WCCC, SBDC partner for student success

Karie Lacy created a successful career for herself through hard work, dedication, and training and advice at the Warren County Career Center. Born and raised in Lebanon, and a 2001 graduate of Lebanon High School, Karie completed the Cosmetology program and earned her Ohio cosmetology license through the WCCC Adult Education Full Service Center in 2012 and then completed the Manager’s License training at WCCC and earned her Ohio license in 2013. Her plan was to open her own salon, and her instructors recognized her drive and ambition and connected her with the Warren County Small Business Development Center, housed at WCCC.

SBDC Director Joe Schiesler worked with her to help her develop a business plan and a cash flow sheet which she presented to a bank and requested a business loan. The loan was granted, and soon she was painting walls and having exterior signage made for her new salon, The Avenue, in Lebanon. She still meets occasionally with Schiesler to make sure everything stays on track. Although the salon has only been open a few months, she just added stations for three stylists with 12 years of experience in the area. Her official ribbon cutting is Nov. 1.

“We are starting to get walk-ins now, and things are going well,” Karie said. “When I completed my cosmetology program, I had offers from some big salons, and it was a tough choice, but I had a lot invested, so I decided to stay with my own business.”

The hard work is paying off, and Karie is already planning for the future, with expanding to a second location in the next few years “not out of the question.” The Avenue Salon specializes in all services related to hair styling, and also waxing. She offers some retail custom jewelry, too.

“We try to have a small town feel here, and make people feel warm and welcome,” she said. “It is an open floor, so people come in; make a cup of coffee, and sit and chit chat while waiting for their appointment.”

Her advice to others aspiring to train for a new career and open is business is simple: “Engage yourself in your studies, take your classes seriously. Attend class every day, and be very structured about it. It is paying off tenfold for me now.”

She said she learned a lot from her Cosmetology instructors at WCCC, Levetra Staten and Christine Rohler, including the importance of customer service along with the cosmetology skills. She also said her internship experiences, a part of the program, were very helpful to her education.

“People want to come into a salon and relax in a comfortable atmosphere,” she said. “We have an emphasis on customer service here.”

For more information on the WCCC Cosmetology program, call 513-932-8145. For more information about the SBDC, call Joe Schiesler at 513-932-8145 ext. 5317.

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