18 Dec 2015
Having finished school to look after her sick father, Leeza Nicoll applied to join the Certificate in Hairdressing at Waiariki Institute of Technology's Taupo Campus, to give her dad pride over her future direction.
“Telling my father I got accepted was the last conversation we shared before he passed away. He told me, 'Don't give up on hairdressing. Don't do it half-pie - go all the way to the top.' So I worked hard and never looked back.”
Leeza has made huge inroads towards reaching that ‘top’ as a graduate, becoming the proud owner / operator of Crown Glamour, Taupo’s own luxurious beauty salon.
“It truly is an amazing feeling to have gone from hairdressing graduate to hairdressing employer. In our first week at Waiariki, we wrote down goals for the next 5-10 years. Most of us mentioned opening up our own salon and I knew that would be a reality for me one day.
“Now I look back on those same goals and see that I have truly achieved my dream.”
Crediting the ‘overwhelming’ support of her friends and family for making her success possible, Leeza lists the life-long friendships she made on the qualification and this year’s 10-year reunion as a highlight.
"Waiariki has a great training structure and teaches not only hairdressing techniques to a high quality, but also life lessons that we all need to learn," Leeza elaborates, turning to her current perspective as an employer.
"My tutors, Katherine Campbell and Milly Millington, taught me how to respect people no matter who they are, how to be loyal to people in a professional and personal manner, and how to look after myself. I will forever hold these life lessons close to my heart and will continue to install these same values into my employees."
With her employees including ex-Waiariki student Onjelique Gourley, and present student Sarah Ellery working there on work experience.
Stating future students will have 'the time of their life' at Waiariki if hairdressing is truly their passion, Leeza concludes “I would highly recommend Waiariki to anyone and everyone. Hairdressing is a hard but very rewarding course. If you put in the work, you can come out on top and in doing so become a real inspiration to others.”
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Page last updated: 02 May 2017