Student Spotlight: Nato N. Barber Student

Nato N. Barber of the monthSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT : Nato N. Instagram: @quedesmadre_

By JanyNicole Stehman

Nato is our Barber Student of the month for March 2015, he has also been a Student Ambassador since November. I sat down with him to find out just what exactly makes him tick.

Nato with Batxer products


JNS: “What do you like the most about being at Federico?”

NN: “Everything. From the amazing educators, the fun staff, Alex in the café having the perfect amount of soy milk mixed in my morning coffee, to the talented individuals, cosmos and barbers alike that I am blessed to work alongside of.  They have all inspired me to express my creativity.

Left to right: Jeff, Nato, Priscilla and Mr. Jerry


JNS: “What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far?

NN: “Shaving. Shaving is by far my favorite thing. I mean, I get to hold a sharp blade next to someone’s face and throat and that person is totally cool with it!”

JNS: “Ha! That’s awesome. Do you have a favorite product to use?”

NN: “Baxter shampoo and conditioner. About once a week I have Colby T., a fellow barber, give me a shampoo and scalp massage with it. Baxter smells great and leaves my head feeling nice and minty clean.”

JNS: “I LOVE minty shampoos. How about favorite hair related Instagrams? Are there any you’re currently loving?”

NN: “There are a lot of great Instagrams out there, but just to name a few that really inspire me, @shanenesbit, @barberbrianburt, @mjsolofamensgrooming, #aonoxxx…I really like that they keep it traditional but with a modern punk rock edge. They stay humble and work hard to make their clientele happy. I’m also gonna throw in @keithzaggthebarber and @el_heffe23 because they are some of the most talented hard working barbers that have taught me many things and I know they will be very successful.

Nato with his reserved parking spot


JNS: “Do you have any advice for barber students just starting out?”

NN: “Don’t be afraid to be creative. Stay hungry for knowledge. Don’t worry about what others think. ‘Wolves don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep’”.

JNS: “What are you hoping to do after graduation?”


Nato and Jeff riding off into the sunset

Up Close with Nick Arrojo

On February 8th and 9th Federico Advanced was honored to host Nick Arrojo for his two day hands on seminar, Up Close with Nick.Nick Arrojo speaking to students. Photo by Nicholas Wray

Salon Professionals from all around Northern California attended the class to learn in-depth razor cutting knowledge.

The weekend started with live model razor cutting by Nick and Caitlin Senna of AJF Salon. They both did long layered looks, bringing out the hair’s natural texture.

Nick Arrojo defusing model. Photo by Nicholas Wray

Caitlin putting on the finishing touches. Photo by Nicholas Wray

On day two, the attendees were able to dive into their own razor cuts. Mastering the Plier Razor can be a tricky thing. There will always be a few nicks and scrapes along the way, but all of the students did a fantastic job.

Nick assisting student with his technique. Photo by Nicholas Wray


Working hands on. Photo by Nicholas Wray


Nick Arrojo Photo by Nicholas Wray

We ended the weekend with an Arrojo Happy Mondays event. Nick Arrojo (Arrojo NYC), Adam Federico (AJF Salon), and James Colgan (James Colgan Union Square) did razor cuts on live models for the 130 people in attendance.

Left to right: James Colgan, Nick Arrojo, Adam Federico. Photo by Nicholas Wray

Between the three salon owners they did five different looks in the 2 hour demonstration. The looks ranged from long layers to short bobs.

Nick Arrojo with Adam Federico's model. Photo by Nicholas Wray


Adam Federico Photo by Nicholas Wray


James Colgan Photo by Nicholas Wray

Raquel, one of the salon professionals found it to be an incredibly inspiring event. “I can’t wait to get my own razor and start practicing. They used those blades as if they were an extension of their own hands.”

Finished Looks Photo by Nicholas Wray Photo by Nicholas Wray Photo by Nicholas Wray Photo by Nicholas Wray Photo by Nicholas Wray





Federico Winter Commencement 2015

We had our first ever graduation ceremony on January 31st. Almost all of the students that had graduated in the past 3 months came back to the school on Saturday morning to receive their diplomas and walk with their fellow graduates.Packed Ballroom- Photo Cred Julia D

The room was filled with black and gold balloons, and the stage was glowing as the guest speakers came up to present on each of the majors.

