By Erica Campos, Tricoci University Cosmetology Alumni
My experience as a NATVA bronze medal winner was incredible. I didn’t expect to win. I entered the competition to have fun and to see how creative I could get. Being a part of the competition really helped me get out of my comfort zone and grow confidence as a stylist. I love doing hair so being a part of the whole event was like a dream to me. I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say that Wella did an awesome job at making us feel like we were all long lost family.
The weekend we arrived, they had a meet and greet for us the first night for us to get to know everyone and kind of hang out. On Sunday, they provided a breakfast for us in the morning and we practiced our hairstyles, then we rehearsed how we were going to walk on stage at NATVA. During rehearsal the day before the show, I was practicing the hairstyle and I kept thinking to myself, “Is this real?” Reality didn’t want to sink in.
The day of the show, we started prepping and working on our models all morning. Then we took a break for lunch, and after we did a few touch-ups on their hair. We then walked over to a different room for a photo shoot and took a few pictures. Afterward, we had dinner and there was a model viewing, meaning they had all of our models standing on a platform for everyone to see them up close. After the model viewing is when the show began and we were backstage constantly lining up and getting queued of when to walk on stage. When they announced the winners, the show ended with confetti everywhere and an announcement of where the NATVA after party would be. It was amazing.
Altogether, I definitely would do it all over again and I would encourage any new stylist to take a chance and test their skills in competition. It was the best thing that’s happened in my career as a stylist.