Tara Gross (pictured above), a New York-based stylist, won the Beauty Changes Lives Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Scholarship and got the opportunity to take a five-day course at the North American Sassoon Academy. As a young hairstylist new to the salon floor, Gross was inspired by Vidal Sassoon’s influence on the art of hairstyling and how his career helped him travel the globe.
Gross is paying her success forward, and shares a bit about her journey here…
How has a career in beauty influenced your life?
Tara Gross: I’ve always wanted to be a hairstylist, and there was a sense this career could take me anywhere I wanted to go, far beyond the borders of my small town. Beauty isn’t confined by borders. Whether I’m visiting a school in New York, traveling to a show or if one day I travel the globe, beauty is opening up new possibilities.
What surprised you about winning the scholarship?
Tara Gross: It was so amazing to see a whole community come together and share my success! Through social media, my friends, family and co-workers shared the amazing learning opportunity the Vidal Sassoon Scholarship was providing me. Soon, I was invited back to my cosmetology school, Eastern Suffolk BOCES, where I shared my learning experience with cosmetology students. I’ve been privileged to return to the classroom countless times to speak at graduations and industry events.
What do you tell aspiring beauty professionals when you speak at school events?
Tara Gross: I start by showing them the video I submitted when I applied for the scholarship and I try to open their eyes to all of the opportunities available in this industry. It is so warm and so welcoming. Instead of being a competitive environment, it’s a place where people want to learn from one another’s successes. Instead of, ‘How can I do more than you?” it’s about “How can I learn from you?” Not many people follow their dreams, but that’s so important, and the Vidal Sassoon Professional Education Scholarship helped me continue my professional dream. I tell students anything is possible as long as you have the heart to pursue your goal.
And what are your goals for the future?
Tara Gross: I’m still a new hairstylist and I want to improve my craft, so I continue to apply for scholarships and learning opportunities. Ultimately, I want to become an educator, but right now, I’m looking for classes to hone my skills.
How are you following the “beauty changes lives”movement?
Tara Gross: I don’t want to simply help people look better; I want to help them feel better. When I finish a client’s hair, I ask, “How do you feel?” My job isn’t just to help someone look good, but to help them feel better about who they are. And as I help clients feel better, I’m continually reminded of how very happy this career makes me!