June 7, 2024

Student Stories: Leaving Medicine to Pursue Beauty Passion (Daizy Koonce)

By Daizy Koonce

Growing up in a family of eleven, with nine sisters and a younger brother, life was anything but boring. My mom wasn’t really into the whole beauty thing, so I naturally became the go-to hairstylist for my sisters.

We’d have these pretend spa days where I’d be in charge of the comb and brush, creating hairstyles and having a blast. It was during these moments that my love for beauty started to bloom, even though I didn’t fully realize it at the time.

From Nursing to Beauty

Despite my passion for beauty, I initially aimed for a career in the medical field.

It seemed like the responsible choice, right?

So, I ended up working at a nursing home, helping the elderly residents. Interestingly, the nursing home had a small salon where the ladies would get their perms done.

One day, while chatting with the stylist, my old love for beauty resurfaced. She suggested I check out Aveda Institute in Twin Falls, a top-notch cosmetology school affiliated with Nathan Layne Institute.

Deep down, I knew that my true passion was making people feel beautiful. The world of cosmetology called to me, and I decided to dive in headfirst.

Before I knew it, I had signed up and started classes the following month.

The Deciding Factor: Aveda’s Welcoming Atmosphere

Choosing Aveda over other schools was a game-changer.

I had initially considered a different school, but when I visited Aveda Institute – Twin Falls, their friendly and welcoming atmosphere won me over. The staff made me feel so at home, and I just knew it was the right place for me.

Navigating Day-to-Day Life as a Student at Aveda

I’d still help out at the nursing home on my days off from school, doing vitals and passing out meds. Balancing my medical job and cosmetology classes wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.

Life at Aveda is a mix of challenges and rewards.We have classes from Tuesday to Saturday, with theory lessons on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The rest of the time, we’re on the salon floor, working with real clients.

It’s like a free therapy session: I get to chat with clients, learn new techniques, and see the joy in their faces when they love the results.

Facing and Overcoming Early Career Fears

Of course, not everything comes easily. I still remember my first day on the salon floor after finishing the foundational course. A client came in with dark hair, wanting to go platinum blonde with red and black lowlights.

I was terrified!

The process took from 9 am to 6 pm, and I must have asked my instructors a million questions. In the end, the result was great, but I was a nervous wreck. Now, whenever I get a similar request, I still get a bit anxious, but I’ve learned to handle it better.

Support and Growth: Aveda Institute’s Role in MyJourney

The support from the Aveda team has been amazing!

They’ve recognized my potential and given me opportunities to grow. For example, our admissions director once asked me to join her at a school fair to talk about the beauty industry. Her confidence in me was such a huge boost and made me even more determined to succeed.

Future Plans: Certifications and Opening a Salon

After graduation, I want to become a well-rounded professional. I’m already lash certified and plan to go back to Aveda Institute to complete the barbering program.

I want to gather as many certifications as I can and eventually open my own salon.

At first, I thought I could jump straight into owning a business, but the staff wisely advised me to gain more experience first. I’m really grateful for their guidance and now plan to work under seasoned professionals before taking that big step.

Reflecting on Growth and Purpose

Looking back, I can see how much I’ve grown, both personally and professionally. The beauty industry isn’t just about making people look good; it’s about making them feel good, too. And that’s something I’ve always been passionate about.

Advice for Aspiring Beauty Professionals

For anyone thinking about a career in beauty, I can’t recommend Aveda Institute enough. The sense of community and support here is incredible. We’re not just students. We’re a family, always ready to help each other out. And if you’re like me, transitioning from another field, know that it’s never too late to follow your true passion.

So here I am, Daizy with a “z”, named after a street sign in Mexico, carving my own path in the world of beauty and loving every minute of it.

Take the First Step Towards Your Beauty Career

If Daizy’s journey resonates with you and you’re ready to take your first step into the world of beauty, don’t wait!

Explore the exciting programs at Aveda – Twin Falls and see how you can transform your passion into a rewarding career. Join our family today and start your journey to making people feel beautiful, inside and out.


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Now's the perfect time to pursue a career in cosmetology, esthetics or barbering. We'll even help you find a job after you graduate! We offer financial aid to those who qualify and our schedule allows you to have the perfect school/life balance.

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Our cosmetology program provides students with training in hair, skin, and nail care.

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