               Cosmo Ambassador SophiaBarber Ambassador Jeff P.

10313512_10153406172591729_4709796771573022080_nThere were three Student Ambassador Guest Speakers, who were able to speak on their experiences at Federico with passion and knowledge. They provided a unique perspective on their journey at Federico and how it differed between the different majors.


Graduate Marlene won the best dressed award for the night, sporting a stunning floor length gold sequined dress.

Cosmo Graduate Marlene


A big thank you goes out to our Alumni Services Coordinator, Julia D. who spent an entire month organizing the event and our graphic Designer Leticia who spent hours making all of the materials for the event. Thank you also to all the student volunteers that helped with the setup and all the students that were able to come back to campus for the event. It was a fantastic morning!

Cosmo Student Iesha and Federico Creative Director Adam FedericoCosmo and Barber Graduates
Cosmo Instructor Miss CarrieCosmo Graduates and Miss Ro

By JanyNicole Stehman

Creative Advanced Haircutting with Jeremy Davies Barbala

We started 2015 with a bang by welcoming Jeremy Davies-Barbala to Federico Advanced Education for his class, Creative Advanced Haircutting. Jeremy has been honing his skills as a cutter for over 20 years, having started his career at the age of 15. His years of experience at Vidal Sassoon have given him a unique approach to the fundamentals of hair cutting.

Creative Advanced Haircutting with Jeremy Davies Barbala

“Seeing things in a new way and using the finer details of design and suitability to achieve success” Jeremy Davies-Barbala addresses the class


His presentation taught you to take the fundamentals of hair-cutting and use them to build out your creative cutting skills. Allowing students to take the skills they were already perfecting and apply them to more abstract shapes.

Creative haircutting with Jeremy Davies Barbala photo by

Jeremy sectioning out an asymmetric bob

Having the model hang upside down while diffusing to increase volume


Jeffery P., one of the students working the class, said “Watching Jeremy part hair was like watching a magic show. Or a world class ballet. I never imagined I would be so in awe of a hair part until I saw his work” In one fluid motion Jeremy would perfectly section out the hair into beautiful geometric shapes. His lines were so clean and precise and quick, you almost worried he was cutting them not combing them.

“It’s about cross checking, not cross cutting” Jeremy Davies-Barbala cutting an asymettric bob on model Kate K.

Cross checking on model Caitlin S.

Perfecting the nape on model Heather H.


When he cut the hair it was as if it had been carved out of smooth marble. Every cut was made with such precision that one cut in you could have sworn he was already done. The hair transformed so dramatically with every cut.

His technical skill was surpassed only by his charming personality and desire to spread knowledge and creativity.

Jeremy Davies Barbala and Adam Federico photo by

Jeremy Davies-Barbala and Adam Federico

Thank you Jeremy, for sharing your years of experience with everyone here at Federico Advanced.

Photos by Nicholas Wray

Text by JanyNicole Stehman

VisionCAST 2015

By JanyNicole Stehman

Over the holidays the students divided into groups and did a creative editorial photo-shoot competition we dubbed VisionCAST 2015. They were able to decide what they felt the upcoming hair and makeup trends would be, style their group members to reflect those trends and post the images online. Winners were picked by one final shot posted to their Instagram. Picking the winners proved to be incredibly difficult. We laughed, we cried, drank too much coffee and we were finally able to decide on the two best images.

Boyakete Inai-The winning AM image

Boyakete Inai-The winning AM image

“Boyakete Inai”

The winning AM look had a Japanese theme with inspiration from the 80’s punk scene and the movies Tron, Blade Runner, and a dash of Grease.  It was edgy looks with bright pops of color to offset all of the dark overtones.

Models Jeff P., Colby T., Erin D., Deia F.

Makeup by April L.

Hair by Sonya M., Keith Z., Sophia A., Nato N., Zak M.

