When most beauty enthusiasts are tasked with the job of figuring out their career path, most usually go towards either cosmetology and makeup artistry or hair. While both are amazing careers with endless possibilities and tangents respectively it’s also important to take into account that there are so many other interesting career opportunities, like say a National Educator with Caryl Baker Visage?
Caryl Baker has been a household name in most Canadian houses when it comes to beauty for nearly half a century. What started as a cosmetics line with a goal to remove the counter between products and clients by the early 1970’s had turned into a private beauty salon and over 250 beauty consultants representing the brand. Fast forward to present day and Caryl Baker has over 20 locations Canada-wide providing salon services like makeup applications, spa facials and microblading along with skincare, cosmetics and tools.
We recently sat down with Anna Koniaris, National Face Expert and Educator at Caryl Baker Visage to learn more about the company, what the role of a National Educator entails and some insight into what you can expect from a career in beauty. Anna has over 35 years experience in esthetics, make-up artistry and business relations. She also has lots of experience in franchising and spa operations and is, in fact, a Caryl Baker franchise owner. With all her industry experience and first and knowledge of all things Caryl Baker, Anna is no doubt the perfect person to share her experiences with us!
SNTF: What is a National Educator for Caryl Baker Visage?
AK: National Educators for Caryl Baker are responsible for all training both at corporate and store levels, which is mandatory for all Caryl Baker employees.
SNTF: Sounds like such an interesting role. What is a day in the life of a National Educator for Caryl Baker Visage like?
AK: We have Face Spa location across Ontario and Alberta. Our brand takes great pride in following all the public health standards and providing “safe beauty.” All of our employees must participate in an intense education program that includes a practical and theory exam with a passing score of 70%, complete an in-salon apprenticeship program before they can be certified/insured to perform services on our valued CBV clients. I also offer customized training programs for our Franchise partners and their team of staff. I am very proud of the [training] program that I created with our founder Caryl Baker and how it has evolved over the years. Our Face Experts company-wide are amongst the industry’s best.
SNTF: What are your favourite things about working at Caryl Baker Visage?
AK: Educating. In my opinion, knowledge is power, the driving force that will help you succeed in life. I have the opportunity to empower mostly women to increase their knowledge in the industry and/or get into an industry that will be rewarding in more ways than one throughout their career. Our 6-week program is held at our education facility in Toronto Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, three times per year and at salon level as frequently as requested by our Franchise partners. Although I take the lead in the education department I am assisted by my dream team that help me meet the educational needs of our entire organization.
When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like you’re working and that is how I feel so many years later. Every work day has its challenges but my passion for the industry and supporting personal growth/development makes every day is a great workday.
SNTF: As a National Educator, your role involves a lot of travel. What are some of the challenges and rewards of this part of the job?
AK: When my children were young, balancing a career with travel and raising a family “solo” most certainly had its challenges, but between my passion for the industry and my commitment to my daughters I simply made it work. Over the past five years, travel has become very easy, fun and rewarding. A great way to experience Canada while you make money. I always receive a warm welcome by our out of town franchisees and they are so very appreciative that I have come to them to educate their team of staff.
SNTF: Educating is obviously the main focus of your job but with all the teaching you do, is there something the role has taught you or new things you’re constantly learning from your team?
AK: We/I are always learning. The beauty industry is constantly evolving, staying current and being in the “know” is crucial to your ongoing success. The advantage we have in this generation that I did not have in the very early stages of my career is the internet/social media that keep us updated to the minute of new tips, trends, techniques, service offerings and results.
SNTF: What was it that led you to a career at Caryl Baker Visage?
AK: I struggled with acne as a teen that negatively impacted my self-esteem. I got a job at 15-years old at a restaurant in the Scarborough Town Center as a hostess but once I saw that I could earn more money doing what the “boys” did I pushed to be a “bus girl” clearing tables. I used all my money to find solutions for my skin. One day, a young lady with a flawless complexion greeted me at the mall as I was passing by the Caryl Baker Visage and offered my a free skin analysis and makeup application with no obligation to make a purchase, this offer continues to be a part of our brand model till today. This experience was life-changing, I looked flawless! And the rest is history!
SNTF: What to you are some of the skills someone must have to be a National Educator?
AK: If you have personality and love people we can train you for skills!
SNTF: What advice do you have for someone looking at a career in cosmetics and esthetics?
AK: To excel in any career you need a positive attitude, patience, open to constructive criticism and practice, practice, practice!
SNTF: How do to stay motivated in your daily role, especially when energy levels are low?
AK: I am very high energy and I find that is contagious to others
SNTF: If you could only use three makeup and/or skin care products for the rest of your life, what would they be?
AK: A multiple purpose moisturizer with SPF, nourishing mascara and a hydrating lipstick.
Images courtesy of Caryl Baker Visage
By M.J. Elle, Toronto, @TheMJElle
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