The Paw Print

Michael Christopher Salon hires talented stylists

Sydney Nicolli, Guest Writer

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Photo by Sydney Nicolli
A potential MCS employee fills out an application form; the first of various steps in the hiring process.

Michael Christopher Salon buzzed with business as the holidays came and went in December. Christmas promo packages, new hot tools and fresh hair dyes were in the air and individuals everywhere were vouching for the newest haircuts and colors for the celebratory season.

Because of the holiday hair havoc and overall stress customers came in with, the MCS owners knew they must hire stylists with the capability of keeping up with all of the trendy chaos that is thrown their way.

Owner and stylist herself, Marianne Nicolli, holds a huge weight regarding the hiring MCS pursues. Nicolli said, “The qualities I look for while hiring my stylists are responsibility, kindness, loyalty, dependability, motivation, passion towards their craft and career, et cetera. I can simply teach anyone how to do hair, but I can’t teach people kindness, genuine sincerity, honesty or work ethic. If you hire ‘good’ people, you can teach them just about any skill.”

Michael Christopher gets slammed with stressed customers seeking for hair help daily, so the owners must choose their stylists very carefully.

Nicolli said, “You can only apply in person – where you fill out basic application and a three page MCS questionnaire – then given a salon tour and 15 minute verbal interview with MCS manager that are just general questions. Next we conduct a half hour interview meeting with myself-Q&A, more detailed Cosmetology focused, job expectations, culture based, general policy procedure and questions where we check their references.

“They then go to a 3 hour shadow of another MCS apprentice for hands-on experience of job expectations and culture. This is the opportunity to see if you are a right fit for us and vice versa, and then a final review of your MCS experience. We then provide a haircut model to showcase skill level, talent, & attitude, and lastly another half hour meeting with [my husband and co-owner] Darren and I, where we discuss the job offer, hours, benefits, pay, culture, et cetera.”

After the procedure steps of applying to become part of the MCS stylist team Nicolli explains previously, those who qualify are sent into multiple levels of training before they are considered official stylists. Nicolli says, “The MCS apprenticeship training program is a 18 month-2 year program with four levels to complete. During the first three months of boot camp, they go to in-salon and out-of-salon hands-on training, participate in a mentorship program, and Aveda training [the salons brand].”

Nicolli then elaborates on how each level of apprenticeship contributes to the full exposure of the stylist world. She said, “They are integrated through each level of the program. When hired, they enter a three month boot camp where they learn, train and shadow basic employee apprentice fundamentals, MCS culture, vision, mission statement and Aveda mission. Level two is junior apprentice, level three is advanced apprentice and level four is head apprentice. Each level requires more advanced skills, classes, expectations, goals, and requirements.”

Although the stylist hiring process may seem extensive, the job is not out of reach. Some of MCS’s stylists are Mayfield alumni. Nicolli said “We have hired 8-10 girls from Mayfield’s cosmetology program out of our 26 stylists.”

One of Mayfields own, Nina Carlone, has come out of Mayfield cos and is currently working as an MCS apprentice. Carlone said, “I had gotten involved with MCS through an internship we were required to do in Mayfield cosmetology. That internship, multiple interviews, classes, training camps etc. was all a part of the hiring process. I love making people feel better about themselves, although there are stresses the job brings; such as keeping all of the stylists on time, and the salon running smoothly, but when you run into those things you must remain positive and take a step back to see how many people you impact daily.”

Nicolli said, “Nina just graduated out of level three and is starting level four head apprentice. If she stays on track and keeps this pace up, she will earn days on floor as a new talent level stylist this Spring!”

Carmen Dicicco, a current Mayfield cos student, aspires to become one of Michael Christopher’s stylists after high school like Carlone. Dicicco said, “Mayfield cos has really motivated me to want to become a stylist one day, hopefully at MCS. To have experience of working in a professional salon atmosphere with steady teachers already with me will help me a bunch in the real world, like it has Nina, who is already a level four apprentice. I’m looking forward to meet and transform people into their desired look, learn new techniques and adapt different skills in the future.”

Nicolli said, “Hiring the right people is a challenge that involves lots of dedication and hardwork. I love my job- it’s fun, creative, and I get to help people feel better about themselves everyday. It’s the type of job where you can make a difference in some way to anyone, and it gives you the best feeling. People come in feeling down, insecure, ugly, etc. and walk out feeling like a million bucks because of our therally trained stylists!”

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