With a passion for vivid color and vintage style, our first place #ColorJam2017 winner, Shellie Vega, wowed us with her skill. When asked her favorite service to preform, color was top of her list. But it’s more than just color, it’s about getting the perfect effect that her client was imagining and will love. Drawing on inspiration from people such as Guy Tang and Micheline Pitt, she creates true works of art.
How did you get started?
My love for this industry started young. Through high school, I always loved the creativity of changing up my look. I experimented with makeup, changed up my hair style and explored all kinds of different hair colors. Being on the dance team gave me an avenue to channel this creativity even more.
After high school, I attended college for two years in San Antonio, Texas mainly because that is what everyone did. But my heart wasn’t in it. I heard about the Paul Mitchell School and went to take a look. I instantly fell in love with the program and their passion. I knew that is what I needed to be doing. So, I enrolled, and found myself loving going to class and was very interested in what I was learning! This was a game changer.
While in school I completed an apprenticeship where I got to see in real life what I was learning in class. I saw all the ins and outs of how a salon worked and I soaked it in. After finishing school, I moved back home to El Paso and found a job at a small close knit salon. I loved this new family I inherited, made up of my clients and coworkers. I loved the camaraderie and ability to learn new skills that each person brought to the salon through their own experiences.
What were some of the challenges along the way?
Not long after, I was ready to explore new territory and I took on a new city, Austin, Texas. This was a slow process. I found myself not finding a salon that was a great fit for me. I ended up working at a blow-dry bar until I could find where I really belonged. Finally, I found the salon that became like family, where I could learn new skills and techniques especially with color. And my clients in Austin allowed me the creativity to explore these new skills
I always like to push myself, so I found myself ready for a new challenge. I made the jump to become an independent beauty professional and took on chair rental. There have been some ups and down and lessons to learn along the way, but all the extra time and effort has been well worth it. I often preach this same message to all those who are ready to make this jump. The freedom that comes with being an independent is what drives me to keep going.
What are you up to now and what message would you like to send to stylists?
With now seven years as a licensed professional, I never want to settle. I am always looking for new tips, tricks and techniques to push me to improve! My message is if you’re passionate about it, keep pushing and striving to be the Stylist you want to be! Keep learning and improving!
Make sure to check out Shellie on Instagram page at @shell.vega