A business owner in Philadelphia’s West Oak Lane district created a summer camp for young people interested in starting a career in the hair and beauty care industry. Participants ages 8 to 17 learn the essentials of running a business, customer service, and the ABCs of hairdressing.
Lauren B, the owner of The Beauty Box Salon, created the Jr. Beauty Boot Camp in 2017 to expose the next generation of stylists to the tips and tricks of the cosmetology industry. Five years ago, her goal was to provide the girls in her community with the fundamentals and basic training of cosmetology — but now she wants to take the camp up and down the Eastern Seaboard and to Los Angeles.
Her vision for the national campaign, which has been running since the spring, is to inspire young girls to consider the craft as a viable means of employment, and learn some of the innovations in hair care, beauty, and wellness.
This year, the boot camp hits eight cities across the nation, including Philadelphia (7/30 to 7/31), Chicago (8/13), New York (8/20), Houston (9/3), Charlotte (9/17), Atlanta (9/24), Los Angeles (10/22) and Baltimore (10/29).
Those admitted to the experience will be taught and mentored personally by the multi-hyphenate Lauren B. a licensed hairstylist, makeup artist, and salon owner. They will also receive a “Jr. Beauty Boss Starter Kit,” complete with a mannequin head and hot hair care tools, like flat irons.
While a student, the young ladies will take three different hair training classes: how to generate income by doing hair, branding, and business social media marketing. Girls also learn to do their nails and walk away with a certificate of completion. And because the day is long, the students will receive two meals and a snack.
The teacher says, “When they leave here, they are masters. They know everything.”
One student, Kyleigh Reid, 9, said in an interview with CBS 3, it is her “dream to do hair, makeup, and nails.”
Lauren B. isn’t shocked. She says for as far back as she can remember she knew cosmetology was her dream, also saying, “I knew what I wanted to do my whole life.”
She added, “Not only did I want to be a hairstylist, I wanted to be a business owner.”
This motivated her to learn all she could, so by the time she went to college for business and beauty school for her cosmetology license, she was focused on her goal. But she had to teach herself early on because no programs aimed to mentor and train youth, that wanted to do what she dreamed of doing existed.
“There were no programs for hair and that’s what made me come up with the idea for Beauty Boot Camp,” Lauren B. recalled. “I wanted to give back to the community and teach the girls all the things I didn’t get to learn.”
The testimony of her former students has set the tone for the next batch of glam queens.
Ray’ven Roberts said she had to thank her dad because “he found Ms. Lauren for me, put me in the boot camp and I loved it.”
For Lauren, that’s the response she wanted to receive from the inception. Even more impressive is the fact some of the girls take what they’ve learned and are pursuing a career in the hair and beauty industry.
“It’s a huge deal to see my girls leave my program and actually become successful entrepreneurs, it’s amazing. Just to know that I built them up to what they’ve become today, it’s amazing.”
She says she never envisioned it would become such a force, already the original dates for Philadelphia and the Atlanta classes were sold out and additional dates had to be added.
“And when I started the program, I didn’t expect it to be this big. So, to see the overflow of people who are seeing me and hearing me and learning from me, it’s just a great thing,” she stated with pride.
Young people interested in the Jr. Beauty Boot Camp should register at Lauren B.’s website for more details.