Sandy Olvera, Tricoci University Alumni and CEO of Sanolvi Beauty

Name: Sandy Olvera
Campus Attended: Chicago NW Campus (on Harlem Ave)
Program Completed: Cosmetology
Year Graduated from Tricoci University: 2011
Current Position: President and CEO of Sanolvi Beauty

An Interview with Sandy

Think back to when you were deciding which beauty school to attend, what was the major reason you chose to enroll at TUBC?

Cosmetology has always been of interest to me; ever since I was a child. It was a craft that captivated me at an early age and a passion that stood with me throughout the years. After graduating from high school, I looked into Cosmetology schools, but due to personal circumstances I was unable to attend. As years passed, I actually became a first time client at the Tricoci location in Old Orchard and had a very gratifying experience. This later played a pivotal role when I decided to follow my dream. I found myself in a crossroad; with having lost my job, I enrolled full time at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture and opened my own salon three months after I graduated.

The reason I chose TUBC was because I realized the level of professionalism during my first visit as a client, so when it came time for me to decide which school I wanted to attend, it was first on my list. TUBC was the first Cosmetology school I set up an appointment to visit, and after visiting the campus I was convinced that this institution was where I should be. Though I had plans to visit other Cosmetology schools, TUBC gave me no reason to have to look any further. I appreciated the passion and skill level at which they held their students to; I just knew TUBC was the place for me.

Which instructor inspired you the most during your time at TUBC? How so?

Ms. Cathy Travis from the TUBC Harlem Campus was definitely the instructor who inspired me the most. Her passion for her work and the industry was evident, which in turn inspired me to focus on my goals. It was apparent that even after years in the industry, she was still extremely passionate of her craft.

How did your experience at TUBC help prepare you for the real world?

From the moment I stepped into essentials class I realized the high expectations TUBC had for their students. Strict attendance and appearance policies solidified the level of professionalism which was expected since day one. From essentials class to my first client consultation, the standard was never lowered. The products we used were of quality, and our interaction with our clients was held in high regard. These experiences were later transitioned into my business. I have made sure that every aspect of my salon is held to that same high standard.

I left TUBC confident of my abilities in my new found career, and understood what I was fully capable of accomplishing do to the knowledge I gained at Tricoci.

What was the most valuable skill set or piece of advice you gained from attending TUBC?

I realized my passion for hair color and truly grasped the concept. I’ve always been enthusiastic about all aspects of cosmetology, but TUBC really helped me understand the science behind hair color, which in turn made me appreciate the skill even more. I now find myself enjoying the everyday challenges hair color has to offer at my salon.

Tell us a little more about the road you went down in order to open your own salon.

I graduated from TUBC in April of 2011. Yet, in March of 2011 it was brought to my attention that a close friend of my family had a proposition for me on an open space that used to be a salon. I was still attending school and was already faced with choice of opening my own salon. I always knew my ultimate goal was to open my own business. Since the day I decided to attend Cosmetology school, my purpose was to solely open a salon; I never had the intention of working for anyone. Besides the passion I had for the craft, I always appreciated the fact that we had the opportunity to be our own boss in this trade.

When the situation of opening my own salon presented itself I was very excited. I definitely had my concerns and did a lot of thinking before undergoing this endeavor. I had actually decided that I would hold off a bit on opening the business; and was scheduled to meet with the person to tell them that I wouldn’t be taking the keys to the business. At the meeting, she said she couldn’t have me leave without taking those keys. As a business woman herself, she believed in my vision and dream. She stated that opportunities like this don’t always present themselves; this was my time to make it happen. And so I left the meeting with the keys to my brand new business. I worked on putting together and fixing the salon in May and June of 2011, and  by July, the doors to SanOlvi Beauty were opened.

What current beauty trend are you in love with?

I’ve always liked the runway look the most. Extravagant and creative styles are what truly captivate me. There isn’t one particular trend at the moment that I am in love with; I appreciate all aspects of my craft and see the beauty in it all.

Do you have any tips or a piece of advice you could offer to upcoming graduates?

First and foremost understand that your main motivation in life has to come from yourself. If you want to accomplish anything in life it is up to you to see it into fruition. Hard work, patience, perseverance, and faith are essentials in life. Never follow the trends, teach yourself to set your own. At the same time, remain humble. Respect and appreciate those who laid the foundation for you. Seek advice from those you trust and learn to accept criticism as well as praise.

Is there any additional information you would like to share with our students?

I hope future TUBC students can gain something from my story. I still have a lot of goals to accomplish in life, but I am glad to say that some of them have been crossed off my list. I appreciate everyone who has supported me, and I hope to motivate someone to accomplish what they envision for themselves.

Feel free to stop by SanOlvi Beauty which is located at 3433 N. Harlem in Chicago.