advice to help future cosmetologists achieve their goals!
“What is your favorite memory from your time at PB Beauty School?”
Toni: I loved the field trip to New York to see the International Beauty Show because that ignited my passion to work on and backstage at shows. After graduating from PB, I became an educator with Chi and was able to work backstage at the International Beauty Show. It was awesome seeing my dreams become reality.”
“Which educator in school stood out to you the most?”
Toni: Miss Janice was always really down to earth. She’s real, humble, personable, and gives great advice. I couldn’t have had a better Cosmetology teacher.”
“What is your advice for future stylists?”
Toni: No matter what your background, you need to be motivated to achieve your dreams. I struggled a lot in high school and always needed a tutor or extra help. I registered for college but withdrew to pursue the beauty industry. After I graduated from PB Beauty School, I became an assistant at a salon and eventually a stylist with my own chair and book of clients. I’ve become a master educator for the hair company Chi and I’ve worked at several hair shows on stage as well as backstage prepping models. I’ve been licensed for almost 9 years and I’m now in college again to get my degree in funeral directing. I had a rough childhood but I didn’t let that hold me back. I rose up and became something.”
“What is your advice on building a book and having returning clients?”
Toni: Be honest with your clients and they will trust you. A consultation at the beginning of every appointment is crucial. Ask them what they like and what they don’t. When you are doing your consultation, my best tip is to stand in front of them and not behind the chair. Make eye contact with them to let your client know you are listening. I always ask my clients how often they plan on coming in and what their budget is so that I know exactly what I can do for them and not promise them something that isn’t feasible. I genuinely care about every one of my clients and always attempt to build a connection and rapport with them.
Toni: I love learning new things and staying on top of trends. I have taken at least 100 classes since graduating. Aside from working with Chi for the past 5 years, I have taken classes with Nick Arrojo, Sam Villa, Scissor Candy, Ashlee Norman Hair, and assisted with Paul Mitchel.
“What is your favorite aspect of being a stylist?”
Toni: I have always loved everything that comes with being a stylist, however, I absolutely love doing formal styles and updos. I love color and anything that brings about a transformation.
“What are your goals for the next 5 years?”
Toni: I 100% love what I do and will be in the beauty industry forever. However, right now I am going back to school at Mercer County College to study Mortuary Science. My goal is to graduate and pursue Forensic Cosmetology to continue to make people feel beautiful even after they pass away. I will always work in a salon on the side.
“Do you have any advice you’d like to share for those who want to be in your shoes one day?”
Toni: It is so important to start as an assistant, learn from a mentor, and build connections. Building a rapport with your clients and maintaining good communication is the ultimate way to succeed in the industry and have returning clients.”
Follow Toni on Instagram @oh_antoniettahair to check out her work!