Our Associate Program and the “Why” Behind It

Going through beauty school is an experience that’s hard to explain. It usually starts with not touching hair for a full 8 weeks. That first two months is jam-packed with the foundational information we need as stylists. It’s called “basics” and it’s on everything from safety and sanitation to the layers of the hair strand and skin. Once a student has finally gotten through basics, they get the chance to service paying customers who get services done at a discounted price compared to a salon. The hours are the same as a full-time job without any pay and the information is abundant. Going through the year that most programs are, whoever didn’t drop out, hopefully gets hired at a salon. However, while some people want/need to start making as much money as possible, some (now licensed) stylists want more training before being thrown out into the hair world. That’s where an associate program comes in.

Every salon is different, but at Urban Eve, we know the value of continued education in our industry. It’s always changing and growing and getting a little more complicated. With this being said, we start any new stylist out in our associate program. This can be described as a hair stylist’s “graduate program.” The fresh stylist gets a chance to work under a level 4 stylist at Urban Eve to learn not only how our specific salon works, but they also get to learn what that stylist has learned in their years in the industry. Being a level 4 stylist takes time, energy, and grit, so for a person just out of beauty school, this is an incredible opportunity! They are working similar hours to school, but now- they get to take home a paycheck.

This program is very specific to each stylist. It can be a few months to a year, depending on where the stylist is with technique and customer service. It’s important to note too: while being an associate can be seen from the outside as a new hire being an assistant, at Urban Eve we don’t look at an associate as only extra hands for their mentor; we see them as equal teammates to even the most senior stylist in our four walls. They have a curriculum that they follow, along with an “opportunity day” where they get to do hair for those clients who choose to follow them out of school or family and friends who want to support them in their career. This makes their transition from the program into their career smoother and more purposeful.

Our mission statement is “to make people feel beautiful from the inside out by using our talents and training our future leaders to pass it on.” Notice that second half of that statement- associates are our way of passing it onto our future leaders and showing them how to pass it on. With this being in our mission statement, we are excited to do so and excited to watch each stylist graduate from being an associate (this is called “going on the floor” in our world). It’s a pleasure to watch them start on their own career path with knowledge and a little extra one-on-one training in their tool belt for years to come.

-Stephany Cole

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