Success Stories

Achieve your career dreams like these students did after enrolling at Brillare.

If you want to attend beauty school, you’re probably already dreaming about what you’ll do after you become a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician. Even if you haven’t, you should know that Brillare’s educational offerings set our students up for success. These two students, Rhalesha and Daniel, allowed us to share their stories about how studying at Brillare helped them achieve their career dreams.

Rhalesha Kennedy

My name is Rhalesha Kennedy, and I am a proud graduate of Brillare Beauty Institute (formerly known as Franklin Academy). I have been doing hair for more than 17 years; however, I have been a licensed cosmetologist for two years now. Here is my story:

I attended Brillare back in 2007/2008, when my son was 2 years old and my daughter was 3 months old. Being a single mother, going to cosmetology school and working was just too much for me. Even though being a hairstylist was my passion and my dream, I had to make a choice. I had to give up my dream to care for my children. Giving it up made me sick, but as a single mother, my choice was clear: I had to provide for my children. I made it through those rough times, and through those sacrifices, good things came my way.

So seven years later, I decided to chase my dream again! I once again enrolled at Brillare. This time, it took me 11 months to finish my dream! There were rough days and obstacles, but I did it! I did it with the help of my great instructor, who gave me some great advice: She told me never to give up, and she pushed me to finish! So I did, and I graduated in April of 2016. I thought I was all set. I had chosen the salon I wanted to work at and thought I was good to go. Little did I know it wasn’t going to work out.

However, that ended up being a blessing in disguise. I went to work for Rustic Hair Bar in Charleston, TN. It was great until some bad business decisions were made. Not long after that, I was offered the opportunity to purchase the salon. This chance was another dream that was now becoming a reality. The struggle was real; I had never owned my own business. I had a lot to learn! Paying bills and keeping up was definitely something I had to learn, and it wasn’t easy, but I did it! I learned, too, that our location wasn’t exactly the best area, so after lots of research and discussions with my staff, I decided to relocate to Cleveland. We made that transition a few months ago, and I couldn’t be happier. Things are going great! Profit isn’t where I want it to be right now, but I know it’s coming. We are building Rustic Hair Bar’s clientele here in Cleveland. I am the happiest I’ve ever been; I am living my dream and building a future. Now my kids can see just what you can do when you really want something and you’re willing to work hard for it. This past year and a half has been both crazy and amazing at the same time. I will forever be grateful to Brillare Beauty Institute for helping me achieve my dreams!

Hair Color Treatment Chattanooga, TN

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Daniel Graham

I was loading trucks in a warehouse, and I hated it! After a conversation with my cousin, we decided we would go to hair school and open a barbershop. This decision led me to check out Brillare Beauty Institute. I came in for a tour and signed up that day. This choice ended up becoming one of the best decisions of my life. That’s no exaggeration.

I had zero knowledge of the hair industry. Brillare Beauty Institute taught me so much more than I realized at the time, ranging from holding my shears correctly to preparing me to pass my state boards on the first try.

I learned quickly in school that I wanted to cut men’s hair. After finishing at Brillare and passing my state boards, I went to work at a local barbershop. I loved it! However, the shop did not have the business to support a new professional. This situation made it nearly impossible to build a clientele base.

Luckily, another shop recruited me. Being in an established shop with plenty of overflow clientele helped me hone my skills and provide for my family better than ever before.

After a few years of building my clientele and mastering my craft, I opened my own shop. I put everything I had into my business. I opened for business with fingers crossed and $17 in my bank account. That decision became the best move for my career yet! I was open for six weeks before I had to hire another stylist. Four months later, we had to hire another. My business has taken off extremely quickly, and it keeps growing. I am beyond grateful for everything the hair industry has given me, and it all started at Brillare Beauty Institute.

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