Colby T, Deia F, Erin D, Jeff P Erin D Erin DClockwise from upper left- Jeff P, Keith Z, Nato N, Sonya M, Zak M, Erin D, Deia F, Colby T, April L, Sophia A Erin D Jeff PColby TDeia F










Deia and Erin with Makeup Artist April L

Deia F Deia F










Don’t go Chasing 90’’s Girl Groups- The winning PM image

Don’t go Chasing 90’’s Girl Groups- The winning PM image


“Don’t go Chasing 90’’s Girl Groups”

The winning PM look was for winter 2015 and based on 90’s girl groups, such as TLC and Spice Girls. It was playful with plenty of attitude.

Model Lianna F., Theresa P., Amanda I., Barbara G.

Hair and Makeup by Maira T., Angie V., Brenda P., Celina B., Berit B.

Photo’s by Berit B.

From left- Lianna F, Theresa P, Amanda I, Barbara G

Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall 2015 Models from left- Lianna F, Theresa P, Amanda I, Barbara G



 Barbara G    Amanda I  Theresa P and Amanda I

Everyone did such an amazing job and this was an incredibly difficult decision. Congratulations everyone on doing fantastic work!


by Tera Thorne

We all want to feel passion for what we do, but no one really tells us how to go about finding it.

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple computers, once said

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do… Don’t settle.”

While that sounds great, he assumes that we all know what we are passionate about and that the only thing lacking is the courage to move towards it, which is not always the case.

On the flip side, Mike Rowe, the host of Dirty Job says

“I do not ‘follow my passion.’  I bring it with me.  I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.”

His philosophy follows a bit of a fake it til you make it mentality. If you have passion for everything you do, you’ll do great work, regardless of what you’re doing.  These two opposing ideas are both good approaches to life, one asks you to go out into the world and find your passion while the other states that passion is an attitude that can be applied to everything that we do.

But where does the passion come from?

David A., an alumni of our new barbering program, was able to find a passion that he didn’t realize he even had. Growing up his mother was a hairdresser and hair was so much a part of his upbringing that he didn’t really appreciate the skill it required.  It wasn’t until he enrolled in the barber program that he realized that he had a love for the field.  It was through exposure, continual effort, and the advancement of his skills that helped him realize the potential within himself and the industry as a whole.

David A. Graduation

David A. with Miss Trish



Yvette G., a recent cosmetology student said that she believes passion is something you are born with.  “At one point I thought I could grow to become passionate about something but now, I don’t think that’s the case.”  She doesn’t think it’s possible for someone to be enthusiastic about a job when they don’t want to be there.  “Every day you can tell yourself that you’re going to do the best job you can but that doesn’t mean you’re passionate about it.”

What is passion exactly?

Ms. Kellie, one of our esthetics educators, had a theory about what passion meant and where it came from.

“I believe passion is a strong and intense feeling that comes from within.  Whether it be intense love, enthusiasm, joy, etc. the key word is intense.  I think everyone is born with the ability to find passion but some of us have to work at it more than others.  I think we owe it to ourselves to constantly seek and try new things while at the same time recognizing how what we do makes us feel. … It has taken years of practice to be able to recognize what that feeling is.”

There really is no one specific way to have passion.  Passion is a feeling that can be cultivated through our choices.  On one hand, passion grows through developing skills and pushing boundaries, which is an external action.  On the other hand, passion can be a deep burning desire to do an exceptional job no matter what it is, which is more of an internal process.  Maybe Mike Rowe and Steve Jobs were just talking about opposites ends of the same spectrum and it’s up to each one of us to figure out where our passion originates.

We will never have a definitive answer to where passion comes from but exploring the topic deeper does give one hope that we are capable of not only finding passion, but creating it too.  Passion is something that originates from within, it’s an attitude that is fueled through engagement, but can only be realized through effort.  Passion has to be cultivated over time because it’s nourished in the heart but is only realized through our actions.  Whether you were born knowing or discovered it along the way, passion will come and go but it’s the hard work that keeps the fire burning.