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.

Real Weddings, Real Happi

By JanyNicole Stehman

Real Weddings Cover

Esthetics student Happi Y. recently won the Garden Party Cover Model contest for Real Weddings Magazine. She was one of three finalists to be showcased in the current issue and her solo work will be on the cover of the February issue. The shoot to decide the final winner took 13 hours, during which Happi had to do around 15 makeup changes on her model.

      The 3 finalistsHappi's Model



Happi has been doing makeup for 3 years and her brand is fittingly called Happily Beautiful. She finds getting to be a part of her clients’ special day to be incredibly rewarding. She works with her clients for almost an entire year leading up to their wedding, and truly feels that by the time the big day rolls around, they’ve become more friends than client and service provider.

Congratulations Happi! Keep up the amazing work.

Check out her feature at

The Underground Revolution

By JanyNicole Stehman

Andy 1

On November 17th 2014 8 finalists all gathered in Las Vegas to compete in Underground Revolution’s Men’s Haircutting Championships hosted by Peter Anthony.  Andy Bates, Senior Stylist at AJFsalon and part time teacher here at Federico,  was one of those 8. Finalists competed to place in one of three categories, Best Over All, Best Technique/Execution, and Best Picture. Andy was able to take second place at the event, winning the Best Execution and Technique category.

His model presented a few unique challenges. He had a lumpy parietal ridge with a flat occipital and a deep receding hairline at his temples.

Andy 2

The model wanted to keep his length but felt his previous look was too moppy, so Andy went for a mod/brit rock look with structure within the shape and soft edges. The end result had a Bob Dylan meets Daryl Dixon vibe to it.

Andy 3

Congratulations Andy on an Amazing job!

The Thin Line between Love and Respect

by Tera Thorne

In the service industry it can be incredibly difficult to walk the line between providing excellent customer service and just being taken advantage of. Especially when first starting out. We tend to bend to the will of our clients because we need them to pay the bills.  Finding the perfect balance can be difficult.  You need to respect your clients while somehow ensuring that they will respect you.  So, here are a few tips on how to get your clients to both love AND respect you.



You can’t enforce your boundaries if you don’t know what they are.  Create policies that protect your time and money.  Policies addressing late arrivals, cancellations, no shows, and insufficient funds all ensure that your client will respect your time and your business.  Make sure your policies are fair enough that you feel comfortable enforcing them.



Posting your policies will clarify your boundaries but explaining your policies to your clients will help them understand how their behaviors directly affect your business.  Most clients will respect your policies and your time more if they understand the reasons why.  This same approach can also increase your sales and client loyalty.  The more educated a client is, the more empowered they feel in the relationship.



Consistency defines your business. Established businesses are successful because the client knows exactly what to expect when they walk through the door.  Time and money are too valuable to gamble on whether or not you’re going to receive good customer service or not.  This idea applies to all aspects of your business including your policies.  If a client knows you and you don’t enforce your policies, there is nothing stopping them from taking advantage of you.



Studies show that it costs 5-7 times more to gain a new client versus keeping a current one.  Communicating your appreciation of their continued patronage can be done in a number of ways that are easy and of little to no cost.  Simple gestures such as sending out birthday cards or making follow up calls after services can speak volumes about how much you value your clients.


Make yourself standout by turning your basic services into luxury ones.  If they came in for a cut and color, offer a free makeup touch up. If makeup is not your forte try offering a conditioning treatment or a neck and shoulder massage while their color processes.  These small offerings show your clients that you appreciate them and are willing to give them a little something extra for their time and loyalty.  Chances are they will return the favor by tipping you better and you will recoup your losses.  To be safe you can build the added cost into your service pricing.



If you have the time and availability, be open to helping your client out under special circumstances.  We create our business hours for a reason but a client who knows you will sacrifice a little bit for them will repay you in the long run.  Whether it be in returned clientele or word of mouth advertising, you can expect a great reward in return.



Have you ever heard the saying “Familiarity breeds contempt”?  It means that when something becomes familiar to us, we no longer value it or respect it as much as we originally did.  The same thing goes for your client.  When you start planning vacations together or the conversations start to get too personal, you blur the lines between “stylist” and “friend” which can cause strain in the relationship.  Friendships frequently come with exceptions and expectations which are counterproductive to building a solid working relationship.  Keep it simple and keep it professional while remaining friendly.  Your client will thank you for it in the long run.

