By Veronica Sandate Craker
As the clocked ticked closer to 5 p.m. students inside the Academy of Cosmetology were busy cutting customers’ hair, sweeping the floor or wiping down mirrors.
The school has seen a steady increase in traffic since it moved to its new location on 1368 Jadwin Ave. in the Uptown Shopping Center.
“We relocated in Uptown because we consider ourselves to be in the heart of Richland and the Uptown actually is in the heart of Richland and we actually outgrew our old location,” said owner Shannon Petrak.
The business opened in 2005 at 214 Torbett St. in Richland. But just two years after opening, it was already outgrowing the building.
“It was much smaller than this and it wasn’t what we needed,” Robbins said. “This place is awesome. The clients love it the students love it. It’s better exposure.”
The Academy of Cosmetology is a Pivot Point Member School that serves 22 students with two full-time and one part-time instructor.
“Our curriculum is updated twice yearly with the spring and fall fashion,” Robbins said. “Most schools they will invest in a curriculum and it doesn’t get updated as often as it need to be … things change from season to season, hairstyles change the trends change.”
The school offers courses for its students in cosmetology, barbering, esthetics, manicurist and instructor training.
“Most of our students go into business for themselves, which is excellent,” Robbins said. “We acknowledge that there are people out there that do mediocre or sub-par work, there’s a lot of people who don’t know what they’re doing and our students are not a part of that group.
The school is also known for graduating 100 percent of its students since opening eight years ago. Petrak attributes that success to her instructors and small class sizes.
“We keep our enrollment down because we want them to be taught well,” Petrak said. “We’ve had as young as 16 (years old) and as old as 60.”
The Academy offers haircuts, manicures and facials to the public during its business hours in the 3,000-sq.-ft. building.
“Our clients are very happy with the services they receive and generally just happy with the environment and gosh they all love the facility,” Robbins said. “It’s just as good for them as it is for the students.”
The Academy of Cosmetology is open from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday. Visit the company’s Facebook page at facebook.com/academyofcosmetology for more information.