Halloween Round-Up

By JanyNicole Stehman

It’s the 31st and the official end of our month-long  Halloween activities at Federico. October lets us explore a different side of the beauty industry than what we see in the normal day to day. We go from the everyday to full fantasy. The students get to do everything from dolls and ice queens to gore and the undead.

Students had the opportunity to do FX makeup for Corbett’s Grindhouse of Horror in Roseville every weekend this month transforming their staff into zombies and ghouls.



Several students were also able to work with GoodDay Sacramento to create last minute costumes for kids and adults. GoodDay  covered Sugar skull makeup, broken dolls, a fast and easy ninja costume, Maleficent, Elsa, killer clowns and many more in a 3 part special.


Filming happened at the crack of dawn, but the hard work paid off, Mark S. Allen was so impressed with the transformations that he had students turn him into Joan Rivers on Halloween morning.

Check out the videos below for all of the footage!


The Other Guys by Tera Thorne


Recently we shook things up at this is little beauty institute in Sacramento.  For the first time ever, we merged our barbering students with our cosmetology students on the studio floor.  The studio floor is where our future professionals are stationed while they take clients.  If they do not have an actual client to work on, they stay in the studio and hone their skills.  It looked great on paper but what we couldn’t account for is how the students would react and it raised the question:  Can we all get along?

Let me paint you a picture.  We have 4 rows with approximately 68 stations, another room that can hold 12 students and then a number of classrooms that can accommodate the over flow.  Imagine 70 cosmo students, flossing their particular brand of fashion and hair, a sea of black aprons and smocks.   And then, in walks the crisp white smocks of 20 barbering students.  It conjures up the scene from Pitch Perfect, when the Bartone Bellas and the Treblemakers compete head on.  It’s a classic battle scene but with a twist.  It’s the clippers vs the shears.  Light vs dark.  The Jets vs the Sharks.  What happened next?  I have no idea I work in the office!  In order to find out I went out in the field to survey the situation.

IMG_9616 2

Upon first glance, it looked calm enough.  Students are wandering around trying to get ready for appointments while others already have their mannequin heads on tripods cutting, perming, and curling away.  I walk up to Amanda W., one such student.  As she combing out another section of hair I ask her about what she thinks about the new seating arrangements.  She said that she thought it was a good thing.  “The barbers get all the clipper cuts for the most part so it’s nice to be able to watch the demos happening on the floor.”  She also likes being able to ask them questions about cuts that are traditionally considered barbering cuts.

As I watch two cosmo students discussing clippers, cases, and different size guards with a barber student, I had to wonder if this conversation would have happened if we kept the two groups segregated.  Aline Z. doesn’t think it would have.  She said before they merged the two groups the barbers and cosmo students pretty much stayed to themselves but now they are working together.  “I admit, at first I didn’t think it was going to be a good idea but it has been so awesome.”  For example she said that she traded services with a barber.  While she got tips on her clipper cuts, he was coached on his shampoo and blow drying techniques.


The most surprising and exciting news I received was that there was a master finger-waver hiding amongst the barbers.  Alexis W. was sporting some beautiful finger waves and when asked who her stylist was, she said Danny D.  I spoke to Danny and he said he has only being doing finger waves for 2 weeks.  “Mr Jerry taught me two weeks ago and I’ve just been going at it ever since.”  He supplemented his education with youtube videos and within this short amount of time he has already gained a little following.  I asked him what the secret to a good finger wave was.  “It’s all in the technique.”  He grabbed a second comb and held the ridge of one wave before rounding the edges of the next.  He continued by saying that “if you’re going to comb it out you need to use a non-alcohol based gel to avoid flaking and you have to wait until its completely dry.  If you don’t wait, it’ll go straight.”

As I watched Danny apply passion and patience to his work I am reminded of the schools core values: Respect, Inspire, Create.  You can see the respect he has for the work he’s doing.  It shows in his persistence and his desire to improve.  He was inspired by an educator which has led him to inspire others.  Cosmo students have come seeking his knowledge and on occasion his inspirational spark has led to impromptu tutorials.  This leads me to Create.  In the world of hair and makeup, creativity is always present but what has been created on our studio floor is a culture.  Through a small change in policy we created a shift in the learning environment of our students.  We opened the doors between two different worlds and found that they’re not that different after all.  This is something unique to our school and it sounds like it’s not only deepening the education of our students but its fostering cooperation and building new relationships.  And while I can’t take credit for what has been created here I can sure reveal in the afterglow, and so can you.  If you’re interested in becoming a part of our blossoming culture and are interested in cosmetology, esthetics or barbering please notify our admissions department for more information.